10 Things Every Visitor Should Do in Haridwar
by contributing blogger and India travel expert Rohit Agarwal
‘The abode of Lord Vishnu’, Haridwar, located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, occupies a prominent position among the holy cities of India. The mystical and spiritual ambience of the sacred city attracts millions who flock here for the annual pilgrimage. Unique sights arrest your gaze at every nook and corner of the bustling streets of this enchanting place. A perennial destination for those coming to take a dip in the holy Ganges and to be blessed, Haridwar offers much more than the sight of Ganga in all its glory. There are several activities one could indulge in while on a visit to this famed pilgrim center to understand the culture and history of the ancient city.
- Temple Visiting
Photo by Jeevan, CC0 1.0
As a holy city, Haridwar has several temples both big and small that are revered and visited by over a million people annually. Most temples are dedicated to Shiva or Vishnu. Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi, Daksha Mahadev, Bharat Mata Mandir and Maya Devi are some of the famous temples of this temple town. People visit the Mansa Devi Temple dedicated to goddess, Mansa, to make wishes as it is believed that the goddess would fulfill them. To know more about famous places in Haridwar, check: http://www.transindiatravels.com/uttarakhand/haridwar/tourist-places-to-visit-in-haridwar/
- Food Trail
Photo by shrutikumar, CC0 1.0
As a popular destination among pilgrims and tourists, there are numerous restaurants and eateries in Haridwar to cater to your taste buds. However, non-veg and alcohol are prohibited in the holy city. Bhagwati’s Chhole Bhature, Mohan Puri Wala and Brij Mathura Walla are some of the famous eateries where you could indulge in some delicious and delectable vegetarian delights. Strolling through the lanes of Haridwar enjoying the street food and local delicacies is something one must take time to experience.
- Adventure Sports
Water rafting, Photo by Jeevan, CC0 1.0
Trekking the mountain temples or through the tranquil nature is an exhilarating experience offered by this spiritually serene city. The Rajaji National Park also offers a chance of trekking through its vast stretches of natural beauty. Rafting, another thrill that no adventure lover must forego, is something you can do in Rishikesh, located in the Ganges. The feeling of moving rapidly through the swift river, navigating boulders and being drenched in the spray of water is simply exciting and breathtaking. To read more about Rishikesh, check: http://www.transindiatravels.com/uttarakhand/rishikesh/things-to-do-in-rishikesh/
- Bird watching
Siberian crane, Photo by Sun Fenglin, CC BY-SA 2.0
Neeldhara Pakshi Vihar is a haven for both ornithologists and casual birdwatchers. Famous for its Siberian Cranes and other migratory birds, it is an ideal place to revel in the variety and magnificence of the avian community.
- A ride on Udan Khatola
Ropeway, Photo by Mahatma, CC BY 2.0
A major attraction in Haridwar for all tourists, this cable service takes you to the hilltop temples. A five-minute service, this cable to God’s takes you over the city giving a stunning aerial view of it. Traveling slowly up the hill and hanging from a cable is an exciting experience.
- Spa treatments
Photo by nosheep, CC0 1.0
There are several spa resorts in and around Haridwar that offer both Ayurvedic and western therapies. Having expert massagers and spa treatments at one of the resorts would help to revive your senses and harmonize your energies. Haveli Hari Ganga, Ganga Lahari, Aalia Resort and Devnadi are some of the best massaging and therapy centers in Haridwar. To know about Ashrams in Haridwar, check: http://www.transindiatravels.com/uttarakhand/haridwar/ashrams-in-haridwar/
- Shopping at Bara Bazar
Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0
The bright colored stalls and markets in Bara Bazar sell all kinds of handicrafts and keepsakes to keep your memories of the city alive. Strolling around and shopping in this enchanting city where you may find something precious in every corner is a joyous experience you must not miss.
- Watch the Ganga Aarti
Photo by NID chick, CC BY 2.0
The Ganga Aarti in Har ki Pauri ghat in the evening is one of the most famous Aarti among devotees and tourists. Participating in worshipping the river along with thousands of others, by floating diyas into the water, is an enlightening experience. The chants, ringing of bells, and the lighted river vividly present the true essence of sanctity of Haridwar. To find all the important information about Har ki Pauri: http://www.transindiatravels.com/uttarakhand/haridwar/har-ki-pauri/
- Jungle Safari at Rajaji National Park
Photo by DeepakBerwal12, CC BY-SA 4.0
About 20 km from Haridwar is the Rajaji National Park that is spread over four districts of Uttarakhand. A jungle safari would be one of the best opportunities to spot cheetals, spotted deer, sambhar, peacocks, elephants and a host of other animals. Some time spent in the wild could charm you with the entrancing beauty of nature. To find out more about Rajaji National Park, click: http://www.transindiatravels.com/uttarakhand/rajaji-national-park/
- Visit to Ashrams
Photo by Ataner007, CC0 1.0
There are several Ashrams in Haridwar that offer accommodations and yoga classes. Some of these ashrams are ancient and have a history of their own. Located in serene locations, they are places where spirituality pervades the atmosphere. A visit to the yoga ashrams and participating in the exercise beside Ganga is a refreshing experience for both the spiritual and the health conscious.
There are several things one could do to enjoy and experience the ambience of Haridwar. Apart from temples, one must indulge in all of the other attractions offered by this temple town. However, it would be wise to be beware of monkeys famous for harassing people along the ghats.
Rohit Agarwal is a wildlife photographer and a travel blogger by profession. His inspiration to life is the positivity with which he travels to new places and meets new people. Follow Rohit on TransIndiaTravel where he shares all of his experiences.