Haridwar (हरिद्वार) , also spelled Hardwar, is a city in the state of Uttarakhand.
Haridwar, literally Gateway to God, is one of the Hindu holy places in India and a center of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Located on the banks of River Ganges (Ganga), at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains, Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.
Haridwar is the site of many religious festivals. Most notably, once every twelve years it is the venue for the Kumbh Mela, humanity's largest festival, which drew a record 70 million in 2003. (The festival rotates between Haridwar and Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.) The Ardh Mela, or "half mela", is held every six years. The last Maha Kumbh Mela was in 2010, and the next Ardh Mela will be in 2016.
Other yearly festivals include:
- Baisakhi, April.
- Kanwar Mela, July. The largest yearly festival, drawing up to 300,000 visitors.
- Somwati Amavasya, July. Almost as large as the Kanwar Mela.
- Kartik Purnima, held 15 days after Diwali on the first night of the full moon in November.
While the festivals are colorful and fascinating, they also strain the town's limited infrastructure to the breaking point and sometimes beyond. Book rooms and tickets well in advance, and avoid travel by road as the traffic jams can be horrendous.
Haridwar is about 200 km from Delhi, the capital of India and is well connected by road and rail network from all parts of India. It is better to avoid travelling to Haridwar during the Hindu month of Sawan (around July) since there is a heavy crowd and all important roads are blocked and most of the hotels/busses/trains are crowded.
For Going from Delhi to Haridwar you can rent a car, or you can go by plane or train.
Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, with twice daily service to Delhi on Air Deccan , is 20 km from Haridwar.
Haridwar Junction Railway Station (IR station code : HW) is well-connected by train, with frequent trains to Delhi (4-5 hours) and Dehradun (1 hour). There are also a few trains per day to Rishikesh, but buses are faster and much more frequent. The train station is located on the south side of town, within walking distance to most hotels but a 2-km hike to Hari-ki-Pairi.
Here are some useful trains to reach Haridwar:
Also see Rail travel in India
Haridwar's bus station, a stone's throw from the train station, is chaotic and has no signage whatsoever in English. There are regular bus services from Delhi (theoretically 4 hours, in practice 6-8 hours), Rishikesh (1 hour) and other important towns of North India to Haridwar. Before booking the bus check the bus condition. Always go for cushioned and push-back seats. The long and bumpy ride will take a toll on your mood and body.
as there is shortage of AC buses during summer vacations so always go before 1 or 1.5 hour your suitable time so as to get the prior reservation from window
Central Haridwar can be reasonably comfortably covered on foot. Cyclerickshaws abound, and most trips in town should not cost more than Rs. 20. Taxis and autorickshaws congregate at the train and bus stations.
- Hari-ki-Pairi (or Har-ki-Pauri). To the north of the center, this is Haridwar's focal point, where devotees gather to bathe and worship on the Ganges. According to legend, this is where a drop of nectar fell from the churning of the oceans when the world was created, and a stone wall has Vishnu's footprint. Each evening around 7 PM,(5.45 PM in winter) thousands gather and worship the river Goddess by putting diyas (floating lamps) in the river. You may be asked to make a donation if you linger near the ghats. Beware of con artists posing as officials. If you would like to make a donation there are boxes at the center of the ghats around the light poles.
- Maya Devi Mandir , located on upper road. This temple is one of the 51 "shakti peeths" and its the presiding deity of Haridwar. It is from this temple Haridwar derives its other name Mayapur.
- Mansa Devi Mandir, atop a hill near the center of town. Can be reached by cable car (Rs 48 for a return ticket) or by a road that gently winds uphill (about 2 km), starting from Railway Rd. The temple is aesthetically not particularly noteworthy, but the views are grand. Expect to queue to board the cable car and once more to enter the temple: despite some rudimentary attempts at crowd control, the crowds of jostling devotees can make this a pretty intense experience.
- Bharat Mata Mandir, 5 km north of the center. Dedicated to Mother India, this is half temple, half nation building exercise, with seven floors stacked with deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths. Some signage in English.
- Chandi Devi Mandir,8-9KM from railway station, you get the combi package to see both the temples by AC bus including bus and ropeway charges
- Daksh mandir,7-8 km from railway station,you get rickshaw or you can hire a auto,near also many mandirs to see at kankhal.
- Bilkeshwar Mahadev Mandir , Shiva temple located on a hill.
- Ma Anandamayee Ashram. Located at Kankhal. The samadhi of Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee is located here and is also the Head Office of the revered organisation. It is a must see. Devotees included late Mrs Indira Gandhi (ex Prime Minister of India). Attend the evening aarti near Ma's samadhi and have a soul cleansing experience.
- Gayatri Tirth - Shantikunj, Dehrahoon Road, Haridwar (6 KM from Railway Station,), ☎ 01334260602, . Nine days (Personality Development Camp) through practising Scientific Spirituality i.e. Yoga, Yagna, Meditation, Prayer, Motivational Seminar, Workshop, Song and art of living. Registration required. Dates: 1-9, 11-19, 21-29, three camps every month, throughout the year.
- Divya Yog Mandir Trust University, 16 km from Haridvar. Founded by Baba Ramdev.
Haridwar, the holy city is one of the most renowned pilgrimage centers in India. Pilgrims from all over the world flock to this sacred city to take a dip in the holy waters of River Ganga.Being a destination for pilgrimage tourism, shopping in Haridwar is not on the itinerary of the tourist.
However shops in Haridwar have some interesting things to offer to the tourist. The main shopping centers are Moti bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur and Kankhal. You can also check out the Government Handloom and Handicrafts Emporiums and the Gandhi Ashram. Here you will find a range of handicraft decorative pieces. If you are interested in jewellery, then you can choose from a variety of imitation ones which make good fashion accessory.
In Haridwar, you will find neatly and intricately carved stone idols, which make unique souvenirs. It is fascinating that these stones have traversed with Ganga all along and they are eventually deposited in Rishikesh as the river enters the plains. This gives the stones amazing shapes and a natural polish. Besides idols, there are kitchen set toys made from stone, which are interesting buys.
- Shri Ganga Gift kendra, Moti Bazar (Towards Her-Ki-Pauri). This is a shop where you can buy rudraksh mala, sphatic mala, chandan mala and other chandan articles with imitation jwelery. You can also try some wooden earings herewith in your budget
- Dosa Plaza, (opposite to haridwar railway station), ☎ 01334315517, . A chain that offers 104 varieties of dosas, along with Indian and Chinese food.
- Sindh dugdh Bhandar, Rly. rd. Haridwar (north), ☎ 320209. A rocking place in this town since 1948. But well maintained and a multi cuisine restaurant with a very good service an the most important it's air conditioned unlike the other restaurant in town.
Haridwar is a purely vegetarian town.
- Hoshiyarpuriwala, This shop is old and claim to have started in year 1935. Its 7-8 min walk from from Hari-Ki-Pairi(good to get your appetite going). It has wide variety of North Indian delicacies-- try the Thaali. It cost Rs. 80.00 (he has stopped serving "Thaalis" now). But it's so much that it requires a special effort to finish it off. And for a grand finish a sweet dish you can't resist: Khaao India Khaao.
- Chotiwalas, Subhash Ghat (and other outlets around town). The closest Haridwar gets to McDonalds (not very), serves up a wide menu of South and North Indian favorites, with some Indian-Chinese thrown in. Most meals around Rs. 60.
- Chotiwalas Asli, Subhash Ghat. Claiming to be the original, unfranchised Chotiwalas, this is the first shop right below the steps when walking south from Hari-ki-Pairi. The "Chotiwalas Special" (Rs. 75) is a super-filling concoction of paneer and veggies in a creamy tomato base, topped with cheese and yogurt.
- Hotel Alpana, Ram Ghat. 01334-225544,224567. Claiming to be the new, clean, 400 meters from Hari-ki-Pairi. The "Alpana Meal" (Rs. 75 breakfast & Rs 150 for lunch & Rs. 150 for Dinner) Nice decent place to relax.
- Spice N Nice, (Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road), ☎ 01334-266366, . We offer authentic pure vegetarian delicacies. We serve Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese, and Continental Cuisines. Food is our passion and we take pride in serving our guests delicious and tasty food. AC and Relaxing Ambiance.
- Dada Boudir Hotel, Railway Road (5 mins from rail station by rickshaw towards Har ki pairi). This is an awesome Bengali eatery, serving lunch,dinner. Dehradun rice with ghee, fries, 2 curries, chutney , dal etc at only Rs.45/- per head (that too with multiple servings); it's the ideal destination for having meals.
- Mashir Hotel, Vishnughat (5 minutes from sabji mandi). 8:00-23:00. Pure Bengali Eatery serving Basmati Rice, along with Dal, 2 seasonal curries, 1 Fried item, Chutney and Ghee unlimited servings. Check their Morning Breakfast of Puri sabji priced Rs. 15 for 6 pooris and 1 sabzi 40/-.
- Didir Hotel ((Behala)), Opposite Hotel Vishrant Vishnughat. 8 AM- 11PM. Didir Hotel (Elder sis's Eatery) is a conveneint location located at Vishnughat and famous for its multiple serving Thalis. Priced at Rs.40(as of aug 2011) It serves you hot Rice with Ghee, Fritters, 1 dry and 1 gravy curries, along with Daal(which is typically sweet sour) and a sweet chutney at the end. Typically famous for its Dhokaar Dalna a must try also it serves multiple Rotis along with curries at 40/- only.
- Bhagwati Chole Wala, Upper Road Haridwar (Enroute to Mansa Devi Temple). 8 AM- 6PM. A must try for breakfast and Lunch. Bhagwati choley wala is an old institution making scrumptous breakfast of Chole(Bengal Gram) Baturey,Bun Bread and choley , Mixed minced Buns in Choley Gravy and Rice Choley. They attract a large crowd and usually serves piping hot choley stew with every meal. The meal priced 30/- each is served on Plate and Leaf covering along with salad.Must try their Buns in Choley.Try their Lassi too.
- Kwality Mysore Restuarant, Upper Road towards Mansa devi and har Ki pauri. A Good reasonable South Indian resturant serving South Indian Thalis and Snacks. Must try their Dosas.
Alcohol is banned in Haridwar.
- Mohan Puri, Harki Pauri. The most famous food shop at harki pauri and everything fits in budget. But due to high tourist rush its bit congested in festival seasons
- Kreams n Kountry, Station road haridwar (On road to Post Office chawk from the railway station it falls on the right side of the road). The Pao Bhaji her e is delicious n a speciality of the house.But the other products will surprise you which include Rajma chawal,Veg Burger,Chats of all kind,Icecreams n Sweets.The staff members are helpful n polite as always.
- Deluxe Dada Boudir Hotel ((An Unit of Mashir Hotel)), Below Hotel Lions (Opposite Birla House). 10AM-10 PM. Pure Bengali Eatery serving Basmati Rice, along with Dal, 2 seasonal curries, 1 Fried item, Chutney and Ghee unlimited servings.
- Sushanto Choley Kulche wala, Ramghat main bazar enroute to Mansa devi temple curve. 8 AM- 10 AM. Awesome Chole Kulche from this guy Sushant along with hot stew. Be on your kneels as by sharp 10 AM he packs his mettle back. Enjoy the light appettite at Rs. 20 per plate 20/-.
For most of the hotels the check-in time is 12 Noon. Plenty of Dharmshalas are also available in Haridwar. A cluster of new, modern hotels has sprung up in Bhopatwala, some 5 km north of the city center.
- Haridwar Hotel Guide,  is an online hotel portal for Haridwar city. Visitor's can choose the accommodation from above 50 hotels in Haridwar. They can call directly to the hotel to book their rooms, no commission agent involved.
- Hotel Bhagwati Niwas, Sabzi Mandi, (near Vishnu Ghat), Haridwar, tel. +911334224328 & +911334327491. Right on the Banks of River Ganges. All room facing Gangaji with Private ghat! Rooms available at nominal charges!
- Hotel Deep, Sharawan Nath Nagar (Sadhubela Marg), Haridwar, tel. +919412072599, +919759008009. Located in mid of Haridwar. A/C and Non A/C rooms are available at nominal charges. Online bookings can be made at 
- Hotel Ganga Azure, Railway Road (near Shivmurti), +91 334-220938/9 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax +91 334-227101), . Small, not entirely clean rooms. Hot water available from 6-8 AM only, but the shower may be broken. The hotel restaurant (Big Ben) is well liked, but somewhat below-priced. Rs 700/1500. (non-AC/AC, negotiable)
- Hotel Gayatri Classic, Shravan Nath Nagar (near Harmilap Bhawan), Haridwar, tel. +911334322473. 5 minute ride from railway staion/bus stand.10 minute from Harki Pauri. Ac/NON Ac Rooms available at nominal charges.
- Rahi Motel - Government Tourist Lodge. Online bookings can be made at 
- AMBIENCE GUEST HOUSE, Shravan Nath Nagar (near Harmilap Bhawan), Haridwar, tel. +919837061220. 5 minute ride from railway staion/bus stand.10 minute from Harki Pauri. Ac/NON Ac Rooms available at nominal charges.
- Shri Ram Sharnam Ashram, 511-A, Sapta Sarovar Marg (near Agrasen Ghat), Bhopatwala, tel. +919810011735, . Rooms available at nominal maintenance charges.
- Bhaj-Govindam, near Bhimgoda Bridge (entrance is through a narrow alley and around a corner, look for the signs). Charming,hut-style accommodation, with a common lawn area over-looking the river. Rs 900/1550. (non-AC/AC).
- For Hotels Query Check www.traveldates.in, Email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact no. +91 9997787788; +91 8954776655
- Chitra Heritage Chitra cinema Street, Haridwar. It is 3mins walk from the railway station and 10mins walk from har-ki-pauri. A/c & Non A/c room are available at Rs 700/3490. All room are spacious and front sided. Parking facilities are available. Tel:+919760129990 +91 8954776655 (email@example.com, .
- Hotel Ganga Darshan,  is situated at Har-Ki- Pauri Haridwar The hotel is in close proximity to Banks, Shopping Complexes and local market. We make sure Hotel Ganga Darshan makes your time in Haridwar even more memorable.A/c & Non A/c room are room available at Rs 950/1250/1550. All room are spacious and front sided. Parking facilities are available. Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hotel LandMark, Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road, tel. +91 1334 266366, . Prime location provides easy access to Har-ki-Pauri in the heart of the haridwar, Daksh Mahadev Temple in the Khankhal city, and all the commercial market area on the Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road. Rooms are AC, clean, and welcoming. Rooms from Rs 1000.
- Teerth, Subhash Ghat, Hari-Ki-Pairi, tel. +91 334 225211, . Riverside accommodation right next to Hari-Ki-Pairi, the main selling point is the great river views from the balconies. Rooms are a.c, spacious, clean. Rooms from Rs 1200.
- Virasat Residency Chitra cinema Street, Haridwar. It is 3mins walk from the railway station and 10mins walk from har-ki-pauri. A/c & Non A/c room are avaliable at Rs 1050/550. All room are spacious and front sided. Parking facilities are avaliable.
- County Inn & Suites, Haripur Kalan, Motichur, tel. +91 13 52485900, . Run by the Carlton group, this is the only international branded hotel in Haridwar and probably the best of the bunch. The main drawback is the location, some 6 km out of town.
- Ginger Haridwar, Opp. Dudhadhari Temple, Bhopatwala, tel. +91 13 34263333, . Clean, minimalistic hotel operated by the Ginger chain.
- Haveli Hari Ganga, 21 Pilibhit House, Ram Ghat (in the bazaar), +91 334 226443 (fax +91 334 265207). A comfortably appointed hotel/spa with a private ghat and balconies (few rooms)overlooking the river. Rs 2800 and up.
- Hotel Hari Heritage, 1 Shyamlok, Opp. Shantikunj, Rishikesh Road (www.hariheritage.com), +91 334 262648 (Mobile +91 93680 47844). Can also be stated as pride of Haridwar in terms of redifining hospitality, quality of Rooms, Service and Restaurant Temptation and Banquet Celebration. Rs 2999 and up.
- Hotel Shiv Murti, Railway Rd (near Shivmurti chouk), a big hotel with more then 30 AC or Non-AC clean rooms with attached bathroom. Hot water available 6AM-9AM only. The hotel restaurant serves good and tasty food. Tariff Rs 500 non-AC, Rs 1,000 AC. Spcial offer for regular customer, you need to show the last bill(negotiable).
Like all Hindu holy towns, Haridwar has more than its fair share of filth, aggressive beggars and charlatans.
During festivals, especially the Kumbh Mela, Haridwar is packed to bursting and beyond. Stampedes are a regular occurrence, with over 50 killed in 1986, 21 killed in 2003 and 5 killed in 2010; the bridges across the Ganges are the most dangerous spot.
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