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 Purna 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 Kumbha Mela, or "half mela", is held every six years. The last Purn Kumbh Mela was in Haridwar was in 2010. Ardh Kumbh occurred in 2016 and next Pun Kumbh in 2022.
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.
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:
|Train Number||Train Name||You may board at||You may alight at|
|12017||Shatabdi Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|12055||Jan Shatabdi Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|14041||Mussoorie Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|12327||Upasana Express||Howrah (Kolkata), Lucknow||Haridwar Junction|
|13009||Doon Express||Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Lucknow||Haridwar Junction|
|12687||Chennai-Dehradun Express||Chennai, Nizamuddin (Delhi)||Haridwar Junction|
|12054||Jan Shatabdi Express||Amritsar||Haridwar Junction|
|14632||Amritsar-Dehradun Express||Amritsar||Haridwar Junction|
|14610||Hemkunt Express||Jammu||Haridwar Junction|
|19105||Ahmedabad-Haridwar Mail||Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|19019||Bandra-Dehradun Express||Bandra Terminus (Mumbai), Nizamuddin (Delhi)||Haridwar Junction|
|14715||Geeta Ganga Express||Hisar (Haryana), Ambala (Haryana)||Haridwar Junction|
|12205||Nanda Devi AC Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
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 the ticket window.
Numerous taxi operators provide taxis from New Delhi & Dehradun to Haridwar. Mentioned below is contact information of key operators.
- Savaari.com (Savaari Car Rentals), ☎ 09045450000 ([email protected]), . India's largest inter-city and local cab booking service who have a presence in 98 cities across the country. You can book a cab to or in Haridwar either on their website or through their Call center phone ="09045450000" edit
- Clear Car Rental Private Limited (Clear Car Rental Private Limited), ☎ +91-8888 855 220, . India's largest inter-city and local cab booking service who have a presence in 300+ cities across the country. You can book a cab to or in Haridwar either on their website or through their Call center phone ="+91-8888 855 220" edit
- HaridwarTaxi.com, ☎ +917351176688 ([email protected]), . HaridwarTaxi.Com is leading taxi service provider in Haridwar. edit
- Krishna Holidays [www.raftingcampingrishikesh.com]
- Delhi to Haridwar Taxi Call +91-9557670187, +91-9997969925
- New Delhi to Haridwar # 08533075914
- Dehradun Airport to Haridwar # 09690749753
- Rishikesh to Haridwar # +91-9557670187
- Haridwar Taxi Service # 0135-6544287
- GT Taxi Services [www.gtaxi.com; 91-9359843176]
- BizareXpedition Services Private Limited (BizareXpedition Services Private Limited), ☎ +91-7252-885-525, . Uttarakhand local cab booking service, You can book travel transport vehicle from here ="+91-7252-885-525" edit
Central Haridwar can be reasonably comfortably covered on foot. Cycle rickshaws abound, and most trips in town should not cost more than Rs. 40. Taxis and autorickshaws congregate at the train and bus stations. For taxi service & local sightseeing tour guide requirements in Haridwar and Chardham yatra contact ☎ +91-9557670187 ([email protected]).
- 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 58 for a return ticket and Rs 210 (in dec'12) for both mansa devi and chandi devi roapway ride along with transfer between 2 temples.) 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.
- Jain Temple, Bhupatwala, Rishikesh Road. Shri Chintamani Parswanath Jain Shwetambar Mandir. Beautiful marble work. edit
- 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. edit
- 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 most tourists.
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 jewelry, 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.
- Jai Ganga Ornaments, Bada Bazar (Her-Ki-Pauri). This is a shop where you can buy Unbreakable glass kangans, Unbreakable glass bangles, Handmade kangans, Unique jewelry, Antique jewelry, All kinds of Imitation jewelry available. Buy at reasonable Price. edit
- Ganga Brass Store (Shopping Mall), Bada Bazar (Her-Ki-Pauri), ☎ Mo: 9837280215. This is a shop where you can buy Gangajali, gift and showpiece Items of brass and copper at wholesale prices. edit
- 1 India Family Mart (Shopping Mall), Vivek Vihar Colony, Model Colony, Haridwar,. Complete family shopping destination for clothing, accessories and houshold items. edit
Haridwar is a purely vegetarian town.
- Dosa plates, (opposite to Haridwar railway station), ☎ 01334315517, . A chain that offers 104 varieties of dosas, along with Indian and Chinese food. edit
- Sindh dugdh Bhandar, Rly. rd. Haridwar (north), ☎ 320209. Established since 1948 in Haridwar, this multi-cuisine restaurant has very good service and, most importantly, it's air conditioned, unlike the other restaurant in town. edit
- Hoshiyarpuriwala, This shop is old and claims to have started in the year 1935. Its a 7-8 min walk from from Hari-Ki-Pairi (good to get your appetite going). It has a wide variety of North Indian delicacies; try the Thaali. It cost Rs. 80.00 (he has stopped serving "Thaalis" now). 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.
- Spice N Nice, (Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road), ☎ 999-777-07-08, . We offer authentic pure vegetarian delicious food. 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. Relaxing and good Ambiance with AC. edit
- 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. edit
- 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/-. edit
- 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. edit
- 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. edit
- Kwality Mysore Restuarant, Upper Road towards Mansa devi and har Ki pauri. A Good reasonable South Indian restaurant serving South Indian Thalis and Snacks. Must try their Dosas. edit
- Madras Restaurant, Jassa Ram Road (almost on the corner with Railway Road). South Indian and Chinese food. Go for their tasty dosas. 50-80 Rs. edit
Alcohol is banned in the main city of Haridwar but one can easily drive to the nearby towns Uttarakhand Ranipur] or Uttarakhand Sidkul (15-20 minute drive) as quite a few restaurants provide it there. Radisson Blue is the most popular hotel that provides alcohol and has a separate bar other than the restaurant. Next to Radisson Blue there is also a shopping mall called Pentagon mall where one can buy alcohol from a liquor store.
If you are not into alcohol, following are some popular places within the main city that provide cheap and delicious Indian food (be wary of cleanliness though):
- 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 edit
- 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,Ice creams n Sweets.The staff members are helpful n polite as always. edit
- 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. edit
- 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 appetite at Rs. 20 per plate 20/-. edit
Raju jalebi wala: you will get mouth watering jalebi at vishnu ghat area.
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.
- BedHubs Hostel, Ram Ghat, Haridwar, Tel. +911334-225544, +919557357309. BedHubs is a clean, comfortable and affordable air conditioned hostel in Haridwar with a great central location. It is ideal for backpackers, solo travellers or a large group of family or friends, who wish to explore the place in a new way. Email: [mailto: [email protected] [email protected]], Website: www.bedhubs.com
- Hotel Jimmy, Sharawan Nath Nagar (Sadhubela Marg), Haridwar, tel. +919897810055. Located in mid of Haridwar. A/C and Non A/C rooms with hot/cold water facility are available at nominal charges and having cyber cafe facility 
- Hotel Haridwar Residency, 55 Kankhal Road, Haridwar, tel +91 9837420086, [email protected] Hotel Haridwar Residency is a modern, clean and peaceful hotel located 3 minutes walk from the Haridwar railway and bus station. (The Shiv Murti roundabout is the closest landmark, approximately 30 seconds walk from the hotel entrance.) AC and Non AC rooms available, all with private bathrooms. Singles, doubles, triples and four bed rooms available with 24 hour reception. Contact Mohit Manchanda via email or mobile for reservation. Rs 300-2500.
- 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.
- Hotel Ganga Azure, Railway Road (near Shivmurti), +91 334-220938/9 ([email protected], 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 station/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.
- Dharamshala Raavi Prem Sabha, Bhoopatwala, Rishikesh Road, Haridwar, Uttarakhand 249411, India. (Near Baba Dudhadhari Mandir), Tel. +91-1334-260300. 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 overlooking the river. Rs 900/1550. (non-AC/AC).
- Hotel-Alpana, near Ramghat (Entrance through lower bazaar/ market). Clean, well built, chic hotel, with proximity to the Ganges, har-ki-pauri and local market. Centrally air conditioned hotel with spacious rooms. It's a value deal! Rooms from Rs 2000. Tel: +91-9557357309, +91-1334-225544, Email: mailto:[email protected], Website: www.alpanahotels.com
- SRS Lakshya Hotel- Telephone - +91-1334-242600, Mobile - +91-8958666621, Email - [email protected] 
- 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 protected], .
- 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 rooms are spacious and front-sided. Parking facilities are available. Email: mailto:[email protected]
- Hotel LandMark, Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road, tel. +91 1334 266366, 98-970-444-68 . 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 and 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 available at Rs 1050/550. All room are spacious and front-sided. Parking facilities are available.
- Country 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, minimalist 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, with a 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). This can be stated as the pride of Haridwar, in terms of redefining hospitality, quality of rooms, service, restaurant, temptation and banquet celebrations. 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. Special offer for regular customer; you need to show the last bill (negotiable).
During festivals, especially the Kumbh Mela, Haridwar is packed to bursting and beyond. Stampedes are a regular occurrence, with 21 killed in 2003 and 5 killed in 2010; the bridges across the Ganges are the most dangerous spot.
- Rishikesh - "Haridwar lite" 26 km upriver, 1 hour by bus. Popular with backpackers.
- Rajaji National Park - lies between Haridwar and Rishikesh and is worth a stopover on your way to Rishikesh.
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