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Things to do and see in Haridwar and Rishikesh?

Discussion in 'North India' started by MansiKapoor, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. MansiKapoor

    MansiKapoor New Member

    I am from Haryana and will be in Haridwar and Rishikesh in the next couple of days. I know about the the river but I need to know some more about what all there is to do and see in Haridwar and Rishikesh, I would be grateful if members could provide me with some details.
  2. Dhruv

    Dhruv Member

    Haridwar and Rishikesh are more of the religious type of places which consist of the har ki pauri, the evening ganga aarti which should not be missed at all, mansa devi temple, raja ji national park, triveni ghat, lakshman jhula. When it comes to things to do well you can do river rafting, camping by the river and also attend yoga sessions.
  3. Phil

    Phil New Member

    Can you provide some information about Ganga Aarti timings, please?
  4. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    I would check out the Rajaji National Park. I am a big animal lover, and the park has an excellent population of healthy animals to see. Are you traveling with kids? They will love it, and close ups with the animals can be arranged.
  5. Anurag

    Anurag Member

    Phil, please have a look at the thread Ganga Aarti Haridwar timing thread for detailed information.
  6. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    Haridwar is an ancient city and municipality in the district of Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand. This is one of the holiest places for the Hindus and also one of the four places where drops of the amrit were accidentally poured over. This is evident in the Kumbh Mela, celebrated once every 12 years in Haridwar. Apart from that, thousands of pilgrims visit Haridwar because of the holy temples in the city.

    Here are the some of the best attractions of Haridwar:

    • Har Ki Pauri - This is a ghat leading to the Ganges River in Haridwar. The name Har Ki Pauri literally translates to steps of Shiva. The steps were built by King Vikramaditya in honour of his brother, Bharthari. There's an area in the Har Ki Pauri revered as the most holy which is called the Brahmakund, this is where the drops of the amrit supposedly fell. Every sunset and sunrise, the Ganga Aarti is performed at the banks of the river.
    • Mansa Devi Temple - This temple is also known as the Bilwa Tirth as it's located on top of the Bilwa Parvat. This temple is dedicated to Manasa Devi, a form of Shakti. It is believed that a sincere devotee can be granted a wish through this temple. Devotees tie threads in a tree located in the temple for their wishes to come true. Once it does, they have to come back to the temple to untie the thread. You can reach the temple through trekking or through a ropeway service called Mansa Devi Udankhatola.
    • Chandi Devi Temple - This temple is located on the Neel Parvat and was built by Suchat Singh in 1929. Its other name is the Neel Parvati Tirth. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Chandika. This is the area where the Goddess Chandika killed the demons, Shumbha and Nishumbha. You can reach the temple by trekking or by using the ropeway called Chandi Devi Udankhatola.
    • Maya Devi Temple - This temple is also referred to as the Shakti Peetha. This is where the navel and heart of Sati fell. The presiding deity is Goddess Maya, a three-headed and four-armed form of Shakti. Along with the Mansa Devi Temple and the Chandi Devi Temple, the Maya Devi Temple is one of the Siddh Peethas in Haridwar, these are the temples where wishes get fulfilled.
    • Daksheswara Mahadev Temple - This temple was built by Queen Dhankaur in 1810 and rebuilt in 1962. It is dedicated to the Lord Shiva and named after King Daksha Prajapati. This is where King Daksha, the father of Shiva's first wife, performed yajna and in which at the end, he was beheaded by Maha Rudra.
    • Pawan Dham Temple - This is just three kilometres away from Har Ki Pauri. This temple was founded by Swami Vedantanand Ji Maharaj and is one of the oldest temples in Haridwar. It's famous for its glass works on the temple walls as well as the elaborate idols.
    • Doodhadhari Barfani Temple - This is about four kilometres from Har Ki Pauri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, Sita and Hanuman. It's best known for its beautiful architectural design and white marble usage. The interiors are exquisitely carved as well. It is open from 6:00 am to 8:00 am only. But you can visit the whole temple in under 30 minutes.
    • Bharat Mata Mandir - This is also known as the Mother India Temple. It was founded by Swami Satyamitranand Giri but was later inaugurated by Indira Gandhi. It is about 180 feet and has 8 floors, each dedicated to a special theme. The first floor is dedicated to the Bharat Mata. The second floor is dedicated to the well-renowned heroes of India. The third floor is dedicated to the revered women of India. The fourth floor is dedicated to the saints of different religions. The fifth floor is an assembly hall dedicated to the coexistence of various religions. The sixth floor is dedicated to the Goddess Shakti. The seventh floor is dedicated to all forms of Lord Vishnu. And the eight floor is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
    • Jairam Ashram - This ashram was established for Brahmlean Sri Jai Ramji Maharaj in 1974. It was only completed after 12 years though and it was Shri Late Devendra Swarup Ji Maharaj who commissioned the building of the ashram. The ashram was built for the poor people and provides free lodging for pilgrims as well. There's also a hospital in the ashram premises.
    • Sapt Rishi Ashram - This was established by Goswami Guru Dutt during the year 1943. The ashram is located where the seven sages used to meditate, namely: Sapt-Rishis, Kashyap, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja and Gautam. This is also where the Ganges River split into seven streams so as not to disturb the seven sages, hence the there name of the region is Sapt Rishi Kund.
    • Ramanand Ashram - Shri Ramanand Swami is considered as an incarnation of Uddavji, a close friend of Krishna and he was the one who founded the ashram. Now though, the ashram is managed by Mahant Bhagwan Das.
    • Rajaji National Park - This park was named after Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, also known as Rajaji, a freedom fighter and one of the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna award. This is the second tiger reserve in Uttarakhand, after Jim Corbett National Park. Aside from tigers, you can also spot sambars, elephants, leopard cats, sloth bears and snakes here.
    • Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar - This is a bird sanctuary about 3.5 kms away from Haridwar. It's best visited during winter when migratory birds flock to the sanctuary. Some species of birds seen here: cranes, cormorants, swans, great crested grebes, Himalayan bulbuls and black drongos.
    • Patanjali Yogpeeth - This is possibly the largest yoga centre in the world. This was established by Swami Shankardev Ji. The main purpose of the institute is to practice, research and develop yoga. It also helps to research and even manufacture Ayurvedic medicine. The institute's OPD caters to about 6,000 to 10,000 patients everyday. The yoga centre conducts free yoga classes everyday. For staying here, there are nominal fees you'd have to pay though.
    • Ganga Aarti - I've mentioned this already but this is done during sunset and sunrise on the Har Ki Pauri. It's a river worship ceremony done daily by the banks of the river. Timings vary but during the month of August, it's at 5:35 and 18:40. Be there at least 45 minutes earlier before the scheduled time.
    • Adventure - The Ganga River is a popular destination for white water rafting. You can choose a grade depending on your experience. Another adventure activity to do here is bungee jumping, which isn't really for the faint-hearted.

    On the other hand, Rishikesh is a city in the Dehradun District of Uttarakhand. It is often dubbed as the Yoga Capital of the World. From Haridwar, Rishikesh is a mere 25 kms away. It is also one of the cities in India where alcohol and meat are banned.

    Some of the best attractions in Rishikesh are:

    • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple - This is a temple dedicated to Nilkanth, a form of Lord Shiva. The temple is adjacent to the mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan. Around the temple, the valleys of Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot can be seen. It is located right at the confluence of Pankaja River and Madhumati River. The area where the temple is located is where Shiva drank the poison halahala, which turned his throat into a blue colour. Hence the name of the temple, Neelkanth, meaning the blue-throated one. There's also a spring nearby the temple that pilgrims visit to take a holy bath.
    • Kunjapuri Devi Temple - This temple is about 1,600 metres above sea level, located on a hillock. This is where the chest of burned Sati had fallen. To reach the temple, you have to climb 80 steep stair steps. This temple is considered as 1 of the 52 Shakti Peethas of the Divine Mother.
    • Triveni Ghat - The Triveni Ghat is the confluence of the three rivers: Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswathy. It is believed that the water from this confluence of rivers have the ability to purify a person from his or her sins. You can join the aarti performed here during sunrise and sunset. Or ride a boat from the Triveni Ghat to the Ganges River.
    • Trayambakeshwar Temple - The temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, as its name means the Abode of the Three-Eyed. It is 1 of the 12 Jyotirlingas of the Lord Shiva. Apart from Lord Shiva, the temple also has different shrines and idols for different deities.
    • Vashista Goofa - This is a cave where the great sage, Vashista, used to meditate. Sage Vashista was a manas putra of Lord Brahma and Saptarishi. The cave is about 25 kms from Rishikesh though so you must hire a taxi or bring your vehicle to reach it.
    • Ram Jhula - This iron suspension bridge over the Ganges River was built in 1986. The bridge connects the Swarg Ashram, Gita Bhawan and other temples within the Sivananda Ashram.
    • Lakshman Jhula - This is another iron suspension bridge over the Ganges River. It was completed in 1929. The area where the bridge is located is supposed to be where Lakshmana crossed a jute rope over the Ganges River.
    • Gita Bhawan - This is a huge ashram with over 1,000 rooms for devotees, located in Swarg Ashram. Rooms are free of cost but food and meals are available for a nominal fee. The ashram is handled by Gita Press, a major publishing company in the country. Inside the ashram, you can visit the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, which tells the story of Lord Krishna in pictures.
    • Parmarth Niketan - This ashram was founded by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj in 1942. The ashram has over 1,000 rooms for devotees. Daily sessions of yoga, meditation and prayers are done here.
    • The Beatles Ashram - This is the ashram where The Beatles stayed during their visit in India in 1968. The band learned transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh. The ashram was closed after the death of Maharishi Mahesh but it was recently opened to the public again.
    • Ganga Aarti - The Ganga Aarti at the Triveni Ghat occurs two times daily, sunrise and sunset. Be there at least 45 minutes or an hour before the aarti though.
    • Adventure - Activities like river rafting, cliff jumping, rappelling, kayaking and even the famous flying fox can be done in Rishikesh. Most of these activities are done in Shivpuri in Rishikesh.

    I hope this helps.:)
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