HARIDWAR, UTTARAKHAND

Haridwar

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Situated where the Ganges emerges from the Himalaya, Haridwar (also called Hardwar), along with the better known Rishikesh is one of Uttarakhand’s holiest Hindu cities. Pilgrims flock here in their droves to bathe in the all cleansing River Ganges, to wash themselves of their misdemeanours and be blessed by the holy river. Despite it’s numbers of domestic visitors, the purpose of their visit give Haridwar a calmer and more reverent feel than its better known counterparts. Here, as in Rishikesh, every evening the river comes alive with flickering flames as ceremonies are performed, pujas are done and floating offerings are released onto the Ganges.

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Situated where the Ganges emerges from the Himalaya, Haridwar (also called Hardwar), along with the better known Rishikesh is one of Uttarakhand’s holiest Hindu cities. Pilgrims flock here in their droves to bathe in the all cleansing River Ganges, to wash themselves of their misdemeanors and be blessed by the holy river. Despite its numbers of domestic visitors, the purpose of their visit gives Haridwar a calmer and more reverent feel than its better-known counterparts.
Rishikesh and its many ashrams – some clearly humbly ascetic, with others verge on the opulent – continue to draw devotees and followers from around the world. It is also considered the Yoga Capital of the World. The whole place is considered to be sacred, as it is believed that meditation here leads to the attainment of salvation. The beautiful Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of great importance to pilgrims, and is set in an area of astounding beauty. However, Rishikesh was also made famous by The Beatles who spent time here in the 1960’s, for its Ganga Arti, or prayer ceremony which takes place on the banks of the river every evening, as a yoga destination.