An ancient city in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand in India, Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places (Sapta Puri) to Hindus. Haridwar along with four other sites are believed to be where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. Every 12 years in Haridwar, during the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganges to wash away their sins to attain Moksha. The primary centre of the Kanwar pilgrimage, millions gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Śiva shrines.
An hour’s drive Northwest from Haridwar, Rishikesh is another important pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand. A city, municipal council and a tehsil in the Dehradun district, it is located in the foothills of the Himalayas and is known as the 'Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas and the 'Yoga Capital of the World'. Tourists make their way to the city to meditate in its numerous yoga centres as they believe it brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it. Along with several ashrams, temples, the Cave of Sage Vashishtha, Rishikesh also indulges adventure sports from rafting to biking to create a perfect mix of adventure and holism.
Places to visit in Haridwar Rishikesh
Dehradun Rishikesh Haridwar Varanasi