Varanasi City
Haridwar or the Gateway to Gods is an important Hindu pilgrimage center. Haridwar city is also one of the four venues of the Kumbha Mela.

Varanasi : Cities on Ganga : Haridwar

Haridwar

Haridwar is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places. River Ganges enters the North Indian plains at Haridwar. Haridwar or 'Gateway to Gods' is also known by the names of Mayapuri, Kapila and Gangadwar. Hindu pilgrims and devotees gather at Haridwar to offer prayers on auspicious occasions. The water of River Ganga is considered so sacred at Haridwar that pilgrims carry back the water from the Ganges.

It is believed that Haridwar has been sanctified by the presence of three Gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Devout believers feel that they will attain salvation and go to heaven after a dip in the sacred Ganga at Haridwar. Haridwar is also one of the four venues of the Kumbh Mela (occurring after a rotation of every twelve Years) and Ardh Kumbh (after every six years). According to mythology drops of Amrit (Elixir) fell in to the Brahmkund of Har-Ki-Pairi, therefore a dip in the Brahmakund on this particular day is considered very auspicious.

Haridwar has not only remained the abode of the holy men and saints but also served as a center of attraction for many, for learning the arts, science and culture. Haridwar is not only religiously important but also has industrial importance as it has one of the biggest industrial clusters of Uttaranchal- SIDCUL. Haridwar also has one of the most prestigious engineering institutes of India- the Roorkee University (now an IIT).

Excursions:

Rajaji National Park
The Rajaji National Park is around 10 km from Haridwar. It's an ideal destination for wild life and adventure lovers. It has 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. One may watch a herd of elephants roaming majestically in the jungle or may find oneself excited by wildlife of many kinds including tigers, leopard, jungle cat, Himalayan yellow throated marten, samber, cheetal, barking deer, wild boar, langoor, ghural, sloth beer, king cobra, woodpecker etc

Rishikesh
Rishikesh is another popular Hindu pilgrimage center located along the right bank of the River Ganga. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife wait at Rishikesh. Main attractions at Rishikesh are the Ghats, temples, Ashrams and Laxman Jhoola. Rishikesh is also a center for learning and research in yoga and meditation- the renowned Indian methods for mental and physical health. The weeklong International Yoga festival, that attracts participation from all across the world, is held here.

Dehradun
Dehradun is the capital of Uttaranchal state. It is an important and popular tourist destination of North India. The climate and location of Dehradun makes it a popular tourist destination. Mussoorie, the queen of hills and many nearby places attract a large number of tourists from different parts.