PLACES TO SEE
Har Ki Pauri
This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya (1st century BC) in memory of his brother Bharthari. It is believed that Bharthari came to Haridwar and meditated on the banks of the holy Ganges. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name, which later came to be known as Har Ki Pauri. The most sacred ghat within Har Ki Pauri is Brahmakund. The evening prayer (Aarti) at dusk offered to Goddess Ganga at Har Ki Pauri (steps of God Hara or Shiva) is an enchanting experience for any visitor. A spectacle of sound and colour is seen when, after the ceremony, pilgrims float Diyas (floral floats with lamps) and incense on the river, commemorating their deceased ancestors. Thousands of people from all around the world do make a point to attend this prayer on their visit to Haridwar. A majority of present ghats were largely developed in the 1800s. On the night of Dussehra or a few days before that the Ganga Canal is dried in Haridwar to clean the riverbed.
Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev also known as Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple, is situated in the south Kankhal town.
According to Hindu texts, King Daksha Prajapati, father of Dakshayani, Lord Shiva’s first wife, performed a yagña, to which he deliberately did not invite Lord Shiva.
When she arrived uninvited, he was further insulted by the king, seeing which Sati felt infuriated and self-immolated herself in the yagna kund.
King Daksha was later killed by the demon Virabhadra, born out of Shiva’s anger. Later the king was brought to life and given a goat’s head by Shiva. Daksha Mahadev temple is a tribute to this legend.
Maya Devi Temple
Haridwar was previously known as Mayapuri which is because of the Goddess Maya Devi.
Dating to the 11th century, this ancient temple of Maya Devi, the Adhishthatri Devi (Patron Goddess) of Haridwar, is considered one of the Siddhapithas and is said to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.
It is one of few ancient temples still standing in Haridwar, along with Narayani Shila temple and Bhairav Temple.
Chandi Devi Temple
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, who sits atop the ‘Neel Parvat’ on the eastern bank of the river Ganges. It was constructed in 1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir, Suchat Singh.
Skanda Purana mentions a legend, in which Chanda-Munda, the Army Chief of a local Demon Kings Shumbha and Nishumbha were killed by goddess Chandi here, after which the place got the name Chandi Devi.
It is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century A.D. The temple is a 3 km trek from Chandighat and can also be reached through a ropeway.
Mansa Devi Temple
Situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat, the temple of Goddess Mansa Devi, literally meaning the Goddess who fulfills desires (Mansa), is a popular tourist destination, especially because of the cable cars, which offer views of the city.
The main temple houses two idols of the Goddess, one with three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms.