About the place:Har-Ki-Pauri is a famous Ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar in the state ofUttarakhandin India. This revered place is the major landmark of the divine city of Haridwar. It is believed that it is the precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains.Har-Ki-Pauri is also the area where thousands of pilgrims converge and the festivities commence during the KumbhaMela, which takes place every twelve years, and the ArdhKumbhMela, which takes place every six. Every day, Har-Ki-Paurighat witnesses hundreds taking a dip in water of the Ganges. The place is considered very auspicious. Over the years the Ghat have undergone major extension and renovation as the crowds increased in subsequent KumbhMelas. Several temples have come up on the steps, most built in late 19th century.
Origin of the place:The origins of Haridwar are not easy to establish since the city is almost as old as time itself and dates back to even Pre-Vedic times. However, many schools of thought suggest it was established in its current form by King Vikramadiya in the 1st century. His brother Bharthari used to come here to meditate on the banks of the Ganges.
Significance of the place:Haridwar is one of the four places on Earth where drops of Amrita accidentally spilled from the Kumbha (pitcher) when it was being carried by Garuda, the celestial bird and vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The exact place where the nectar fell is called BrahmaKund at Har-Ki-Pauri. Millions of devotees converge on Haridwar to celebrate this event and take a dip in the waters. It is also an important stop while taking a tour of the holy shrines of the Char DhamYatra destinations within Uttarakhand.Literally, “Har” means “Lord Shiva” who is the god according to shaiviteRishav school of Hindu theology, “Ki” means “of” and “Pauri” means “steps”. Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are believed to have visited the Brahmakund in Har Ki Pauri in the Vedic times. There is a large footprint said to belong to Lord Vishnu on a stone wall.
Every year generally on the night of Dussehra the waters in the Ganga Canal in Haridwar are partially dried to do the job of cleaning the riverbed and undertake the repairing of the ghats. The waters are generally restored on the night of Diwali. But the Ganga Aarti is held every day as usual. It is believed that Maa Ganga visits her paternal house on the day of Dussehra and returns on the day of Bhai Dooj or Bhai Phota.
Ganga Aarti:Evening Ganga Aarti is the most stunning part of the Har-ki-Pauri. The sights of the priest with large bowls of fire, devotees on the other side and sound of gongs, makes it a sight to behold for the rest of the life. During the evening Aarti, devotees float earthen lamps in the Ganges, creating a spectacular unmatched scene. People float earthen Diyas, with burning flickers and flowers in them as a symbol of hope and wishes.
Ganga Aarti timings:
|Morning Aarti||5:45 AM||6:15 AM|
|Evening Aarti||6 PM||7 PM|
|Evening Aarti (Winters)||5 PM||6 PM|
Around the place:There are a number of temples situated on the banks of River Ganga. People visit these temples every day to offer their prayers. Offerings are made with lighted lamps during the evenings. During evenings, one can witness leafed lamps floating all over the river. The view of this offering is completely enchanting and really can’t be missed. A number of priests can be seen performing aarti, chanting mantras and meditating on the banks of the river. The place offers an ambiance filled with spiritual vibes which takes you to a complete different world.
You can visit these temples in day time:·
- Mansa Devi temple
- Daksh Prajapati temple
- Chandi Devi temple
- Neeleswar temple
- Maya Devi temple
Food and fun:This place is famous for products made out of milk. One must try Rabri, Lassi and hot boiled milk from the local shop. Although almost every shop maintains quality of food, but TyagiDoodhBhandar is a place must mention. Every item of this shop is very testy. You will also get good quality vegetarian food for your lunch and dinner. Dada Boudi is a famour Bengali restaurant located in the market. Please be careful to choose this restaurant because you will find lot of duplicate outlets of this. Chotiwala is also a famous restaurant which you can try. Once you are done don’t forget to finish your day without a falooda kulfi.
Where to stay:
This place has a lot of option for lodging but if you want to get real divine feeling of this place you need to stay near Har-Ki-Paurighat.
Below is the list of hotels near Ghat:
- Hotel Ganga Lahari: 95550 88000
- Alka Hotel: 01334 228 244
- Hotel Teerth: 01334 225 211
- Hotel Gyan: 98377 57272
- Ganga darshandharamshala: 95681 76763
If you want to stay within the market, then you can try below:
- Hotel Sunshine: 01334 222 464
- Krishnayan Lodge: 80879 15481
- Hotel Alpana: 01334 225 544
There are lots of dharamshalas also, which provides budget as well as luxury stay.
How to reach:
- Air: The Airport in Dehradun is around 45 km away. The nearest International Airport is in New Delhi.
- Train: Haridwar is well connected by Rail and the Station is about 1.2 km away from Har-Ki-pauri.
- Road: There is direct state transport bus between New Delhi and Haridwar.
So what are you waiting for? Visit the place and feel the divine environment, experience the ancient Indian culture, enjoy DevBhoomi and taste some good food.