Haridwar is one of the oldest traceable cities in India, located in the state of Uttarakhand, and a very significant site for the religious and pious, so much so that it is considered one of the seven holiest places for Hindus. The ancient name of this holy site is Gangadwara, and according to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is one of four places where drops of the elixir of immortality called Amrit were accidentally spilled while in transit under the care of Garuda. This event is marked with great reverence and aplomb once every 12 years in Haridwar, being celebrated every three years in one of the four sites in total (the other three are Ujjain, Nashik, and Allahabad). It is also often spelt Hardwar.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun, 56 km away.
Haridwar has direct trains from Delhi and other major cities.
The roads are well connected to every major city in India
If you are a pilgrim, the best time to visit would be during the Kanwar Mela in July and Diwali in October. Alternately, you can also go during festivals of Ramnavami and Buddha Purnima from March to May. If you are a visitor, the best time for you to visit would be October to February.
During summer April to June, the days are hot but the nights are cool. Also, during the month of June, there is a festival in Haridwar known as Saavan. Thousands of devotees come here to attend that festival and it results in long jams. So, if you want to attend that festival it is advised to reach early. The temperature ranges 35 - 45 degrees Celsius. It is better to keep yourself hydrated because sometimes the humidity levels fluctuate too much.
There are several festivals celebrated here with great aplomb, such as the Purna Kumbh Mela, celebrated once every 12 years with immense fervour, setting a record for drawing a crowd of 70 million is 2003. Apart from this there is the Ardh Mela or the Half Mela hosted every six years, the Kanwar Mela and the Kartik Purnima, among a few other festivals.
The Bara Bazaar, Moti Bazaar and Jwalapur areas of Haridwar are the main shopping places. The sacred rudraksha garland, made from strings of the rudraksha seed and used by religious men, is also sold here. Laymen however, can seldom accurately judge the authenticity of the seeds. You can pick up cans of Ganga water, which is used by Hindus in rituals for purification. Alternatively, you can buy jerry cans and collect the water yourself. Shopping in Haridwar includes buying religious implements, brassware, cane and bamboo products, semi-precious stones, vermilion powder, herbal medicines, spices and pickles.
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