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Introducing Haridwar

Best time to visit : Winter
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Haridwar (Hari ka Dwar or Gateway to God) opens the door to the supremely spiritual world of Hinduism. Located on the banks of River Ganga (Ganges) in Uttarakhand, this North Indian city mainly serves as a world-famous pilgrimage destination. Though primarily a holy city for the Hindus, Haridwar records visits from the tourists of different religions and regions. Many sacred ghats (river banks) and temples in the city are among the prime tourist places, each offering a soothing experience to the mind and the soul. In addition, the activities like taking holy dip in Ganga and participating in majestic evening aarti (prayers) take the visitors to a different world altogether.

Facts

Haridwar is among the seven holiest Hindu pilgrimage places in India. It is the first city to welcome River Ganga as it enters the Northern Plains. Haridwar is also revered as the gateway to a huge number of religious sites in Uttarakhand. It is believed that bathing in the holy river can wash off the sins. The view of thousands of earthen lamps lit to offer prayers to Ganga every evening is incomparable. Haridwar is also the site to numerous grand celebrations like Kumbh Mela (organized once every 12 years) and Ganga Dussehra. The city is extremely hot (especially during daytime) in summers and receives moderate to heavy rainfall during monsoons.

Haridwar, being an important Hindu pilgrimage, restricts consumption of non-vegetarian food and alcohol beverages. However, the city offers many delicious dishes and that too at extremely affordable prices. Shops offering achari aalu (pickled potatoes) and puri, mouthwatering halwa, chana puri and kulche choley can be located at ghats and all main markets. Bhagwati Chole Wala is an extremely popular place to enjoy these preparations. Sindh Dugdh Bhandar is a multi-cuisine eating point. Spice N N

Jewelry items made of interesting materials like beads, stones and copper can be purchased at Bada Bazaar or Moti Bazaar. Idols of different Hindu deities and items of worship can also be purchased here. Many handicraft emporiums across the city sell attractive handmade items. Jwalpur market offers many delicious Indian sweets like pedas and jalebis. Wide range of souvenirs, gifts and toys are available at different shops.

Nearby Places:
•  Rishikesh (20 km.): The hub for camping adventure sports like white water rafting, Rishikesh is also famous for arrays of temples and two historic bridges called Rama Jhula and Lakshmana Jhula. 
•  Dehradun (53 km.): Sandwiched between Himalayas and Shivalik Hills, Dehradun is the home to war memorials, temples, monasteries and many other tourist attractions.
•  Mussoorie (82 km.): A fascinating hill station, Mussoorie is popular among honeymooners and nature lovers and has famous attractions like Kempty Fall and Happy Valley.
•  Lachhiwala (34 km.): It is a renowned picnic spot with abundant natural beauty enhanced by lush green forests, numerous bird species and man-made pools. 
•  Devprayag (94 km.): The holy town situated near the confluences of the sacred Rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi.

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