Hardwar

Haridwar district also spelled as Hardwar is a district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is headquartered at Haridwar which is also its largest city. The district is ringed by the districts Dehradun in the north and east, Pauri Garhwal in the east and the Uttar Pradesh districts of Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor in the south and Saharanpur in the west. A paradise for nature lovers and one of the seven holiest places of Hinduism, Haridwar presents a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and civilisation.

Haridwara district, covering an area of about 2,360 km², is in the southwestern part of Uttarakhand state of India. Its latitude and longitude are 29.96-degree north and 78.16-degree east respectively

The river Ganges flows through it in a series of channels separated from each other called aits, most of which are well wooded. Other minor seasonal streams are Ranipur Rao, Pathri Rao, Rawii Rao, Harnaui Rao, Begam Nadi etc. A large part of the district is forested.

The wooded Rajaji National Park, a wildlife sanctuary, is within the bounds of the district and is accessible through different gates; Ranipur and Chilla Gates are just about 9 km from Haridwar. It is an ideal destination for wildlife and adventure lovers. Sureshvari Devi Mandir, a temple of Goddess Sureshwari, is situated in the midst of Rajaji National Park. Cheela Dam is a picnic spot with a dam and a man-made lake nearby; elephants and other wild animals could be easily spotted here. Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is a bird sanctuary, situated on the main Ganges river, or Neel Dhara, at the Bhimgoda Barrage; it is a paradise for bird watchers and home to many migratory birds during the winter season.

According to the 2011 census Haridwar district has a population of 1,927,029, roughly equal to the nation of Lesotho or the US state of West Virginia. This gives it a ranking of 244th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 817 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,120/sq mi) .Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 33.16%. Haridwar has a sex ratio of 879 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 74.62%

The district has a single Parliament Constituency, and 11 Uttarakhand State Legislative Assembly constituencies including, Haridwar, Haridwar Rural, BHEL Ranipur, Jwalapur, Bhagwanpur, Roorkee, Piran Kaliyar, Khanpur, Manglaur Laksar and Jhabrera.

Current Member of Parliament (MP) from Haridwar (Lok Sabha constituency) is Nishank Pokhriyal, and Member of Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly from Haridwar City is ‘Madan Kaushik’

Being a place of intense religious significance, Haridwar also hosts several religious festivals throughout the year; popular among them are the Kavad Mela, Somvati Amavasya Mela, Ganga Dashara, Gughal Mela,in which around 2–2.5 million people take part.

Apart from these, there is the mammoth Kumbh Mela which takes place once in every twelve years, when the planet Jupiter (Brihaspati) comes into the sign Aquarius (Kumbha). First written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese traveller Huan Tsang or Xuanzang (602 – 664 A.D.), who visited India in 629 AD.The 1998 Maha Kumbh Mela saw over 80 million pilgrims visiting this city, to take a dip in the holy river Ganges.