haridwar

Haridwar About this sound pronunciation also spelled Hardwar is an ancient city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. The River Ganga, after flowing for 253 kilometres (157 mi) from its source at Gaumukh at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India for the first time at Haridwar, which gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwára.

Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places (Sapta Puri) to Hindus. According to the Samudra manthan, Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag (Allahabad) is one of four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. This is manifested in the Kumbha Mela, which is celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar. During the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate in Haridwar to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganges to wash away their sins to attain Moksha. Brahma Kund, the spot where the Amrit fell, is located at Har ki Pauri (literally, “footsteps of the Lord”) and is considered to be the most sacred ghat of Haridwar.

Haridwar is the headquarters and the largest city of the district. Today, the city is developing beyond its religious importance, with the fast developing industrial estate of State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL), and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited as well as its affiliated ancillaries.

In the scriptures, Haridwar has been variously mentioned as Kapilasthana, Gangadwara and Mayapuri. It is also an entry point to the Char Dham hence, Shaivaites and Vaishnavites call this place Hardwar and Haridwar respectively, corresponding to Hara being Shiv and Hari being Vishnu.

Haridwar district, covering an area of about 2360 km², is in the southwestern part of Uttarakhand state of India.

Haridwar is situated at height of 314 metres from the sea level, between Shivalik Hills in the North and Northeast and the Ganges River in the South.