Haridwar, literally means 'The gateway to the Gods'. It's the place where the river Ganga descends to the plain. A Gateway to the four pilgrimage of Uttarakhand, Haridwar is variously mentioned as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokhsadwar in the ancient Hindu scriptures and epics. A major Shaktipeeth from time immemorial, the place is believed to have both sanctified by the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This is why the place has been a ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul. The Kumbha Mela, happening once every 12 years and the Ardha Kumbha Mela (Coming once every six years) are big draws.
Haridwar is very much associated with the legends in Hindu philosophy. In order to purge the earth of its sins, it is said the a king named Bhagirath brought river Ganga from heaven to earth. Haridwar is also very popular among both foreign and indigenous tourists because of the different types of alternative treatment facility that it provides. Interestingly enough more and more people are turning towards Ayurveda and Yoga. In Haridwar, you will get some excellent Ayurveda and Yoga institute.
The five sacred bathing spots in Haridwar are Gangadwara, Kankhal, Nila Parvata, Bilwa Theertha and Kusavarta. The main ghat at Haridwar is known as Hari-ki-Pauri (known for a footprint of Vishnu on a stone in a wall). Nearby is the Gangadwara temple, the most important of the several temples that dot this town. The Ganga Aarti which is celebrated at 7 pm each night, is a spectacular sight, when the aarti ceremony is performed at all temples in Haridwar at the same instant (see image above). Hundreds throng to the ghats at Hari-ki-Pairi to participate in this festival. Offerings of lamps and flowers are made to the river immediately following this ceremony and it is a moving sight to watch hundreds of miniature lamps float along the river.
Near Haridwar are the towns of Mayapuri and Kankhal. Kankhal houses the Daksheswara temple, said to be the site of Daksha's yagna, which was destroyed by Shiva..

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