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Haridwar – Hrishikesh

Haridwar -- Gateway to Gods

The lovely pilgrimage destination of Haridwar, located in Uttarakhand, is the spot where the river Ganga moves down to the plains. The ancient Hindu scriptures and epics mention Haridwar as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokhsadwar. This religious and cultural destination is a key Shaktipeeth from time immemorial, and is believed to be blessed by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh - the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology.

No wonder, this spiritual destination has much enchanted the religiously inclined visitors since long and been an excellent place from the tourism viewpoint. The much famous Kumbha Mela and the Ardha Kumbha Mela held here every 12 and 6 years respectively are the attractions of the state. Haridwar is one of the four such tourist places where this unique fair is held -- others being Prayag (Allahabad), Nasik, not to mention Ujjain.

Besides being a spiritual and religious hotspot, Hardiwar has been a key centre for learning arts, science and culture. It's only-one-of-its-kind Gurukul School of traditional education, amazing natural splendor, verdant greenery – complete with Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies -- give the destination a unique attraction. Then there’s something also for the lovers of wildlife. The Rajaji National Park is a lovely wildlife place that much fascinates the wildlife enthusiasts.

Other Tourist Attractions

Chandi Devi: It houses the idol of a goddess by the same name. It is said that the Goddess ended the life of a notorious demon called Chanda-Munda at this very spot.

Bharat Mata Temple: This unique temple instead of the images and idols of the gods and goddesses has the images of well-known Indian cities and national idols.

Har-Ki-Pauri: A sacred dip here is believed to cleanse one of all sins. The Ganga Arti Ceremony at this place attracts a lot of visitors.

Hrishikesh – Abode of Gods

Located just 24kms away from Haridwar, the holy and picturesque city of Hrishikesh -- also spelled Rishikesh -- is considered one of the most ancient religious destinations in the country. Those who visit Haridwar make it a point to visit this place as well, otherwise this visit to this holy area is considered incomplete. It is here that the heavenly stream, Ganga, descends here from the foothills of the majestic Himalayas. No wonder, Hrishikesh is considered one of the best pilgrimage destinations of the country.

The many Hindu scriptures dwell on the legends about this holy destination. It was here that the great sage Raibhya Muni is believed to have prayed to Lord Vishnu that He should stay at this blessed spot all his life, and the god duly obliged him. Hrishikesh is also a gateway to the famous Hindu pilgrimage or Chaar-dhaam yatra, apart from being the Yoga Capital of the World. All this make Hrishikesh one of the most visited tourist places of India and a religious centre par excellence.
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