Haridwar is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places in India. It is also regarded as one amongst the seven holiest cities by Hindus. It is a place rich in culture and civilization which blend smoothly into each other giving this city a typical, rustic charm that is irresistible for many.
It is here that the Ganges finally leaves the mountains and enters the plains of North India. A major Shaktipeeth from time immemorial, the place is believed to have sanctified by the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This is why the place has been an ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul. From Haridwar onwards one enters a world where most things are sacred – the cows on the road, the trees, the rivers, the stones, the sounds. Sacredness seems to be the overarching value with which everything seems to be measured here, all other pursuits are secondary. There are small temples of Gods and demi-gods every few meters along the roads. Haridwar is also the entry point to the four main centres in Uttar Pradesh namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Another attraction that Haridwar offers is the Ganga Snan, a dip in the holy waters of river Ganga. Devout believers feel that they will attain salvation and go to heaven after a dip in the sacred Ganga at Haridwar. Haridwar is also one of the four venues of the Kumbh Mela.
Each evening as the sun’s last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, people gather for Ganga Aarti at Har-Ki-Pauri Ghat. . It is a spectacular ceremony of fire and songs, participated and performed by thousands of people who gather here from all over the country. It is the belief that this one tract of the Ganges at Har-ki-Pauri has the prower to wash away karmic sins and inch souls that much closer to god. Upon death, it is said the waters here carry the deceased’s ashes straight to Hari, the supreme god.
There are no questions in Haridwar. Nor any answers. Just an uncanny acceptance of the cycle of life.
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