Haridwar or 'the Gateway to the Gods' is one of the seven holiest places according to Hindu mythology, as the Gods are believed to have left their footprints in Haridwar. Due to its geographical location too, Haridwar stands as the gateway to the other three important pilgrimages of Uttrakhand namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus.
The source of Ganga is at Gaumukh (the shape of the ice formation is like a cow's mouth), where the mighty river emerges from the depths of Gangotri glacier. The Gangotri glacier is situated at the height of4255 m above sea level and is approx 24 km in length and 7-8 km in width.Here the river is known as Bhagirathi after King -Bhagirath. Rising in the icy caves of Gangotri glacier, the gushing , tossing and gurgling Bhagirathi starts its long journey downwards where later it joins river 'Alaknanda' and becomes Ganga.There are many legends associated with river Ganga, some of which are even mentioned in the ancient holy scriptures.
The River From Heaven- According to the Indian mythology King Sagar had 60,000 sons. He defeated all the asuras (daemons) in the earth and wanted to stage a Ashwamedha Yagya to declare his supremacy. For this as was the practice prevalent in ancient times, he sent his horse across the earth accompanied by his sons.
The King of Heaven, Lord Indra feared the power of King Sagar and to stop him, he stole the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapil. When the 60,000 sons saw the horse in Kapil's ashram they got furious and started to attack the hermitage. Sage Kapil was in deep meditation and on hearing the disturbance he opened his eyes in anger and all the 60,000 sons of King Sagar were reduced to ashes, except for prince Asamanjas.
The list of attractions in Haridwar is endless. Har-Ki-Pauri, the sacred ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari. The golden reflection of floral diyas in the river Ganges is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga aarti ceremony at the ghat.
By Air :-
The airport of Dehradun is the nearest from Haridwar. It is known by the name of Jolly Grant Airport and is located approximately 35 km away from the holy city. Though there are not a large number of airlines that operate from New Delhi to Dehradun, you will easily get a Simplifly Deccan flight, which operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
By Train :- Haridwar has a railway station of its own, connected with all the major cities of India. Many trains coming from Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Kolkata, etc halt here and bring in the large rush of visitors who come to take a bath in the waters of the holy Ganges. There are a large number of trains available for reaching Haridwar from New Delhi, with the ones to Dehradun also making a stoppage here.
By Road :-Haridwar, with it good road network, is easily accessible from the key cities in India. The city is around 215 km from New Delhi and since the National Highway passes through it, reaching there by road is not at all a problem. Buses and taxis are easily available to and from the major cities like Delhi, Dehradun, Agra, Lucknow, Jaipur, etc.