If you want to embark on a spiritual and cultural journey, Haridwar can be your next destination. Although it is popular as a pilgrimage spot, there are plenty of things to do in Haridwar for every kind of traveler. The city receives hundreds and thousands of tourists every year from all over the country as well as the world not just because of its heritage charm, but also because of the laid-back life and peaceful ashrams. From temple hopping and trekking to dips in the holy water and rafting in the wild waters, tourists have a wide range of activities to choose from.
Once you reach this holy city, it is easy to lose yourself in the tides of people that flow through the city every day so it is important to fix an itinerary before your intended visit.
Do not skip these places while in Haridwar
1. Take a dip in holy waters
It would be a cardinal sin to come to Haridwar and not take a dip in Bramhakund at Har-ki-Pauri ghat. More than religious reasons, being a part of hordes of devotees to take a dip in the cold Ganga water is an experience in itself, especially early in the morning. It definitely tops the list of things to do in Haridwar for Indians and foreigners.
2. Be a part of the Ganga arti
The Ganga arti is performed at the same Har-ki-Pauri ghat in the evening and is truly a spectacle to behold. A number of priests chant prayers in chorus while maneuvering the giant artis in a synchronized fashion, while hundreds of decorated diyas float in the river. Witnessing this grand event is definitely one of the top things to do in Haridwar.
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3. Go temple Hopping
Since Haridwar is a religious site and a heritage city, there are plenty of temples to visit. Chandi Devi temple, Daksheshwara Mahadev temple, Maya Devi temple, Vaishno Devi temple and Mansa Devi temple are some of the most popular ones. Even if your purpose to visit Haridwar is not its temple, you must pay a visit to the most popular ones.
4. Meditation and yoga
India is the birthplace of yoga and this holy city is the hub. As a result, yoga and meditation are some of the most popular things to do in Haridwar and Rishikesh, especially for those in search of inner peace and enlightenment. There are plenty of ashrams scattered across these two cities that provide the perfect spiritual getaway for those who seek it. In Haridwar, Saptrishi ashram is one of the more popular ones which houses 42 cottages that are lent out to devotees and enthusiasts.
5. Ayurvedic Treatments
Being historically seeped in its cultural roots, Haridwar is one of the best places to receive ayurvedic treatment. If you want to indulge in the ancient methods of healing, visiting a certified ayurvedic clinic in Haridwar should be on your things to do list. Aurovalley asharam, Santosh Puri asharam, and Patanjali ashrams are some of the most popular ones in the city.
6. Go on a birdwatching and photography tour
If you are wondering what else to do in Haridwar that’s different and unique, then a visit to the Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is definitely a must. Located 3.5 km away from the city, this quaint place is a home to diverse migratory birds every winter. If you want to lose yourself in the soothing music of the Himalayas or migratory birds, it’s the place for you.
7. Wildlife Safari
The Rajaji National Park is spread across 1,150sq km and located around 10 km from Haridwar. There are two gates: the Chandi Devi Entry Gate is near Haridwar while the Kunao Entry Gate is near Rishikesh. A visit to this national park is the perfect answer to those who want to know what to do in Haridwar besides religious and spiritual activities.
8. Do a little bit of shopping
This is last on the list since shopping is really not one of the prime things to do in Haridwar owning to the city’s core religious roots. However, if you are one of those travelers who simply cannot go home without a bag full of souvenirs, there are enough markets to quench your thirst. Four major bazaars namely: Moti Bazar, Jwalapur, Bara Bazar and Kankhal are scattered across the city selling mostly handicrafts, religious curios, and ayurvedic medicines.
Haridwar welcomes various types of tourists and travelers throughout the years. You can say it is the laid-back and old-town charm of this place that attracts people, but everyone has a different reason to plan a trip to Haridwar.
Further Read: Top 18 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand