EXPLORING HARIDWAR IN MANY WAYS: 9 THINGS TO DO
Nearly 200 km from Delhi is the ancient temple town of Haridwar, a place where River Ganga enters the plain. For millions of Indians, Haridwar is a special place. It can be the destination for someone who is looking for a spiritual and cultural journey. People from all walks of life come to this town to pay their respects to Ganga – whom they venerate as Mother – and also to purify themselves through various rituals. Although it is popular for a pilgrimage spot, there are many other things to do in Haridwar than just pray and participate in rituals. Haridwar is actually a mystery package that is waiting to be opened.
Haridwar receives tourists from all over the world for the laid-back life, peaceful ashrams, trekking, rafting in the wild waters and dips in the holy water. There is a wide range of activities to choose from when you are in Haridwar. In this blog, we have compiled a list of various things to do in Haridwar to make it a memorable journey for you and your family.
Spiritual Things to do in Haridwar
1. Watch the Ganga Aarti
Attended by hundreds of devotees, the Ganga Aarti is a surreal experience. The sight of thousands of diyas and their reflection in the shimmering Ganges is one that is sure to stay with you. The aarti takes place at the bank of river Ganga at Har Ki Pauri ghat. The priests perform the prayers ringing bells and bowls of fire in hand. The visitors can float diya and flowers on the river which are said to be blessed by the Goddess Ganga.
Morning Aarti Timing: 5 am 6:50 am (March to October) and 6:30 am to 7 am (November to February)
Evening Aarti Timing: 5:30 pm to 7 pm (March to October) and 5 pm to 5:30 pm (November to February)
2. Chanting God’s name at Hari Ki Pauri
One of the top things to do in Haridwar is to participate in the Ganga Aarti at the Hari Ki Pauri (meaning doorstep of Lord Vishnu). According to Hindu belief, Lord Vishnu is the preserver of the Universe and it is believed that participating in this Aarti delivers one from the cycle of birth and death. Religious belief or not, the Ganga Aarti ritual gives you peace and harmony and is a spectacle to behold.
3. Pay respects to different gods
Temple hopping is one of the many things to do in Haridwar. If you are a religious person, then you can visit several temples in Haridwar like the Mansa Devi temple, the temple of Maya Devi and the Neel Parvat temple. The Mansa Devi temple is perched on top of a hill so if you think you won’t be able to make it on your foot, take a cable car.
4. Be a calmer you
Learning and practising yoga is one of the best things to do in Haridwar. There are several ashrams in this town where you can go and enrol yourself for courses in Yoga. Some of the recommended ashrams for yoga are Shanti Peeth Ashram and the Patanjali Yogpeeth.
Adventurous Things to do in Haridwar
5. Spot a tiger!
One of the top things to do in Haridwar is to join an adventure tour. One such tour takes travellers to the Rajaji National Park, which is the abode of tigers. This park has one of the highest concentrations of elephants in India. There are other adventures walks too in Haridwar that take you to the countryside nearby. Haridwar is also famous for white water rafting and jungle treks.
Best time to visit Rajaji National Park: October to June (June to November closed)
Timings: 6:30 am to 10:30 am and 2 pm to 3:30 pm (November to January); 6:30 am to 9:30 am and 2:30 pm to 4 pm (February and March); 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 5 pm (April to June)
6. Join a spine-tingling trek to Roopkund
We are talking about an expedition to a lake that contains several human skeletons. One of the best things to do in Haridwar is to join one such expedition to this haunted lake. Nobody knows the story behind these skeletons. With the picturesque view, this trek is as exciting as it can ever be.
Gastronomical Treat in Haridwar
7. Gorge on the Haridwar street food
Interested in sampling street food? Head over to Mohanji Pooriwale for some poori overload! If you do not like pooris and are a samosa fan, Kashyap Samosewaley will delight you no end. This shop sells samosas that are stuffed with potato, chickpeas and some assorted dry fruits. A word of warning to the samosa lovers – it’s difficult to eat just one!
8. Pamper your taste buds
If you have a sweet tooth, then one of the best things to do in Haridwar at night is to savour sweets at the Mathura Walon Ki Prachin Dukan. This shop claims to be ancient. Nevertheless, this sweet shop is the favourite haunt of many travellers to Haridwar who want to relish the town’s various delicacies.
9. Have a sinfully tasty lassi
Lassi, a milk product, is a thick yoghurt shake served in glass tumblers. Among things to do in Haridwar at night is to lap up this lassi at Prakash Lok which is one of the most famous street food joints in the city.
The city welcomes various types of tourists and travellers and gives you the option to lay back and enjoy the charm of this old town. Everyone plans their Haridwar trip for various reasons, we have just shared some of the things you can look forward to doing in Haridwar on your next trip. If you are looking for an exciting trip, do add some of these activities in your list of things to do in Haridwar. Do let us know your experience below in the comment section, we would love to hear from you.