Haridwar is one of the holiest destinations in the world for the followers of Hinduism. The ancient city is visited by millions of devotees every year. Even if you are not a follower of Hinduism, you will find that Haridwar is a pure celebration of culture and history, which is why it attracts tourists from across the globe. The temples of Haridwar stand tall, like pillars of faith in this sacred city, and provide a sense of calmness and tranquillity. The Haridwar temples are located on the banks of the holy Ganges river and in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. Visiting these temples makes one feel closer to divinity and nature. Here are some of the must-visit Haridwar famous temples.
1. Chandi Devi Temple
Haridwar's Chandi Devi Temple is a lovely temple devoted to the Chandi Devi Goddess, nestled on the Neel Parvat of the Shivalik Hills. This Haridwar temple, also known as Neel Parvat Teerth, is one of the five important pilgrimage sites in the city. The Chandi Devi Temple is also a popular destination for trekking because of its location at a height. A ropeway is also available to reach the temple's pinnacle, which offers breathtaking views. However, the historic beauty of the Chandi Devi Temple is best appreciated while hiking to the top. The lush greenery of the surroundings will undoubtedly make you feel the presence of the divine. As one of the oldest and most revered temples in Haridwar, this shrine receives a large number of visitors throughout the year.
2. Mansa Devi Temple
This Haridwar temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi and is located at the top of Bilwa Parvat. This Haridwar famous temple is well-known for being the home of the Goddess, who is said to be an avatar of Goddess Shakti. According to legend, she was born from Lord Shiva's mind. The term 'Mansa' is thought to refer to the belief that any devotee who prays to her with honest devotion and sincerity will have their wish granted. The literal translation of the word Mansa is ‘wish’. The temple is surrounded by hills on three sides and offers fantastic views of the Ganges.
3. Bharat Mata Temple
The Bharat Mata Mandir in Haridwar is dedicated to the country of India, hence its name. Unlike the other Haridwar temples, this multi-storey temple in Sapt Sarovar doesn’t worship gods or have a religious bent. Instead, this Haridwar temple commemorates the many freedom fighters and patriots who dedicated their lives to Indian independence.
4. Pawan Dham Temple
The Pawan Dham Temple is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in Haridwar. Swami Vedanta Nand Ji Maharaj founded this ancient temple. Besides its religious significance, this Haridwar temple also offers visitors a variety of activities such as yoga classes, souvenir shopping and trekking in the surrounding hills.
5. Neeleshwar Temple
Despite being small in size, this is one of the temples in Haridwar with the best views. 'Neel' is said to be the devotee’s name who built this temple in dedication to Lord Shiva. The 'Neel Dhara' is one of the most famous features of this temple. It’s a tiny stream of the Ganga river that flows next to the temple. Devotees visit the shrine after taking a dip in this stream.
6. Har Ki Pauri
Although Har Ki Pauri is not a temple, it has tremendous religious significance in Hinduism. Har Ki Pauri is a notable landmark in Haridwar and one of the most sacred ghats for Hindus on the banks of the Ganga river. It is also the most popular tourist spot in the city. Har Ki Pauri is widely known as one of the best sites to visit in Haridwar because it is the venue of the world-famous Ganga Aarti, which takes place in the Brahmakund area. If you're in Haridwar, make sure to attend this aarti – either in the morning or evening. Whether you’re religious or not, it’s an experience that should not be missed.
7. Maya Devi Temple
Goddess Maya, an incarnation of Sati, is honoured at the Maya Devi Temple in Haridwar. According to legend, Goddess Sati's navel and heart are said to have fallen in the location where the temple is today. The temple’s inner shrine is home to idols of Goddess Maya, Goddess Kali and Goddess Kamakhya. Many devotees visit the temple during the Navratri festival and the famous Kumbh fair.
8. Vaishno Devi Temple
This temple in Haridwar is a duplicate of the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu & Kashmir. It features tunnels and caves leading to the inner sanctum, which houses Goddess Vaishno Devi's shrine. Goddess Lakshmi, Kaali and Saraswati are the three deities who reside in this divine temple. One of the Shakti Peetha temples is also located here.