Monday, September 25, 2023

Top 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar in a Day

Not many cities can match the sanctity, sacredness, vibrance, and charm of Haridwar. You need to have a look at the top places to visit in Haridwar to realize how special a place it is. Whether you are a peace seeker, spiritualist, or student of culture, this small, picturesque town welcomes you all year round. With temples and ashrams at every turn, sacredness in the air, and holy Ganga majestically flowing by, you can experience why they call it Haridwar, the “Gateway to God” and divinity.

Sacredness aside, Haridwar also impresses you with its rich history and diverse culture. It is the site of Mahakumbh, the biggest religious and cultural congregation on the planet, held every 12th year. Just make your way through its narrow lanes, and you will come across the deep-rooted traditions passed through generations. They not only define Haridwar but also Hinduism to a great extent. The Ganga Arti, a daily evening fixture at the ghats is yet another unmissable cultural experience here.

Haridwar is a feast to the eye with its lush forests, majestic mountains, several ponds, and serene Ganga. Spend a few days here in the lap of nature and go back refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of daily life, head-on. The town has a lot to offer to adventure seekers as well, in the form of rafting, kayaking, hiking, and more. It’s an unconventional vacation destination for families but you can consider visiting it for a day. Here’re the top 10 places to visit in Haridwar in a day.

Top 10 Visit Places to Visit in Haridwar

As a regular visitor to Haridwar, I have rounded up the top 10 Haridwar places to visit in a single day. As obvious as it is, these sites fall within the town or nearby. That makes them easily accessible via local means of transportation. Spoiler alert: A majority of these tourist places in Haridwar are temples, which makes sense given the fact that we are discussing Haridwar. So, let’s begin.

1. Har Ki Puri

Har Ki Puri

If I have to pick a single place to visit in Haridwar, it has to be Har Ki Padi. It is the holiest and busiest place in the town where religion and culture come together. As per the belief, a dip here can wash away your sins and grant freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death. The place marks the beginning of Ganga’s flow into the plains after meandering through hills and narrow valleys.

What makes the place sacred is the belief that Lord Vishnu descended on Earth at this site, hence the name. “Hari” refers to Lord Vishnu while “Paudi” means “stairs.” It colloquially changed to ‘Har Ki Pauri’. Legend also has it that King Vikramaditya built these steps to honor his brother, Bhartrihari who performed Tapsya here. The tradition continues as the place attracts people seeking salvation.

Har Ki Paudi, an all-year destination, is best visited during spring and autumn. The water here can be chilly in winter and the mercury can cause discomfort in summers. When it comes to time, plan a visit in the evening, around 5:30 pm when this place comes alive with Ganga Arti. It’s a spectacle where typically-dressed priests wave fireballs and chant hymns in praise of the Ganga.

  • Distance From City Center: 300 meters
  • Coordinates: 29°57′24″N 78°10′15″E
  • Best Months to Visit: Mar to May & Sep to Nov
  • Best Time to Visit: Evenings during Ganga Arti

2. Chand Devi Temple

Chand Devi Temple

Just 3.5 km from the city center, you’ll come across another sacred site sitting pretty atop a hill. As the name says, the Chandi Devi Temple honors Goddess Chandi, the most fearsome manifestation of Shakti. Guess what? Alongside Mansa Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple, the temple is one of the three Siddh Peeths and one of the five pilgrim sites (Panch Tirth) that you can find in Haridwar.

Known to answer prayers, the Chandi Devi temple has a recent history. Historical records tell us that the King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh commissioned its construction in 1929. However, the main idol in the temple is said to have been put in place by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. The locals often refer to the temple as the Neel Parvat Teerth due to its location on the Neel Parvat.

You need to complete a short walk from the bridge on the Haridwar Nizamabad Road to get here. Depending on your pace, the walk takes about half an hour while taking you through the best sights and sounds of the town. Even the temple is a vantage point for stunning views of Haridwar city. If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to use a cable car, which costs INR 210 per person.

  • Distance From City Center: 3.5 km
  • Coordinates: 29°56′03″N 78°10′46″E
  • Best Months to Visit: Mar to May & Sep to Nov
  • Best Time to Visit: Evenings and Mornings during Arti

3. Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary 

chilla wildcraft sanctuary

There’s soo much more to Haridwar than just Ganga, temples, and traditions. Say hello to Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, your gateway to the region’s diverse flora and fauna. It’s a 249 sq km stretch of pure wilderness where 23 mammal species and 315 resident and migrating bird species thrive. Located between Haridwar and Rishikesh, the reserve is a part of Rajaji National Park.

As one of the places to visit in Haridwar, Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary offers you an opportunity to spot Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Goral, Jackal, Hyena, Leopard Cats, Civets, Himalayan Yellow-Throated Marten, Sloth Bears, and Asian Elephant in their natural habitat. Reptiles, such as Common Krait, Python, King Cobra, Indian Cobra, and Monitor Lizard also call it home. As a birder, you can come across peafowl, woodpeckers, pheasants, kingfishers, barbets, and other exotic avian species.

You can gain entry into the Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary via many gates. However, Motichur Gate, about 8 km away, is the closest to Haridwar, and easily accessible via bus and taxi. If you are approaching the reserve from Rishikesh, however, Chilla Gate would be suitable. The entry is paid, costing ₹150 per person. When here, don’t forget to get on a Wildlife Jeep Safari for a memorable experience.

4. Mansa Devi Temple

Mansa Devi Temple

Whether you are a trekking enthusiast, peace lover, or religious-minded, the Mansa Devi temple should be on your bucket list. Sitting pretty on the Bilwa Parvat, the temple completes the Siddh Peeth trio in Haridwar, along with Maya Devi Temple and Chandi Devi Temple. Furthermore, it’s also an integral part of the Panch Tirth, making it one of the most sacred places to visit in Haridwar.

As the name says, the temple is home to Devi Mansa who owes her origin to Lord Shiva’s mind. Popular folklore tells us that Devi Mansa, a form of Shakti, was born as a common girl oblivious to her divine powers. It was only when she performed Tapasya, Lord Shiva made her aware of her divine reality. From that moment on, she continues to reside in this temple to grant wishes.

An easy 3-km hike from Haridwar will take you to the Mansa Devi Temple. Alternatively, you can hop into the Mansa Devi Udankhtola, a cable car service to get to the shrine within minutes. The temple is in the vicinity of the Chandi Devi temple perhaps due to the belief that Devi Mansa and Devi Chandi, the two forms of Shakti complement each other and always share the same neighborhood.

  • Distance From City Center: 4.5 km
  • Coordinates: 29°57′29″N 78°09′53″E
  • Best Months to Visit: Mar to May & Sep to Nov
  • Best Time to Visit: Evenings and Mornings during Arti

5. Vaishno Devi Temple

Vaishno Devi TempleThis is placed at Jagdish Nagar, Jwalapur, Uttarakhand. The temple is devoted to Maa Vaishno Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. Best time to go Between October to March. The Vaishno Devi Temple in Haridwar is a regularly visited site, each by spiritual devotees and nature fanatics due to the beautiful view of the encircling landscape.

6. Daksha Mahadev Temple

Daksha Mahadev Temple

Head 5km straight on Haridwar-Khakhari Rd, the Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple awaits to bless and pacify. Located on the outskirts of Kankhal, it is one of the ancient shrines in Haridwar dedicated to Lord Shiva. Colloquially called Daksha Mahadev, the temple derives its name from Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati. Like any ancient temple, Daksha Mahadev too has a story associated with it.

King Daksha Prajapati organized a grand Yagya and deliberately avoided inviting his daughter, Devi Sati, and son-in-law, Lord Shiva. However, Devi Sati attended the Yagya uninvited only to face insult at the hands of her father. Dejected, she jumped into the holy fire to meet a tragic end. When Lord Shiva learned about the incident, he despatched Virbadhra who brought down the Yagyastahal and beheaded Daksha Prajapati. All this transpired in Kankhal, exactly where the temple stands.

As the temple priest tells us, “On the insistence of all Gods, Lord Shiva decided to make Kankhal his temporary abode during the holy month of Savan. As such, the temple attracts a deluge of devotees during the wet season in anticipation of blessings and salvation.” Even Mahashivratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm here when the temple comes alive with festivities. Don’t forget to visit Das Mahavidya and Ganga temples within the temple premises, and Daksha Ghat just outside it.

  • Distance From City Center: 5 km
  • Coordinates: 29°55′18.72″N 78°08′45.04″E
  • Best Months to Visit: Mid-July to Mid-August
  • Best Time to Visit: Evening Arti

7. Shanti Kunj

Shanti Kunj

How about a trip into the bygone era where chanting and penance are a part of your daily routine? Welcome to the Shanti Kunj Ashram, headquarters of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) and one of the best places to visit in Haridwar for those seeking spiritual awakening. Since 1971, the ashram has been welcoming common folks and dignitaries like Dalai Lama into its embrace. You too can consider exploring its intense spiritual energy and traditional lifestyle in a 1-2 hour trip.

Download the Shanti Kunj Brochure: Click Here.

Think of Shanti Kunj as a mission for spiritual and social awakening and connecting us to our Vedic roots. The institute allows you to read holy Hindu scriptures, engage in meaningful discussions, and participate in Chanting, Havan, and classes on spirituality and Ayurveda. In the form of Samadhi Sthal, Yagya Shala, and several temples, notably Gayatri Mata, there’s a lot to explore within the ashram premises. The ashram even offers free entry and accommodations.

  • Distance From City Center: 4.5 km (20 minutes drive)
  • Coordinates: 29.9914° N, 78.1914° E
  • Entry and Accommodation Charges: Free
  • Best Month to Visit: May during Gayatri Jayanti

8. Bharat Mata Mandir

Bharat Mata MandirHow about a temple dedicated to Mother India? Well, Haridwar makes it possible with the Bharat Mata Mandir. Unlike typical temples, it does not celebrate a deity in the Hindu pantheon but pays respect to the countless men and women who made supreme sacrifices to liberate India from British imperialism. The temple’s imposing structure has 8 stories, each with a different theme.

Bharat Mata Temple At a Glance:

  • 1st Storey: It features a 4-armed imposing statue of Mother India draped in a pink saree, standing next to a 3D map of Akand Bharat.
  • 2nd Storey: The ‘Shoor Mandir” celebrates the contributions of our freedom fighters, such as Rani Jhansi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, and more.
  • 3rd Storey: The ‘Matra Mandir,’ as the name says, gives you a glimpse of the life and times of legendary females in Indian history, such as Maitri, Meera Bai, Savitri, and more.
  • 4th Storey: The ‘Sant Mandir’ is all about the saints and sages that enriched the Indian culture and spiritual thought, including Buddha, Tulsi Das, Kabir Das, and Sri Sai Baba among others.
  • 5th Storey: The images, mostly handpainted, on this floor take you on a remarkable journey through the major religions that either originated in India or have followers here.
  • 6th Storey: True to its name, the ‘Shakti Temple’ introduces you to all forms of Shakti in the Hindu pantheon, such as Laxmi, Saraswati, Durga, and Parvathi to name a few.
  • 7th Storey: If you are a Vishnu devotee, this floor is for you. Feel free to explore all the Dashmavtars (10 manifestations) of Lord Vishnu in different yugas through idols and paintings.
  • 8th Storey: Finally, you reach the top floor, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The giant statue of the supreme deity sitting in the Dhyan Mudra (meditating position) inspires awe and respect.

If you can’t climb all the floors, fret not. There’s an elevator for your convenience.

  • Distance From City Center: 4 km (15 minutes drive)
  • Coordinates: 29.98115 N, 78.18914 E
  • Best Time to Visit: Afternoons when the crows are fewer

9. Patanjali Yogpeeth

Patanjali Yogpeeth

Baba Ramdev, a highly revered and equally controversial yoga guru, chose the holy city of Haridwar to be his Karmabhumi. Just 22 km away from the city is his foundation, Patanjali Yogpeeth, one of the best places to visit in Haridwar for yoga and Ayurveda enthusiasts. Since 2006, the institute has been practicing, researching, and developing ways to make the world a healthier place through yoga and Ayurveda. It gets its name from Maharishi Patanjali, the sage who consolidated yoga.

Besides yoga and wellness, Patanjali Yogpeeth focuses on promoting education and culture. The sprawling campus is home to the University of Patanjali, Yog Gram Ashram, Food & Herbal Park, and a well-equipped hospital and pharmacy. You might also come across multiple Patanjali trusts and laboratories operating from the premises. Feeling hungry? Just head to the Annapurna Food Court and enjoy healthy veg food. Spend 1-2 hours here, preferably in the afternoon.

  • Distance From City Center: 22 km (45 minutes drive)
  • Coordinates: 29.9067° N, 78.0012° E
  • Best Time to Visit: Afternoons when the crows are fewer

10. Shapath Rishi Ashram

Shapath Rishi Ashram

When it comes to the best ashrams in Haridwar, it is hard to look beyond the Sapt Rishi Ashram. The ashram is located at Sapt Sarovar, exactly where Ganga’s single channel gives way to seven smaller streams. Its calm location makes it a great place for yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices. Founded by Guru Goswami Dutt in 1943, it has to be a Haridwar attraction for peace seekers.

The name, Sapt Rishi, has links to the seven mythical sages – Kashyapa, Vashishta, Gautam, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, and Bharadwaja. As the legend goes, the Sapt Rishis were unable to pursue meditation here due to the disturbance caused by Ganga’s noisy flow. The gracious Ganga realized this and split herself into seven streams to bring down the noise levels. The ashram finds itself exactly where the folklore unfolded, which gives it great religious and cultural significance.

Just venture into the ashram premises, and you’ll be amazed by its calm, welcoming, and tidy environment, ideal for Dhyana. The complex is old but well-maintained and features a residential hostel. You will also come across a Sanskrit school for poor children within the ashram premises.

  • Distance From City Center: 4 km (15 minutes drive)
  • Coordinates: 29° 59′ 15.4572″ N, 78° 11′ 38.724″ E


So, that was my take on the best places to visit in Haridwar. Whether you are a nature lover, peace seeker, wildlife enthusiast, trekker, or religious-minded, our list has you covered. You can cover a majority of these Haridwar tourist places in a day. If you’ve got any queries or suggestions, please use the comment section below. For more informative content, keep logging in to Duniakagyan.

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Lokesh Joshi
Lokesh Joshi
My Name is Lokesh Joshi and I am Computer Science Engineer by the profession and I am passionate about technology and integrating it with innovative ideas to give startups the initial boost that they require.

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