Har ki pauri is a religious bathing ghat in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Literally translating to ‘Steps of Shiva’, it is on the banks of Ganga, at the point where it leaves mountains and enters the plains. A dip in the Ganges at Har ki pauri absolves one of his/her sins.
This place also observes festivities during the Kumbh Mela and the ardh-Kumbh Mela and is included among the Char Dham Yatra destinations in northern India.
What is the history of Har ki pauri?
According to history, king Vikramaditya built Har ki Pauri in the 1st century BC for his brother Bharthari because he used to worship at this spot on the bank of river Ganga. Later, Hargyan Singh Katara, a Zamindar from Agra in Uttar Pradesh extended the ghats in 1938.
Many temples are present on the steps of Har ki pauri since the nineteenth century. However, many people believe that the city of Haridwar exists since pre-historic times, and is an important stop while taking a tour of the holy shrines of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand.
One of the most pious spots of the place is Brahmakund. Devotees believe that after the samudra-manthan, and the argument between the devas and the asuras, the amrit was carried by Garuda in a vessel. During his flight, a few drops of the amrit fell down at the spot where the Brahmakund is now present.
What is the significance of Har ki pauri?
The significance of Har ki pauri is that it is a landmark of Haridwar, which is one of the most religiously significant cities in India. Devotees believe that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu visited the Brahmakund in Har ki pauri in the Vedic period.
Hence, it is a very sacred place for Shaivites, i.e., the followers of Lord Shiva. It is also the place where the famous ‘Kumbh mela’ takes place every twelve years and the ‘ardha-kumbh mela’ takes place every six years on the banks of river Ganga.
What are the timings of Har ki pauri?
Here are the timings of Har ki Pauri in Haridwar:
|Morning Aarti||5:45 AM||6:15 AM|
|Evening Aarti||6 PM||6:30 PM|
|Evening Aarti (Winters)||5 PM||5:30 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated here?
Some of the celebrations that take place at Har ki pauri are:
- Kumbh mela: The Kumbh mela takes place after every twleve years in Haridwar, during which devotees from across the country take a holy dip in the river Ganga. The exact date is determined according to Hindu astrology.
- Ardh-kumbh mela: The ardh-kumbh mela takes place after every six years in Haridwar.
- Ganga aarti: The Ganga aarti takes place every evening at Har ki pauri. Pilgrims gather on both the banks of river Ganga to chant hymns and pray to the mighty river. During the aarti, the gongs in the temples start ringing and priests hold large fire bowls in their hands. Devotees also float diyas on the river which symbolise their hope and devotion. A similar ritual takes place at the Gangotri Temple, which is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra.
How to reach Har ki Pauri?
Here’s how to reach Haridwar:
- Air: The Airport in Dehradun is around 45 km away. The nearest International Airport is in New Delhi.
- Train: Haridwar is well connected by Rail and the Station is about 1.2 km away from Har-Ki-pauri.
- Road: There is direct state transport bus between New Delhi and Haridwar.
Where to stay in Haridwar?
Some of the places where one can stay in Haridwar are:
- Govind bhawan Dharamshala: Present right at the heart of the city, it has access to almost all places in Haridwar. According to reviews, the rooms are clean and spacious. The staff here is also very cooperative.
- Hotel Teerth: This hotel is present right on the banks of river Ganga and is very close to Har ki pauri. It would be a favourable place for you if you want to enjoy a splendid view of Ganga.
- Ganga Lahiri: It is a hotel that provides pick-up from the railway station by cycle rickshaw. It also provides a peaceful and aesthetically appeasing interior along with a great view of Ganga.
What are some temples nearby?
Some of the temples near Har ki Pauri are:
- Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar: Mansa Devi Temple is a Hindu temple for goddess Mansa, on top of Bilwa Parvat in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Also popular as ‘Bilwa Tirth’, this temple is among the panch tirth within Haridwar. ‘Mansa’ means ‘wish’ and it is a popular belief among the devotees that the goddess fulfills their wishes.
- Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar: Chandi Devi Temple present atop the neel parvat in Haridwar, Uttarakhand is in the honour of Goddess Chandi. The temple is one of the panch teerth present in Haridwar. The presiding deity, Chandi or Chandika is a form of Goddess Parvati and exists in close association with Mansa devi. It is among the Char Dham Yatra destinations of Uttarakhand.
- Neeleshwar Temple, Haridwar: This temple is present on the foot of neel parvat, near the Kushavarta Ghat and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A stream of Ganga flows near the temple, popular as ‘Neeldhara’, in which devotees take a dip before visiting the temple. This temple is about 500 metres away.
- Maya Devi Temple: Along with Narayan-Shila and Bhairav temple, the Maya Devi Temple is among the three ancient temples of Haridwar that are still intact. Its deities include Goddesses Maya, Goddess Kali and Kamakhya.