If you were to talk about holy cities in India, Haridwar will surely vie for the top spots. Its propitious location on the banks of holy river Ganga lends it deeper religious importance and boosts its popularity. Though there are several places to visit in Haridwar, it’s the temples of the city that are flooded the most by people. With the passage of time, Haridwar has seen a significant level of development which, in turn, has diversified the tourist footfall here. What was previously a place where people thronged the bank of the river to take dips or immerse ashes has now shaped into an active go-to destination for family travellers, explorers, and many more.
Keeping its revelrous standing in mind, here is a list of 12 popular temples in Haridwar that you must visit: –
1. Chandi Devi Temple
One of the most popular pilgrim spots, Chandi Devi Temple in Haridwar is flooded by thousands of devotees every year. It was built by King Suchat Sing during his reign. The temple is perched on the top of Neel Parvat and devotees have to trek from Chandighat to reach the gates of this temple. Those who are unable to walk, elderly people, and children can take a cable car ride to reach the top.
If we were to believe the legends, this temple is built on the same spot where Goddess Chandi killed Chanda-Munda; the army chief of Sumbha and Nishumba (Demon Kings). The locals also believe that the deity of Goddess Chandi which is kept in the main temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. Due to such a profound history, this temple is one of the most important places to visit in Uttarakhand for devotees.
2. Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi in Haridwar is a popular tourist attraction that offers some breathtaking views from the top. Presiding on the top of Bilwa Parvat, the Mansa Devi Temple can be reached by a cable car. The entire temple is beautifully designed and built. Dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi; this temple is known to have granted wishes of many devotees. Mansa Devi means the Goddess who fulfils all the wishes of her devotees. There are two idols of Goddess Mansa in the main temple, one of which has five arms and three mouths and the other one has eight arms.
The entire place is surrounded by hills on three sides and a river flowing through the city. Every bit of it is going to be memorable.
3. Bharat Mata Temple
Bharat Mata mandir of Haridwar has a lot of significance. The foundation of this temple was laid by Swami Satyamitranand Giri on the banks of Ganga River. The entire temple is an epitome owing to its unique design and massive structure. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Mother India and is home to deities of legends. The entire complex consists of 8-storeys wherein on every floor you will find the belongings and idols of different mythological heroes and gods.
Here is what you will find on each floor of this 8-storey building:
1st floor – Statue of Bharat Mata
2nd floor – Shur Mandir (dedicated to the renowned heroes of India)
3rd floor – Matri Mandir (dedicated to the achievements of women including Mirabai, Radha, Draupadi, Savitri, Ahilya, Gargi, Maitri, and Anusuya)
4th floor – Sant Mandir (It is dedicated to all the saints of different religions such as Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism.)
5th floor – There is an assembly wall that depicts the co-existence of all the religious practices of India.
6th floor – The entire floor is dedicated to Goddess Shakti and various idols of her different forms are kept in this place.
7th floor – This floor is dedicated to various incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
8th floor – The topmost floor is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
So, make sure that you visit this temple to offer your prayer to the lord and witness the beautiful set-up.
4. Pawan Dham Temple
If you want to see the best example of a modern mandir of Haridwar with ancient values, beautiful surroundings and a neat & clean environment, then you must check the Pawan Dham Temple of Haridwar. Approximately 3 km away from Har-Ki-Pauri and 2 Km from the main city of Haridwar, this temple is surely going to fill you with delight. One of the main reasons for its popularity is the beautifully done glasswork designing on the walls. Dedicated to Pawan Dev or Vayu Dev, this temple holds a lot of importance in the city.
5. Neelkanth Temple
As the name suggests, Neelkanth mandir in Haridwar is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Neelkanth is another name of Shiva which is given to him due to his blue neck that happened when he drank poison during the Sea Manthan to save earth from destruction. It is a 20-km drive from Laxman Jhoola to this temple and it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the temple.
In the vicinity of the temple, you will find two temples that are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated at a height of 1330 meters and offers a breathtaking view of the vicinity. The temple is surrounded by mountains from all sides and if you visit during the rainy season, you are bound to have the time of your life here. The entire place wears a distinct coat of beauty after every such rain shower.
6. Har Ki Pauri
Har-Ki-Pauri might not be an actual temple but it has divine significance and importance. One of the most crowded places in the city; Har-Ki-Pauri is a major landmark and among the most religious ghats of Haridwar on the banks of Ganga River.
Har-ki-Pauri is also known to be one of the best places to visit in Haridwar because the world-renowned Ganga Aarti that takes place in the Brahmakund area is also located near Har-ki-Pauri. So if you are visiting Haridwar, do not miss this aarti. You can be a part of this during the morning or the evening aarti.
7. Maya Devi Temple
To begin with, people believe that all their prayers are answered and wishes come true at this temple. Maya Devi Temple is known to be one of the most divine places in Haridwar and probably one of the most important temples in Haridwar. Along with Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi temples, it forms the Siddh Peetha that increases its importance in the city. It is believed that Maya Devi is also an avatar of Goddess Shakti having four arms and three heads. There are three shrines in the temple; devotees can find the icons of Goddess Maya, Goddess Kali, and Goddess Kamakhya. Make sure to offer your prayers at this temple during your visit to Haridwar.
8. Vaishno Devi Temple, Haridwar
The Vaishno Devi Temple of Haridwar is a replica of the same temple in Kashmir. This is also a very important and crowded temple throughout the year. The temple has tunnels and caves inside the vicinity through which every devotee has to walk to reach the inner sanctum where the shrines are kept. The entire design and process to reach the sanctum are similar to that of the temple in Kashmir. The sanctum comprises of the shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi and apart from this, you can also offer prayers to Kali, Saraswati and Goddess Laxmi. Make sure that you visit this temple on your trip to Haridwar.
9. Gaurishankar Mahadev Temple
Gaurishankar Mahadev Temple of Haridwar enjoys a pristine location and is known to be one of the most peaceful temples of the city. It is located in the Pathari Forest Range on Haridwar Rishikesh Road and you can spot it in proximity to the Chandi Devi Mandir.
10. Mahamrityunjaya Temple
Situated at Jagjeetpur Jamalpur Kalan in Haridwar, Mahamrityunjaya Mandir is a very peaceful and divine temple amongst the others in the city. Upon your arrival here, you will hear pandits chanting the Maha Mrityunjay Mantra which is also known as Lord Shiva Moksha Mantra. This is the reason that makes it one of the most famous temples of Haridwar.
11. Bilvkeshwar Mahadev Temple
The Bilvkeshwar Mahadev Temple is yet another popular Shiv Mandir of Haridwar. It holds a lot of mythological significance and has a lot of history. The temple is believed to be a medium to reach Lord Shiva. While visiting this place, you can offer your prayers and tribute to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As per legends, this was the spot where Goddess Parvati chanted for Lord Shiva and asked him to marry her when he finally appeared in front of her.
12. Doodhadhari Barfani Temple
‘Magnificent’ is the first word that comes to mind when you see the Doodhadhari Barfani Temple in all of its glory. This is because the architecture of this temple is amazing and unique. The awe-striking beauty of its design and the white marble work makes it a wonderful place to be at.
If you didn’t find sense in going for a Haridwar tour package while visiting this religious destination, you now have plenty of reasons to.