Haridwar History – A Mythological City in Uttarakhand

Haridwar History – A Mythological Holy City is one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and It is famous as a spiritual city and a pilgrimage destination with countless temples, pilgrims, priests, sadhus, and the enchanting sounds of Vedic hymns.

Location and  Haridwar Weather

Geographically Haridwar is located in the north in the state of Uttarakhand, along the Ganges River while the Ganges enter the plains after traveling 250 km through the mountains from its Gaumukh origin (Gangotri Glacier).  The weather of Haridwar is ideal from September to April.  The best Haridwar weather you can experience is from October to March each year.

Haridwar to Kedarnath Distance

Haridwar to Kedarnath distance is about 240 km by road NH 58, via Rishikesh Devprayag Sangam, Rudraprayag Sangam, Guptkashi, Gauri Kund plus 20 km trekking distance to reach the temple of Sri Kedarnath Ji.

Mythological Hints

  • Haridwar or Hardwar literally Har means Shiva, Hari means Vishnu and Dwar and means gate/door hence the nickname “Gateway to Gods”. Haridwar is blessed with the presence of all three major Hindu deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar.
  • So, with all these mythological ties is associated with its name, it is no wonder that Haridwar is also famous as  “Gateway to Gods”.
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Pind Daan at Har-Ki-Pauri Ghat in Haridwar
Pind Daan at Har-Ki-Pauri Ghat in Haridwar


  • The city is sacred for Hindus also due to its geographical position, it is also known as  Gangadwar, which means “Door of the Ganga” because of the sacred river the Ganges leaves the mountains to flow on the Indian plains and Haridwar is the first holiest city out of the seven holy Hindu cities in India.
  • The Hindu tradition states that bathing in these waters ensures complete purification of the soul, allowing it to access the liberation  “Nirvana”.

Historical Hints

  • Haridwar has a long history behind it and in ancient scriptures, it is also mentioned as Kapilsthan (in honor of Kapil Muni who lived and meditated here) then Gangadwar, and finally Mayapuri.
  • Archaeological finds dated 1700-1800 BC confirmed the existence of people in this area.
  • Haridwar was ruled by the Maurya Empire from 322 BC. to 185 BC and later came under the rule of the Kushan Empire.
  • The well-known Chinese traveler Huan Tsang visited India in 629 AD. and mentioned Haridwar in his travelogue. At that time Haridwar was part of the reign of King Harshvardhan (from 590 to 647).
  • The city was also invaded by Timur Lang, a Turkish king in 1399 who sacked it and spoiled its original beauty.
  • In the 16th century, Haridwar came under the reign of Mughal, and emperors like Akbar, and the city is described as a holy city in the  Ain-e-Akbari.
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British Travelogue 

  • Thomas Coryat, an English traveler who visited Haridwar during Jehangir’s reign in the 17th century, speaks of Haridwar as a port city widely used by ships of the East India Company.
  • One of the two main dams on the Ganges River is the Bhimgoda Dam in 1854.
  • Haridwar Municipality was formed in 1868 and also included the villages of Kankhal and Mayapur. The railway arrived in 1886. In 1946 Haridwar was merged into the state of Uttar Pradesh and was later joined to the state of Uttarakhand.
The Bathing Dates: A Guide To The Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021
The Bathing Dates: A Guide To The Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021

Kumbh Mela and Char Dham Yatra

  • According to ancient history and geographical position, Haridwar is one of the four cities where the Kumbh Mela happens.
  • A legend says that it is the place where God Vishnu was riding on Garuda (mythical bird, a messenger of the gods), carrying a pot, and here, at Haridwar, he dropped a few drops of the waters ” the elixir of immortality, the Amrita,” this is the most desired reward, which every Hindu aspires to obtain the gift of immortality.
  • A large number of pilgrims gather in Haridwar from January to April on the occasion of the Kumbh Mela, to pray, offer gifts, immerse themselves, bathe and purify themselves on the banks of the River Ganges to get rid of their sins in order to obtain salvation.

The next Kumbh Mela will happen from January 14th to April 27th, 2021!




Namaste! I am Om. I am a licensed Tourist Guide ( Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), I’m originally from Varanasi. Now, I am living in Rishikesh. I set up this blog to share my tips and experiences for traveling to inspire and help you to travel more. Hari Om

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