Haridwar or 'the Gateway to God' is believed to be one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, as the Gods themselves are believed to have walked here. Gateway to the Himalayan pilgrimage shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath, Haridwar is also the site of celebration of the raucous, high octane Kumbha Mela once every twelve years, when Jupiter transits to the zodiac sign of Aquarius. The five sacred bathing spots in Haridwar are Gangadwara, Kankhal, Nila Parvata, Bilwa Theertha and Kusavarta. The main ghat at Haridwar is known as Har Ki Pauri. Haridwar is located on the foot hills of Shivaliks. It is on the banks of River Ganga. The Ganga leaves the mountains and enters the plains with Haridwar being the first major town on the plains. The Ganges becomes very quite and calm here. It is said that taking bath here purifies the soul and opens the way for the ultimate freedom, Nirvana. Overnight will be in Haridwar.
Breakfast will be served at the hotel. Proceed for a full day sightseeing of the city. Har Ki Pauri is one of the most sacred Ghats in India. It is said to have been built by Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. This ghat is also known as Brahmakund. In the evening a Maha Aarti is performed on this ghat. It is an event which is a must, not be missed by any visitor. The Mansa Devi temple is located on top of the Bilwa Parvat. The temple can be reached by the rope way or one can take the normal trekking route to the top. The top of the hill gives an excellent view of Haridwar. Daksha Mahadev Temple is located at a town called Kankhal. According to legend the king of this place King Daksha Prajapati performed a yagya. His daughter, Sati was married to Lord Shiva. But Daksha was not happy with this marriage and did not invite Shiva-Sati in the Yagya. But Sati came and was insulted by her father. She could not take the insult and burnt herself in the yagya kund. On hearing this followers of Shiva killed Daksha. But later Mahadev (Shiva) brought Daksha to life. Chandi Devi Temple: This temple is on the top of a hill called the Neel Parvat which is on the other side of the river Ganga. The temple was constructed by the King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, in 1929 AD. Chandi Devi is a three km trek from the Chandi Ghat. The Ganga gets divided into seven small streams at a certain point. This place is known as the Sapt Rishi and provides a very pleasing sight. Overnight will be at Haridwar.
After breakfast, proceed to Rishikesh by road. Situated 24 Km upstream from Haridwar, at the confluence of the Chandrabhaga and Ganga, Rishikesh has long been a spiritual centre. Rishikesh has numerous ashrams that serve as centres of philosophical studies, yoga and meditation. Rishikesh is also a place for outdoor sports enthusiasts. People who love rafting come here to conquer the rapids of Ganga. Rishikesh is also an ideal base camp for trekking in the nearby Himalayas. The Bharat Mandir is the oldest temple in Rishikesh, near the Jhanda Chowk; Raibhya Rishi did tapasya at this place. The township of Rishikesh is named after the Lord Hrishikesh Narayan Bharat. Kailash Niketan Temple: This is the main temple at Laxman Jhoola and is adorned by sculptures of all Gods and Goddesses on all of it’s fourteen floors. Satya Narayan Temple: The idol of Lord Satya Narayan has been enshrined inside the temple located enroute to Rishikesh, 10 km away from Haridwar. The visitors use this place as a station to halt for a casual worship. Shatrughan Temple: This is an ancient temple dedicated to Shatrughan, Lord Ram's brother and is situated 5 km away from Rishikesh. Neelkanth Mahadev: The Neelkanth temple is situated on top of a hill across the Ganga River. According to mythology, after the sagar manthan Lord Shiva drank all the effluent venom here, this turned his throat blue, hence the name Neelkanth. Later in the evening, return to Haridwar by road. Overnight will be Haridwar.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Later the Compass team will drop you to the station for your train to Delhi. Tour ends
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