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An Evening at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar

Our Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh tour included Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Shimla and Manali.

Day 1 at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar

The main attraction of our Day 1 tour is to watch Ganga aarti at Hari Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar.

We started from Hyderabad on 23rd April 2023 at 9.30 a.m by Indigo flight and landed in Delhi at around 11.30 a.m. After collecting our baggage we had light food outside Terminal 1. We booked a cab for our round-trip from New Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Mussoorie - Shimla - Manali - New Delhi. We started at around 1 p.m. to Haridwar and stopped for a while at India Gate which was on the way. We took few snaps and continued with our ride.
The drive on expressway via Meerut was quite lovable with greenery on either sides of the road. In Meerut, we stopped for lunch at Panditji Dhaba which is a pure veggie roadside dhaba. We ordered for daal, sabzi and roti which was good and served hygenic.
Here, I would like to mention one thing. After lots of Google search and go through customers' reviews we prebooked a cab through Solo cabs. Inspite of our repeated requests for a good conditioned car as our trip planner included too long drives, they sent a horrible car. First we thought of rejecting the car but that would cost us more. We had no other option than to travel in the car.As told by the driver we reached Har-Ki-Pauri ghat, Haridwar on time at around 5.30 p.m. From the parking spot we had to walk and walk and walk to reach the ghat. As we walked, I was shocked to see the heavy crowd of pilgrims as it was Ganga Pushkar (pushkaralu) time. The ghat was so crowded that literally there is no gap between the people. It was our first time visit to Haridwar and the moment we saw the flowing waters of river Ganga we were spellbound at the mermerizing sight.
Haridwar is a small town in Uttarakhand and is one of the most sacred and famous Hindu pilgrim places. The sacred river Ganges, after its upper course, touches the plains at this place. People from all parts of the country visit this place, take holy dip and bathe in river Ganga. There are some specified Ganga ghats in Haridwar but Har Ki Pauri is the most popular ghat which is heavily crowded with pilgrims. Haridwar, as the name signifies, is known as the Gateway to Gods. The word 'Hari' means Sri Vishnu and dwar means gateway. The Chardham yatra of the pilgrims start from Haridwar.

It is an ancient religious place where we can see many sandhus and sanyasins moving around. By the time we reached the ghat it was almost 6 p.m and we couldn't find an inch of a place to stand. We don't know whether the aarti was taking place or not, we didn't know whether to go and from where we can view the evening aarti. No security could help us and tell us where to go and from where we can watch the aarti. We were too disappointed as we couldn't watch the arti due to the jam-packed ocean of pilgrims. We managed to wade through the ocean of pilgrims and found somewhat a better place wherefrom we had a distant view of arti. The crowd was too unruly and people standing behind me were pushing my head forcefully as if I am blocking their view.
Hari Ki Pauri is the most famous Ganga ghat in the holy town of Haridwar. The word 'Pauri (Paudi)' in local language means footsteps. As per the local beliefs there are the impressions of Sri Maha Vishnu's footsteps on a rock at this place. Hence it got the name Hari Ki Pauri. When I was making our trip planner I had high hopes of Ganga aarti at Har Ki Pauri and was determined to watch the event but things were different on ground. Pilgrims irrespective of age and gender are taking dips in river Ganga. The beauty of river Ganga is undoubtedly timeless and boundless but was a bit annoyed on seeing the pilgrims doing all sorts of activities in the Ganga waters.

At around 7 p.m. we saw the crowd dispersing and moving aimlessly, so we thought that the event might be over. We went to our parking spot with great difficulty after inquiring various local people and the security people. And as always we did some shopping at the local roadside vendor where I bought a small model Badrinath temple for my Bommala Koluvu. After this terrible experience in the evening at Har Ki Pauri we proceeded to Rishikesh where had night stay in a horrible prebooked hotel.

Well we were disappointed as we couldn't watch Ganga aarti properly may be becasue we couldn't make a proper planner. Despite of those horrible experiences we were mermerized on seeing the clean flowing waters of Ganga Maiyya. We spent some time simply staring at river Ganga with blank minds.
In the map it was showing 40 to 45 minutes from Haridwar to Rishikesh but there was heavy traffic which moved at snail's pace. We left Haridwar at around 8.30 p.m and were stuck in the traffic. We reached the hotel at Rishikesh at around 10 p.m. The hotel kitchen was closed and we had to walk out for dinner. We couldn't stop on the way for dinner due to the heavy unruly traffic. Most of the nearby restaurants were closed and with great difficulty we entered a horrible hotel which was very unclean and unhygienic playing Hindi movie songs at high volumes. We had aloo paratha which was the only available item. Unfortunately my daughter had vomitings after evening that dirty stuff.

We had no other option than to have dinner at this place. So with all those terrible experiences we were back to our hotel room and dumped ourselves on the beds.

Also Read My Next Posts of This Trip
  1. Day 2 in Rishikesh
  2. An Enchanting Road Trip From Rishikesh to Mussoorie
  3. Our Peaceful Stay in Mussoorie Hotel
  4. Visit to Kempty Falls in Mussoorie
  5. A Relax in the Company Garden, Mussoorie
  6. Visit to Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Happy Valley, Mussoorie
  7. Mussoorie to Shimla Road Trip on the Ghat Roads
  8. Hailstorm Experience at Kufri in Shimla


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