Haridwar, meaning ‘Gateway to God’, is one of the seven holiest cities (Sapt Puris) in India that is located on the banks of the holy Ganga River in the state of Uttarakhand. The ancient city is home to a number of temples, ashrams, ghats and numerous other revered sites for Hindu pilgrims. Panch Tirths (Five Pilgrimages) are one of the foremost places to visit in Haridwar – Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Kankhal and Kushavarta. The city is visited by innumerable devotees and tourists year-round, with the footfall increasing exponentially during the Maha Kumbh Mela (held every 12 years) and the Ardh Kumbh Mela (held every 6 years).

Here are the popular places to visit in Haridwar that you ought to include in your itinerary:

Places to Visit in Haridwar

1. Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar

Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar

Har Ki Pauri | #1 of 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar

One of the first places to visit in Haridwar is the holy ghat of Har Ki Pauri – which means Lord Shiva’s steps – located on the banks of the Ganga River. Interestingly, the Vedic literature mentions that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu visited this place, and you can also see a large footprint on a wall that is said to be of Lord Vishnu. Also known as Gangadwar, this is the place where the Ganga River first leaves the mountains and enters the plain.

Har Ki Pauri is considered to be the most sacred ghat in the entire city where the mythological bird Garuda accidentally dropped Amrit (elixir), and it is believed that if you take a dip here, then all your sins get washed away. The Ganga aarti held at the ghat at dusk and dawn attracts devotees in large numbers.

  • Location: Kharkhari, Haridwar
  • Timings: 24X7 (Ganga Aarti: 5:30 am – 6:30 am and 6 pm – 7 pm)

2. Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar

Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar

Mansa Devi Temple | #2 of 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar

Another popular place to visit in Haridwar is Mansa Devi Temple atop the Bilwa Parvat on the Shivalik Hills, and owing to its location it is also known as the Bilwa Tirth. This Siddh Peeth is dedicated to Goddess Mansa, who is believed to be a form of Goddess Shakti and is said to have been created from Lord Shiva’s mind.

It is one of the most revered temples in North India as devotees firmly believe that all their wishes are granted by Goddess Mansa (the name of the deity means wish). You can either reach this temple on the hilltop by trekking or by taking the ropeway, which is one of the unmissable things to do in Haridwar.

  • Location: Bilwa Parvat, Haridwar
  • Timings: 5 am to 9 pm

3. Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar

Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar

Chandi Devi Temple | #3 of 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar

Chandi Devi Temple is another Siddh Peeth dedicated to Goddess Chandi – a form of Goddess Durga and is visited by thousands of devotees to get their wishes fulfilled. This temple is situated atop the Shivalik Hills’ Neel Parvat, which was the mythological battleground where the goddess killed demons Chand-Mund and later, Shumbh-Nishumbh. The temple is believed to have been constructed by the Kashmir King Suchan Singh while the idol was established in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya.

You can trek to the temple or take the ropeway (Chandi Devi Udankhatola) that offers a bird’s-eye view of Haridwar. Near this temple lies another popular religious site – Gaurishankar Mahadev Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

  • Location: Neel Parvat, Haridwar
  • Timings: 7 am to 7 pm

4. Kankhal, Haridwar

Kankhal, Haridwar

Kankhal | #4 of 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar

Kankhal, one of the Panch Tirths in Haridwar, is a small colony that is home to the renowned Daksha Mahadev Temple and Maa Anandamayi Ashram. The former is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is visited by innumerable devotees, especially during the holy month of Sawan. The latter is a spiritual centre, built in honour of the Bengali mystic leader Maa Anandamayi.

Kankhal is also home to the holy ghat of Kushavarta, which is one of the Panch Tirths and the famous Patanjali Yog Peeth that is probably the largest yoga centres in the world. Pardeshwar Mahadev Temple in Harihar Ashram, located on Kankhal Road, is famous for the unique Parad Shivalinga that is made from 151 kg mercury.

  • Location: South Haridwar
  • Timings: 24X7

5. Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar

Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar

Maya Devi Temple | #5 of 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar

Completing the trio of Siddh Peeths in Haridwar is Maya Devi Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Maya, who is the main deity of Haridwar and in reverence, the city was earlier known as Mayapuri. As per mythological literature, the temple has been built on the site where Goddess Sati’s heart and navel fell.

It is one of the oldest temples in the entire country that was built in the 11th century on Har Ki Pauri Ghat. Although the temple is visited by hundreds of devotees daily to seek the goddess’ blessings and get their wishes granted, the footfall increases immensely during Navratri and Kumbh Mela.

  • Location: Birla Ghat, Haridwar
  • Timings: 7 am to 7 pm

6. Shantikunj, Haridwar

One of the most popular spiritual and moral enlightenment centres in the world is Shantikunj in Haridwar. Established in 1971, it is the headquarters of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) that has millions of followers across the world. The centre propagates national integration as well as cultural and ethical values apart from spiritual and moral upliftment. Shantikunj also has a research institute (Brahmavarchas Shodh Sansthan) and a residential university (Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya).

This must-visit attraction has been visited by a number of world-renowned personalities, including Dalai Lama. You can also stay here for free for up to two days, during which you need to take part in all their daily activities, including bhajans and aartis.

  • Location: Motichur, Haridwar
  • Timings: 24X7

7. Sapt Rishi Ashram, Haridwar

Sapt Rishi Ashram, located on the banks of the river, is one of the popular places to visit in Haridwar. Along with Hindu devotees, the ashram sees a high footfall of visitors looking for a peaceful site for meditation and yoga. The tranquil ambience of this place is so perfect for meditation that it even attracted the renowned seven sages, and thus got its name – sapt means seven and rishi means sage.

As per mythology, Kashyapa, Vashishta, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam – the seven sages were meditating along the banks but were getting disturbed by the sound created by the flowing river and thus captured it. Later, Ganga split the flow into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) to minimise the noise of gushing water.

  • Location: Motichur, Haridwar
  • Timings: 24X7

8. Bharat Mata Mandir, Haridwar

Literally meaning Mother India Temple, Bharat Mata Mandir is a unique multi-storey temple in Haridwar that is dedicated to patriots and freedom fighters. Inaugurated by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983, the 180-feet tall temple with 8 floors celebrates the spirit of unity in diversity, which actually reflects the true essence of our great nation.

Each of the eight floors have an individual theme – Bharat Mata dedicated to Mother India, Shoor Mandir dedicated to Indian heroes, Matru Mandir dedicated to renowned women personalities, Sant Mandir dedicated to saints, Assembly Hall reflecting religious harmony, sixth floor dedicated to Goddess Shakti, seventh floor dedicated to Lord Vishnu and eighth floor dedicated to Lord Shiva.

  • Location: Motichur, Haridwar
  • Timings: 7:30 am to 5 pm

9. Pawan Dham, Haridwar

Pawan Dham, Haridwar

Pawan Dham | #9 of 10 Places to Visit in Haridwar

Pawan Dham, an ancient temple and a social non-profit organization, is managed by the Geeta Bhawan Trust Society of Moga. Along with the elaborate architecture, stunning interiors and exquisite glasswork, the beautiful idols adorned with precious jewels and stones are the highlights of this revered site. The main attraction is the beautiful Lord Krishna idol that is seen preaching his disciple Arjun. Owing to the intricate mirror and glasswork, the temple is often referred to as the Glass Temple that enjoys great fame not only among Hindu devotees, but also among local and foreign tourists.

  • Location: Sapt Sarovar Road, Haridwar
  • Timings: 6 am to 8 pm

10. Bara Bazar, Haridwar

Although Haridwar does not boast of high-end malls, you can still get everything that is needed at the bustling Bara Bazar. The innumerable shops at this lively market sell religious paraphernalia, Ayurvedic medicines, wooden items, handicrafts, ornaments, etc. Rudraksha and peda (sweet) are two of the most popular things bought by visitors, including foreign travellers.

Apart from shops, you will also find a number of restaurants where you can relish hot samosa, kachori-sabji, choley-bhature, etc. Besides Bara Bazar, there are various other local markets, such as Moti Bazar, Kankhal Bazar and Jwalapur Bazar that you can visit to experience the old-world charm of Haridwar.

  • Location: Subhash Ghat, Haridwar
  • Timings: 9 am to 9 pm

You can also explore numerous other places to visit in and around Haridwar, including Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Ganga Temple, Vaishno Devi Mandir, Vishnu Ghat, Alaknanda Ghat, Birla Ghat and Gau Ghat. For leisure, you may visit Swami Vivekanand Park, Fun Valley, Crystal World, Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajaji National Park and Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar, among others. You can also indulge in exciting activities like white-water rafting and camping in Rishikesh – an international tourist hotspot that is less than an hour’s drive from Haridwar.