Haridwar also termed as 'Gateway to Gods' is known as Mayapuri, Kapila, Gangadwar as well. The followers of Lord Shiva(Har) and followers of Lord Vishnu(Hari) pronounce this place Haridwar and Haridwar respectively as told by some.
Haridwar is also one of the four places; where Kumbh Mela occurs after rotation of every twelve Years and Ardh Kumbh after every six years. It is said that drops of Amrit (Elixir) fell in to the Brahmkund of Har-Ki-Pairi, therefore considered that a dip in the Brahmakund on this particular day which is very auspicious and when Jupiter (Brahaspati) comes to the sign Aquarius (Kumbh) once in every twelve years the Maha Kumbh fair is celebrated at Haridwar. Kumbh, 1998 was the last Maha Kumbh of this century. It is one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as it waves through the life and time stretching from the period of the Buddha to the more recent British advent. Haridwar has not only remained the abode of the weary in body, mind and spirit, but also served as centre of attraction for many, for learning the arts science and culture. Haridwar's long standing position as a great source for Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies as well as its unique Gurukul school of traditional education, the scenic beauty and lush greenery...all give the city unique flavors and charm; a must among the sojourn centers in a discoverer's intinary of Uttarakhand - A destination for all seasons.
Har ki Pauri
King Vikramaditya constructed this sacred Ghat in memory of his brother Bhatrihari who it is believed had come to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga . This ghat later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri (also called Brahamakund). At twilight, golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganga present the most enchanting sight. The imprint of Lord Hari’s footprint hallows the riverbank temple here. The ghat is regarded the most sacred and auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga during the 12 year Kumbh and the 6 year Ardh Kumbh.
Mansa Devi Temple
The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat. The rope-way with its brightly coloured cable cars take devotees to the old hilltop of Mansa Devi.
Chandi Devi Temple
The Chandi Devi temple at the top of Neel Parvat on river Ganga ’s banks was built in1929 A.D. by the King of Kashmir-Suchat Singh. A three kilometers trek from Chandighat, it is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. It is at a distance of six kilometers on Neel Parvat on the other bank of River Ganga.
Maya Devi Temple
This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar , known as one of the Siddhapethas. Said to be the places where the hearts and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.
Daksha Mahadev Temple
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev stands in the south Kankhal town. Mythology has it that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva's first wife) performed yagya at this place, but didn’t invite Lord Shiva (Mahadev). Feeling insulted, Sati burnt herself in the yagya kund. Provoked by this, the ganas (followers) of Lord Shiva killed King Daksha. Later, Lord Shiva brought him back to life.
Non-vegeterian food has been banned in the city for many many years. North and south Indian food is widely available, and there's no shortage of multi-cuisine backpacker cafes, especially in Lakshman Jhula. What excites many foreigners is the delicious Ayurvedic and health food restaurants, perfect for an after-yoga meal.
Many of the main lanes are lined with wooden push carts selling in-season fruit, veggies, popcorn, nuts, warm cookies and lots else, and you'll usually be quoted a fair price. The papayas here are particularly delicious.