HARIDWAR AND RISHIKESH TOUR

Haridwar and Rishikesh in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Haridwar literally means ‘the abode of Lord Vishnu’ and millions of people flock here every year to take part in an annual pilgrimage. While Rishikesh World Capital of Yoga - Gateway to the Himalayas - Adventure Capital of India located on the foothills of the Himalaya, is a famous pilgrimage site. The river Ganges flows through Rishikesh, and at this location it can not only impress through its mythological importance, but also through its clear water and scenic beauty. It is here that the river leaves the Shivalik Mountains in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India to the gulf of Bengal.

Haridwar and Rishikesh are meat and alcohol free cities because of their holy nature. Haridwar and Rishikesh are considered the “twin national heritage cities”. Since both the cities are popular tourist destinations, they provide a wide range of gastronomic options that are delicious and caters to people on various budgets and with different tastes. The mystical and spiritual environment of Haridwar and Rishikesh are the reason why they are considered perennial holiday destinations for people all around the world.

Haridwar or Hardwar {Hari means Lord Vishnu & Har means "Lord Shiva" and Dwara means "gate" or "gateway" gateway to the Gods and four pilgrimages in Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand region “Gangotri the source of Ganga River, Yamunotri the source of Yamuna river, Kedarnath abode of lord Siva and Badrinath Abode of Lord Vishnu also known as Chardham Yatra, Haridwra 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 Rishikesh and Haridwar being two major town on the plains. Though the Ganges does not lose its rapids completely nevertheless it becomes very quite and calm here. The water is clean and people prefer taking bath on the numerous ghats built on the river shores. It is said that taking bath here purifies the soul and opens the way for the ultimate freedom, Nirvana.

Haridwar has earned fame as being the place which has been blessed by the trinity of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. It is also one of the major Shakti Peeths. Down the ages, Haridwar has purified the mind, the body and the soul. Not only in spiritual or religious terms Haridwar has come up as a major learning center for arts, science and culture. This place has maintained the Gurukul tradition of teaching. This ancient tradition of teaching has maintained its fervour in Haridwar.

Har Ki Pauri: “Har “lord Shiva or “Hari: lord Vishnu “Ki" means "of" and "Pauri" means "steps". Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are believed to have visited the Brahmakund in Har Ki Pauri in the Vedic times. There is a large footprint said to belong to Lord Vishnu on a stone wall.

The Ganga Aarti: Each evening at sunset priests perform Ganga Aarti here, when lights are set on the water to drift downstream. A large number of people gather on both the banks of river Ganges to sing its praises. The priests hold large fire bowls in their hands, the gongs in the temples at the Ghat start ringing and the chants flowing out of lips fill the air. People float earthen Diyas, with burning flickers and flowers in them as a symbol of hope and wishes .The golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganges presents spectacular view.

In Rishikesh there are numerous temples and ashrams, some historical and some newer ones. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists from India and western countries every year. There are many Yoga schools, most of which have a very long tradition. Rishikesh has the reputation to be the "Yoga Capital" of the world. Hindus believe that through meditation in Rishikesh and bathing in the sacred river Ganges, they can find the way to salvation (Moksha). During the 1960s, the Beatles and other western musicians visited Rishikesh to meditate.