According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar marks the site where devas left their footprints. It is thus, counted among the most sacred cities in the country. Literally meaning ‘Gateway to God’, Haridwar is located on the banks of the Ganga River in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Legends say that Prince Bhagirath, the great-grandson of King Sagar, did his penance here during Satya Yuga to save the souls of his ancestors, who were cursed to death by saint Kapil. In answer to his prayers, the Ganga River descended from Lord Shiva’s hair to give salvation to the Suryavanshis.
The story of Samudra Manthan reveals that Haridwar is one of the four areas where the drops of Amrit were accidentally spilled by Garuda. A sacred Kumbh Mela is celebrated here after every 12 years for the congregation of millions of pilgrims, who come to take a dip in the holy river. Har ki Pauri, meaning ‘footsteps of the Lord‘, is considered to be the holiest bathing place in the city as it marks the site of Brahma Kund, the place where drops of Amrit fell. The pious city of Haridwar is also the gateway to the ‘Char Dham’, which is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for the Hindus.