Top 2 best Place to visit in Uttarakhand
Altitude: 1,158 m Distance: 165 kms from Haridwar
Uttarkashi, which literally means the `Kashi of the north’, is about 100 kms from New Tehri, and 150 kms from Rishikesh. Situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi, Uttarkashi, headquarters of Uttarkashi district, is dotted with numerous ashrams and temples. The biggest and most revered temple here is Kashi Vishwanath.
The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, a premier mountaineering institute, is situated here. Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest, is an alumnus of this institute. Uttarkashi acts as the base camp for treks to Maneri dam (13 kms), en route to Gangotri, as well as to the Gangotri Glacier (53 kms).
Har-ki-Dun, literally the Valley of Gods, is located at an altitude of 3,566 m, inside Govind Wildlife Sanctuary at the base of Fateh Parvat. Because this valley is located within the Sanctuary, one is quite likely to spot wild animals here. The valley is exquisite, with the higher reaches covered with dense forests of chestnut and walnut trees, while the floor of the valley is dotted with colorful wild flowers, and lush green grass. The charming valley of Har-ki-Dun makes for an excellent base for treks to surrounding areas as well.
Altitude: 295 m Distance: 52 kms from Dehradun
“Kashi, Kalichi, Maya, Ayodhya, Avantika. Mathura, chaiva saptaita mokshadayika”
The shloka says, Mayapuri (Haridwar) is one of the seven cities that offer moksha or liberation to the human soul. One of the oldest Indian cities, Haridwar or Hardwar is mentioned in Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang’s travelogue in the 7th century AD. Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, on the banks of the river Ganga, Haridwar is known for its religious sanctity. It is here that the holy Ganga touches the plains for the first time.
Over the centuries, the town has acquired different names: Mayapuri, Tapovan, Gangadwara, among others; followers of Vishnu (Hari) call it ‘Haridwar’ and those of Shiva (Har) call it ‘Hardwar’. Haridwar literally translates to ‘Gateway to the Gods’.
0 Yudhishthira, the spot where Ganga rusheth past, cleaving the foremost of mountains which is frequented by Gandharvas and Yakshas and Rakshasas and Apsaras, and inhabited by hunters, and Kinnaras, is called Gangadwara (Haridwar). 0 King, Sanatkumara regardeth that spot visited by Brahmarshis, as also the Tirtha Kanakhala (that is near to it), as sacred.
(Har-ki-Pauri ghat, bustling with devotees)
“Archaeological findings suggest that terracotta culture existed in Haridwar between 1700 BC and 1200 BC”
Har-ki-Pauri, meaning footsteps of God is the most sacred ghat in Haridwar King Vikramaditya is said to have built Har-ki-Pauri in memory of his brother, the great poet Bhartrihari who died while meditating here.
The famous Gangadwar Temple is located on this ghat. Inside the temple is a stone slab said to have the footprints of Lord Vishnu. Devotees come in droves to witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti at the ghat, held every evening at 7 pm. As the sun sets, the aarti begins with the priest holding large lamps towards the river. The aura of the place becomes divine with the temple bells ringing in unison, the fragrance of the incense and singing of devotional songs. The devotees offer flowers and float little lamps (diyas) in the Ganga as the aarti ends, praying for the well-being of their families. Asthi Pravah Ghat is where the ashes of the dead are immersed in the Ganga by family members.
Perched atop Bilwa Parvat is the Mansa Devi Temple. One can either take the ropeway called Udankhatola, which takes a couple of minutes, or trek up the 1.5-km path. The ropeway also takes one to the nearby Chandi Devi Temple.
The famous vegetarian cuisine of Haridwar can be sampled at its many bhojanalays (restaurants), one of the best known being Chotiwala.
( Mansa Devi Temple)
( Chandi Devi Temple )