Thomas Coryat, an English traveler visited Haridwar during the reign of Jehangir. In 18th century Haridwar was a port city & it was widely used by ships of East India Company. One of the two major dams on the river Ganges is the Bhimgoda Dam. It is situated in Haridwar. Dam was opened in 1854. Haridwar Municipality' was constituted in 1868 including Kankhal & Mayapur. Haridwar was connected with railways by Laksar Railway Station in 1886. In 1901, Haridwar has population of 25,597 & Haridwar was a part of the Roorkee tehsil, in Saharanpur district of the United Province. Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya was established in 1902. In 1946 Haridwar was merged in Uttar Pradesh State.
Legends of Haridwar :-
Haridwar is mentioned in various ancient Indian scriptures (Purans, Upanishads & Mahabharata) as a Mayapur, Kapilsthan, Mokshdwar or Gangadwar. In Mahabharata great sage Dhaumya mentioned Haridwar (Gangadwar) as a major pilgrimage town to Yudhisthira.
The legendary King Bhagirath, great grandson of the King Sagar of Suryavanshi clan (an ancestor of Lord Rama), is said that he brought the river Ganga down from heaven, through his long penance of many years, for the salvation of the souls of his 60,000 ancestors from the curse of the sage Kapila. The penance was answered & the river Ganges trickled out from Lord Shiva's locks and its ample holy waters rejuvenated the 60,000 sons of King Sagara. Sage Kapila lived here in his ashram so this place was also known as Kapilsthan. The tradition which was established by King Bhagirath is now followed by thousands of Hindu devotees, who bring the ashes of their departed family members, in hope of their salvation by the water of river Ganges.
Pandits (Priests) of the Haridwar have been known to keep genealogy records of most of the Hindu population. Known as vahis, these records are updated on each visit to the city, and are a repository of vast family trees of family in North India.
It is believed that nectar (Amrit) which was one of the fourteen valuable ornaments that came out from the sea churning (Samundra Manthan) was sprinkled at 12 places in the entire universe. Out of that 12 places 08 places are in heaven & only 04 places on earth. Har-Ki-Pauri in Haridwar was one of the four places where Amrit was sprinkled on earthr. As a result, every 12 years Khumbh Mela comes to Haridwar& draws more than half a million pilgrims. The Ardha Kumbha Mela comes once in every six years.
It is also said that Haridwar has been blessed by the attendance of all three major Gods; Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh. Lord Vishnu is said to have left his footprint on the stone that is set in the upper wall of Har-Ki-Pauri, where the Holy Ganges touches it. It is believed to have been the place where Sati (Lord Shiva’s first wife) consigned herself in the Yagna (sacrificial fire). The terrible Tandava Nrutya (dance of destruction) performed by Lord Shiva in sorrow led to Lord Vishnu dismembering Sati’s body, with the different parts scattering across India. Pilgrims believe that they can go to heaven by getting their salvation after a holy dip in the river Ganges at Haridwar.
Haridwar Travel Guide :-
There is lot to know about Haridwar. Through this passage adequate information on Haridwar for touring purpose is provided to the clients. You can visit Haridwar throughout the year. The city is stretched over 12.3 sq kms. It is at a height of 315 meter from sea level. Haridwar has a good literacy rate of 73.43 percent. As per 2011 census population of Haridwar district was 18, 90,422 in which Haridwar city has 1, 75,010. Sex ratio in Haridwar district is 880 female per 1000 male. Languages spoken in Haridwar are Hindi, Garhwali & English. Alcohol and Non vegetarian food is strictly prohibited in Haridwar. For clothing Cotton clothes in summer & woolen clothes in winter are best options. Western and short clothes (such as swim suites, miniskirts) should be avoided as Haridwar is a holy place. Never wear shoes while entering any temple, holy place or even river Ganga. At many places photography inside the temple or ashram is not allowed.