It is said that when Gods left their footprints in the land of Haridwar - metaphorically they also left an indelible mark on the spiritual ethos of every Hindu - more so the devout, who would later follow their holy paths all across this blessed land. Of such significance is Haridwar in the mind of India's traditional Hindus that it has earned its sobriquet of honour as 'The Gateway to the Gods.'
Legend has it that the holy Ganga, the holiest of all rivers, which flows through this sacred city, has actually been sanctified by the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology - Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Down the ages. this special importance of Haridwar as the ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul gained more impetus and today manifests itself in two great events that take place here - the memorable Kumbh Mela which is held every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which is held once every 6 years.
Yet, beyond the mystic aura and mythology, Haridwar casts another magic spell on the visitor. Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient India scriptures as it weaves through the life and times, from the period of Lord Buddha to the more recent British advent.
Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the plains. In the evening, the Ghats (places built on the banks of the river for the holy dip in the river Ganges) look breathtakingly beautiful as thousands of diyas (earthen lamps) and marigold flowers illuminate the holy waters at the time of the Ganga Aarti - a much-awaited daily ritual, where the River Ganga is propitiated for all the bounty that she bestows on the Indian plains.
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