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“Rope way at haridwar” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Haridwar

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1 review
1 helpful vote
“Rope way at haridwar”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2010

we stayed at Haridwar in a hotel and felt that people of that area is not so selfish compared to other cities, they help tourist as per requirement and not try to missguide in any way. in that town no one single Wine-shop found on commercial area which is very good thing for local and outsider people . It totally depends on government and people of that area . Town is full of attractive and historical things to watch and learn. These are reason that is Haridwar appears as God leaves there.

1 Thank norturn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
“Hari Ka Dwar- Haridwar”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2010

Haridwar as the name says Hari ka Dwar, means entry to the God' house. Its really a place, where you will feel change in yourself after reaching there. This Kumbh was like a feeling god.

1 Thank sandygDelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
india mumbai
1 review
“Nice Place In India Peace of Mind”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2010

Haridwar: peace of mind place
Date: jul 5, 2009

We have just reached at haridwar and see the temple of god
thear is more thane 500 temple in this town

one of pavitra ganga sthan in india

in granth haridwar is last journy of life station

bcoz, in afeter death of pepole in hindu ashthiya will release in ganga

such nice place

Thank Peaceoflove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“Itz a really great place..not just holy but also very romantic..”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2010

Itz a really great place..not just holy but also very romantic..
Late evemning ganges wtaer is amazing from the holy stairs..
u can also move to the other side and njoy theloneliness there..itz amazing and beautifull.................

Thank Ceaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
105 helpful votes
“Kumbh Mela Haridwar 2010”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2010

Kumbha is a Sanskrit word for Pitcher (The Kalasha, a roundish pot used by Hindu worshippers). It is also a zodiac sign in Indian astrology for “Aquarius”, the sign under which the festival is celebrated. According to the mythology the gods had fallen under a curse and had lost their strength. In order to regain it, they had to produce life-giving nectar by churning up oceans of milk. They convinced Demons to jointly start churning the “Sheer Sagar”, the holy ocean (Primordial Ocean of milk). The big mountain”Viraat Mandrachal” was placed on the top of “Kacchap”(tortoise) the incarnation of God Vishnu the holy serpent “Naagraj Vasuki” as the rope. Churning started with Demons on one side & Gods on the other side. Initially fourteen jewels came out. God Dhanvantari came out with a kumbha full of “nectar”. Jayanta the son of God Indra snatched it & ran away. There was a race among the Gods & Demons to get the nectar pot. Jayanta was not traceable for 12 days & during these 12 days he kept the precious pot at 12 places. These places later became the place for Kumbha celebrations. Four of these holy places are on Earth namely Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain & Naashik. Remaining 8 places are supposed to be in heaven. There is another story that twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the gods and demons fought in the sky for the nectar, Lord Vishnu flew away with the Kumbha of elixir, and that is when drops of it fell at four places on earth: Prayag ( River Ganges), Haridwar (River Ganges), Ujjain (River Shipra) and Naashik (River Godavari), and that is where the Kumbha Mela (fair) is observed every twelve years.
This celebration of faith of a devout Hindu is organized every 12 years at the banks of holy rivers in these four cities. It is by far the largest religious pilgrimage in the world. The 30-60 days long congregation brings together millions of people from across India and abroad. Driven by faith and the quest for washing their sins, devout Hindus bathe in the Ganges all year long, but the spiritual effect of the ablutions is considered most potent during the Kumbha mela at the four divine sites. For their inner peace & to please the gods, they converge on theses holy cities to be a part of a unique bathing festival. As the poet Kalidas said, "Purified by a bath at the holy river full of nectar, a person attains salvation after death even without acquiring true knowledge. This means that at death they will at last escape the endless cycle of birth and rebirth, and enter the bliss of union with the absolute.
The observance of Kumbha Mela dates back many centuries in ancient India to the Vedic period, where the river festivals first started getting organized. The Samudra manthan episode (Churning of the ocean of milk), which finds mention in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana First written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese traveler; Huan Tsang (602 - 664 A.D.), during the reign of King Harshavardhana
A person is blessed to be part of this bath & it a feast to one’s eyes and soul. Groups of holy men - some smeared with ash, some dressed in bright saffron robes and some totally naked – come in colorful processions on their way to the river bank to lead the dawn dip. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children follow them & jump into the water as the festival began, despite February cold winds and fog. Bathing is initiated by the holy men, or Saadhus, who are heads of Hindu monasteries, many of them enter the waters on elaborate silver chariots or palanquins. Marching bands accompany them as they initiate the bathing by scattering flowers over the waiting faithful and chanting "Har Har Gange" (Long live Ganges).
Other activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor, and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardized.
The main attraction of Kumbha mela is the various groups of Saadhus coming for holy bath. Saadhus are sanyasi, who have left behind all material and sexual attachments and live in caves, forests and temples all over India and Nepal. The most famous & sought after are the “Naga sadhu”. Saadhus belong to different groups called as “Akharas’. In 8th century AD, Adi Shankaracharya established seven Akharas namely Mahanirvani, Niranjani, Juna, Atal, Avahan, Agni and Anand Akhara. Today there are 3 major Akharas (Mahanirvani, Niranjani, Juna) and 3 minor Akharas (Atal affiliated with Mahanirvani, Anand affiliated with Niranjani, Avahan affiliated with Juna). Furthermore there is one small Brahmachari Akhara named Agni, affiliated to Juna. They are divided into different types according to the concept of God they worship. Shaiva Akharas for followers of Lord Shiva, Vaishnava or Vairagi Akhara for followers of Lord Vishnu and Kalpwasis for followers of Lord Brahma. The Juna Akhara is the biggest regarding the number of the Saadhus in it. Sannyasis (renouncers) of Juna Akhara are devotees of Shiva. The naked Naga Saadhus are famous for not liking to have to their picture taken, and they are infamous for being erratic and even a little dangerous if crossed. They are still widely respected: revered for their holiness & renunciations & sometimes feared for their curses they do not shave and have thick dreadlocks, and Jata (hairs), & at times carry arms. Many religiously consume charas (hand-made cannabis hashish) considering it as offerings of Lord Shiva. I was fortunate to have been offered two large puffs from the drug pot of a “Naga sadhu” during my visit on 14th April. I thoroughly enjoyed the Prasaad of God Shiva.
This year the centre of Kumbha activity was in Haridwar. Haridwar the holy city in Uttrakhand state is the gateway to abode of God. There were various auspicious dates for the holy bath. Bathing days when Saadhus of various Akharas take bath are called as “royal bath” days. First royal bath took place on Maha Shivratri day on 12th February. Next was on for Somvati Amavasya day on 15th March & the final royal bath on Vaisakhi day on 14th April. Apart from these main baths there were other auspicious bathing days. Haridwar these days was full of Saadhus residing in their respective camps called chavni, a term generally applied to military cantonments which is an indicator of the martial role that the Naga sanyasi.
I was fortunate to attend the Mahakumbh on Vaisakhi day the 14th April. Common man was not allowed to photograph the event. Press box was a small platform, without any shade & it was quite tough to stand for 6-7 hrs in the scorching sun & that too with no supply of water or food. Press box was actually for about 20-30 people but there were more than 100 on the platform & there was lot of struggle to get the right frame. It was almost a stampede like situation. TV Media photographers were bullying small time photographers with still cameras. It was a tough job. Still it was worth it. Government had made stringent security measures to ward of any disruptive activity. Except for VIP’s & state official nobody had a vehicle to move around as even the cycle rickshaws were not allowed. Walking 8-10 kilometers in the hot day was quite a task. City was very clean & arrangements for huge influx of tourists were made for their comfortable stay but on 13th April people were sleeping at every possible place including the roads. According to official estimate 1.5 crore people were in Haridwar on this biggest Shahi Snan. Many clean public toilets could be seen all over Haridwar. This was a not to be a missed event. Devotees, Saadhus, Journalists & photographers from all over the world assembled in Haridwar to be a part of this unique demonstration of faith & belief in God.
Text & Pictures by Dr Harsh Wardhan

2 Thank Harshwardhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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