Located in the Northern State of Uttarakhand, Haridwar is one of the seventh holiest places for Hindu devotees in India. Thousands of tourists come to Haridwar every year to experience its rich culture and Heritage. In terms of culture, Haridwar is deeply rooted in Hindu traditions. The tourism of Haridwar revolves around the sacred river Ganges and temples. Hindus believe that taking a holy dip into the river Ganga will free them from the karmic backlog of life and purify their soul.
The ambiance of Haridwar is very spiritual. Even if you are not a religious person, you can’t help but be swept up in the spiritual fervour of the place. The temples are dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses and are full of history.
Normal Day in Haridwar
A typical day in Haridwar starts with the blissful darshan of sunrise and the sacred Ganga River in the morning. People wake up to the sounds of bells and, the smell of incense and they also take a holy dip into the river Ganga.
During the day, people visit numerous temples to seek divine blessings, offer pooja, and perform rituals. People also explore the bustling bazaars, eat delicious street food, relax in ashrams, and practice Yoga.
In the evening, people witness the most beautiful Ganga Aarti ceremony. It is the most beautiful spectacle for the devotees. The priests perform Poojas; sing hymns in honour of Ganga Ma, and light oil lamps. People take Aartis, light oil lamps into the river and pray to Ma Ganga for their wellbeing.
The nights become quieter as people sit on the banks of the Ganga and soak in the peacefulness and delightful melody of the shores of the Ganga before going to bed.
People of Haridwar
The people of Haridwar are spiritually inclined, friendly, and deeply rooted in Hindu religious traditions. They take great pride in the religious significance of their city. They are deeply connected to nature, their traditions and beliefs. They have a philosophical approach to life. Their day starts with the holy darshan of Ma Ganga and visiting temples to seek divine blessings. They also perform religious rituals along the banks of the river Ganga. With their caring, friendly, and hospitable nature, they make tourists feel at home in their city.
Language of Haridwar
In Haridwar, we can see people speaking various local dialects. The primary language spoken in Haridwar is Hindi which is also the official language of the city. People also speak English and Urdu in daily life, business, and administration activities. The most interesting thing about Haridwar is that the Sanskrit Language is still in use in rituals, prayers, and scriptures, particularly in temples and Ashrams. Sanskrit is the second official language of Uttarakhand.
Religion of Haridwar
In terms of religion, Haridwar is predominantly Hindu as it is also one of the main pilgrimage destinations for Hindu devotees. It is the main religion which shaped the city’s culture and traditions. The city has numerous temples dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses and religious rituals, prayers, pilgrimages, and offerings are integral parts of the daily life of the locals. Other religions followed in Haridwar are Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.
Food Culture of Haridwar
Haridwar is a city with a predominantly Hindu population and hence, vegetarianism is widely practiced here. Due to the city’s spiritual significance, people abstain from eating non-vegetarian food. However, some restaurants cater to tourists with non-vegetarian dishes.
The food culture of Haridwar highlights the regional dishes, flavours, and traditions of Uttarakhand. You will get traditional North Indian cuisine, regional Garhwali dishes, Savory Chaat, and pagodas of various forms such as Potato, Spinach, Paneer, and Onion, etc., each offering delight to the palate.
There are a variety of eateries, cafes, and roadside Dhabas offering regional and contemporary Indian cuisines in Haridwar. You will be offered lentil curries, authentic Pahadi cuisines, South Indian dishes, and dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. You must savour the tastes and aromas of Haridwar for a memorable experience.
Festivals of Haridwar
It is not wrong to say Haridwar is a city of festivities. Every time you visit this holy city, some kind of festival is always going on in Haridwar. Due to the spiritual significance of Haridwar, the festivals are also religious. The festival often falls with significant bathing dates in the Hindu calendar. There are many festivals in Haridwar which are celebrated with great pomp and show. The festivals include Kartik Purnima, Shravan Purnima, Ganga Dussehra, Somvati Amavasya, etc. coincides with Hindu bathing dates. Among these, Kawad Mela stands out and is celebrated in the month of Shraavana, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The grand Kumbh Mela is also celebrated in Haridwar every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela is also celebrated every 6 years (halfway between Kumbh Mela). People also celebrate Haridwar Mahotsava which is a cultural festival organized every year on the banks of Ganga for four days. Another noteworthy festival is the ‘Urs’ observed at the Dargah Piran Kaliyar which attracts thousands of people from diverse backgrounds to seek blessings for their loved ones.