Haridwar or Hardwar is a holy town located in Uttarakhand and is also the municipal board in the Haridwar District of Uttarakhand. The term 'Haridwar' means 'Dwar of Hari' or the Gateway to God. Haridwar is also regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. River Ganga, after traveling for 253 kms. from it source at Gaumukh enters the Indo Gangetic Plain for the first time at Haridwar. This is the reason what gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwara as this is the place where the Ganges meets the plains.
Haridwar is located at the right side of the bank of River Ganga. It is associated with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It is also the venue for the Kumbh Mela, which is held every twelve years. It is a strong belief that the mind and soul can be cleansed by visiting Haridwar. Haridwar brings in people in large numbers to participate in the Kumbh Mela, and the Ardh Kumbh Mela which comes once every six years.
Haridwar also finds its mention in the Hindu scriptures, because it is one of the oldest cities of India today. It is also one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains and touches the plains. This is the reason why the water of the river is crystal clear and so cool. The ghats look magnificent during the evenings as thousands of diyas and flowers float in the water, illuminating it. It is also interesting to note that one of two major dams on the river Ganga, the Bhimgoda Dam, is located here. It was built during the 1840s to divert the waters of Ganga to the Upper Ganges Canal.