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Haridwar Travel Guide

HARIDWAR - The name stands for Dwar of Hari or Gateway to God, 'Hari' meaning God and 'dwar' meaning gate.

The River Ganges, after flowing for 253 kilometers (157 mi) from its source at Gurumukhi at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India for the first time at Haridwar.

Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is one among the four sites where drops of the elixir of immortality, Amrita, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher, in which it was being carried away by the celestial bird Garuda, after the Samudra Manthan. The spot where the nectar fell is considered to be the Brahma Kund at Har-ki-Pauri (literally, "footsteps of the Lord," and symbolically the footprints of the Amrita), the most sacred ghat of Haridwar; thousands of devotees and pilgrims flock here during festivals or snan (Holy Bath) from all over India to take a holy dip. This act is considered to be the equivalent of washing away one's sins to attain Moksha (Salvation).