Hardwar


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Hardwar:

see HaridwarHaridwar
or Hardwar
, city (1991 pop. 187,392), Uttarakhand state, N India, on the Ganges River. The headworks of the Ganges Canal system are located in Haridwar. Annual and duodecennial pilgrimages are associated with the town's Hindu temple and with the Ganges.
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, India.

Hardwar (India)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Hardwar, also known as Haridwar, is one of India’s holiest sites, a city located on the sacred Ganges River at the point it exits from the mountains to flow across the plains. In ancient times it was called Kapilsthan, a reference to Kapil, an ancient sage credited with creating cosmology and psychology, who is said to have resided there.

The variant names of the city, Hardwar (Gate of Shiva) and Haridwar (Gate of Vishnu), call attention to two nearby shrines to these deities at Kedarnath and Badrinath respectively. Among the most holy objects in the city is a reputed footprint of Vishnu found on one of the steps leading into the Ganges, where pilgrims gather to bath.

Hardwar is the site of several of India’s most well-attended festivals. Every spring, at the beginning of the Hindu year, there is a solar festival. Then every twelve years, Hardwar is one of four cities along the Ganges that host India’s largest religious gathering, attended by millions, the Kumbh Mela. The Kumbh Mela is noted for the arrival of numerous holy men (called saDHUS and siddhis), many of whom have spent the previous years alone in the nearby mountains and forests. Halfway between the Kumbh Melas, a smaller celebration called the Ardh Kumbh is held. Hardwar is also a place where it is believed that spiritual liberation is assisted simply by being in its holy environs.

Hardwar is the home to many temples, ashrams, swamis, and gurus. The increase in the number of tourists and spiritual seekers in recent decades has led to the expansion of facilities dedicated to accommodating their needs.

Sources:

Dubey, D. P. Prayaga: The Site of Kumbha Mela; In Temporal and Traditional Space. New Delhi: Aryan Books, 2001.
Hebner, Jack. Kumbha Mela: The Word’s Largest Act of Faith. San Rafael: Mandala Publishing, 1991.
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