Haridwar, one of the holiest cities in India, is not only renowned for its religious significance but also for its proximity to various picturesque destinations. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into the diverse attractions near Haridwar that cater to a variety of interests, from adventure seekers to spiritual travellers. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping activities, serene settings, or offbeat experiences, these enchanting escapes near Haridwar offer something for everyone.

Table of Contents

  • Top 5 Places to Visit Near Haridwar
    • RishikeshRajaji National ParkDehradunMussoorie
    • Nainital
  • Pilgrimage Destinations Near Haridwar
    • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
    • Piran Kaliyar Sharif
    • Kunjapuri Temple
    • Jwalapur
  • Offbeat Places to Explore
    • Chopta
    • Kanatal
    • Auli
  • Outdoor Activities and Adventure Sports
    • River rafting in Rishikesh
    • Trekking in Valley of Flowers
    • Wildlife spotting in Rajaji National Park
    • Camping in Shivpuri
    • Paragliding in Pauri

Top 5 Places to Visit Near Haridwar

A. Rishikesh

  • Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula: The twin suspension bridges of Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula hold immense cultural and historical significance. Suspended over the Ganges River, these iconic iron suspension bridges offer panoramic views of Rishikesh and the surrounding hills. They also serve as a gateway to several revered temples and ashrams, including the famous Parmarth Niketan and Swarg Ashram.
  • Adventure sports in Rishikesh: The holy town of Rishikesh has emerged as India’s adventure capital, offering a plethora of thrilling activities. Experience the adrenaline rush of white-water rafting on the Ganges River, bungee jumping from a height of 83 meters, or soaring through the air on a giant swing.

B. Rajaji National Park

  • Wildlife spotting: Spread over 820 square kilometers, Rajaji National Park is home to diverse flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, leopards, and over 400 species of birds. This national park, formed by the confluence of three sanctuaries – Rajaji, Motichur, and Chila – offers an unforgettable wildlife experience.
  • Chilla Range Safari: Embark on a thrilling jeep safari through the Chilla Range, where you’ll have the opportunity to witness the park’s rich biodiversity up close. The park is divided into various zones, and the Chilla Range is the most popular due to its dense wildlife population and picturesque landscapes.

C. Dehradun

  • Robber’s Cave: This popular tourist spot, locally known as Guchhupani, is a natural cave formation with a river flowing inside. The unique geological formations and the serene ambiance make it an ideal destination for a short trek and a picnic.
  • Sahastradhara: Translated as “thousand-fold springs,” Sahastradhara is a picturesque waterfall known for its therapeutic sulfur-rich waters. Visitors flock to these cascading waters seeking relief from various skin ailments and to experience the rejuvenating effects of the mineral-rich springs.

D. Mussoorie

  • Kempty Falls: Situated at an altitude of 1,364 meters, Kempty Falls is a popular tourist attraction. The cascading waterfalls, surrounded by lush green mountains, offer a refreshing retreat where visitors can take a dip in the cool waters or enjoy a picnic in the scenic surroundings.
  • Gun Hill Point: Accessible via a thrilling cable car ride, Gun Hill Point is the second-highest peak in Mussoorie. This viewpoint provides a breathtaking panorama of the town, the Doon Valley, and the snow-capped Himalayas.

E. Nainital

  • Naini Lake: Shaped like a pear, Naini Lake is the heart of Nainital, a picturesque hill station. The lake is surrounded by verdant hills, and boating or yachting on its serene waters is a popular activity among tourists.
  • Snow View Point: Accessible by cable car or a trek, Snow View Point offers mesmerizing views of the snow-capped Himalayas, including Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Nanda Kot peaks. The viewpoint also features a small temple dedicated to Dev Mundi and a popular café where visitors can enjoy snacks while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

Pilgrimage Places to Visit Near Haridwar

1. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Situated atop a hill at an altitude of 1,330 meters, this revered temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to mythology, the temple marks the spot where Lord Shiva consumed the poison that emerged during the churning of the ocean. The temple attracts numerous devotees throughout the year, especially during the auspicious months of Shravan and Mahashivratri.

2. Piran Kaliyar Sharif

This prominent Sufi shrine, located in Roorkee, is dedicated to the 13th-century Sufi saint, Alauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir Kalyari. The shrine is known for its serene atmosphere and annual Urs festival, which draws thousands of pilgrims from different faiths to celebrate the saint’s teachings of love and harmony.

3. Kunjapuri Temple

Situated at an altitude of 1,650 meters, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is one of the 52 Shakti Peethas in India. The temple offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Chaukhamba peaks, making it an ideal destination for both spiritual seekers and nature lovers.

4. Jwalapur

An ancient town near Haridwar, Jwalapur is famous for its historical temples and bustling market, which showcases local handicrafts, textiles, and cuisine. The town is home to several temples, including the ancient Sheetla Devi Temple and Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple, which hold immense religious significance.

Offbeat Places to Explore

A. Chopta

  • Tungnath Temple: At an altitude of 3,680 meters, Tungnath Temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is one of the Panch Kedar temples in Uttarakhand. Accessible via a scenic 4-kilometer trek from Chopta, the temple offers a peaceful retreat amidst the natural beauty of the Himalayas.
  • Chandrashila Trek: This exhilarating trek starts from Chopta and culminates at the Chandrashila Peak, which stands at an altitude of 4,000 meters. The trek offers unparalleled views of the Himalayas, including the majestic Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Chaukhamba peaks.

B. Kanatal

  • Surkanda Devi Temple: Situated at an altitude of 2,757 meters, this temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is accessible via a 2-kilometer trek through dense forests. The temple offers a splendid view of the surrounding hills, as well as the snow-capped Himalayas on a clear day.
  • Kodia Jungle: A dense forest reserve, Kodia Jungle is home to a variety of flora and fauna, making it an ideal spot for nature walks, birdwatching, and photography. The jungle also features several natural springs and offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling tourist spots.

C. Auli

  • Skiing in Auli: Known for its pristine slopes and stunning landscapes, Auli is a popular destination for skiing enthusiasts. The well-maintained slopes, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities, make it a perfect destination for both beginners and experienced skiers.
  • Gorson Bugyal: This picturesque meadow, situated at an altitude of 3,056 meters, is perfect for trekking and camping, with its lush greenery and panoramic views of the Himalayas. The meadow comes alive with colorful wildflowers during spring and summer, making it a visual treat for nature lovers.

Outdoor Activities and Adventure Sports

  1. River rafting in Rishikesh: Navigate the thrilling rapids of the Ganges River on a white-water rafting adventure, suitable for beginners and experienced rafters alike. Rafting in Rishikesh offers different levels of rapids, ranging from grade I to grade IV, ensuring a thrilling experience for everyone.
  2. Trekking in Valley of Flowers: This UNESCO World Heritage site, situated at an altitude of 3,658 meters, is home to diverse flora, including many rare and endangered species. Embark on a 6-day trek through this breathtaking valley to witness its unparalleled beauty and to spot the elusive Himalayan blue poppy, among other exotic flowers.
  3. Wildlife spotting in Rajaji National Park: Venture into the wilderness on a guided safari to spot elusive animals such as tigers, elephants, and leopards in their natural habitat. Early morning and late afternoon safaris offer the best chances of spotting wildlife.
  4. Camping in Shivpuri: Located near Rishikesh, Shivpuri offers serene riverside campsites for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The campgrounds often include activities such as bonfires, beach volleyball, and riverside treks.
  5. Paragliding in Pauri: Soar above the scenic landscapes of Pauri while paragliding, an exhilarating experience that offers stunning aerial views of the region. Expert pilots ensure a safe and unforgettable experience, allowing you to enjoy the thrill of flying like a bird.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best time to visit places near Haridwar?

The ideal time to visit these places to visit near haridwar is between October and April when the weather is pleasant and conducive for outdoor activities. However, for skiing in Auli, the best time is between December and February.

Q: How to reach Haridwar and nearby destinations?

Haridwar is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, while Haridwar has its own railway station. Buses and taxis are readily available for nearby destinations.

Q: Are there any accommodation options in these places?

Yes, you can find various accommodation options ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts in and around these destinations. Homestays, guesthouses, and campsites are also available for a more immersive experience.

Q: What are the local food options available?

You can savor local cuisine, which primarily consists of North Indian vegetarian dishes. Several restaurants and street food vendors also offer popular Indian and international delicacies.

Q: Are these destinations safe for solo travelers?

Yes, these destinations are generally safe for solo travelers. However, it is recommended to exercise caution, especially while undertaking adventure activities and traveling in remote areas.

Q: What are the essential items to carry while traveling to these places?

Carry comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a reusable water bottle, and a basic first aid kit. If you plan on visiting high-altitude destinations or engaging in adventure sports, pack appropriate gear and clothing.

Q: How many days are required to cover all these destinations?

To fully explore and enjoy these destinations, plan for a 10-14 day trip.