Haridwar, one of the seven holiest towns for Hindus, located 19km south of Rishikesh, it has limited to offer if you are not on a pilgrimage tour. But still you cannot avoid the temples due one reason or the other. Therefore it is advisable to do a day trip from Rishikesh. Main street or area is the Har-Ki-Pauri where majority of shops and eating places are. It on the banks of Har-Ki-Pauri evening prayers take place and should be seen. Venturing left and right of Har-ki-Pauri will lead you to narrow bylanes, leading you to decades and centuries old shops run by generations of a family. They will also prepare you for Varanasi and reduce culture shock 😀
Coming down from the hills, Haridwar is the first town where River Ganga enters Northern Gangetic plains. Apart from various temples, following is what one can do or see during the day trip to Haridwar:
Rajaji National Park
Go on a Safari tour to see the wildlife. You will be able to spot many deer, and birds, and Elephants. Leopards if you are lucky. Mornings are good time for the safari as that’s when animals mostly come out for hunt and water, hence improving your chances of spotting.
Evening Aarti / Prayers
It happens daily at Har Ki Paudi Ghat at / just before Sunset. Will highly recommend seeing it once.
Explore the town
You are in a new ancient town, a holy town, spend few hours exploring it. See the 100ft Lord Shiva statue, various ghats, how pundits / astrologers run their business, and prepare yourself with a trailer of Varanasi 😉
Chanda Devi Or Mansa Devi Temple
Chanda Devi temple is near Rajaji National Park while Mansa Devi Temple is near Har ki Paudi. Both require a cable car to go. Views from cable car can be interesting. And observing can be a fun activity too 😉