Profile of Garhwali and Kumauni of Haridwar
Haridwar located on the banks of River Ganges (Ganga), at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. Haridwar stands for Dwar of Hari or Gateway to God, Hari meaning god and dwar meaning gate.
According to Hindu scriptures, 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. These four spots – Ujjain, Haridwar, Nasik, and Allahabad have today become places, where the Kumbha Mela is celebrated once every 3 years in any of these 4 places and after a period of 12 years, the Maha Kumbha Mela is celebrated on the 12th year at Prayag in Allahabad. Millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate here from all over the world to celebrate the event. They perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganga.
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 from all over India to take a holy dip. This act is considered to be the equivalent of washing away ones sins to attain Moksha.