Haridwar district, covering an area of about 2360 sq km is in the western part of
Uttarakhand state of India. The district is situated between 29.58 degree north latitude
and 78.13 degree east longitude. The average altitude is 250 m above sea level. The district came into existence on 28th Dec. 1988. The district is ringed by
Dehradun district in the north and east, Pauri Garhwal district in the east, Saharanpur district of
Uttar Pradesh in the west, Muzzaffar Nagar and Bijnor districts of Uttar Pradesh in the south. Haridwar district is subdivided
into three tehsils i.e. Haridwar, Roorkee and Laksar and six development blocks i.e. Bhagwanpur, Roorkee, Narsan, Bahadrabad, Laksar and Khanpur. The population of the
district is 14,44,213 (2001 census).
A paradise for nature-lovers, Haridwar presents kaleidoscope of Indian
culture and civilization. Haridwar also termed as 'Gateway to Gods' is known
as Mayapuri, Kapila, Gangadwar as well. The followers of Lord Shiva (Har) and
followers of Lord Vishnu (Hari) pronounce this place Hardwar and Haridwar
respectively. Haridwar is a very important pilgrimage center for the
followers of Hinduism, as it is a point of entry to Dev Bhoomi and the Char Dhams; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Legendary king Bhagirath is said to have brought the river Ganga from heaven
to earth in order to provide salvation to his ancestors. It is also said
that Haridwar has been sanctified by the presence of three Gods; Brahma,
Vishnu and Mahesh. Lord Vishnu is said to have his foot print on the stone
that is set in the upper wall of Har-Ki-Pauri where the Holy Ganga touches
it all the times. Devout believers feel that they can go to heaven by getting their salvation after a dip in the sacred Ganga at Haridwar.
Haridwar is also one of the four places; where Kumbh Mela occurs after
rotation of every twelve Years and Ardh Kumbh after every six years. It is
said that drops of Amrit (Elixir) fell in to the Brahmkund of Har-Ki-Pairi,
therefore considered that a dip in the Brahmakund on this particular day
which is very auspicious and when Jupiter (Brahaspati) comes to the sign
Aquarius (Kumbh) once in every twelve years the Maha Kumbh fair is celebrated at Haridwar.
Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its
mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as it waves through the life and
time stretching from the period of the Buddha. Haridwar has not only remained the abode of the weary in body, mind
and spirit, but also served as centre of attraction for many, for learning
arts, science and culture. Haridwar's long standing position as a great
source for Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies as well as its unique Gurukul school of traditional education, gives
it a unique position in north India.
Haridwar is one of the first towns where the river Ganga emerges from the mountains to
touch the planes. Lush
green forests and small ponds add to the scenic beauty of this holy land.
The Rajaji National Park is just 10 km from Haridwar. Its an ideal
destination for wild life and adventure lovers. In the evening the ghats
look breathtakingly beautiful as thousands of diyas (lamps) and marigold flowers float and illuminate the holy waters.
The factory of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a 'Navratna PSU', is
located in Haridwar district. The
Roorkee University at Roorkee is one of the oldest and prestigious institute
of learning in the fields of science and engineering. Another university of
the district i.e. Gurukul having vast campus is giving traditional educations of its own kind.