Har Ki Pauri, Uttarakhand, India

Jai Ganga Maa Har Ki Pauri is a famous ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This revered place is the major landmark of the holy city of Haridwar. Har-ki-Pairi (The Footstep of God) is where Vishnu is said to have dropped some divine nectar and left behind a footprint. Every evening hundreds of worshippers gather for the ganga aarti (river worship ceremony). Officials in blue uniforms collect donations and, as the sun sets, bells ring out a rhythm, torches are lit, and leaf baskets with flower petals inside and a candle on top (₹10) are lit and placed on the river to drift away downstream.

Tourists can mingle with the crowd to experience the rituals of an ancient religion that still retains its power in the modern age. Someone may claim to be a priest and help you with your puja before asking for ₹200 or more. If you want to make a donation, it’s best to give to a uniformed collector. The best times to visit the ghat are early morning or just before dusk. Visit India.  

Visit India, Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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