Har ki Pauri of Haridwar means feet of Narayan


Har ki Pauri or Har ki Pauri located in Haridwar is a holy and most important religious place of Haridwar, a religious city in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Its meaning is “Hari i.e. feet of Narayan”.

According to Hindu religious beliefs, after churning the ocean, when Dhanvantari was taking nectar from the demons fighting for nectar, a few drops of nectar fell on the earth and those places became places of religious importance. The drops of nectar also fell in Haridwar and the place where they fell was Har Ki Pauri. Taking a bath here is the most ardent desire of every devotee who comes to Haridwar because it is believed that bathing here leads to salvation.

Har Ki Pauri or Brahmakund is the main ghat of the holy city of Haridwar. It is believed that this is the place from where the river Ganges leaves the mountains and takes the direction of the plains. The river at this place has amazing power to wash away sins and here the footprints of Srihari in a stone support this point. This ghat is on the western bank of the canal of river Ganges from where the river turns towards north.

It was built by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari.
King Vikramaditya is said to have built it in the 1st century BCE in memory of his brother Bhartrihari, who had come here to meditate on the banks of the Ganges. Har Ki Pauri, where the evening Ganga Aarti takes place and is considered as the most sacred. It is believed to be the place where drops of nectar used to fall from the sky.

Every day hundreds of people take a dip in the waters of the Ganges at Har Ki Pauri Ghat. This place is considered very auspicious. The Ghats have undergone major expansion and renovation in the last few years as the subsequent Kumbh Melas have become overcrowded. Many temples are built on stairs, most of which date back to the late 19th century. The ghats here were expanded in 1938 (by Hargyan Singh Katara, a zamindar from Agra in Uttar Pradesh) and again in 1986.

Every evening there is Ganga Aarti
Here every evening at sunset, the priests of Har Ki Pauri perform Ganga Aarti as per an age-old tradition. Where lights are placed on the water to flow downwards. A large number of people gather on both the banks of river Ganges to sing the praises of Ganga Aarti.

At that time the priests hold large fire bowls in their hands, ring bells in the temples on the ghat and chants are performed by the priests. People light diyas (made of leaves and flowers) in the river Ganges as a symbol of hope and wish. At that time the water flowing downstream of the river is completely bathed in light and the priests engage in rituals.

However, in some special cases such as on the occurrence of an eclipse, the timing of Ganga Aarti is changed accordingly.