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Haridwar

Propitiously located at the point where the Ganges River emerges from the Himalaya, Haridwar (also called Hardwar) is Uttarakhand’s holiest Hindu city, and pilgrims arrive here in droves to bathe in the fast-flowing Ganges. The sheer number of people gathering around Har-ki-Pairi Ghat give Haridwar a reverent feel. Within the religious hierarchy of India, Haridwar is much more significant than Rishikesh, an hour further north, and every evening the river comes alive with flickering flames as floating offerings are released on to the Ganges. It's especially busy during the yatra (pilgrimage) season from May to October, in particular during July, when hundreds of thousands of Shiva devotees, known as Kanwarias, descend upon the city.

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