Location: Bilwa Parvat, Haridwar (Uttarakhand)
Famous For: One of the major Siddhapeeths in India
Situated atop the Bilwa Parvat, on Shivalik Hills, Mansa Devi is approximately 2.5 km from the main township of Haridwar. One of the most visited temples in North India, the temple is known for being the holy abode of Goddess Mansa, the wife of Nag Vasuki and the brainchild of Saint Kashyap. The main temple has two idols of the presiding deity – Mansa Devi, one with three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms. Continue reading “Mansa Devi Temple” »
Location: In Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Famous For: Being the point where the Ganges enters plains
One of the most famous and most visited sites of Haridwar, Har ki Pauri is considered as one of its five main holy sites. It is believed to be the sacred place where Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, two great Hindu Gods, appeared in the Vedic era. This place is considered equivalent to the Dashashwamedh Ghat in Banaras, in religious terms. It is also said that Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation, performed a yagna at the Har ki Pauri. The ghat is also said to have the holy footprints of Lord Vishnu. Continue reading “Har Ki Pauri” »
People visit Haridwar to forget all their worldly desires, anxieties and ‘unholy’ things connected with their lives. Haridwar has the ‘Panch Teerth’ mentioned in the Puranas located within the district mainly known as Gangadwara (Har-ki-Pauri), Kushwart Ghat, Kankhal, Bilwa Teerth (Mansa Devi) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi). Read the list ahead to know more about the attractions in Haridwar. Continue reading “Attractions in Haridwar” »
Other Names: Impeyan Pheasant, Impeyan Monal
Range: The Himalayas, from eastern Afghanistan to western China
Subspecies: None recognized at this time, but current studies may place birds in northwestern India has a new subspecies as they lack the white rump and have more green on breast.
Habitat: Mountainous regions; in summer, they are found in rocky, grass covered meadows and winters in coniferous and mixed forests.
Continue reading “Monal Bird” »
The state animal of Uttarakhand is Musk Deer, also known as ‘Kasturi Mrig’.
It is said that Musk Deer, the state animal of Uttarakhand, is the most primitive among the deer family. It is believed to be even more primitive than the ‘true deer’ belonging to the family Cervidae. The state animal of Uttarakhand belongs to the genus ‘Moschus’: it is only genus of family ‘Moschidae’. Continue reading “Musk Deer” »
A festival not only gives a welcome break but also adds colors to our life. Basant Panchami is the festival celebrating spring season which comes accompanied by a huge variety of flowers presenting a riot of colors to the environment. Basant Panchami is also referred to as Sripanchami. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped all over India on the occasion of Basant Panchami. Continue reading “Basant Panchami” »
The people of Uttarakhand have great enthusiasm for their festivals. Harela is curiously a Kumauni festival celebrated to mark the beginning of the rainy season or the monsoon. The celebration falls on the first day of Shrawan and ten days before the due date kernels of either five or seven kinds of grains are mixed together and sown in clay pots inside a room, using tiny baskets filled with fertile soil. This ceremonious sowing is done either by the head of the family or the family priest. Holy water is sprinkled on every family member after the worship is over for peace.
The grains which germinate symbolize the bountiful future harvest of a farmer. The connotation of Harela lies in the fact that it offers an occasion to the farmer to test the qualities or defects of the seeds he has in his store. The festival becomes an occasion to give token monetary allowances or pocket money to the young girls of the family. The tender green shoots (hence called Harela) that germinate are cut off on the tenth day and people put them on their heads and behind their ears.
Bhaitauli, on the other hand, falls in the month of Chaitra of Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the first day of Saavan with lots of pomp and splendor everywhere. On this day the fathers (and after their demise, the brothers) visit the conjugal home of their sisters with lots of gifts. It is basically to see if their sisters are happy and content there or not. The religious rites and rituals during this festival are feted with much admiration.
Ganga Dusshera is celebrated in Uttarakhand with lot of enthusiasm. This festival starts on the tenth day of Jaishtha (May-June) according to the Hindu calendar. It begins on the Amavasya night (dark moon night) and continues till Dashami tithi or the tenth phase of the moon. The ‘Aarti’ is held in Haridwar and thousands of people attend it. Continue reading “Ganga Dussehra” »
Sankranti or Sankrant is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to move’ and usually symbolizes a harvest festival not only in India but in many South-East Asian countries as well. Makar Sankranti is one of the major festivals of the Indian subcontinent. The festival usually falls in the middle of January, generally on / around the 14th of the month. Continue reading “Makar Sankranti” »
The land of Uttarakhand is known for numerous fairs and festivals. All the festivals celebrated here have an immense deal of ceremonial grace and magnificence. Both the festivals of Phool Dei and Olgia/ Ghee Sankranti have a relation with nature and people pray for abundant crops and general well being of their families. People sing, dance and prepare special ceremonial dishes to please gods and their palates. Continue reading “Phool Dei” »