Umaid Bhawan JODHPUR North India 6 Logo Northindia (1)
Back to Listing

Haridwar

Haridwar, which translates as “The Gates of God”, is an ancient holy city in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. Set on the banks of the River Ganges, it is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus and a fantastically engaging destination. With its Himalayan foothills location, it is scenically beautiful as well as culturally rich and we recommend dipping your toes in for a few days to explore the ghats and immerse yourself in Haridwar’s intensely spiritual culture and colourful bustling streets.

Though it is firmly on the pilgrimage tourism route, it is not on the itinerary of most tourists to India and it is still a fairly offbeat destination. Haridwar can be reached by train from Delhi and it less than an hour’s drive south of Rishikesh, another spiritual centre on the Ganges which attracts many pilgrims, gurus and yogis who have set up ashrams here. If you seek some pampering after visiting Haridwar, then the luxury mountain spa resort of Ananda in The Himalayas is a short drive away.

Haridwar’s focal point is the Har Ki Pauri, which is the largest of several sacred ghats in the city and literally translates as “steps of the Lord”. Here you will see an enormously atmospheric nightly ceremony called the Ganga Aarti where worshippers and priests gather to set thousands of tiny flickering lamps afloat along the river as an offering to the Goddess Ganga as they chant, sing and burn incense. Legend says that a stone wall at Har Ki Pauri bears the footprint of Lord Vishnu and that a drop of nectar fell here from a pot carried by the celestial bird Garuda when the world was created.

The city plays host to many major religious festivals, at which time Haridwar is completely flooded by worshippers and best avoided if you are not keen on chaotic and crowded scenes. The largest annual festival is the Kanwar Mela in July when hundreds of thousands of Shiva devotees descend upon the city. Every twelve years the Kumbh Mela draws millions of worshippers and holy men to the world’s largest religious gathering, which is held at one of four sacred places in India, including Haridwar. Every few years there are smaller celebrations called the Ardh Mela, which have more reasonable crowds (still a few million people!) and are attended by sadhus and roaming Hindu ascetics who descend on this sacred part of Ganges to bathe.

Haridwar North India Haridwar North India
Haveli Hari Ganga Haridwar North India Haveli Hari Ganga Haridwar North India
Travelling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India

From our Instagram

#SriLanka has just been awarded the title of #WorldsBestIsland by @travelandleisure 🇱🇰
.
We couldn’t be happier that this spirited country is getting the recognition it deserves!
.
Travel with us to get under the skin of this spectacular country 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Perched up high in the Himalayan Kingdom, the new #SixSenses lodges sit in prime positions in #Bhutan
.
Our favourites are the sleek properties in #Paro and #Thimphu, for these offer phenomenal sweeping views over the pristine valleys below to the mountains beyond, which sit perfectly at eye-level
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
From mid May to mid October, The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s wonderful #ChambaCamp in #Thiksey (#Ladakh) will be open! 🏞
.
Our specialists stayed at this one-of-a-kind luxury tented camp last year and adored it - we guarantee that you will too 🏕
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
.
Discover a kaleidoscope of baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts, tropical beaches, intoxicating spices and the warmth of #SouthIndia ⛪️☀️🌶
.
#AmpersandTravel 
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Please vote for us!✨
*Link in Bio*
.
For the top Tour Operators & Specialists in the  #CondéNastTraveler #ReadersChoiceAwards #2019
.
Only 5 Days left!
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Cascading rice terraces greet you in #Ubud 🍃🍃🍃
.
Balinese women make daily offerings of vibrant flowers and fruit to the gods 🍊🍐🍌🍎🌺💐
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Spot mighty lions in #SouthAfrica’s game reserves with the help of our expert guides 🐾 🇿🇦
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience #KrugerNationalPark #SabiSands #Madikwe
.
(📸 @chris_fischer_photography)
Sunsets at the @gallefacehotel are the best welcome to #Colombo, especially when watching their flag ceremony from the iconic checkerboard terrace with a G&T in hand 🌅
.
We also love the wonderful @maniumpathy_boutique_hotel, which is truly an oasis of tranquility within this city 🌿
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Glide down #ThePerfumeRiver to experience #Hue’s scenery, passing mausoleums as you go 🍃🌿
.
📸 Beautifully captured by @soaipham
.
#Vietnam #AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences