Haridwar itself has a lot of history and religious significance. Haridwar is the true representation of nature, Indian civilisation, and religion coming together in perfect harmony. ‘Haridwar’ means ‘the Gateway to Gods’. The followers of Lord Vishnu, often referred to the town as ‘Haridwar’ whereas the followers of Lord Shiva refer to the town as ‘Hardwar’ as told by some. It is also known as Mayapuri, Kapila, Gangadwar as well.
Haridwar is the home to Char Dham Yatra which includes making pilgrimage to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath, along with that Haridwar is considered the entry point to Dev Bhoomi.
The meaning of the term ‘Hari/Har ki Pauri’ is ‘Hari/Har’ translates to Lord Vishnu/ Lord Shiva, ‘ki’ means ‘of’, and ‘Pauri’ means ‘steps’.
It is believed that in vedic times Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu visited the Brahmakund in Hari ki Pauri, the ghat got its name from the footprint of Lord Vishnu, the imprints of which are found on one of the stones of the ghat.
It is also here that the holy Ganga Aarti takes place, pilgrims and devotees can visit the ghat when the aarti is taking place. The ghat is right by the banks of the River Ganga which means it plays a huge part even during the Kumbh Mela. Hari ki Pauri is amongst the most important landmarks of Haridwar. During the Kumbh Mela, the ghat is where devotees and pilgrims come to take a dip.
It is widely believed that during the Vedic times, the Devtas (gods) and Asuras (demons) fought over possession for Amrit (Elixer of immortality), drops of the Elixir fell into the Brahmakund of Hari ki Pauri, therefore it is considered very holy to dip in the brahmakund on the auspicious occasion of Kumbh Mela or Ardh Kumbh Mela when Jupiter (brahaspati) comes into sign Aquarius (kumbh) once every twelve years at the Maha Kumbh Mela. This year it is falling in Haridwar.