Since the days when the Beatles first introduced the world to Transcendental Meditation developed by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, tourists from around the globe have flocked to India for high holy days. Not all are of the Hindu persuasion, yet there is something compelling about the sights and sounds of pilgrims bathing in the Ganges and sending their burning offerings floating down the river. No, you don’t have to be Hindu to enjoy holy days in Haridwar, but you can certainly enjoy the festivities on your trip to this holiest Hindu city in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Book Early If Traveling Between May and October
If you are looking to book hotels in Haridwar, you should make your reservations early if traveling to the Uttarakhand region between May and October. In the Hindu tradition, this is the time of yatra, literally pilgrimage, in which millions of devotees of Shiva, Kanwarias, descend on the city to pay homage. Even having said that, this is the time you may truly want to visit Haridwar simply because of the authenticity of the season. If you want to truly experience Indian culture and traditions, July is the most sacred of months.
There Are Holy Days Almost Every Month of the Year
Unfortunately, not everyone can travel exactly when they want because employers aren’t always able to give time off as requested. Don’t worry, however, as there are holy days throughout the entire year and so you can plan a vacation at another time. If you are interested in which holy days you’d like to experience in Haridwar, you can check out a calendar of holy days online.
Of import is the fact that the calendar doesn’t show any holy days in the month of June. If you aren’t interested in seeing the throngs of pilgrims descend about the holy city, then June just may be your best month to visit Haridwar. There are still many, many temples to explore in this city with a population just shy of 2 million inhabitants.
Traveling to Haridwar in October and November
If the yatra season isn’t a good time to travel to Haridwar, you may be interested in visiting the city during Diwali, the season of the Festival of Lights. Although there is much to see and do during this holy season, the one thing most travelers like best is the assortment of Indian festival foods which are specially prepared to honor the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi.
You don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy every morsel but the one thing which is always best would be to eat away from the tourist traps. Stray further afield to some of the restaurants where the locals eat and always sample as much street food as you possibly can. This is the real India, the real cuisine, and something you’ll always remember. There is nothing about Haridwar which isn’t colorful, and food seems to top the list. Everything is brightly lit during festivals, but the foods you enjoy are the brightest of all.