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Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India


Haridwar (or Hardwar) lies along the Ganges at the boundary between the Indo-Gangetic Plain and the Himalayan foothills and is the site of the headworks of the Ganges Canal system. Haridwar is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and a major pilgrimage centre. It has had many names; originally it was called Kapila, for the sage who once lived there. Its present name means "door to Hari," one of the names of Vishnu, a principal deity of Hinduism. Haridwar's chief object of pilgrimage is Har-ki-Pauri, the bathing ghat, or steps, along the river. It has what believers consider to be a footprint of Vishnu impressed into a stone. Large numbers of pilgrims gather there annually at the beginning of the Hindu solar year in April; a Kumbh Mela is held every 12th year. The pictures below are from a relatively minor Hindu festival on 6th June, 2006 (06/06/06). [Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica.]


Har-ki-Pauri


Festival day (06/06/06)


Bathers from far and wide


The bathing ghats


Open air bathing


Riverside rituals


Family puja


Putting on dry clothes


Protesting kid


Tribal woman


Singing old man


Stepping down to the river


Riverside fun


Frolicking in water (more)


The gushing Ganges


Clock tower area (more)


Three women


Riverside puja


Ritual offering


Dressing up


Fighting siblings


Amigos (more)


All dressed up


Lady in red


Big turnout


The ghats and beyond


Bathing pilgrims


View from a bridge


Ghat scene


Photographer (more)


Waiting for the aarti


Bead shop (more)


Drying off


Albino with open sores


Tribal woman (more)


Bent old woman


Ghat scene


Wrinkled woman


Ecstatic old woman with son


Reading the scriptures


Bathers (more)


Bathing sadhu


Pilgrim on the ghat


Ritual offering


Open air kitchens


Camps by the river (more)


Makeshift shrine


Naga sadhus


Worried?


Giant vat of milk


Pickles (more)


Heap of kum-kum (sindoor)


Praying sadhu


Ritual offering to the Ganga


Father and children


Father and son


Another ghat (more)


Loaded rickshaw


Outside Haridwar train station


Holiday rush hour
Station road

Pilgrims returning home after a day at the ghats on Ganga Dussehra
       

 

 

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