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Aerial view of Haridwar
Location of Haridwar
in Uttarakhand and India
Coordinates 29°58′N 78°10′E / 29.96°N 78.16°E / 29.96; 78.16
Country  India
State Uttarakhand
District(s) Haridwar
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
2,360 km2 (911 sq mi)
249.7 m (819 ft)
Website haridwar.nic.in

Haridwar (also spelled Hardwar, in Hindi: हरिद्वार भारत) About this sound pronunciation ) is a holy city and municipal board in the Haridwar District of Uttarakhand, India. In Hindi, Haridwar stands for Dwar of Hari or Gateway to God, 'Hari' meaning god and 'dwar' meaning gate.[4][5] Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus.

After travelling 253 km (157 mi) from its source at Gaumukh, 3,139 m (10,300 ft) above sea level, at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, Ganga enters the Indo-Gangetic Plain of North India for the first time at Haridwar,[6] and this is what gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwára (गंगाद्वार), the place where the Ganges descends to the plains.[7]

According to Hindu scriptures, Haridwar is one among the four sites where drops of the elixir of immortality, Amrit, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher, in which it was being carried away by the celestial bird Garuda, after the Samudra manthan.[5] These four spots – Ujjain, Haridwar, Nasik, and Allahabad – have today become places, where the Kumbha Mela is celebrated once every 3 years in any of these 4 places and after a period of 12 years, the Maha Kumbha Mela is celebrated on the 12th year at Prayag in Allahabad. Millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate here from all over the world to celebrate the event. They perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganga.

The spot where the Amrit fell is considered to be the Brahma Kund at Har ki Pauri (literally, "footsteps of the Lord,"), the most sacred ghat of Haridwar; thousands of devotees and pilgrims flock here during festivals or snan from all over India to take a holy dip. This act is considered to be the equivalent of washing away one's sins to attain Moksha.

The Haridwar district came into existence on 28 December 1988 as part of Saharanpur Divisional Commissionary,[1] On September 24, 1998 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed the 'Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Bill', 1998' [8], eventually the Parliament also passed the Indian Federal Legislation - 'Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000', and thus on 9 November 2000,[9] Haridwar became part of the newly formed Uttarakhand (then Uttaranchal), the 27th state in the Republic of India.

Today, it is developing beyond its religious importance, as a major industrial destination of state, with the fast developing Industrial Estate of State Infrastructure & Industrial Development Corporation, SIDCUL,[10] and the close by township of BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) and its affiliated ancillaries.


Haridwar in history and today

Prince Bhagirath in penance for the salvation of 60,000 of his ancestors.
Gangadhara, Shiva bearing the Descent of the Ganges River as Parvati and Bhagiratha, and the bull Nandi look on. circa 1740
Evening prayers at Har-ki-pauri in Haridwar
Head of Ganges Canal, Haridwar, ca 1894-1898.
Haridwar from opposite bank of the Ganges, 1866

A paradise for nature lovers, Haridwar presents a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and civilization. In the scriptures it has been variously mentioned as Kapilsthan, Gangadwar[11] and Mayapuri.[12] It is also an entry point to the Char Dham (the four main centers of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand viz, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), hence, Shaivaites (followers of Lord Shiva) and Vaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu) call this place Hardwar and Haridwar respectively, corresponding to Har being Shiv and Hari being Vishnu.[11][13][14]

"O Yudhishthira, the spot where Ganga rusheth past, cleaving the foremost of mountains which is frequented by Gandharvas and Yakshas and Rakshasas and Apsaras, and inhabited by hunters, and Kinnaras, is called Gangadwara (Haridwar). O King, Sanatkumara regardeth that spot visited by Brahmarshis, as also the Tirtha Kanakhala (that is near to it), as sacred.
-- The Mahabharata, Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva: Section XC. [15]

In the Vanaparva of the Mahabharat, where sage Dhaumya tells Yudhisthira about the tirthas of India, Gangadwar, i.e., Haridwar and Kankhal, have been referred to[16], the text also mentions that Agastya Rishi did penance here, with the help of his wife, Lopamudra (the princess of Vidharba) [17].

Sage Kapila is said to have an ashram here giving it, its ancient name, Kapila or Kapilastan.[13]

The legendary King, Bhagirath, the great-grandson of the Suryavanshi King Sagar (an ancestor of Rama),[18] is said to have brought the river Ganga down from heaven, through years of penance in Satya Yuga, for the salvation of 60,000 of his ancestors from the curse of the saint Kapila,[19][20] a tradition continued by thousands of devout Hindus, who brings the ashes of their departed family members, in hope of their salvation.[21] Lord Vishnu is said to have left his footprint on the stone that is set in the upper wall of Har-Ki-Pauri, where the Holy Ganga touches it at all times.

Haridwar came under the rule of the Maurya Empire (322–185 BCE), and later under the Kushan Empire (c. 1st–3rd centuries). Archaeological findings have proved that terra cotta culture dating between 1700 BCE and 1200 BCE existed in this region.[14] First modern era written evidence of Haridwar is found in the accounts of a Chinese traveller, Huan Tsang, who visited India in 629 AD.[22] during the reign of King Harshavardhan (590–647) records Haridwar as 'Mo-yu-lo', the remains of which still exist at Mayapur, a little to the south of the modern town. Among the ruins are a fort and three temples, decorated with broken stone sculptures,[13][23][24] he also mentions the presence of a temple, north of Mo-yu-lo called 'Gangadwara', Gateway of the Ganga.[13]

The city was also invaded by Timur Lang (1336–1405), a Turkish invader on January 13, 1399.[25]

During his visit to Haridwar, first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak (1469–1539) bathed at 'Kushwan Ghat', wherein the famous, 'watering the crops' episode took place [26][27], his visit is today commemorated by a gurudwara (Gurudwara Nanakwara), according to two Sikh Janamsakhis, this visit took place on the Baisakhi day in 1504 AD, he later also visited Kankhal enroute to Kotdwara in Garhwal.[28] .Pandas of the Haridwar have been known to keep genealogy records of most of the Hindu population. Known as vahis, these records are updated on each visit to the city, and are a repository of vast family trees of family in North India.[28]

Ain-e-Akbari, written by Abul Fazal in the 16th century during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, refers to it as Maya (Mayapur), known as Hardwar on the Ganges”, as seven sacred cities of Hindus. It further mentions it is eighteen kos (each approx. 2 km) in length, and large numbers of pilgrims assemble on the 10th of Chaitra.[29] It also mentions that during his travels and also while at home, Mughal Emperor, Akbar drank water from the Ganga river, which he called ‘the water of immortality’. Special people were stationed at Sorun and later Haridwar to dispatch water, in sealed jars, to wherever he was stationed[30]

During the Mughal period, there was mint for Akbar's copper coinage at Haridwar[31][32].[33][34] It is said that Raja Man Singh of Amber, laid that foundation of the present day city of Haridwar and also renovated the ghats at Har-ki-pauri. After his death, his ashes are also said to have been immersed at Brahma Kund by Mughal emperor Akbar himself. Thomas Coryat, an English traveller, who visited the city in the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1596–1627) mentions it as 'Haridwara', the capital of Shiva.[13]

Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as it weaves through the life and time stretching from the period of the Buddha, to the more recent British advent. Haridwar has a rich and ancient religious and cultural heritage. It still has many old havelis and mansions bearing exquisite murals and intricate stonework.

One of the two major dams on the river Ganga, the ‘Bhimgoda Dam’, is situated here. Built in 1840s, to divert the waters of Ganga, to the ‘Upper Ganges Canal’ which irrigated the surrounding lands. Though this caused severe deterioration to the Ganga water flow, and is a major cause for the decay of Ganga as an inland waterway, which till 18th century was used heavily by the ships of the East India Company, and a town as high up as Tehri, was considered a port city[6][35] The headworks of the Ganga Canal system are located in Haridwar. The Upper Ganga Canal was opened in 1854 after the work began in April 1842,[36] prompted by the famine of 1837-38.[36] The unique feature of the canal is the half-kilometre-long aqueduct over Solani river at Roorkee, which raises the canal 25 metres above the original river.

Haridwar as a part of the United Province, 1903

'Haridwar Union Municipality' was constituted in 1868, which included the then villages of Mayapur and Kankhal. Haridwar was first connected with railways, via Laksar, through branch line in 1886, when the Awadh and Rohilakhand Railway line was extended through Roorkee to Saharanpur, this was later extended to Dehradun in 1900.[37]

In 1901, it had a population of 25,597 and was a part of the Roorkee tehsil, in Saharanpur district of the United Province,[13] and remained so till the creation of Uttar Pradesh in 1947.[38]

Haridwar has been an abode of the weary in body, mind and spirit. It has also been a centre of attraction for learning various arts, science, and culture. The city has a long-standing position as a great source of Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies and is home to the unique Gurukul (school of traditional education), including the Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, which has a vast campus, and has been providing traditional education of its own kind, since 1902. Development of Haridwar took an upturn in the 1960s, with the setting up of a temple of modern civilization, BHEL, a 'Navratna PSU' in 1962, which brought along not just a its own township of BHEL, Ranipur, close to the existing Ranipur village, but also a set of ancillaries in the region. The University of Roorkee, now IIT Roorkee, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutes of learning in the fields of science and engineering.

Administrative background

The Haridwar district is ringed by Saharanpur in the west, Dehradun in the north and east, Pauri Garhwal in the east, Roorkee, Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor in the south. Prior to its inclusion in the newly created state of Uttarakhand in 2000, this district was a part of Saharanpur Divisional Commissionary.

The district has a single Parliament Constituency, and 9 Uttarakhand State Legislative Assembly constituencies including, Bhaghwanpur, Roorkee, Iqbalpur, Manglaur, Landhaura, Laksar, Bhadhrabad, Haridwar, and Laldang.[39]

The district is administratively subdivided into three tehsils: Haridwar, Roorkee, and Laksar. It is further divided into six development blocks: Bhagwanpur, Roorkee, Narsan, Bahadrabad, Laksar, and Khanpur.[1][40] Current Member of Parliament (MP) from Haridwar (Lok Sabha constituency) is 'Harish Rawat', and Member of Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly from Haridwar city is 'Madan Kaushik'.[39][41]

The district headquarters is situated in the Roshnabad, at a distance of about 12 km from Haridwar railway station. The office of Chief Development Officer is located in Vikas Bhawan, Roshnabad. The Collectorate, Vikas Bhawan, District Judiciary, S.S.P. Office, Police line, District Jail, District sports stadium, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya etc. are the prime establishments of this area. Many other administration offices like Lok Sewa Ayog and Sanskrit Academy are established here.


Neel Dhara Bird Santuary at the main Ganga Canal, before Bhimgoda barrage, also showing signs of an ancient port.

Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the plains. The water in the river Ganges is mostly clear and generally cold, except in the rainy season, during which soil from the upper regions flows down into it.

The river Ganga flows in a series of channels separated from each other called aits, most of which are well wooded. Other minor seasonal streams are Ranipur Rao, Pathri Rao, Rawii Rao, Harnaui Rao, Begam Nadi etc.[42] A large part of the district is forested, and Rajaji National Park is within the bounds of the district, making it an ideal destination for wildlife and adventure lovers. Rajaji is accessible through different gates; the Ramgarh Gate and Mohand Gate are within 25 km of Dehradun, while the Motichur, Ranipur and Chilla Gates are just about 9 km from Haridwar. Kunao Gate is 6 km from Rishikesh, and Laldhang gate is 25 km from Kotdwara.

Haridwar district, covering an area of about 2360 km², is in the southwestern part of Uttarakhand state of India. Its latitude and longitude are 29.96 degree north and 78.16 degree east respectively.[2][43]

Haridwar is situated at height of 249.7 metres from the sea level,[1] between Shivalik Hills in the North and Northeast and Ganga River in the South.[42]

Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar

Main bathing Ghat, at Haridwar, in 1880s.

Something that is not well known today to Indians and to those settled abroad, in an ancient custom detailed family genealogies of Hindu families for the past several generations are kept by professional Hindu Brahmin Pandits, popularly known as Pandas, at the Hindu holy city of Haridwar in hand written registers passed down to them over generations by their Pandit ancestors which are classified according to original districts and villages of ones ancestors, with special designated Pandit families being in charge of designated district registers, even for cases where ancestral districts and villages that have been left behind in Pakistan after Partition of India with Hindus having to migrate to India. In several cases present day decedents are now Sikhs and many maybe Muslims or even Christians. It is not uncommon for one to find details of up to, or even more than, ones seven past generations in these genealogy registers kept by the Pandas of Haridwar.

For centuries when Hindu ancestors visited the holy town of Haridwar for any purpose which may have mostly been for pilgrimage purposes or/and for cremation of their dead or for immersion of ashes and bones of their kin after cremation into the waters of the holy river Ganga as required by Hindu religious custom, it has been an ancient custom to go to the Pandit who is in charge of ones family register and update the family's genealogical family tree with details of all marriages, births and deaths from ones extended joint family.

In present day India people visiting Haridwar are dumbfounded when Pundits out of the blue solicit them to come and update their very own ancestral genealogical family tree, news travels like wildfire among the Pandits with ones family's designated Pandit being quickly notified of ones visit. Nowadays with Hindu joint family system having broken down with people preferring more nuclear families, record keeping Pandits prefer visitors to Haridwar to come prepared after getting in touch with all of ones extended family and bringing all relevant details regarding ones ancestral district and village, names of grand parents and great grand parents and marriages, births and deaths that have occurred in the extended family, even with as much details as possible of the families married into. A visiting family member is required to personally sign the family genealogical register furnished by ones Family Panda after updating it for future family visitors and generations to see and to authenticate the updated entries, friends and other family members accompanying on the visit may also be requested to sign as witnesses.



  • Summers: 15 °C - 39.8°C
  • Winters: 6°C - 16.6°C[44]


As of 2001 India census,[45] Haridwar district had a population of 295,213. Males constitute 54% of the population and females, 46%. Hardwar has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 75%, and female literacy is 64%. In Hardwar, 12% of the population is under six years of age.

Places of interest

The Clock Tower on the Malviya Dwipa at Har-ki-Pauri.
View of the 'Evening Aarti' at Har-ki-Pauri
Ropeway to Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar.

In Hindu traditions, the 'Panch Tirth' (Five Pilgrimages) within Haridwar, are Gangadwara (Har ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat in Kankhal), Bilwa Teerth (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi Temple).[46][47]


Har ki Pauri

This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya (1st century BC) in memory of his brother Bhrithari. It is believed that Bhrithari came to Haridwar and meditated on the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name, which later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri. The most sacred ghat within Har-ki-Pauri is Brahmakund. The evening prayer at dusk (Aarti) offered to Goddess Ganga at Har-Ki-Pauri (steps of God Hara or Shiva) is an enchanting experience for any visitor. A spectacle of sound and colour is seen when, after the ceremony, pilgrims float diyas (floral floats with lamps) and incense on the river, commemorating their deceased ancestors. Thousands of people from all round the world do make a point to attend this prayer on their visit to haridwar. A majority of present ghats were largely developed in the 1800s.[48]

Chandi Devi Temple

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, who sits atop the 'Neel Parvat' on the eastern bank of river Ganga. It was constructed in 1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir, Suchat Singh. Skanda Purana mentions a legend, in which Chanda-Munda, the Army Chief of a local Demon Kings Shumbh and Nishumbha were killed by goddess Chandi here, after which the place got the name Chandi Devi.[49] It is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankracharya in 8th century A.D. The temple is a 3 km trek from Chandighat and can also be reached through a ropeway.

Mansa Devi Temple

Situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat, the temple of Goddess Mansa Devi, literally meaning the Goddess who fulfills desires (Mansa), is a popular tourist destination, especially because of the cable cars, which offer a picturesque view of the entire city. The main temple houses two idols of the Goddess, one with three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms.[50]

Maya Devi Temple

Dating to the 11th century, this ancient temple of Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar,[51] is considered one of the Siddhapethas and is said to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen. It is one of few ancient temples still standing in Haridwar, along with Narayani Shila temple and Bhairav Temple.[52]

Daksheswara Mahadev Temple

The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev also known as Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, is situated in the south Kankhal town. According to Hindu texts, King Daksha Prajapati, father of Dakshayani (Sati), Lord Shiva's first wife, performed a yagna, to which he deliberately did not invite Lord Shiva. When he arrived uninvited, he was further insulted by the king, seeing which Sati felt infuriated and self-immolated herself in the yagna kund.

King Daksha was later killed by the demon Virabhadra, born out of Shiva's anger. Later the king was brought to life and given a goat's head by Shiva. Daksha Mahadev temple is a tribute to this legend.

Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

This Bird Sanctuary is situated on the main Ganga river, or Neel Dhara, at the Bhimgoda barrage, it is a paradise for bird watchers and home to many migratory birds during the winter season.[53]

Sati Kund

Sati Kund, another well-known mythological heritage worth a visit is situated in the Kankhal. Legend has it that Sati immolated herself in this kund.

Bhimgoda Tank

This tank is situated at a distance of about 1 km from Har ki Pauri. It is said that while Pandavas were going to Himalayas through Haridwar, prince Bhima drew water from the rocks here by thrusting his knee, or goda, to the very ground.

Jairam Ashram

Famous for its diorama exhibition, and a massive white statue depicting the famous Samudra manthan episode, a must-see for any visitor.

Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar

A picturesque place near Haridwar, where seven great sages or Saptarishis, namely Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja and Gautam, said to have meditated. Ganga split herself into seven currents at this place so that the Rishis would not be disturbed by the flow.

Parad Shivling

Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Shivling weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are the main attractions here.

Ramanand Ashram

Situated in shravan nath nagar of the town near railway station, this is the main ashram of Ramanand Sampraday in Haridwar. Mahant Bhagwan Das is the chief of this ashram.

Ram Mandir

This mandir is under construction near Saptarishi marge, at Bhupatwala. Mandir is being constructed by Swami Ramanandacharya Smarak Seva Nyays headed by Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Ramnareshacharya of Sri math, Panchganga Ghat, Varanasi. This Ram temple would be biggest in India.

Doodhadhari Barfani Temple

Part of the ashram of Doodhadhari Barfani Baba, this temple complex in white marble is one of most beautiful temples in Haridwar, especially the temples of Ram-Sita and Hanuman.

Sureshvari Devi Temple

Temple of Goddess Sureshwari, situated in midst of beautiful Rajaji National Park. Serene and religious makes this temple abode of worshipers, saints etc. Located at outskirts of Haridwar in Ranipur and permission from forest rangers is necessary.

Paavan Dham

A modern temple, made entirely of glass pieces, and now a popular tourist destination.

Bharat Mata Mandir

A multi-storey temple, dedicated to Bharat Mata, Mother India, with each floor depicting an era in the Indian History, from the days of Ramayan till India's independence.

Anandamayi Maa Ashram

Situated in Kankhal, one of five sub-cities of Haridwar, the ashram houses the samadhi shrine of Sri Anandamoyi Ma (1896–1982), a noted saint of India.

Piran Kaliyar

Built by Ibrahim Lodhi, a ruler of Delhi,[54] this 'Dargah' of Hazrat Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari, a 13th century, Sufi Saint of Chishti Order (also known as Sarkar Sabir Pak), in Kaliyar village, 7 km. from Roorkee,[55][56] is a living example of religious harmony in India, visited by devotees from all over the world, during the annual 'Urs' festival, which is celebrated from 1 st day of sighting the moon to 16th day of Rabeeull month Islamic calendar.

There are several other temples in and around the city. Also it is important to know that neither alcohol nor non-vegetarian food is permitted in Haridwar.

Educational institutions

Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee - 30 km.

Former Roorkee Engineering College, is one of the premier institute of India providing Higher Education. Boasts of large and beautiful campus situated in Roorkee, half hour drive from Haridwar.

College of Engineering Roorkee (COER) - 14 km.

A private Engineering College situated on NH-58, between Haridwar and Roorkee.

Gurukul Kangri University - 4 km.

Situated in Kankhal, on the banks of river Ganga, on Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road, Gurukul Kangri is one of the oldest Universities of India, it was founded in 1902 by Swami Shraddhananda (1856–1926), according to the tenets of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj. It has also been visited by British Trade Union leader Charles Freer Andrews and British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald,[57] to study the unique Gurukul based education system. Here Ancient Vedic and Sanskrit literature, Ayurveda, Philosophy are part of the curriculum besides Modern Sciences and Journalism. Its 'Archaeological Museum', (estb. 1945)[58] houses some rare statues, coins, paintings, manuscripts and artefacts, starting from Harappa culture (c.2500-1500 BC).[59] Mahatma Gandhi visited the campus three times,[57] and stayed in its sprawling and serene campus for extended periods of time, most notably during the 1915 Kumbh mela,[60] followed by a visit in 1916, when on 20 March, he spoke at Gurukul Anniversary.[61]

Chinmaya Degree College

Situated in Shivalik Nagar, 10 km from Haridwar city. one of the science colleges in Haridwar.

Vishwa Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya

Sanskrit University, Haridwar set up by Govt. of Uttarakhand [62] is the only university in World dedicated to studies of ancient Sanskrit scriptures, books. Also has curriculum covering ancient Hindu rituals, culture and tradition, and boasts of a building inspired by ancient Hindu architecture style.

St. Mary's Senior Secondary School

St. Mary's School, located in Jwalapur, encourages students continually to strive after excellence in every field and instills in them a keen civic and social sense.

Delhi Public School, Ranipur

One of the premier educational institutes in the region and part of worldwide Delhi Public School Family. Known for excellent academic achievements and sports and extracurricular activities along with best facilities, labs and environment provided.

D.A.V Centenary Public School

DAV School in Jagjeetpur Area not only provide education but also provide moral to its students, so that each one can light up every corner of the world.

Kendriya Vidyalaya, B.H.E.L.

Kendriya Vidyalaya, B.H.E.L., a premier educational institute in Hardwar, was established on 7 July 1975. Affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, the school has more than 2000 students on roll from pre-primary to senior secondary (class XII).

Pannalal Bhalla Municipal Inter College

One of the Oldest Inter College situated in the heart of the city.

Govt Ayurvedic Collge & Hospital, Gurukul Kanri, HNB Garwal University

It is one of the most oldest medical college (Ayurvedic) in India. It is situated in Gurukul Kangri University Campus. About 50 ayurvedic physicians come out of it each year.

State Ayuevedic College & Hospital Rishikul, Haridwar

It is the oldest Ayurvedic Medical College of India. It is situated near Devpura in haridwar on the banks of Upper Ganaes Canal. It is also providing post graduate education for Ayurveda. soon it will be transformed as first Ayuevedic University of Uttarakhand.

School of Computer Education, B.H.E.L. It is one of the premier institutes located in BHEL premises. Commonly known as SCE or HRDC. It conduct DOEACC accredited 'O' Level and 'A' Level Courses. DOEACC continuously grading it as best DOEACC institute in Uttrakhand.

Important areas within the city

B.H.E.L., Ranipur Township The campus of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) is spread across an area of 12 km². The main factory consists of two divisions: The Heavy Electricals Equipment Plant (HEEP), and The Central Foundry Forge Plant (CFFP). Together they employ over 8000 skilled employees. Divided into six sectors providing excellent residential, schooling and medical facilities.

Bahadrabad - 7 km. It is located on the Haridwar-Delhi National Highway at a distance of 7 km from Haridwar. Close by, in village Pathri, lies the Pathri Power Station built on the Upper Ganga Canal in 1955. It also has block development office under which many developed villages (e.g. Khedli, Kisanpur Rohalki, Bongla, Sitapur, Alipur etc.) comes.

SIDCUL - 5 km. A massive industrial area, spread over 2034 Acres, developed by State Industrial Development Corporation Uttaranchal Limited (SIDCUL), a state government body. With big enterprises like Hindustan Liver Limited, Dabur, Mahindra & Mahindra, Havells, moving in SIDCUL is set to develop into another industrial township within the city. 3 km away from the Delhi-Hardwar National Highway, SIDCUL lies adjacent to the BHEL Township, an important Public Sector township.

Jwalapur An old part of the city, Jwalapur is the financial & industrial capital of the city, and now an important trading and shopping centre for the locals.

Cheela Dam A good picnic spot with a dam and a manmade lake nearby. Elephants and other wild animals could be easily spotted.

Shivalik Nagar One of the newest and biggest residential areas of Haridwar. Is divided into various clusters. Mainly developed as residential colony for BHEL employees but with the advent of SIDCUL, population and financial activity has exploded in the area due to its proximity.


Ganga Dashara, at Haridwar

Being a place of intense religious significance, Haridwar also hosts several religious festivals throughout the year; popular among them are the Kavad Mela, Somvati Amavasya Mela, Ganga Dashara, Gughal Mela, in which around 20-25 lacs (2-2.5 million) people take part.[63]

Apart from this, there is the Kumbh Mela which takes place once in every twelve years, when the planet Jupiter (Brihaspati) comes into the sign Aquarius (Kumbha). First written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese traveller, Huan Tsang or Xuanzang (602 - 664 A.D.) who visited India in 629 AD.[22][64]. According to The Imperial Gazetteer of India, an outbreak of cholera occurred at the 1892 Mela at Haridwar, which lead to the rapid improvement of mela arrangement by the authorities and the formation of 'Haridwar Improvement Society', and in 1903 about 400,000 people attended the fair [65]. A stampede took place near Har-ki-Pauri, during the Kumbh Mela in 1980s, in which 600 people were killed and scores injured [66]. The 1998 Maha Kumbh Mela saw over 80 million pilgrims visiting this city, to take a dip in the holy river, Ganga.[67]


Milestone en route Haridwar
Haridwar Railway station

Haridwar is headquarters of Haridwar district and it has good connectivity with the other towns of the district and the state.


National Highway 58, between Delhi and Mana Pass passes through Haridwar connecting it with Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Roorkee and Badrinath and National Highway 74 originating from Haridwar connects it with Kashipur, Kichha, Nagina, Pilibhit and Bareilly.


The Haridwar Junction Railway Station located in Haridwar is under the control of the Northern Railway zone of the Indian Railways. It has direct links the major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Indore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad but it lacks direct connectivity to major cities of Central India namely Jabalpur, Bhopal, Gwalior and Nagpur.


The nearest domestic airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is a located 35 km from Haridwar. Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the nearest International Airport.


Haridwar is rapidly developing as an important industrial township of Uttaranchal since the state government agency, SIDCUL (State Infrastructure & Industrial Development Corporation of Uttranchal Ltd.)[10] set up the Integrated Industrial Estate in a district attracting many important industrial houses which are setting up manufacturing facilities in the area.

Haridwar already has a thriving Industrial area situated at the Bypass road, comprising mainly ancillary units to PSU, BHEL, which was established here in 1964 and now employs over 8000 people.

Further reading

  • Haridwar - Gangadware Mahatirthe, Ed. Shalini Saran. Haridwar Development Authority, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, 1992.[1]
  • Gateway to the Gods: Haridwar-Rishikesh. Rupinder Khullar, Reeta Khullar. 2004, UBS Publishers. ISBN 81-7476-460-7.
  • Hardwar Mela From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan (1879–80), by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891).
  • Report, by Archaeological Survey of India, Alexander Cunningham. Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1871. Chapt 30: Haridwar or Gangadwara, p. 231-236.
  • Chapter XVII: Himalayas, Hardwar. India, Past and Present, by Charles Harcourt Ainslie Forbes-Lindsay. Published by J.C. Winston, 1903. Page 295.


  1. ^ a b c d e Geography of Haridwar
  2. ^ a b Haridwar, India Page fallingrain.com.
  3. ^ Haridwar euttaranchal.
  4. ^ Dictionary Molesworth, J. T. (James Thomas). A dictionary, Marathi and English. Bombay Education Society's press, 1857, Page 888.
  5. ^ a b About Haridwar sahajaharidwar.
  6. ^ a b Gangaji Haridwar Official website of Haridwar.
  7. ^ Gangadwára, the place where the Ganges descends to the plains.. SACRIFICE OF DAKSHA (From the Vayu Purana.) The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840. p. 62, 62:2.
  8. ^ Reorganisation Bill passed by UP Govt The Indian Express, 24 September 1998.
  9. ^ Uttarakhand Govt. of India, Official website.
  10. ^ a b Integrated Industrial Estate - Haridwar SIDCUL Official site]
  11. ^ a b Places of peace and power sacred sites.
  12. ^ Hardwar sanatansociety.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Hardwar The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 13, p. 52.
  14. ^ a b Haridwar History Haridwar Official website.
  15. ^ Yudhishthira The Mahabharata, translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1883 -1896), Book 3: Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva: Section XC, p 204.
  16. ^ Historical, Cultural and Social Perspectives Chapter 3, The Cultural Dimension Of Ecology, Baidyanath Saraswati, 1998, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. ISBN 81-246-0102-X. ignca.nic.in. Vanaparva (The Book of the Forest) is third parva , book of Mahabharata.
  17. ^ Lopamudra The Mahabharata, translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1883 -1896), Book 3: Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva: Section XCVII.
  18. ^ Story of Bhagirata
  19. ^ "Uttarakhand Information Centre - Gangotri Information" The Complete Uttarakhand Travel Guide
  20. ^ Mankodi, Kirit (1973) "Gaṅgā Tripathagā" Artibus Asiae 35(1/2): pp. 139-144, p. 140
  21. ^ Hardwar, About City
  22. ^ a b Kumbh Mela Channel 4.
  23. ^ Haridwar This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  24. ^ Digital Library The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Oxford, 1908, Vol.13, p.51.
  25. ^ History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 570.
  26. ^ Guru Nanak (for Children) - A New Way of Teaching
  27. ^ Life Of Guru Nanak: Chapter IV The Sikh Religion, Volume 1, by Max Arthur Macauliffe (1842-1913), Oxford University Press (1909). page 50-52.
  28. ^ a b Janasakhi Janamsakhis of Miharban and Mani Singh, Janamsakhi Tradition, Dr. Kirpal Singh, 2004, Punjabi University, Patiala. ISBN 81-7205-311-8. www.globalsikhstudies.net.
  29. ^ Sacred Places of Pilgrimage Ain-e-Akbari, Vol. III, p. 306.
  30. ^ Hardwar Ain-e-Akbari, by Abul Fazl 'Allami, Volume I, A´I´N 22. The A´bda´r Kha´nah. P 55. Translated from the original persian, by H. Blochmann, and Colonel H. S. Jarrett, Asiatic society of Bengal. Calcutta, 1873–1907. “His Majesty calls this source of life “the water of immortality,” and has committed the care of this department to proper persons.... Both at home and on travels, he drinks Ganges water.”
  31. ^ Ain # 10. The Coins of This Glorious Empire C. Copper Coins, Ain-e-Akbari, by Abul Fazl 'Allami, Volume I, p31, ib.
  32. ^ Newsletter 106, 1987, Goron, S & Wiggins, K. Mughal coins struck in the name of the pretender Muhammad Akbar, at Hardwar. The Oriental Numismatic Society (ONS). UK.
  33. ^ The Society for South Asian Studies British Academy, Annual Report 2001, p. 8. The British Museum is also in the possession of a unique rupee of the Mughal puppet Muhammad Akbar, issued from the mint of Haridwar (North India), during his short reign of about 45 days.
  34. ^ The American Numismatic Society Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 178 (Winter 2004), Bhandare, S. "Hardwar: a new mint for Akbar's copper coinage," pp. 27-28, illus.
  35. ^ The Ganga Basin Dams on the Ganga, University at Albany.
  36. ^ a b Upper Ganges Canal The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 12, p. 138.
  37. ^ Trade and Communications The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 375.
  38. ^ History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 13, p. 53.
  39. ^ a b List of Public Representatives from Haridwar Official website.
  40. ^ Haridwar district
  41. ^ Uttarakhand: Winners list Rediff News, February 27, 2007.
  42. ^ a b City Development Plan: Haridwar Urban Development Department, Government of Uttarakhand. p.20.
  43. ^ Haridwar weather and coordinates timeanddate.com/worldclock.
  44. ^ New District Haridwar, www.gmvnl.com.
  45. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20040616075334/http://www.censusindia.net/results/town.php?stad=A&state5=999. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  46. ^ Travel guide Haridwar
  47. ^ Kankhal www.indiainfoweb.com.
  48. ^ Haridwar History
  49. ^ Legend Chandi Devi Temple.
  50. ^ Manasa Devi Temple
  51. ^ sites Uttarakhand Govt. Official website.
  52. ^ Temples in Haridwar
  53. ^ Neel Dhara Bird Sanctuary
  54. ^ Piran Haridwar Official website.
  55. ^ Piran Kaliyar Times of India, 13 March 2003.
  56. ^ Local Attractions Roorkee
  57. ^ a b Gurukul Official website of Haridwar.
  58. ^ Archeological Museum, Haridwar indiatourism.com.
  59. ^ Artefacts in the Museum Gurukul Kangri, Archaeological Museum.
  60. ^ Kumbh Mela 1915 The Story of My Experiments with Truth/Part V/Lakshman Jhula.
  61. ^ Chronology of Mahatma Gandhi's life/India 1916 Wiki Source.
  62. ^ Sanskrit University Govt. of Uttarakhand.
  63. ^ Fairs in Haridwar Haridwar Official website.
  64. ^ Kumbh Mela www.archaeologyonline.net.
  65. ^ Haridwar The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 13, p. 52.
  66. ^ About 600 pilgrims died in three stampedes in Hardwar during the 1980s.. The Guardian, 28 August 2003.
  67. ^ Kumbh Mela, a study Missouri State University

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Haridwar (हरिद्वार) [1], also spelled Hardwar, is a city in the state of Uttarakhand.

Hari ki Pairi
Hari ki Pairi

Haridwar, literally Gateway to God, is one of the Hindu holy places in India and a center of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Located on the banks of River Ganges (Ganga), at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains, Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.


Haridwar is the site of many religious festivals. Most notably, once every twelve years it is the venue for the Kumbh Mela, humanity's largest festival, which drew a record 70 million in 2003. (The festival rotates between Haridwar and Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.) The Ardh Mela, or "half mela", is held every six years. Ardh Mela will be held in Haridwar in 2010.

Other yearly festivals include:

  • Baisakhi, April.
  • Kanwar Mela, July. The largest yearly festival, drawing up to 300,000 visitors.
  • Somwati Amavasya, July. Almost as large as the Kanwar Mela.
  • Kartik Purnima, held 15 days after Diwali on the first night of the full moon in November.

See the Haridwar city website [2] for a complete listing. While the festivals are colorful and fascinating, they also strain the town's limited infrastructure to the breaking point and sometimes beyond. Book rooms and tickets well in advance, and avoid travel by road as the traffic jams can be horrendous.

Get in

Haridwar is about 200 kms from Delhi, the capital of India and is well connected by road and rail network from all parts of India. It is better to avoid travelling to Haridwar during the hindu month of sawan (around july) since there is a heavy crowd and all important roads are blocked and most of the hotels/busses/trains are crowded.

By plane

Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, with twice daily service to Delhi on Air Deccan [3], is 20 km from Haridwar.

By train

Haridwar Junction Railway Station (IR station code : HW) is well-connected by train. The railway station is located on the south side of the town, within walking distance of most hotels.

Here are some useful trains to reach Haridwar:

Train Number Train Name You may board at You may alight at
2017 Shatabdi Express New Delhi Haridwar Junction
2055 Jan Shatabdi Express New Delhi Haridwar Junction
4041 Mussoorie Express New Delhi Haridwar Junction
2327 Upasana Express Howrah (Kolkata), Lucknow Haridwar Junction
3009 Doon Express Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Lucknow Haridwar Junction
2687 Chennai-Dehradun Express Chennai, Nizamuddin (Delhi) Haridwar Junction
2054 Jan Shatabdi Express Amritsar Haridwar Junction
4632 Amritsar-Dehradun Express Amritsar Haridwar Junction
4610 Hemkunt Express Jammu Haridwar Junction
9105 Ahmedabad-Haridwar Mail Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi Haridwar Junction
9019 Bandra-Dehradun Express Bandra Terminus (Mumbai), Nizamuddin (Delhi) Haridwar Junction

Also see Rail travel in India

By bus

Haridwar's bus station, a stone's throw from the train station, is chaotic and has no signage whatsoever in English. There are regular bus services from Delhi (4-5 hours), Rishikesh (1 hour) and other important towns of North India to Haridwar. Though they claim they reach New Delhi in 4-5 hours they take at least 6-7 hours. Due to the traffic jams in the roads leading in and out of Delhi it can even take 7-8 hours. Before booking the bus check the bus condition. Always go for cushioned and push-back seats. The long and bumpy ride will take a toll on your mood and body.

Get around

Central Haridwar can be reasonably comfortably covered on foot. Cyclerickshaws abound, and most trips in town should not cost more than Rs. 20. Taxis and autorickshaws congregate at the train and bus stations.

  • Hari-ki-Pairi (or Har-ki-Pairi). To the north of the center, this is Haridwar's focal point, where devotees gather to bathe and worship on the Ganges. According to legend, this is where a drop of nectar fell from the churning of the oceans when the world was created, and a stone wall has Vishnu's footprint. Each evening around 7 PM,(5.45 PM in winter) thousands gather and worship the river Goddess by putting diyas (floating lamps) in the river. You may be asked to make a donation if you linger near the ghats. Beware of con artists posing as officials. If you would like to make a donation there are boxes at the center of the ghats around the light poles.
  • Maya Devi Mandir , located on upper road. This temple is one of the 51 "shakti peeths" and its the presiding deity of Haridwar. It is from this temple Haridwar derives its other name Mayapur.
  • Mansa Devi Mandir, atop a hill near the center of town. Can be reached by cable car (Rs 48 for a return ticket) or by a road that gently winds uphill (about 2 km), starting from Railway Rd. The temple is aesthetically not particularly noteworthy, but the views are grand. Expect to queue to board the cable car and once more to enter the temple: despite some rudimentary attempts at crowd control, the crowds of jostling devotees can make this a pretty intense experience.
  • Bharat Mata Mandir, 5 km north of the center. Dedicated to Mother India, this is half temple, half nation building exercise, with seven floors stacked with deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths. Some signage in English.
  • Chandidevi Mandir,8-9KM from railway station, you get the combi package to see both the temples by AC bus including bus and ropeway charges
  • Daksh mandir,7-8 km from railway station,you get rickshaw or you can hire a auto,near also many mandirs to see at kankhal.
  • Bilkeshwar Mahadev Mandir , Shiva temple located on a hill.
  • Ma Anandamayee Ashram[4]. Located at Kankhal. The samadhi of Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee is located here and is also the Head Office of the revered organisation. It is a must see. Devotees included late Mrs Indira Gandhi (ex Prime Minister of India). Attend the evening aarti near Ma's samadhi and have a soul cleansing experience.
  • Divya Yog Mandir Trust University, 16 km from Haridvar. Founded by Baba Ramdev.


Haridwar, the holy city is one of the most renowned pilgrimage centers in India. Pilgrims from all over the world flock to this sacred city to take a dip in the holy waters of River Ganga.Being a destination for pilgrimage tourism, shopping in Haridwar is not on the itinerary of the tourist.

However shops in Haridwar have some interesting things to offer to the tourist. The main shopping centers are Moti bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur and Kankhal. You can also check out the Government Handloom and Handicrafts Emporiums and the Gandhi Ashram. Here you will find a range of handicraft decorative pieces. If you are interested in jewellery, then you can choose from a variety of imitation ones which make good fashion accessory.

In Haridwar, you will find neatly and intricately carved stone idols, which make unique souvenirs. It is fascinating that these stones have traversed with Ganga all along and they are eventually deposited in Rishikesh as the river enters the plains. This gives the stones amazing shapes and a natural polish. Besides idols, there are kitchen set toys made from stone, which are interesting buys.

  • Dosa Plaza, (opposite to haridwar railway station), 01334315517, [5]. A chain that offers 104 varieties of dosai, along with Indian and Chinese food.  edit
  • Sindh dugdh Bhandar, Rly. rd. Haridwar (north), 320209. A rocking place in this town since 1948. But well maintained and a multi cuisine restaurant with a very good service an the most important it's air conditioned unlike the other restaurant in town.  edit

Haridwar is a purely vegetarian town.

  • Hoshiyarpuriwala, This shop is old and claim to have started in year 1935. Its 7-8 min walk from from Hari-Ki-Pairi(good to get your appetite going). It has wide variety of North Indian delicacies-- try the Thaali. It cost Rs. 80.00 (he has stopped serving "Thaalis" now). But it's so much that it requires a special effort to finish it off. And for a grand finish a sweet dish you can't resist: Khaao India Khaao.
  • Chotiwalas, Subhash Ghat (and other outlets around town). The closest Haridwar gets to McDonalds (not very), serves up a wide menu of South and North Indian favorites, with some Indian-Chinese thrown in. Most meals around Rs. 60.
  • Chotiwalas Asli, Subhash Ghat. Claiming to be the original, unfranchised Chotiwalas, this is the first shop right below the steps when walking south from Hari-ki-Pairi. The "Chotiwalas Special" (Rs. 75) is a super-filling concoction of paneer and veggies in a creamy tomato base, topped with cheese and yogurt.
  • Hotel Alpana, Ram Ghat. 01334-225544,224567. Claiming to be the new, clean, 400 meters from Hari-ki-Pairi. The "Alpana Meal" (Rs. 75 breakfast & Rs 150 for lunch & Rs. 150 for Dinner) Nice decent place to relax.
  • Spice N Nice, (Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road), 01334-266366, [6]. We offer authentic pure vegetarian delicacies. We serve Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese, and Continental Cuisines. Food is our passion and we take pride in serving our guests delicious and tasty food. AC and Relaxing Ambiance.  edit


Alcohol is banned in Haridwar.

  • Mohan Puri, Harki Pauri. The most famous food shop at harki pauri and everything fits in budget. But due to high tourist rush its bit congested in festival seasons  edit
  • Kreams n Kountry, Station road haridwar (On road to Post Office chawk from the railway station it falls on the right side of the road). The Pao Bhaji her e is delicious n a speciality of the house.But the other products will surprise you which include Rajma chawal,Veg Burger,Chats of all kind,Icecreams n Sweets which even to a Bengali was OK-ed immediately.The staff members are helpful n polite as always.  edit


For most of the hotels the check-in time is 12 Noon. Plenty of Dharmshalas are also available in Haridwar.

  • Rahi Motel - Government Tourist Lodge. Online bookings can be made at [7]
  • Hotel Ganga Azure, Railway Road (near Shivmurti), +91 334-220938/9 (hotelazure@vsnl.net, fax +91 334-227101), [8]. Small, not entirely clean rooms. Hot water available from 6-8 AM only, but the shower may be broken. The hotel restaurant (Big Ben) is well liked, but somewhat below-priced. Rs 700/1500. (non-AC/AC, negotiable)
  • Shri Ram Sharnam Ashram, 511-A, Sapta Sarovar Marg (near Agrasen Ghat), Bhopatwala, tel. +919810011735, [9]. Rooms available at nominal maintenance charges.
  • Hotel Bhagwati Niwas, Sabzi Mandi, (near Vishnu Ghat), Haridwar, tel. +911334224328 & +911334327491. Right on the Banks of River Ganges. All room facing Gangaji with Private ghat! Rooms available at nominal charges!
  • Hotel Gayatri Classic, Shravan Nath Nagar (near Harmilap Bhawan), Haridwar, tel. +911334322473. 5 minute ride from railway staion/bus stand.10 minute from Harki Pauri. Ac/NON Ac Rooms available at nominal charges.
  • Chitra Heritage Chitra cinema Street,Haridwar.It is 3mins walk from the railway station and 10mins walk from har-ki-pauri.A/c & Non A/c room are avaliable at Rs 900/1550.All room are spacious and front sided.Parking facilities are avaliable.Tel:+919760129990,+919897302015(chitraheritage@yahoo.com)
  • Bhaj-Govindam, near Bhimgoda Bridge (entrance is through a narrow alley and around a corner, look for the signs), +919897302015. Charming,hut-style accommodation, with a common lawn area over-looking the river. Rs 900/1550. (non-AC/AC).
  • Teerth, Subhash Ghat, Hari-Ki-Pairi, tel. +91 334 225211, [10]. Riverside accommodation right next to Hari-Ki-Pairi, the main selling point is the great river views from the balconies. Rooms are a.c, spacious, clean. Rooms from Rs 1200.
  • Hotel Gayan & Hotel City Heart 800 - 1500 Kolkata cont 093319=11437, 093310=58070
  • Hotel LandMark, Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road, tel. +91 1334 266366, [11]. Prime location provides easy access to Har-ki-Pauri in the heart of the haridwar, Daksh Mahadev Temple in the Khankhal city, and all the commercial market area on the Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road. Rooms are AC, clean, and welcoming. Rooms from Rs 1000.
  • Haveli Hari Ganga, 21 Pilibhit House, Ram Ghat (in the bazaar), +91 334 226443 (fax +91 334 265207). A comfortably appointed hotel/spa with a private ghat and balconies (few rooms)overlooking the river. Rs 2800 and up.
  • Rishikesh - "Haridwar lite" 26 km upriver, popular with backpackers
  • Rajaji National Park - lies between Haridwar and Rishikesh and is worth a stopover on your way to Rishikesh.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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