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A place that literally means the Gateway to God - Haridwar is considered one of the most popular holy places for Hindus. Located on the banks of river Ganga, Haridwar has been the centre of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Legend has it that during the Samudra Manthan, Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nashik, and Allahabad was one of the four sites where drops of Amrit elixir of immortality accidentally spilt while being carried by Garuda, which is celebrated by holding the Kumbh Mela once in every 12 years here. The exact spot where the drops of Amrit fell is known as Har ki Pauri footsteps of the Lord and it is a strong belief among Hindus that taking a dip in these ghats can wash away ones sins and help them attain Moksha salvation. The luminous and reverberant Ganga Aarti that takes place every evening on the ghats of Haridwar is a sight to behold and soak in. The most famous temple of Haridwar, which is also one of its identity markers, is the Daksheshwar Mahadev Mandir. Located around 5 km from Har Ki Pauri, the Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple is considered the source of all 52 shakti peeths in the world. Mythological scriptures hint at the fact that King Daksh was one of the 14 Prajapatis creator deities and also the father of Sati who was married off to Lord Shiva in a huge ceremony here. Known as an arrogant king, King Daksh wasnt very fond of Lord Shiva, and hence, Sati was forced to immolate herself in one of the Kunds during a Yagna. The angry Lord Shiva then manifested as a self-created linga and ordered the severing of Dakshas head but later replaced that with the head of a male goat so that the Yagna could proceed peacefully. Then Lord Shiva declared that every year, during the month of Saavan, the month that is dearest to the Lord, Kankhal would be His abode. Rich in history and laden with the divine powers of Lord Shiva, Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple shall surely bind your soul to the supreme.
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