Of the seven puris, Mayapuri comes within the extension of Haridwar. Kumbhaka fair is held here every twelfth year. Ardh Kumbh falls in its sixth year. This pilgrimage has many names- Hardwar, Haridwar, Gangadwar, Kushavart. Mayapuri, Haridwar, Kankhal, Jwalapur and Bhimgoda – these five puris together are called Haridwar.
A STORY BEHIND THE HOLY PILGRIMAGE
The Alaknanda Ganga, which follows King Bhagirath, has descended to the ground where thousands of mountains have descended, where in the past Dakshaprajapati has worshiped Yajneshwar Lord Vishnu, that holy place (Haridwar) is the Gangadwar, which is the destroyer of all the evils of human beings. Indra and all the deities were invited to Prajapati Daksha’s yagna and all of them had come there with their respective ganas to participate in the yagna. In it, along with the deities, disciples and disciples, Brahmarishis and Rajarshis with pure conscience also came. Except Pinakapani Lord Shankar, all other deities were invited. All those gods were going to the Yagyaotsavam of Dakshaprajapati with their beloved wives sitting on the planes and happily
They also used to describe that festival among themselves. Goddess Sati, who lives on Kailasa, listened to his words. Hearing the words of the deities, she was eager to see her father’s sacrifice. At that time Satin requested Mahadevji to attend that festival. Hearing his words, Lord Shiva said- ‘Goddess! It will not be beneficial to go there. But Sati went to see her father’s Yagyaotsav. Satidevi reached there, but no one welcomed her. Then Sati gave up her life there. So that place became a perfect area. Those who bathe in that pilgrimage and offer obeisances to the gods and ancestors, they are very dear to the Goddess. They become the principal authorities of enjoyment and salvation.
Thereafter, hearing the news of the death of his beloved Satiji from Devarshi Narada, Lord Shankar produced Veerabhadra. Veerabhadra destroyed that yajna by going with all the Pramathaganas. Then Lord Shankar, immediately pleased with the prayer of Brahmaji, performed that perverted yajna again. Since then that unique pilgrimage has become the destroyer of all the evils. Whatever desire a person contemplates on, by bathing in that shrine, he surely attains it. The place where Daksha and the deities had eulogized the imperishable Lord Vishnu, the lord of sacrifices, is famous by the name of Haritirtha. One who takes a ritual bath in that Haripadatirtha (Hariki Paidi), is the beloved of Lord Vishnu and the principal officer of enjoyment and salvation. In the east, there is a famous area called Triganga, where everyone has a direct darshan of Tripathaga Ganga. After bathing there, men who reverently offer prayers to the gods, sages, ancestors and human beings rejoice like a deity in the heavenly world. From there in the south direction is the Kankhalteerth, where by fasting and bathing day and night, a person becomes free from all sins. The one who donates God there to a brahmin, a scholar well versed in the Vedas, never sees the river Vaitarni and Yamraj. The chanting, homa, austerity and charity performed there are inexhaustible.
GANGAS RIVER RELATION TO HARIDWAR
Pundarika-Yagna yields fruit. Similarly, in the north direction from there, there is a great pilgrimage famous by the name of Saptaganga (Sapta Sarovar). This is the destroyer of all evils. There are holy ashrams of the Saptarishis, in all of them there are separate baths and by offering obeisances to the gods and ancestors, one reaches the sage world. When King Bhagiratha brought the river Ganga, at that time for the happiness of those Saptarishis, they got divided into seven streams. Since then that pilgrimage named Saptaganga became famous on earth. From there, the one who donates dhenu to the best Brahmin by going to the pilgrimage called the most perfect Kapilahrid, gets the fruit of a thousand cow donations. Thereafter, by going to the best pilgrimage called Shantanuke Lalit, one attains the best speed by duly bathing and offering obeisances to the deity, where King Shantanun received the Ganges that had come in human form and where Ganga gave birth to one Vasus every year and had their bodies thrown in his stream, the bodies of those Vasus. Wherever it fell, a tree was born. The person who bathes there, never falls in misery due to the offerings of Gangadevi. From there on going to Bhimasthal (Bhimgoda), the virtuous person who takes a bath, after enjoying the best in this world, goes to heaven after the body ends.
Why Bahuna the greatness of this pilgrimage is indescribable. The Padma Purana and Nardadi Purana are full of the glory of Haridwar.
Haridwar is like the gate of heaven. There is no doubt in it. There one who concentrates and bathes in the Koti-tirtha, gets the result of the Pundarika-yagna and saves his clan. Staying there for one night gives the fruit of a thousand cows. One who performs the ritualistic offerings of Gods and ancestors in Saptganga, Triganga and Shakravarta is established in the virtuous world. After that take bath in Kankhal and fast for three nights. One who does this gets the fruit of the Asvamedha-yajna and goes to heaven.”
Not only this, the person who remembers Gangadwar even at a distance, he attains salvation in the same way as a person who remembers Sri Hariko in the end. The deity whom a person worships in Haridwar with a pure mind, that deity fulfills his desires by being extremely pleased. Where Ganga has come on the ground, that is the place of penance. That is the place of chanting and that is the place of homa. The person who stays regularly and takes bath for all the three times and recites Ganga Sahasranama there, he gets an inexhaustible progeny. One who regularly listens to the Puranas in the Ganges with devotion, he attains the imperishable status. The best person who listens to the greatness of Haridwar or its devotion recites, he too receives the fruit of bathing. The glory of Patit Pavan Teerth Haridwar is immense. There is a virtuous anecdote about this in Padma Purana.
Stories Mention In Purans
Once upon a time, there lived a sinner named Kalinga outside the city in Kurukshetra. Once he followed a rich Vaishya who had come at the time of solar eclipse and tried to steal from Kurukshetra at the time of his return from Kurukshetra to that sinner Vaishya’s camp at midnight in this Haridwar. and killed two guards. At the same time, a servant of Vaishya shot an arrow from afar, due to which the sinner also died while running away. Thereupon both the guards of the Vaishyas killed by the Chandala and the Chandala- climbed onto the plane brought by the three gods and said to the Vaishyas – ‘Look at the greatness of this pilgrimage! This Haridwar is also beneficial for sinners. Saying this he went to heaven. On the second day, Vaishya had cremated the bodies of both his guards and their bones were put in Haridwar Teerth. As a result, both of them returned from the fortunate heaven and went to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Thereupon the wise Vaishya went to his home and devoted his mind to the devotion of the Lord while doing worldly activities righteously, and in the end came to this pilgrimage to attain the abode of Vaikunth and died.