Haridwar or 'the Gateway to the Gods' is one of the seven holiest places according to Hindu mythology, as the Gods are believed to have left their footprints in Haridwar. Due to its geographical location too, Haridwar stands as the gateway to the other three important pilgrimages of Uttrakhand namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus.
According to the mythology it is known as Kapilsthan. legend goes that the suryavnshi Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to the curse of the sage Kapila. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful waters revived the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara. Mythologically, drops of nectar churned out from the primordial ocean fell at the four sites of the Kumbh mela including Haridwar. The kumbha mela, happening once every 12 years and the Ardha Kumbha Mela (Coming once every six years) are big draws. One of the oldest living cities, Haridwar has been in people's mind from the period of Buddha to the British advent and now even is the 21st century. Besides being a religious place, it has served as the center for learning arts, science and culture.