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Tīrtha and Tīrthayātrā: Haridwar
(3,233 words)

Haridwar is a Hindu pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand state, India. Its holiness arises from the belief that the Gaṅgā leaves the Himalayas there to enter the North Indian plain; since the region above Haridwar is the “Land of the Gods” (Devabhūmi), Haridwar is the place where the Gaṅgā descends to earth. Though one may dismiss this image as poetic fancy, the literal meaning of its various names clearly reveal its identity as a liminal place: Haridvār (“Gateway to Viṣṇu” as th…

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Lochtefeld, James, “Tīrtha and Tīrthayātrā: Haridwar”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 04 June 2020 <>
First published online: 2018

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