I saw my name at placard at the Haridwar Railway Station. I smiled at the young man holding it and we walked out. I was looking for a car to take us to the hotel! We actually got into a rickshaw instead. That baffled me a but. But I soon realized why it was prudent. Hotel Alpana near Har Ki Paui in Haridwar is set among narrow lanes that lead to Har Ki Pauri! It will be a task to take a car there during the day time. It took us a few minutes to reach by cycle rickshaw! You can check out the hotel website for more details.
At Alpana Hotel I was staying at an executive room. It was large, spacious and had absolutely clean linen. The room rent is 3000 rupees plus tax. This was the most expensive room in the hotel. The other two categories go at 2600 rupees and 2000 rupees plus taxes. The rooms are centrally air-conditioned.
The bathroom was clean too. They have soap bars but no shampoo in there. But as it is a budget hotel I have no complains.
I met the young owners of the hotel. They have started managing it recently and they are already at work. The restaurant is being redesigned. They are adding a dormitory and upgrading the upholstery throughout the hotel.
If you re looking for a clean budget hotel near Har Ki Pauri, you should check out Hotel Alpana. I stayed there for two nights.
The Food at Alpana Hotel
I ate all my meals at the hotel. I tried a large variety of Indian food, kofta, kadhi daal, roti, aloo paratha, raita, rice and mushroom matar! The cook does a good job of feeding the guests. You could tell the server how much spices you wanted and they would cook the food accordingly.
There was a tea kettle in my room. For me it is essential for happiness. On many nights I like to make a cup of tea before I go to sleep. I always sleep better after it. But this is just a travel ritual, I don’t do this at home somehow.
Har Ki Pauri and Ganga Aarti
Alpana Hotel is at a walking distance from Har Ki Pauri. I went to Ganga Aarti on both the evenings. The lanes to the kund are narrow and crowded. But they are lined with shops. It is fun to walk looking at the things for sale and sampling the food delights.
If you want to photograph the Aarti you need to arrive early. On the first evening we arrived just in time and I was almost at the end of the standing crowd.
On the second evening I arrived 45 minutes before and I was at the front of the standing crowd! On both the evenings I could not get close to the aarti.
Har Ki Pauri- A Foodie’s Delight
I was tipped off about all the good food shops in the area, there is Raju Bhai ki Jalebi, Dudh Wale ki Lassi and Mathrua wale ki Mithai. I have sampled all of it and I have to say I can happily go back just for the food again!
Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi
Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi Temples are Shakti Peeths. There is a rope way that goes all the way up to the temple. There is a walking path too. I used the rope way for both the places.
Mansa Devi Rope way is once again at a walking distance from the Alpana Hotel. The hotel gave me a combined ticket for both the temples along with the transportation ticket between the two.
I visited Mansa Devi, and then took the transport to Chandi Devi Rope Way. After visiting the Chandi Devi Temple, I took the transport back to Mansa Devi. From there I walked back to the hotel!
I am not overtly religious but I have enjoyed visiting Churches, Dargahs and Monasteries in the past. So I decided to go to Haridwar in the same spirit. I was impressed by the Ganga Aarti and the food in town!
PS. My trip to Haridwar was sponsored by Hotel Alpana.