The name of the town has two spellings: Hardwar and Haridwar. Each of these names has its own connotation.
In Sanskrit, Hara means “Lord Shiva” and Dwara means “gate” or “gateway”.Hence, Hardwar stands for “Gateway to Lord Shiva”. Hardwar has been a typical place to start a pilgrim’s journey in order to reach Mount Kailash, the eternal abode of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath, the northernmost Jyotirlinga and one of the sites of the smaller Char Dham pilgrimage circuit and Gaumukh, the source of River Ganga. Har ki Pauri or footsteps of Lord Shiva is considered the most sacred site in Hardwar.
On the other hand, Hari means “Lord Vishnu”. So, Haridwar stands for ” The Gateway to Lord Vishnu”. In order to reach Badrinath, one of the four Char Dhams, with a temple of Lord Vishnu, Haridwar is a typical place to start a pilgrim’s journey. Therefore, the name Haridwar.
Haridwar is also known as the home of Devi Sati and the palace of her father Daksha. In ancient times, the town was also referred to as Gangadwára (गंगाद्वार), the place where the Ganges descends to the plains.