Hari is another name of Lord Vishnu and the name Haridwar literally translates to ‘Gateway to Lord Vishnu’. It is true in the sense that, to reach Badrinath, a temple of Vishnu, one has to start their journey from Haridwar.
Haridwar is a historical city which withstood the onslaught of different empires and still managed to retain its spiritual significance. This city has been mentioned in several texts and manuscripts from before the Buddha period. In the archaeological surveys in Haridwar it was found that terra cotta culture thrived in Haridwar during the period of 1700 BCE to 1300 BCE.
Haridwar was also mentioned in the travel texts of ancient Chinese traveller Husang Tsang. During the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1596-1627) Thomas Coryat, an English traveller who visited the city mentioned it as ‘Haridwara’, the capital of Lord Shiva.