Har-ki-pauri Haridwar, literally translated as the Gateway to God, is one of the Hindu holy places in India and a centre of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Located on the banks of the River Ganges (Ganga), at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains, Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world. Festivals Haridwar is the site of many religious festivals. Most notably, once every twelve years it is the venue for the Kumbh Mela, the world's largest festival, which drew a record 70 million in 2003. (The festival rotates between Haridwar and Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.) The Ardh Mela, or "half mela", is held every six years. The last Maha Kumbh Mela was in 2010, and the last Ardh Mela was in 2016. Other yearly festivals include: Baisakhi, It is held in the month of April and devotees from Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana converge here to celebrate the auspicious festival Baisakhi. Kanwar Mela, July. The largest yearly festival, drawing up to 300,000 visitors. Kartik Purnima, held 15 days after Diwali on the first night of the full moon in November. Somwati Amavasya, July. Almost as large as the Kanwar Mela. While the festivals are colorful and fascinating, they also strain the town's limited infrastructure to the breaking point and sometimes beyond. Book rooms and tickets well in advance, and avoid travel by road as the traffic jams can be horrendous.