Friday, October 7, 2011

Haridwar - Shopping in the Markets, Where to Eat, Where to Stay

Haridwar situated on the right bank of the River Ganga is among the seven sacred cities of India. All journeys to the spiritual towns of Uttaranchal start from Haridwar which literally means the Gateway to God ('Hari' meaning God and 'dwar' meaning Gate). The city is a four hour journey on the well constructed highway from Delhi and 1 hr drive from Rishikesh. This is also the place where 'Amrit Kalash' or 'The Nectar of Immortality' is believed to have fallen thus making it one of the sites where one of the largest spiritual gathering – The Kumbh Mela – is held once after every 12 years.

The most striking aspect of this spiritually tinted town is that it leaves a unique impression on every pilgrim. For some it is a religious soul stirring expedition, others say it’s a tad too crowded and a bit contrived, some say it’s fascinating with all its mystical flavors and deep historical antiquity... For me, it's a town that has a magnetic pull,
a town that is intriguingly charming, a town that is so very close to my heart...

Well, because no matter which part of the town I am in, it tells me a story that is deeply rooted in my ancestral history... Because almost every lane I walk into, I can see those priceless impressions of the footprints of my grandparents… Because every gully (alley) I turn into, it resonates with lovely memories of my dad’s childhood days that the place has so lovingly stacked up for me... Because; I love that glint in his eyes and the zest in his voice when he fondly narrates them all to me...

Markets of Haridwar

In the evening lights, the town looks like a jumble of colors – houses, shops, bazaars, snarling traffic and dhabas – all drenching you in a thick coat of religious fervor and enthusiasm.

Markets of Haridwar
Festooned Markets of Haridwar on the occasion of Diwali
Markets of Haridwar

Hundreds of shops selling souvenirs, sweets, food, music cassettes and CD’s, books and other religious paraphernalia were put up for sale. As we wandered down the meandering gullies (lanes) of the city along with the bustling crowd that was sifting around, we realized, that this place called the Bara Bazaar was not just a shopping place but also a tourist attraction.

A CD cassette shop in the market lanes of Haridwar
A CD and cassette shop in the lanes of Haridwar

There are lots of things that you can pick up from here like jholas (bags), beads, woolies, etc and expect some great bargains on them too but this is what we bought back home…

Pickle and churan shop in the market of Haridwar A variety of pickles on display in a shop at Haridwar
A shop displaying a wide variety of different pickles and churans (digestives)

Red Chilly pickle on display in a shop at Haridwar
Big Red Chilly Pickle! Yummy it was… All over now :)
Recommended buy from my side the next time you are in the city.


From the Markets

My Pick: Big Red Chilly pickle
Where: Bara Bazaar

Where to Stay in Haridwar

There are a lot of ashrams for staying along with many good hotels (Hotel Suvidha is one where I have stayed before). It is better to book in advance to avoid any last moment hassles. Rates are low during off-season.

Where to Eat in Haridwar


1. Bhagwati Chole Bhandar

Bhagwati Chole bhandar, a popular local eating joint in Haridwar
Bhagwati Chole bhandar - A popular local eating joint in Haridwar

I like the buns here but their other offerings like bhatures, kulches and even chaval (rice), each served with hot and spicy chole (spicy chickpeas curry, a popular north Indian delicacy) are equally tempting. Also do not leave without gulping down the special tari (the gravy that floats atop the chole) at the end of your meal. And be sure to come here before 6 p.m. or the joint will be closed.

My Pick:   Chole Tari and Bread buns
Where:   Upper Road, Near Kotwali (Haridwar Police Station)
Timings: 11.00 Am - 6.00 Pm

2. Jain Chaat Bhandar

Jain Chat bhandar - A popular eating joint of Haridwar
Jain Chaat Bhadar another joint serving good local North Indian street food fare

Serves a variety of street side stuff like gol guppas, dahi vadas, aloo tikiyas and kanji vadas but I would recommend you to try out their spicy and tangy papri chaat, sure leaves a tantalizing aftertaste!

Famous Kanji vadas of Jain Chat Bhandar of Haridwar
The kanji vadas soaked in tangy mustard flavoured water are good too...
light, soft and fluffy!

Papri chaat - A Popular North Indian fast food in the lanes of Haridwar
But My Favorite... Papri chaat
Crunchy, crispy and mushy at the same time,
teamed with sweet tamarind and spicy green chili chutneys
and a host of other flavorful masalas thrown in - I love it!

My Pick:      Papri Chaat
Where:       A narrow lane off Moti Bazaar leading towards Upper Road
Phone No:  09837061452 / 09219601805

3. Dibiya Fresh Fruit Chaat

And last but not the least, something to reduce that guilt of taking in so many useless calories...

Fruit chat in the gullies of Haridwar
Round off your street food love affair with a healthy option
Dibiya's Fresh Fruit Chaat

My Pick:    Mix Fresh Fruit Chaat
Where:    Outside Bhatinda Dharmashala,
              Opp. Shivalik Hotel, Near Laltaro bridge
Timings:  After 5.00 PM

Tips for Travelers

Be very very careful with the beggars and the sadhus. Trust no one as there are many who are always on the lookout for ways to fleece the tourists. Auto rickshaws are available in plenty but the best way to explore the town is by cycle rickshaw or on foot.


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81 comments:

  1. Wow.Looks very very interesting place because I have never seen most of the food and goods.I would like to try to eat all of them.

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  2. Dear Arti
    I have never read a better article on Haridwar than this...thank you so much!!! Haridwar and Benaras are my obsessions, my magnificent obsessions!!! I have been travelling to Haridwar since 1970s with my brother who is the architect for Jai ram ashram. But never explored Haridwar , the way you have done , a must during my next trip.
    Most probably I will be out of country for some time soon ( and the dream of going to Badrinath on Diwali will go with it) and will be in the heart of Sahara desert without internet ( not sure) ..and will catch up with your postings...
    Oh! forgot! Dushera and Durga puja greetings to you .

    keep travelling and keep posting..

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  3. I bet you have really captured the flavor of this whole place really well!!! Gosh, I bet one could spend days here, and still not have seen and tasted everything! The food is so different looking from what we have here. Your favorite, the next to last picture, what is that? Is it meat of some kind, maybe stew? Everything closes at 6:00? Then when does it get dark?

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  4. @ Ushnish Ghosh
    Thanks so much Ushnish Da.
    Haridwar is a place very close to my heart too, since my father and grandparents spent many years there.
    Hope Badrivishal calls you soon, its fascinating to be in Badrinath during Diwali.
    Happy Dussehra to you too:)
    Looking forward to your posts.

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  5. Arti, red chilly pickle, mouth watering. I'm allergic to chillies but I always want to eat it. And, I was not aware of Bara Bazar. I will keep the food joints in mind for my next visit. Thanks for the post, will help in planning the trip next time...Also, I was not aware of other names of Haridwar...

    Saru

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  6. @ Ginny
    The second last pic, its called Papri Chaat, a very popular street food in India. It consists of crushed papri (made of fried white flour) and mixed with boiled potatoes, boiled peas, green chutney, tamarind chutney, chillies, yogurt and topped with various spices and freshly cut coriander.
    And it does get dark very early in the hills, at 5 or 6 pm.

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  7. Another marvelous and interesting post with fantastic photos, Arti! I do love the tours you take us on and all the wonderful information you share! They are, without a doubt, the next best thing to being there in person! Thank you for sharing so much of your beautiful and interesting country! Have a great weekend!

    Sylvia

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  8. Okay..look..it was not fair to give pictures of so much delicious food items..frankly speaking i could not concentrate on your texts :(


    PS:pliss notice my blog url has changed..

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  9. The market place and good food now that will always make a visit to a city worthwhile. Wonderful post.

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  10. You have literally taken me there Arti.. The food pictures are fabulous. Pickles shop is interesting, I am seeing it for the first time (I mean in the form it is displayed. I have always seen it in packs)
    Awesome post..! Useful one..!

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  11. hii there,

    not only i love to read your blogs but it turns out to be very informative as well...everytime i read.


    thoroughly enjoyed amd came to know a lot more about haridwar.

    thanks once again

    regards
    rahul

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  12. Hi Arti,

    What an amazing place and many thanks for sharing your wonderful photographs. I have often enjoyed seeing the market and food stalls on travel shows and I know how the smells of the spices must be delightful.

    Happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  13. nice info on Haridwar...

    Haridwar is meaning is also interesting

    nice photos and write up

    thanks

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  14. Let's hope this comment goes through. I have had trouble commenting on blogspot lately. Thanks for your comments on my blog, as well. Yours is so interesting I have added it to my blogroll. Aloha for now!

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  15. Love the soft focus and action in your shots. Those red chili pickles look dangerously hot!

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  16. This is a lovely blog, packed with info, I'm going to follow.
    Pictures of such mouthwatering fare!Indeed very informative.
    Thank you Arti, for your kind words of appreciation on my post 'Finding them a home ....'

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  17. Wow, the shopping here looks fantastic, just my cup of tea. I dislike big department stores but love markets as they tend to be colourful and individual.

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  18. A neat write up with meaningful pictures depicting the life in Haridwar.

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  19. interesting post!!! eye catchy.... very delightful... the photos were very colorful... it tempts me to visit the places.... lot of varieties and stuffs.... wonderful post and actually u deserve the credit for the amazing photographs...

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  20. Arti, THose pickles (red chilly) would be the end of me! I'll have one of those Chaats though. I like when you take us on walks and show your culture. A town that holds our ancestral memories is always special.

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  21. Wow what a post, mouth watering.
    Reading your post I was taken back on memory lane,as I am from the same region of India.Chole tari looks so tempting would have love to see a pic of them :-P
    Love your writing.

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  22. the calories are looking very yummy :D
    good that you had a great time :)

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  23. What a wonderful cullinary post...we haven't had curry in such a long time, you have our mouths watering! Thanks so much for taking time to stop and visit our blog! We have enjoyed yours very much!!

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  24. Lip smacking post;) Yummy...loved the pictures. Seems papdi chat is your favourite too;) Great stomachs eat alike:P That is a wealth of information on Haridwar. Good work, Arti.

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  25. Very informative. I am sending out the link to some of the elders who plan to visit that part of the country. The contents would definitely be of help to them

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  26. wow! what a detailed post! and yummy food pics! i remember the hardwar market, but we didnt eat anything there... next time will try these out!

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  27. Great post Arti. Very detailed. I have been to this place in childhood days. But I find it very filthy. All the people who worship there should work towards this too and make it a cleaner and healthier place. It is a great holy city.
    P.S. The markets always look so lively and the food is mouth-watering.

    http://www.meghasarin.blogspot.com

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  28. You have a great blog. Always love to learn things from other cultures and for a country so big as yours there are not many blogs who show us a piece of their life. Thanks for showing and also thank you for visiting my blog.

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  29. OUTSTANDING! So all my plans when I visit Haridwar on bike (this year or the next) will be laid according to what has been suggested. I had visted the place quite sometime ago, albeit just frisked through the outskirts. Looking forward to spending quality time there this time. Thanks for the heads-up, Arti.

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  30. @ Cloud Nine
    Yes, I love Papri chaat and also chaat in general!!
    Hah:), The great stomachs do eat alike;-)

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  31. @ P N Subramaniam
    Thanks. Are they also visiting the Char Dham or Rishikesh?

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  32. @ ALL
    Thanks for those wonderful comments. The Red Chilly Pickle, though very spicy will not exactly burn your mouth!!!
    Have it once in your lifetime:)

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  33. hi arti

    this is so informative ... with a foodie like me who loves street food I am amazed there is so much to explore in haridwar. When I plan a trip to haridwar I am going to take all the helpfull tips you have shared and have fun with my hubby who is a foodie too :)

    Super Yummy Recipes

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  34. food food tasty trip
    mouth watering pickle pics

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  35. I loved this trip! It's a beautiful name for a City. And lovely for you to have your father's memories with you as you travel the streets! Oh my that food all looked so good. It would be hard to resist those extra calories.

    (thank you for changing your comment form.)

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  36. Arti, Thanks for you comments on my page.. Glad you liked the golu and hope you will visit often too..
    I am happy I found your website because of this - travelling is something I love to do too (not able to do too much but love it!) and your posts offer a localite's insight into the place - something better than a travel brochure - so thanks!

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  37. Nice description..I just love this city and would love to live there forever.

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  38. Wow, dint know there was so much in haridwar.. Had been there from college, and so was a brief visit..

    those red chilli pickles-mouth watering.,...

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  39. Haridwar and Varanasi have fascinated since my childhood... now you have tempted me to go ahead and plan a trip sometime. Excellent blog from you as usual and the food made my mouth water enough to spoil my keyboard ;)

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  40. wonderfully informative post!

    thank you

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  41. baap re baap arti ji haridwar me itna kuchh badhiya dekhne v khane tatha ghumne ke liye hai mai to iske baare me jaanti tak nahi thi.main isko kewal teerth -dhaam hi samjhti thi.
    par aapki post v photoes dekh kar to laga ki ab to jab bhi mouka mile vahan jaajna hi hai.aor khane ki cheejen dekh kar ti muh me paani aa gaya .sach!
    bahut hi badhiya prastuti
    badhai
    poonam

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  42. Oh wow, I miss authentic Indian food! Those dishes look super yummy.

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  43. Thanks for putting up such a valuable information about haridwar...its must read for all the travelers to Haridwar...

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  44. I always enjoy your trips, they are so interesting and like the way you post pictures to go along with your story telling. Those big Red Chilly peppers look hot.

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  45. Indian markets are so much fun.

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  46. Wow Arti lovely post that pickle photo was very tempting...it is so good to c u too...ya i know i was on break but surely missed ur posts this is a grt post i had visited Haridwar long back with my parents truly a very good and divine place to visit ...Ur pics brought my memories back...wish u have a lovely week too :)

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  47. I would like to thank you Art for visiting my blog. You'll be always welcome there! Have a nice Wednesday!

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  48. Wonderful ,informative ,exclusive .

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  49. I feel like I've there after this! :)

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  50. Arti, I am drooling badly. You showed us variety of food items which makes us feel we are left out.

    That red stuffed pickle is my favorite too. Would have picked up. :)

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  51. I love the way that you share historical and cultural information within your travel articles - it really makes them very interesting. I also enjoyed reading the restaurant recommendations - it all sounds amazingly delicious!

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  52. I miss this kind of scenes, Arti. I experienced shopping through Little India in Singapore and for me, it is one of the best experiences I got in immersing with your culture. I want to hear the sound of your stores, taste your food and smell the different spices.

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  53. A very detailed post!! Never knew of so many interesting facts of Haridwar..
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  54. A very nice post and brought back memories of my visit to Haridwar!

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  55. Hello,Arti.
    It is good to know that you have continued your trip.
    Thank you for your kind commets on my post though almost one month has passed.
    I am so glad to visit your post again.
    Red Rose.

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  56. Your love for Haridwar totally comes through when I read this Arti.. Loved the tour.. especially your description of the chaat and kanji vadas! And the big chilly red pickle, wohoo that must be a hot one!

    And thaank you for that comment on my blog :)

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  57. Wow! Amazing pics, Haridwar is so beautiful and the kanji wadas are so yummy :)

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  58. The guidelines you provided listed below are extremely precious. It been found this type of pleasurable surprise to obtain that expecting me when I woke up today. They’re constantly to the issue easy to learn. Thanks a large amount for any valuable ideas you’ve got shared right here.

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  59. It is so true that a place has so much more meaning when you've heard stories about it from someone close. I've not been to Haridwar but always wanted to visit because my mother talked about it so much, having lived there for some years.

    It was good to see what the bazaar there is like. Recently, a friend talked about the Barra Bazaar in Calcutta, a must-see she said. The description of food is great, a sure shot way to get us geared up to visit a place!!

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  60. a very interesting read..you write like a pro! I love papri chaat :)too..will visit haridwar sometime..

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  61. Excellent Post! I am reading this just before lunch and all those pics have gotten me drooling!! :)

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  62. commendable post.. with mouth-watering dishes :D ....hats off to u dear :)

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  63. Hey Arti, Congrats! and thanks for this amazing post. I love Haridwar for its old world charm and your post has added so much to it. I'll try out some of those eateries when I'm there next time at your expense:) I mean the exercise you've already done:)

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  64. Can I be frank? I never was attracted to Haridwar. I just found it crowded...although Ganga arti lovely but always preferred Rishikesh. But I guess it was my attitude that contributed to the dislike too. You write with a certain nostalgia that makes me curious, wanting to open up a bit and allow for Haridwar to have her own beauty!

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  65. laal marcha nu athanu.... wow.... ketlu fare che tu??? nice post as usual...

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  66. very beautiful pics. ....pickles are yummmmmmmmm

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  67. Beautiful stalls and yummy dishes..Nice post Arti..:-)

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  68. Timely post for me Arti! Shall be passing thru haridwar on my way to my next Himalayan Trel early-June. Be sure to try out these places (at least one of them)

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  69. Wonderful shopping experience.

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  70. Hmm... now I'm craving for some Papdi chaat. :D.
    Nice to see the markets of Haridwar. I can quite imagine the life and smells of those streets.

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  71. Just finished visiting the streets of Haridwar:) Mouth watering chaats... nice trip Arti...:)

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  72. Yummie Chillies .. Loved this post as usual Arti :)

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  73. wowo.. this is good so much food to eat and places to see and visit
    thanks for the trip aarti loved it

    Bikram's

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  74. Nice one...I have been to bhagwati chole bhature and it was good. My fren recommended saying they have best chole bhatures...well it was ok ok...

    The red chilli pickle looks tempting...but would that be hygienic?

    Also there's a aloo puri place near har ki paur which I heard is quite good...haven't tried though.

    I went Haridwar in Feb and it was splendid. Loved the evening aarti..its so mesmerizing!

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  75. Among the famous bengali eating joints in haridwar is DADA BOUDI.
    they have fantastic bengali vegetarian food for a nominal cost and yummmmmm

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  76. What a yummy post!!! The pics are so very tempting. Feeling like going there right now and laying my hands on those chats and pickles :)

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  77. Dear Arti,

    All these pictures got me hungry.
    Very nice blog~

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  78. hey Arti,
    thats the most realistic review of Haridwar i ever read.all the info was bang on true,it helped me a lot.plus those pics of urs go extremely well with the beautiful captions.And trust me this review of yours made me travel all the way from Delhi to Haridwar ..keep this good work of urs going at a much greater pace .keep travelling,keep posting AS WELL
    Take care

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