The word Haridwar means ‘Gateway to the Gods’. It is located at the point where the Ganges emerges from the Himalaya to begin her slow progress across the plains. This makes it a particularly holy place. There are many ashrams (places of retreat) like Sapta Rishi Ashram and the Parmathma Ashram and temples like the Mansa Devi Temple and the Daksha Mahadev Temple. The main ghat, Har Ki Pairi (the feet of Vishnu) is considered sacred. Once in 12 years, the Kumbha Mela occurs in Haridwar. This is at an appointed time, calculated by astrologers and pundits. Millions of hindus from all over the world ,come to Haridwar, to have a dip in the sacred Ganges to absolve themselves of their past misdeeds.