High up under the snowy peaks, of the Parvati Valley
is situated the hot springs at
Manikaran. The water from the steaming
springs is noted for its healing properties. The springs
in the area are hot enough to boil rice in it. Manikaran,
a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Sikhs, has a temple
and a gurudwara. It is also a good spot for trout fishing.
Sri Ramchandra temple is located in the center of the
town and one can have a very good look in and around this
temple. The Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurudwara
provides some extraordinary sights. One can enjoy a dip
in the hot waters from the springs. There are altogether
three baths, one is located under the Gurudwara itself
and the other two are privately owned and located in guesthouses.
THE LEGEND OF MANIKARAN
of in the forests of the Himalayan ranges Lord Shiva and
Goddess Parvati came across a place now called Manikaran.
The mountain-locked area, the lush green patches and the
forests charmed them and they decided to stay there for
For as long as eleven hundred years they remained at this
place. At one time, when the Lord was relaxing with the
Goddess, in the beautiful waters of a stream running by
the side, the 'MANI' (Jewel) in an earring of the goddess
Parvati was much distressed and there was a thorough search
but efforts to find out the jewel failed. Lastly, the
Lord ordered his attendants, to trace out the jewel, wherever
it may be. That was also unsuccessful. Lord Shiva got
enraged, as a result of which his third eye opened. With
the opening of the third eye of the Lord Shiva, a very
ominous event, there was a great commotionall over the
universe. The entire universe was very upset and apprehended
a great calamity.
'Shesh Nag', the serpent god, was approached. In order
to subside the anger of Lord Shiva, Shesh Nag hissed and
hissed and there was a flow of boiling water, which passed
over the area and out came a number of precious stones
of the type which were lost. Lord Shiva was pacified.
The water still continues to be hot. Before the earthquake
of 1905, which affected this area also, it is said, that
this boiling water used to rise, to about ten-feet high.
The visiting deities are given a ceremonial bath. The
second chapter of 'Brahm Puran' recites the story of Manikaran
as given above. The place is described as one of hot and
cold waters and the divine pair had repaired there for
water sports known as 'Jal-Krida'. Fragrant and attractive
flowers graced the place and by a bath at the 'Sangam'
one is eternally blessed. The Brahm-Puran enjoins the
pilgrims pass a night awake at Manikaran and do puja or
Thereby the pilgrims obtain the full virtue of the world.
The story of the loss of the jewel and the frantic search
and ultimate recovery is vividly described. The tract
is Lord Shiva's own and a pilgrimage at this place is
adequate and one need not visit Kashi and other places
Lord Ramchandra Temple: There are several temples
in the Mani Karan village. The most important is that
of Lord Ramchandra. The Pandas or priests of the village
claim that the idol of Rama was brought from Ayodhya and
installed in this temple by the Raja of Kulu but this
lacks a historic confirmation. There was also an idol
of Lakshman the younger brother of Lord Rama Chandra,
which has now disappeared. On the left hand side of the
Lord is the idol of Goddess Sita. The temple is very old
and on one of the stones in its wall, the history of the
temple is written which is not legible.
Temple of Lord Shiva: There is another very old
temple of Lord Shiva, which got tilted during the earthquake
of 1905. The great prestige with which Manikaran is held
is seen by the fact that the Devatas of Kulu valley pay
regular visits to Manikaran. The followers of the individual
deities at different places are carried ceremoniously
in a procession to Manikaran on specified auspicious days.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurudwara: The place is
also held sacred by the Sikhs. The Janam Sakhi or the
'Twarikh Guru Khalsa' by Giani Gian Singh mentions about
the visit of Guru Nanak Dev to this place. It has been
mentioned that accompanied by his disciple Bhai Mardana,
the Guru reached Jwalamukhi temple after visiting Kalanaur,
Gurdaspur, Dasuya, Triloknath, Palampur and Kangra. The
Guru then proceeded towards Mandi and after visiting Chamba
and Kulu, he came to Bijli Mahadev. After preaching at
all these places Guru Nanak Dev came to Mani Karan. The
Janam Sakhi or the "Autobiography of Bhai Mardana" mentions
the miracles did by the Guru. The Guru came to Mani Karan
along with his Five 'Piaras' or followers.
Hot Springs: By taking bath here and by drinking
water of this place, people go to Heaven, this is said
of the Manikaran tract since the times immemorial. It
is just like 'Kashi Kshetra' and there is no doubt about
it. On examination it is understood that the Manikaran
hot spring is said to have got Uranium and other radio
Harinder Mountain & Parvati River: On the northern
side, there is a mountain, which is named as Harinder.
Merely a look at this mountain will make a person free
from all evils and on the south is the Parvati River.
Kulant Pith: Out of all sectors 'Piths' of the
country, this sector, which is called 'Kulant Pith', is
the superior most. Here, the most sacred place of pilgrimage
is Manikaran, and in it the 'Vishnu Kund' is the purest
of all. Lord Shankara was mightily pleased to stay here
and this is absolutely true. No other tank in the world,
could be more pure than these high rising tanks. Even
a drop of water from the tanks will make one free of all
evils. Narad, on account of the influence of the Shankara's
eye, said that this sacred place, causes the disappearance
of anger and evils. One who eats the food cooked in this
boiling water goes to the Vishnu Lok.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Linked by air to
Chandigarh and Delhi. The airport at Bhuntar is 10-km
from the town.
Rail: Nearest railheads are Pathankot, 285-km
and more conveniently Chandigarh, 258-km.
Road: Well connected by road. Linked to 524-km
and Chandigarh. Regular bus and coach services link Kullu
to Delhi and Chandigarh
PLACES TO STAY
Hotel Parvati, Manikaran. Email
us for Tariff
Hotel Sharda Classic, Kullu (Manikaran Bus Stand) Email
us for Tariff
Hotel Holiday Home, Kullu (Manikaran Bus Stand) Email
us for Tariff
Snow Valley Resorts,