Manikaran is a sacred place for Hindus and Sikhs, located in Himachal Pradesh in the north of India. It lies at the banks of Parvati River in Kullu District, in an altitude of more than 1700 meters. Manikaran is popular for existence of hot water springs. Sulphur waters of Manikaran hot springs are told to have medicinal results in healing skin diseases. For Hindus and Sikhs these waters are holy, so many pilgrims come here to take an opportunity of dipping in sacred water. Manikaran is also a tourist place. Many visitors make a trip to Manikaran from Kullu or Manali.
Religious Manikaran and its temples
As we mentioned Manikaran is popular pilgrimage place for both Hindus and Sikhs who consider this spot to be sacred. Both religious groups have their belief linked to the place. For Hindus, Manikaran is a place where life was renewed after a flood by Lord Manu. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati stayed in area of Manikaran as they loved its beauty. But once it happened that Parvati lost one of her precious stones – mani. Lord Shiva tried to search for it, but he was not successful. He got angry and destroyed and caused disturbance in the universe. This happened before god Sheshang, serpent god. He made water in river rise and boil and cover the whole area. The name of Manikaran came from this legend and mani of Parvati. When this happened precious stones appeared in the waters. The rest of the water is still there in form of hot springs.
On the other hand, Sikhs believe that Guru Nanak, who was a founder of Sikhism was here at Manikaran in 16th century. His scholar was with him and they got hungry, but had no food with them. But people gave them some flour for making chapatti. Only they didn’t have fire to prepare it. Guru Nana asked his scholar to lift a stone and hot spring started to flow from there. They made some food, but chapatti was sinking. That is why the prayed in the name of God and chapatti started floating. It is said that everyone who prays in the name of God there will have his sunken items floating back.
There are Hindu temples and Sikh Gurudwara in Manikaran. Lord Ramchandra Temple dates back to 17th century and another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is very important as devtas of Kullu Valley come on specified dates there.
Gurudwara Shri Guru Nanak Devi Ji is significant shrine for Sikhs.
How to get to Manikaran
Manikaran liest in Parvati Valley of Kullu district and usually it is reached by visitors, tourists and pilgrims, either from Kullu or Manali. From Kullu the distance to Manikaran is around 45 kilometers, from Manali it is 85 km away. There are regular busses available to take you from both places, or it is convenient to hire a cab. Regular busses depart also from Chandigarh. The closest airport to Manikaran is at Bhunter town, 35 km away. Airport is commonly known as Kullu – Manali airport.