Manali, a popular hill station and well known destination in Himachal Pradesh, state in North India, has many places to visit. One of the famous tourist attractions is located in the distance of around 3 kilometers from Manali in an altitude of almost 2000 meters – popular Vashisht temple and hot springs are just above Manali – Keylong road. It lies just by the river Beas on a steep hill.
Vashisht is a home of few temples and hot springs in a complex. Vashisht hot springs use natural thermal water. This sulphur hot springs are told to be sacred and many devotees visit them to take a dip in the water. Water from springs should heal skin diseases.
Vashisht Temple complex consists of Vashishta Muni Temple with design reminding a pyramid and a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Vashishta Muni Temple is dedicated to Guru Vashisht, one of the most admired Indian gurus – he was one of the seven sages of Hindu. His children were killed by Vishwamitra and Guru Vashisht couldn’t stand his sadness. He decided to commit a suicide, but river, currently known as Beas River didn’t want to kill him. After the incident he started meditation at the very same place. With Guru Vashisht also a creation of hot springs is connected. It is told that Laksman visited this spot and have seen that Guru had to give too much time going to take his bath. That is why he managed hot water starting to spring from the ground. And this is the origin of the place known today as Vashisht Hot Springs.
Temple is said to be over 4000 years old and it is well known by Hindus. Temple is very beautiful, built in traditional style. It is made of wood and it is full of amazing carvings in timber. From here you can value scenic views over the valley and surrounding mountains.
Vashisht Hot Springs
For those who came to enjoy hot water springs there are separated parts for men and women as well as Turkish style showers, divided according to the gender of visitors. Baths can get really crowded so if you want to avoid masses a bit try to come earlier in the morning. As water is filled with sulphur be careful when visiting with small children and don’t spend too long time directly in water and try to change between areas and get some fresh air.
Baths are well maintained. Buildings are made of wood and designed in traditional patterns. It is very lovely to enjoy hot water together with calming atmosphere of holy place right by you and panoramas of gorgeous mountains creating breath taking background.
How to get to Vashisht
From Manali you can either walk and enjoy views and the surroundings or you can take rickshaw or hire a cab in Manali. This hike will take around half an hour of your time if you walk. Small and steep trail to Vashisht is well maintained, leading along the Beas River. If you take by cab, then from parking lot you have to climb up anyway.
Place may feel too commercialized, outside there are many sellers trying to offer you different products, especially woolen ones, but rates are overprized. There are places to get accommodation, have nice meal or coffee. Must place to visit if you are in Manali.