Manikaran Hot Spring
Location: Parvati Valley (Northeast of Bhunmtar in Kulu District), Himachal Pradesh
Manikaran is located at an altitude of 1760 meters. Several hot water springs emerge at various locations at Manikaran along the Parvati river. The springs come out to surface with great pressure and are very hot. There is no sulphur or iron mixed in the waters, but it is said contain radioactive elements such as uranium and radium. The water from the springs are so hot that rice, pulses and vegetables can be cooked with it. The springs are also well-known for their miraculous healing powers. People come here from different part of India for taking a dip in the spring water, which is believed to cure ailments such as rheumatism, gout and muscular pain.
Manikaran is a well-known pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. There are several temples in Manikaran, the most important one being the Lord Raghunatha (Rama) temple that was constructed by Raja Jagat Singh in the 17th century. Though there is no historical evidence, the pandas (priests) of the temple claim that the idol of Rama was brought from Ayodhya and installed here. There is another very old temple at Manikaran. This temple is dedicated to Lord Siva. It suffered extensive damage during the 1905 earthquake and got tilted.
Manikaran is also held sacred by the Sikhs because of its association with Guru Nanak. There is a famous gurudwara – Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurudwara here. Devotees visiting the Gurudwara take a holy dip in the hot water emanating from the springs.
Legend associated with Manikaran
The mountains, the lush green patches and the forests of Manikaran is belived tp have charmed Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati and they decided to stay there for sometime. For long eleven hundred years they stayed at this place. At one time, when the Lord and the Goddess were relaxing in the waters of a stream running by the side, a ‘mani’ (precious stone) from the ear-ring of the Goddess dropped somewhere. Parvati was much distressed and there was a thorough search but efforts to find out the mani failed. Lord Siva got enraged and opened His third eye of the Lord Siva. As a result, there was a great commotion all over the universe. In order to subside the anger of Lord Shiva, Sheshanag hissed and there was a flow of boiling water continuously, which passed over the area and out came a large number of the precious stones.