Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley on river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 35 km from Kullu.

Manikaran is a pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs. The Hindus believe that Manu recreated human life in Manikaran after the flood, making it a sacred area. It has many temples and a gurudwara. There are temples of the Hindu deities Rama, Krishna, and Vishnu. The area is well known for its hot springs and its beautiful landscape.

The legend of Manikaran states that while roaming around, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati once chanced upon a place that was surrounded by mountains and was lush green. Enamored by the beauty of the place, they decided to spend some time there. It is believed that they spent eleven hundred years here.

During their stay here, Goddess Parvati lost her mani (precious stones) in the waters of a stream. Upset over the loss, she asked Shiva to retrieve it. Lord Shiva commanded his attendant to find the mani for Parvati. However, when they failed, he was extremely angry. He opened his third eye, a tremendously inauspicious event that led to disturbances in the universe. An appeal was made before the serpent god, Sheshnag, to pacify Lord Shiva. Sheshnag hissed thereby giving rise to a flow of boiling water. The water spread over the entire area resulting in the emergence of precious stones of the type Goddess Parvati had lost. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were happy with the outcome.

The name Manikaran is derived from this legend. The water is still hot and is considered extremely auspicious. A pilgrimage to this place is thought of as complete. It is also believed that there is no need to pay a visit to Kashi after visiting this place. The water of the spring is also supposed to have curative powers. The water is so hot that rice can be cooked in it.

Gurdwara of Manikaran 

The gurdwara at Manikaran is very much renowned because of its association with Guru Nanak. Devotees to this gurdwara can take a holy dip in the hot water emanating from the springs. Out of the three baths, one is situated below the gurdwara itself. There are separate arrangements for men and women. Quite close by is a langar khana where free food is served.

According to the Sikh sources during the third Udasi, the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak came to this place with his disciple Bhai Mardana. Mardana felt hungry and they had no food. Guru Nanak sent Mardana to collect food for the langar (the Community Kitchen). Many people donated atta (flour) to make Roti(bread). The one problem was that there was no fire to cook the food. Guru Nanak asked Mardana to lift a stone and he complied and a hot spring appeared. As directed by Guru Nanak, Mardana put the rolled chapatis in the spring to his despair the chapatis sank. Guru Nanak then told him to pray to God saying that if his chapatis floated back then he would donate one chapati in His name. When he prayed all the chapatis started floating duly baked. Guru Nanak said that anyone who donates in the name of God, his drowned items float back.

Other Attractions 

The famous Sri Ramchandra temple stands upright in the town of Manikaran. The image of this temple is believed to have been brought from Ayodhya. The temple of Lord Shiva is another place of religious importance. The Vishnu Kund at Manikaran is the epitome of purity. The water of this place is regarded to be the holiest.



Leave a Reply