Renowned for its pilgrimage centers, the sacred town of hot water spring “Manikaran” is perched on the right bank of the roaring river ‘Parvati’, at an altitude of ~1700 m, in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh.
It is considered holy for Hindus and Sikhs with several temples and the very famous Gurudwara , ‘Manikaran Sahib’. It also boasts of housing an experimental Geothermal Energy plant.
It is believed by many that taking bath in the hot water spring & drinking its water is a sure shot way for humans to get an entry in heaven. For me, just being at ‘Manikaran Sahib’ was heaven in itself!
When we, me & my husband, started the drive from Manali for Manikaran we had no clue what was in store for us. It was an impromptu decision, literally rushed into! & the 85 KM long drive was not for the weak-hearted. Moreover, it had rained all throughout the drive making the roads quite slippery (any which ways the roads were not in best of shape!) which made the drive quire perilous.
But we are not the ones who turn back!!
We finally reached our destination late in the evening & as we laid our eyes on what was waiting for us we knew we had not made a mistake. We were greeted by what we thought were dense, really dense, clouds making visibility quite vulnerable until we realized these were vapors rising high from the hot water spring. We were mesmerized!
The hot water spring is considered extremely auspicious & the water is supposed to have curative powers. It definitely cleansed our souls!
The management of the Gurudwara welcomed us with open arms & presented us a small cozy room to settle in. We had a wonderful view of the landscape from the room. The entire Gurudwara was engulfed in the vapors from the hot water spring flowing effortlessly below. The amazing union of chilly winds and hot vapors was mystical!
For dinner, we went for the “langar” served inside the gurdwara premises & had the best food ever! An awe-inspiring experiment at Manikaran is that of cooking food in the naturally boiling hot water from the sacred spring. They actually don’t use any gas or stoves to cook! It is amazing. Seeing our excitement, they allowed us to make tea ourselves in the spring water. We were awe-struck!
There is a water pool in the Gurudwara where one can enjoy a hot bath. & believe me, the water is really hot!
On closely observing, I realized the place is truly magical! Water flowing through the curves of the hills has given rise to driftwood in various shapes & forms. Nature has used an array of colors & textures to form fascinating mountains. Transparent stone crystals, which resemble topaz, can also be found at some points.
The market of Manikaran is dominated by Tibetans & one can buy religious idols, offerings, books, and several Tibetan products.
This magical expedition can be combined with a number of breathtaking places like – Pulga, 16 KMs on left bank of the river. Khirganga is famous for its hot springs with medicinal properties. Pandapul is known for its ancient heritage. 2 KMs ahead, Mantala is another enchanting place.
There is absolutely no end to nature’s magic in & around Manikaran.