Manikaran Sahib is located at an altitude of about 1760 mtrs and around 35 kms from Kullu. It is situated in the Parvati Valley on river Parvati. The people who visit Manali and Kullu also visit here for its hot springs and pilgrim centres. An experimental geothermal energy plant has also been set up here. The hot water spring which is here is making a fountain upto 11 to 14 feet high, the temperature of different springs at Manikaran is 64 to 80 °C with no sulphur in it.These spring was available before 1905,and cure joints, arthiritis. Food is cooked in these waters. Manikaran is the centre for Sikhs and Hindus both , this place has many temples and a gurudwara.
As per Sikhs belief Guru Nanak came to this place in 1574with his disciple Bhai Mardana. Mardana felt hungry and they have no food to eat, then Guru Nanak sent Mardana to collect food for the langar, many people donated atta, but there was no fire to cook. 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 chappatis in spring and it sank, then Guru Nanak told him to pray to God that if his chappatis float then he will donate one Chappati on God’s name, when he prayed all chappatis started floating and to his surprise all the chapatis are baked. Guru Nanak said that anyone who donates in the name of God, his drowned items float back.
As per Hindu belief while roaming around, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Impressed by the beauty of the place, they decided to spend some time there. It is believed that they actually spent eleven hundred years here. During their stay, Goddess Parvati lost some precious stones in water and when others were not able to find them, Lord Shiva became very angry and opened his third eye to destruct everything. It was then that Sheshnag (the serpent god) tried to pacify him, and he hissed giving birth to boiling water, resulting in finding the precious stones. The name Manikaran is derived from this legend. The water is so hot that rice can be cooked in it.
How to Reach Us
By Air Bhuntar is the nearest airport from Manikaran which is about half an hour drive. Cabs/ Taxis are available from Airport.
By Rail Pathankot is the nearest Railway station at a distance of about 150 km and another is Chandigarh railway station which is around 283 km from Manikaran. Cabs/ Taxis are available from Railway station.
By Road There are no direct buses to reach Manikaran and the travelers have to board a bus till Kullu or Manali and then take another bus for Manikaran.One can hire Cabs/ Taxis as well to reach this place.
Best Season To Visit Manikaran Sahib
Summer (April-June) summers with minimum temperature of 6 degree C and maximum of 16 degree C. It is the best time to visit the place.
Monsoon (July-October) The place receives moderate rainfall all across the year but the maximum of rainfall occurs in monsoon and the temperature hovers around 8 degree C. It is not advisable to visit Manikaran due to slippery hill sides and mountain slides.
Winter (November-March) The minimum temperature may drops down to -8 degree C and chilly winds are blown through the entire region.
Manikaran has limited options to the vegetarian food only. Indian and Chinese snacks at Shiva Food Center and Holy Palace Restaurant in Manikaran is available. The food served in langars inside the temples and Gurudwaras is quite good and hygienic, one can go for this option as well.
The water in these hot springs contains Uranium and other radioactive elements and is believed to cure diseases. The water is extremely hot that one can even cook rice in these. These Springs is a holy place for the tourist due to the mythology of this place .Both Hindus and Sikhs has separate myth of this place.
Sri Guru Nanak Devji Gurudwara
This Gurudwara is believed to have been visited by the Guru Nanak with his five disciples and is also mentioned in the 'Twelfth Guru Khalsa' by Giani Gian Sikh. The langar here is very big and it serves free food to disciples and the needy.
Highly impressed by the place, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati stayed here for almost 1100 years, which makes this place pure and most sacred among all the piths in India. Vishnu Kund is believed to be the purest of all the kunds and a dip into this is believed to wash away all your sins. Another belief is that the place takes away all the anger and evil of the individuals. Localities believe that having food boiled in the water here, can take one to Vishnu Lok.
Manikaran is located on the banks of river Parvati and is surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Harinder Mountains in the north. The view from the top of these moutains is fabulous, one should not miss this oppurtunity of this place.
Lord Ramachandra Temple
The temple was built in the 17th century by Raja Jagat Singh, also famous for its glorious idols of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. Langar is organized for each and every devotee. It is located in the center of the city having 3 halls and 40 rooms for the devotees who visit here.
Lord Shiva Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is very famous among tourists they visit throughout the year. This temple got slightly damaged due to an earthquake in 1905.