Manikaran Sahib is known as an important pilgrimage center for both Sikhs and Hindus, located in the Parvati Valley on the banks of the Parvati River in the Kullu district of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The hot springs, religious trends, and beautiful environment here attract tourists a lot. Number of temples and Gurudwara- Manikaran Sahib make this place a religious place.
The Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara is considered sacred by both Sikhs and Hindus. Every religion has its own reasons behind its beliefs.
Hindus believe that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati lived here for about 1100 years and according to Sikhs, Guru Nanak performed many miracles here.
Manikaran Sahib is a major religious place in Kullu. This Gurudwara is also mentioned in the ‘Twelfth Guru Khalsa‘ by Gian Sikh.
If you want to know more about Manikaran Sahib, then definitely read this article, in this we are going to tell you about Manikaran and the major tourist places near it.
History of Manikaran, stories and mythology behind existence
A name like Manikaran suggests that it is derived from Mani. At this place Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati got fascinated by the beauty of the place and stayed here for 1100 years.
While he was staying here Goddess Parvati lost the gem in the stream and was upset about it. Shesha Nag had swallowed the gem as a result of which Lord Shiva got angry and performed Tandava (a form of dance) to get back the gem.
Shesh Nag gave birth to boiling water and hot springs and gems resembling Parvati’s gem spread all over the water, after which the place got the name Manikaran.
According to Sikhs, Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, along with his disciple Bhai Mardana came here in 1574 during the third Udasi. Mardana was hungry but there was no food. That’s why he was sent by Guru Nanak Ji to collect food for the langar.
After this, people donated flour to make chapatis. Despite having the ingredients, they were unable to cook the food due to the advance.
Guru Nanak ji asked Mardana to lift a stone and as soon as he did so a hot spring came out, after this Mardana put the rotis in the hot spring.
At the behest of Guru Nanak, Mardana prayed to God and said that if his bread floats back, he will donate one bread to God.
When he prayed, the baked bread floated on the water. Guru Nanak ji said that if anyone makes a donation in the name of God, his sinking goods start floating back.
Restaurants and local food outlets near Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara
There are not many options for eating in Manikaran. However one can eat langar organized by temples and gurudwaras in the area. The food in the langar here is tasty as well as hygienic.
It becomes even more convenient for you to take your own food along. Let us tell you that the Himachali food here is quite simple but it has many special dishes.
The staple food here consists of chapatti, daal, vegetable gravy, and curd. Pickle is also included in the food here.
What is the best time to visit Manikaran Sahib?
Manikaran town is located in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of about 1760 meters above sea level. Due to its high altitude, the weather here is extremely cold throughout the year with an average temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.
Many tourists prefer to visit during the summer season (April – June) to avoid the cold. Manikaran is also famous for its natural hot springs which are scattered all around the city and make this area a major tourist destination of Kullu.
It is very cold in Manikaran during the winter season. Many people prefer to travel during this season as well.
Place of interest in Manikaran
Gurudwara here is a holy place. It is said that the Sikh founder, Guru Nanak Dev visited Manikaran for the betterment of the people there.
Once at the small town, his disciples collected flour and pulses from the local people for langar. Guru Nanak ji then requested his disciples to remove a stone from the area where he was sitting.
The disciples did as instructed and was surprised by the sudden hot water spring that break out suddenly. The gurudwara also has free langar for everyday.
Lord Ramchandra Temple
This temple was made by Raja Jagat Singh in the 17th century. This is a very old temple with old construction and holds a fame of very spiritual place for locals.
Temple of Lord Shiva
This temple belongs to Lord Shiva. An earthquake in 1905 caused damage to the temple and it was slightly tilted. The importance of Manikaran is also judged from the fact that devtas or deities of Kullu Valley pay regular visits to this place.
The climate in Manikaran is cold throughout the year. Manikaran temperature remains below 0º Celsius for half of the year. The maximum temperature can rise up to 17º Celsius and minimum of 5º Celsius.
The best time to visit Manikaran is April to October. April to June is ideal for sightseeing. From September to October the climate and weather is good for trekking and rock climbing and river rafting. October to February is ideal for snow skiing.
How To Reach Manikaran Sahib
How to Reach by Flight
Tourists can take a flight to Bhuntar Airport to reach Manikaran. The distance between this airport to Manikaran is 34.8 km. From Bhuntar, Manikaran can be reached with the help of bus.
There are many local buses available from Bhuntar to Manikaran. The nearest major airport is at Chandigarh which is 8 hours away from Bhuntar.
How to Reach by Road
Manikaran is connected to Bhuntar through local state buses. Bhuntar is well connected by road to all major cities nearby like Shimla, Pathankot, Chandigarh, and New Delhi. Along with this, taxis are also easily available from all the surrounding areas.
How to Reach by Train
Manikaran does not have its own railway station. The nearest major station is Pathankot Station, Punjab where Jammu Mail, Ravi Express, and Dhauladhar Express run to Pathankot.
It will take you 8 hours to reach Manikaran from Pathankot by road with a distance of around 300 km. The best way to get from Pathankot to Manikaran is to book a taxi or take a bus till Bhuntar and then take a local bus from there.
Manikaran Kullu Himachal Pradesh