Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley on river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. Manikaran is a pilgrimage centre 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. According to legend, when the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati were walking in the valley, Parvati dropped one of her earrings. The jewel was seized by Shesha, the serpent deity, who then disappeared into the earth with it. Shesha only surrendered the jewel when Shiva performed the cosmic dance, the Tandava and shot the jewel up through the water. Apparently, jewels continued to be thrown up in the waters at Manikaran until the 1905 Kangra earthquake. This temple is hugely revered as it belongs to Lord Shiva. However, 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 of Kullu valley pay regular visit to this place on specified dates.
According to the Sikhs, during third Udasi, the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak came to this place in 15 Asu 1574 Bikrami 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 to make Roti. 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 float 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.
Tour Places Of Interest
Khir Ganga is a small village situated in Parvati Valley situated at an altitude of 3050 m. It has to be reached from Barsheni by 11 km trek and usually a 2 day trip from Kullu / Barsheni. Khir Ganga is one of the best trekking sites in Himachal Pradesh. Khir Ganga is a holy place with a hot water spring. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. According to legend, Kartikeya the younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati meditated for a thousand years at Khir Ganga making it an important religious place for Hindus. Khir Ganga name came due to the milky waters of the Parvati River flowing into Parvati valley. The valley is very abundant in water resources and a Hydel Power Project is coming up in the village of Barsheni.
Tunda Bhuj is a personal camping spot near the riverside where you will set up your own tents and prepare dinner. This spot is 15 kilometers from Kheerganga, a walk that commences through dense pine forests and meadows. The progress is gradual and slow, as it is a steep climb to Tunda Bhuj. Once everything is set up, you can relax by sitting under the stars, looking up at the sky and creating your own stories by connecting the dots. Trust me: this is the most amazing part of the entire trip and it will make you crave more of those starry nights.
Mantalai Lake is located at 4200 m on the trail to Pin Parvati pass and is the source of Parvati river. The lake is formed by the melting of snow from the nearby mountains and glaciers. There is a legend associated with a stone crossing at Mantalai and a shrine lined with tridents has been built to this effect. The Parvati river is crossed on Pandu Pul, which marks the route that the Pandava brothers took in an earlier age.
Pandu Pul, the trek leads to Odi Thach, which is a splendid location in a wide space surrounded by snowy peaks. From Odi Thach, the climb is steep and difficult but the otherworldly views more than compensate for the troubles. Mantalai Lake is a days hike away from the campsite at Odi Thach.