Manikaran (Hindi: मणिकर्ण) located in the Kullu district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is a pilgrimage place for Hindus & Sikhs. There is a hot spring at this place & also a Gurudwara, hence this place attracts a lot of tourists who visit Kullu-Manali.
Carving of Lord Shiva at Manikaran
From Kullu: (Around 44 km)
From Kullu you need to go towards Mandi. You can either take the road on the other side of Beas River or the usual NH21. If you take the NH21, then you need to go a little further till Bhunter, take a U turn by crossing the river Beas & then take the road to Kasol/Manikaran. If you take the other road, you will directly hit the Kasol/Manikaran Road.
History of Manikaran:
Impressed by the lush green mountains, Lord Shiva & Godess Parvathi decided to spend some time here in this place, its said that they spent 1100 yrs in this place. During their stay, Godess Paravathi lost her Mani, upset with this, she asked Lord Shiva to get it back. Lord Shiva called up his attendants & asked them to search the Mani & get back to him. As the attendants failed to get it back, Lord Shiva got very angry & when he was about to open his 3rd eye, Naina Devi appeared & then she made a appeal with Sheshnag to pacify Lord Shiva. Sheshnag got all the Manis from the Patala Loka & gave it to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva asked Godess Paravathi to take her Mani & curse the rest of the Manis to become stones. Hence the name of this place is called Manikaran.
Who & how was this place discovered
In 16th century, Guru Nanak Dev Ji with his disciples came to this place. One of them felt hungry, but they had no food. Guru Nanak sent his friend to get food for langar. Many people donated wheat flour to make Rotis. But the problem was there was no fire to cook the food. Guru Nanak Ji asked his friend to lift one stone & to the surprise a hot spring appeared. They put the chapatti rolls & prayed God to get them baked. After they prayed, chapatis floated back baked.
Entrance to the place
Boiling water coming out from the Earth
Lord Shiva Temple, Gurudwara & the hot springs are the main attraction at this place. The water is so hot that, even rice can be prepared in less than 8 mins. There are small ponds with flowing hot water where people can take bath. The whether outside would be so cold, but with this hot springs, inside the Temple/Gurudwara premises the temperature is normal. There is a Langar Hall in Gurudwara, where one can serve if interested & have food.