Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery
It is a known fact that Manali is famous for the number of monasteries that have been established here. Two very beautiful monasteries that attract much tourist attention are the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa that was built in the year 1969 and the Himalayan Nyingma Gompa. The former is located in Old Manali and has a statue of Lord Buddha along with its beautiful interiors. There is a small garden that surrounds this monastery. The second one is situated close to the market square in Manali. These monasteries are known for their brilliant handiwork. They make very beautiful carpets and paintings. When one enters these places, the low whisper of religious hymns being chanted along with the aroma of incense makes the place a peaceful abode.
Hidimba Devi Temple
Located in the Old Manali region of Manali, this is the first temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi. She is worshipped here in the form of Devi Shakti and this is a very popular temple of Himachal. The temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the 16th Century to give respect to the wife of Bhima, the Pandava. It is said that Hidimbi, the brother of Hidimba agreed to marry anyone who could overpower her brother. Hidimba was known to be the strongest of all. Another legend says that once there was a fight between the Pandavas and Hidimba, in which Bhima, the strongest Pandava defeated and killed Hidimba who was from the demon clan. After this Hidimbi married Bhima and they had a son named Ghatotkach. When the Pandavas were returning from their exile, Hidimbi decided to stay back and start her meditation to gain ultimate power and get the position of a Goddess. The cave in which we find the temple today is said to be the same in which she had meditated. After her meditation she became an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The specialty of this temple is its pagoda styled 4-tiered roof and its beautiful wood carvings. The main festivals celebrated here are the Dusshera and Navaratri. There is another fair which is organized here during the month of May.
How to Reach: An auto ride away from Old Manali bridge, also an easy hike from there.Mythology: Of all the temples in India, this is the only one dedicated to Indian sage Manu, who, according to Hindu mythology, was the first man and with him came the civilisation. It is believed that Manu tied his boat to the Hampta mountain to protect the few species and humans he was saving from the Great Flood.
It was my last day in Manali. So, I wanted to feel refreshed and just relax.Vashisht temple is one of the few temples where you can take a dip into hot water springs which will leave you refreshed. There are separate bathing areas for men and women. The water in these natural springs have medicinal properties which can cure skin diseases.There are also beautiful sandstone temples.WHERE TO STAY?There are many good hotels in Manali. However, if you are a solo traveler looking for some peaceful alone time, "The Lost Tribe hostel" is the place for you.