I live in a country where storytelling traces back to the very existence of humans. The land where the legendary Ramayana and Mahabharata was born. They are said to be mythical and yet there are evidences of them being the true events. The biggest evidence is the Ram Setu, a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka which sank underwater after 14th Century AD. Similarly there are many legends belong to this country and there's no way that there are Hot Water Springs in mountains and there's no legend connected to it. In fact, the legends make Manikaran a place of confluence of faith. The place is quite popular among Sikh pilgrims as well as Hindu pilgrims and why not it be a popular place? Apart from being a place of faith the place is situated far from the hustle bustle of the city in the serene lap of Himachal. The thunder of Parvati river which is flowing right through the village and the very best, Hot Water Springs. There's no getting around the fact this place beautiful and incredible and so are the legends of this place.
The most famous attraction of Manikaran town is Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib and the history of the gurdwara sahib is mentioned in Bhai Bala Janamsakhi and Twarikh Guru Khalsa. The history goes back to the time when Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Sikh's first Guru alongwith Bhai Mardana Ji and other Sikhs were at this place in Himalayas. The sikhs were hungry and there was no food. Guru Nanak Dev Ji sent Bhai Mardana to collect food for Langar. People donated rice, beans and flour but the only problem they had was that there was no fire to cook upon. Bhai Mardana turned to Guru Nanak Dev Ji with the problem and Guru Nanak Dev ji directed him to move a rock. After moving the rock, a hot water spring started. Rice and beans were boiled in that but as soon as Bhai Mardana put the Parsada(Chapati) into the water, it sank away, now again with this concern Bhai Mardana asked for help from Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji asked Mardana to pray and ask if my Parsada (Chapati) comes up, then I will donate one in the name of God and suddenly every Parsada afloat back. The Guru Nanak Dev Ji said, everyone's loss will come back if one donates in the name of God. Even today, the food is cooked the same way in the Gurudwara Sahib.
Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib which came into existence after almost 50 years of struggles of Baba Narain Hari, who, as per the locals, came to Kullu in 1940. He started with a small Gurudwara using timber against which the villagers protested and demolished it. This kept on going for a long time until the villagers gave up and helped Baba Narain Hari in the construction of the Gurudwara. Baba Narain Hari used to bring cement and other construction material from Bhuntar which is 35 kilometers from Manikaran, on his back. And as a result of his complete life struggle, this Gurudwara can now accommodate 4000 persons with free shelter and Langar. There is also a Garam Gufa or Hot Cave in the Gurudwara premises where people can sit and get rid of a lot of diseases and it is done through natural healing. One can also take dip into the Hot Spring Water here.
Another famous attraction of Manikaran is Shivji's Temple. Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib and Shiv Temple share a same wall. There are Hot Water Spring in the Temple premises too. And there’s also a legend behind the origination of this Hot Water Spring. According to the legend, Lord Shiva along with Parvati were attracted by this place and they spend 11,000 years here meditating. On a fine day, Maa(Mother) Parvati Ji were bathing in the river flowing through this place and she lost her Mani in the water. She got upset over her loss and asked Lord Shiva to find her Mani. Lord Shiva commanded his ganas(attendants) to find the Mani but they failed at it and Lord Shiva got angry. Lord Shiva opened hist third eye and started performing Tandav which is said to be immensely adverse event as per the Hindu beliefs and which started making a lot of disturbances in the Universe. To pacify Lord Shiva and bring peace an appeal was made before the Sheshnag, the Serpent God. Sheshnag then hissed which resulted in the emergence of the Hot Water Spring. Along with the hot water, the precious stones, of those kinds that Maa Parvati lost, also emerged. It made Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati very happy. Manikaran (Mani - Ring and Karan – Ear) got its own name from this very own legend and the river is called Parvati river since then.
Aren't these legends interesting? So is this place. Now before you visit Manikaran, get to to know what all not to miss here and what should be your budget so that you don't miss anything.