Characterized by the steam that continuously billows from underneath the pearl-white temple and Gurudwara set beside the Parvati river, this tiny town is just as delightful as the popular hill towns near it. Having said that, there’s no dearth of things to do in Manikaran for both pilgrims as well as avid explorers. Born out of an intriguing ancient legend, this rather glum looking pilgrim town lying 4 km east of Kasol actually hides a number of enthralling experiences that passersby usually miss on their way to the big hill stations like Kasol and Manali. With the finest hot springs, a majestic Hindu temple and Gurudwara, a bustling market nearby, and various inexpensive accommodation options, this small paradise has much more to it than meets the eye.
Best Time To Visit Manikaran
The summer season is the ideal time to visit this region in Northern India starting from the month of March till June. Other than Manikaran, you can also indulge in various activities in the nearby hill stations during summertime including paragliding, river rafting, and mountain sports in Solang Valley. The temperature during this time ranges from 10°C to 25°C while the weather also remains pleasant for adventure and sightseeing. To experience snow, you can go to high altitude areas like Rohtang Pass.
7 Best Things To Do In Manikaran
Move beyond Manali and Kasol. Indulge in each of these refreshing activities when you’re visiting Manikaran or passing by.
1. Manikaran Sahib – Pay Your Respects
This majestic gurudwara is the highlight of Manikaran and is situated in the Parvati Valley right along the banks of river Parvati. It is a crucial pilgrimage destination for both Sikhs as well as Hindus coming to this area. The religious rituals, hot springs, natural steam baths, as well as the beautiful surroundings of this area attract travelers from near and far.
This complex is essentially a combination of a number of temples, and this Gurudwara sits right at the center of this religious arcade. It’s, without a doubt, one of the best things to do at Manikaran for all types of travelers. The langar served here forms an important part of this Gurudwara’s daily ritual and is big enough to feed the disciples and the needy visiting this sanctum.
Timings: 5 AM – 12 noon and 4 PM – 9 PM
Entry fee: Nil
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2. Hot Springs – Take A Healing Dip
Next in the list of the top things to do in Manikaran is taking a steaming bath in the natural jacuzzi of Parvati River – the Manikaran Hot Springs. Utterly fascinating and revitalizing, these hot springs are said to contain Uranium, Sulphur, and various other radioactive elements that help cure diseases and ailments to a great extent. Other than the scientific factor, these springs also have various spiritual beliefs and a religious history attached to it.
There are separate bathing sections here for men and women. Since the water is quite hot, one is advised to enter slowly, letting their body gradually adjust to the temperature. In fact, the water is so hot that you can even boil rice and pulses in these, and the Gurudwara here prepares its ‘langars’ (sacred meals) with the help of this very hot water.
Entry fee: INR 30 per person
3. Kulant Pith – Cleanse Yourself
Revered as the most sacred and mighty of all piths in India, the Kulant Pith is believed to have been the abode of Lord Shankar for a short period of time. Pilgrims and locals believe that Lord Shiva’s stay here marks the purity of this shrine, especially the Vishnu Kund. A dip into this sacred Kund is said to wash away all your sins, as well as the anger and evil within you.
Pilgrims are also of the opinion that consuming the food boiled in the hot waters of Vishnu Kund can take one to Vishnu Lok (grant them salvation). Whether the place is miraculous or not, visiting it and spending time amidst its architecture is truly one of the best things to do in Manikaran.
4. Harinder Mountain – Trek
Manikaran is bounded by the snowy mountains of Harinder in the north which are excellent for a trek or two if you’re looking for something adventurous on your Manikaran trip. Other than being a great avenue for your trekking expedition, these snow-capped peaks also offer breathtaking views of the surrounding towns enveloped in mist, a view that will surely stay in your mind for a really long time. In fact, you’ll get stunning views if the sparkling Parvati river as well the imposing pearl-white structure of the Manikaran Gurudwara from the top.
5. Lord Shiva Temple – Cook Rice In Muslin Bags
Shiva Temple in Manikaran is a highly revered temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and receives a large influx of tourists and pilgrims throughout the year. Though it got slightly damaged during the earthquake of 1905, it has still managed to maintain its brilliant architecture and magnetic appeal. It consistently serves as an abode to the devtas of Kullu who pay regular visits to this temple. Another fascinating aspect about this temple is its hot water spring where pilgrims and tourists like to boil rice and pulses in muslin bags, definitely one of the most unusual things to do in Manikaran.
6. Lord Ramachandra Temple – Learn About Its History
The Ramachandra Temple was built in the 17th century by Raja Jagat Singh and it is among the most popualr religious centers in this area. Legend has it that it was Lord Ram himself who brought this temple here from Ayodhya, which makes it so famous among pilgrims and a total fascination for travelers. The shrine is situated right in the center of this tiny city and has 3 hallways as well as 40 rooms for its devotees who visit from near and far. Langar is also organized every day for each and every devotee who visits this sanctum.
7. Kasol And Manali – Explore
Don’t just stick to Manikaran. Use this opportunity to explore the amazing hill towns like Manali, Kasol, and Kullu nearby. You can easily get a bus from outside Manikaran Gurudwara (from the main road) and get to the nearest town of Kasol in just INR 50. Though Kullu and then Manali are a little further away from Manikaran, riding to this hip town in Himachal will still make up for one of the best things to do near Manikaran for you and your travel companions.
Distance from Manikaran to Kasol: 4.3 km (15 minutes)
Distance from Manikaran to Kullu: 43 km (1 hour 40 minutes)
How To Reach Manikaran
1. By Air – The Kullu-Manali Airport is the nearest one to Manikaran and is located a mere 36 km from this town near Bhunter. The airport receives frequent flights from Delhi, Chandigarh, as well as Shimla.
2. By Train – The Joginder Nagar railway station is a narrow gauge track located 148 km from Manikaran. One can also get a train to the Kiratpur railway station, which is 221 km from this place on the Kullu-Chandigarh highway, followed by Una station around 232 km away.
3. By Road – Nothing beats the fun of driving down on the winding roads of Himachal. Besides, the town of Manikaran is well connected to major towns and cities in Northern India by a well-laid out road network and a frequent bus service maintained by the State Transport (HRTC – Himachal Road Transport Corporation). You can also take a privately owned bus from cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and more, or you can simply drive to this place in your private vehicle.
We bet you didn’t know there was so much in Manikaran to explore and experience! This place surely is full of surprises. So, why don’t you too surprise yourself with all that it has to offer through a delightful little vacation in Himachal? Book your escapade with TravelTriangle for great deals and comfortable holiday experience in the hills.
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