One thing Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh can boast off is the abundance of hot springs. It’s blessed with so many hot springs that we see hot spring ponds every corner.
Parvati river, flowing through this valley appears like a hot water from distant. During dawn, we can see white water vapour rising from every point of hot spring.
This means I can surely say that Manikaran has as many untrapped hot springs as there are trapped hot springs. Therefore, number of ponds isn’t so less to accommodate incoming tourists.
I could see tourists, maximum of them Asians, bathing and swimming in those hot spring ponds during my last travel. Since this town is in sub-alpine zone, bathing in those hot ponds especially during winter is very relaxing and rewarding experience.
8 Tourist attractions at Manikaran
I feel that during cold winter, hot springs would be the best attractions for tourists. However, there are also many temples or spots tourists can visit in Manikaran:
- Naina Bhagwati Mandir
- Guru Nanak Gurudwara
- Parvati river
- Lord Shiva Temple
- Sight seeing spots
- Handicrafts Shops
- Sulphuric hot spring rocks
- Traditional Dresses
#1 Naina Bhagwati Mandir
It’s a small temple just beside main road in Manikaran town. Since it’s small, it would hardly take 5 minutes to look around. But its paintings and carvings are as wonderful as any ancient temple would have.
Just near this temple, there is a very hot spring. I have seen locals keeping potatoes in sacks to boil. You’ll even sweat sitting on its concrete lid. For the bathing pond though, it’s lucid with cold tap water.
#2 Guru Nanak Gurudwara
On asking a local man, I was told that this temple was built in memory of Guru Nanak, who is the first person to come and settle at Manikaran.
They believe that Guru Nanak has created the hot springs at Manikaran to help his disciple cook faster with hot water.
#3 Parvati river & valley
The river that flows through this valley is Parvati river. If you can get up before sunrise, walk little bit away from the town and observe the beauty of this river.
You’ll love the way it flows; muffled by clean white stream rising from those hot springs. If weather is favourable and there is no rain, you can also go near its bank and feel the freshness of Himalayan river.
#4 Lord Shiva Temple
In the lower part of Manikaran town, and near Guru Nanak Gurudwara, there is another Hindu temple in dedication to Lord Shiva.
Local people believe that Lord Shiva lived in Manikaran for 1000 years with his consort. Therefore, Hindus visit this temple to pay their homage to Lord Shiva and his consort.
#5 Sight seeing spots
If we climb on a higher land above main Manikaran town, we can enjoy the beautiful view of Manikaran valley, Parvati river and distant snow-capped mountains.
However, since way is uphill, elderly people cannot go up there. During rainy seasons it would be even more difficult. Instead, observing valley from far north and south of town is also equally good.
#6 Local product Shops
Manikaran, like any other places in Himachal Pradesh is popular with their locally woven shawls. One can get shawls of good patterns and embroidery at cheaper prices.
There are also other local handicraft products like wooden bowls, toys, souvenirs and utensils.
#7 Sulphuric hot spring Rocks
If you are suffering from frequent muscle cram, stiff joints or back pains, there is a room near Lord Shiva temple that houses warm sulphuric rocks.
You can just remain in the room to get anointed by those warm rocks. People believe that these rocks are actually uncovered by Guru Nanak.
#8 Traditional Dresses
You’ll find traditional dresses of people living in that part of India unique. I love their short cylindrical hats.
There are few photo studios where you can try their traditional dresses. If you didn’t bring your own cameras, you might ask them to shoot and print the photos as well.
Things to Explore
Local people say that there are many more tourist attractions in Manikaran valley. And ideal time to experience them is but in April-June, when temperature is moderately cool.
If my travel plan had more number of days, I would have tried trekking, rock climbing and cable car riding.
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