BY HARPREET KAUR
May 9, 2005: Our luxury bus stopped close to
the wire bridge. Across lay Manikaran, the place famous
for its hot water springs, a gurudwara, temple and a
mosque, all of which lie in close proximity. The bridge
crossed the span of one mountain to another with a
gushing river that lay in between. It was not that cold
It is boxed in at the bottom of a vast sheer-sided
chasm. It is a damp, dark place and all the action
revolves around the springs. It is also called Parvati
Valley. It is a good spot for trout fishing too.
Everyone took off towards his or her
places of worship. We were intrigued to find that the
hot springs rose in bubbles close to the shore of the
river, with people bathing, drinking, collecting or
trying to cook rice in the hot water. Legend has that
Shiva and Parvati loved Manikaran so much that they
chose to stay here for over a thousand years - until the
day Parvati lost one of the gems she wore on her ear
ring. Shiva searched high and low for the gem, but to no
avail. The furious God opened His third eye, which would
lead to the destruction of the Earth. Fearing the worst,
the Gods requested Shesh Nag to search for the lost
piece of jewellery. The Nag (snake) hissed and hissed,
creating bubbles and hot water in the river, which threw
up many precious stones including the one which Parvati
lost. Legend has it that the bubbles sometimes reached
and became waves 15 feet high.
Since then, the
water here boils and spews sulphur gas close to the
shore. The water of Manikiran is used by people of all
faiths for general and religious purposes. The temple
has created a kund, which is used by the pilgrims coming
to the Ram temple to cook rice and dal.
The temple is carved in pale gray stone. There are
several other temples in Manikaran, but the temple of
Lord Ram has an image, which was from Ayodhya and
brought by the Raja of Kullu. It has since disappeared.
On one of the stones of this ancient temple, its entire
history is written, but the script is not readable.
During festivals, the devatas or lords of the temples in
Manikaran pay regular visits here. They are carried in
ceremonious processions to the Ram temple on auspicious
Guru Nanak Devji Gurudwara
|You can take the HPDC bus/luxury
bus; taxies can be hired. There are all types of
hotels, where you can stay and cafes where you can
|t is 45 km from Kullu. The nearest
airport is at Bhuntar in Kullu. In winter, the
temperatures become quite low and heavy woollens are
required. In summer, cottons are recommended.
|The nearest railheads are at
Chandigarh, Shimla and Jogindernagar.
|Manali is also close by, and there
is a lot to see and do in Manali, including
We passed the temple to reach the Gurudwara, a two-storeyed
building. After praying, we went for lunch. I found the
food quite different from other Gurudwaras, with two
dishes which have always been my favourite. It was a
combination of dahi kadi (curd gravy), meethe chawal
(sweet rice), palak (spinach) and roti (Indian bread).
You may find this combination an odd one, but it was
very well cooked.
This Gurudwara is open to all and is highly venerated by
the Sikhs. Guru Nanak visited this place with Mardana,
and he is said to have performed many miracles here.
This is mentioned in the autobiography of Bhai Mardana.
One of the hot water baths is within the Gurudwara,
while the other two are privately-owned. Some of these
hot springs have been tested to contain a high dose of
Uranium and radioactive minerals.
BY HARPREET KAUR