A trip to Kullu Manali in Himachal Pradesh is incomplete without a day’s break at the Manikaran Sahib. Situated 35 kilometers from Kullu and 4 kilometers from Kasol, it is a destination that conjoins beautiful sights and religious sentiments with an adventurous trip. It is one of the few auspicious sights that have both Hindus and Sikh sentiment attached simultaneously. Thus, millions of tourists throng it every year. Located on the banks of River Parvati, Manikaran offers many breathtaking sites of the lofty snow-clad mountains in the background.
Manikaran Sahib, the gurudwara is the most important place to visit in Manikaran. It is a very well maintained Gurudwara. It also offers free of cost ‘langar’ (food distribution) as well as accommodation options. The Gurudwara is also famous for its bridge and the gushing hot springs. The rice in the ‘langar’ are made by inserting small packets of rice in the hot spring itself.
LEGEND BEHIND MANIKARAN SAHIB GURUDWARA
As per mythology, it is believed that Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first Guru of Sikhism, visited this place in third Udasi. He was accompanied by one of his ardent disciple, Bhai Mardana. After traveling, Bhai Mardana was hungry and they had no food. Guru Nanak Dev ji, then asked Bhai Mardana to ask around for food for Langar. The generous people of the town donated flour. But, it yet had to be cooked as ‘rotis’ (wheat breads made in India). Due to the high altitude there was no fire or heat to cook them in. Guru Nanak Devji then advised Bhai Mardana to lift a stone in the valley. It is believed that the hot spring fluted out from this very spot. Guru Nanak Dev ji then asked Bhai Mardana to roll the chapattis and to put them in the hot spring. To Bhai Mardana’s despair, the chapattis sank inside the spring. Guru Nanak Dev ji then asked him to offer prayers to God and promise him to donate one chapatti from his share of chapattis. He did as told and the chapattis came back up, completely baked and ready to eat. It is thus, believed that anything offered to the spring with prayers and the intent to donate, floats back up to the surface of the spring.
The pious water of the spring is sulphur-less in nature and is said to possess special healing properties that help in curing of diseases like Arthritis.
Apart from the Grudwara, Manikaran offers various places to visit near the Manikaran Sahib like the various temples and the Brahma Ganga Sangam (confluence of RiverPaap Nasini and River Parbati) to take a dip in.