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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Manikaran Sahib, Where Heaven Meets Earth!


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Priya Aurora
Bon vivant, writer extraordinaire. Can be reached at: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail me

Manikaran Sahib is an old, historic gurdwara close to Manali in Himachal Pradesh. It figures among the most-revered gurdwaras of Sikhs and its exact location is in the beautiful Parvati Valley, on the banks of the river by the same name.

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It is forty kilometers from Bhuntar airport and attracts many visitors annually. Besides being an important pilgrimage, Manikaran Sahib is also famous for its hot water springs. Manikaran is visited by Sikhs and Hindus both.

The Hindus have this belief that after the flood, Manu had created life in Manikaran. You will find temples dedicated to Vishnu, Krishna and Lord Rama here.

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The landscape of this area is simply mesmerizing and takes your breath away. There is an interesting story behind Manikaran. They say that once when Shiva and Parwati were strolling in this valley, she dropped an earring which was taken by SheshNag to the deepest core of earth. And he surrendered it only when Shiva performed the Tandav. The jewel shot up from the water after that. The locals say till 1905, the jewel used to come up in the water but it stopped after the terrible earthquake.

The Sikhs have their legend too. They say that Guru Nanak Devji had come here in 1574 with his two favourite disciples. He was accompanied by Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala, and the former felt very hungry while he was here. Soon they faced a strange dilemma of how to make rotis without any fire. Then the Guru told his disciple to just lift the stone and a hot water spring started flowing from underneath. The Guru told his disciples to cook roti in hot water, but to the dismay of the disciples the rotis started sinking. The Guru then told them to pray to God and then give a roti to charity. The rotis did not sink after that.

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It is also believed that if you visit Manikaran, you don’t need to visit Kashi. The water of the spring is believed to cure many problems and you will see that the people in the gurdwara cook rice in the hot water of this stream. A trip to Kullu and Manali is incomplete without a trip to Manikaran.

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