Manikaran is well connected from Kulu valley. There are buses to Manikaran at every hour from Kulu. The distance is about 44 kilometers, via Bhuntar, Jari and Kasol. The last bus from Manikaran returns to Kulu at 6pm. Most people do not stay there, but make it a day trip.
Manikaran is at a height of 1737 meters above sea level. It is in the parvati valley, beside parvati river. It stretches from the meet of the Beas river and Parvati river to the north of Parvati river. The beauty is scary, to say the least, with the fast flowing river on one side, and steep mountains on the other. It is sure to mesmerize you. The whole journey is through a pictorial landscape. The beauty of Kasol, that is 4 kilometers before Manikaran, is also terrific. Kasol is also known for Charas, a local drug, which is the cash crop here. Recently Israelis are frequenting Kasol. If you are staying at Kulu, then you should try and visit Manikaran and Kasol. Kasol is also directly connected with Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla, by overnight buses.
There are quite a few good places to stay as well, among which HPTDC's tourist hut, Kasol resorts, and Krishna palace are notable. Check our hotel booking links below for rates and pictures and online booking.
The Jari village will also fall en route and is famous for its apple orchards. The views of snow capped Himalayas from this place will make you spell bound.
The adventurous ones can also trek to Grahan village, which is about 9 kilometers from Kasol. The pathway is guarded by mountains on both sides, with the green grazing grounds in between. It is also a reserved forest area, with deers, ghurals, civets, snow leopard, black bear and other animals being in its resident list. Its a heaven for ornithologists too, with different pheasants and other birds populating the area. The entire route is dotted with small streams and waterfalls (jhoras).
One can also take a bus and go to Barsoni, where a dam is being built for hydal power at the river Parvati. The Jumlu Mahadeva temple is here is famous, and all believers pay a visit.
Trek for 3 kilometers from Barsoni and you will reach the Pulgaon (Fulgaon). A beautiful place, with equally beautiful and kind people. It is frequented by foreigners for eco tourism. One can stay in huts there, though most choose to make it a day visit from Manikaran.
In the west of Manikaran is the VishnuKund,in the North is the Harendra Parvat, in the east is Brahma Nala while in the East, it is bordered by Parvati Ganga river. The entire area between these four milestones is ManiKaran. If you are visiting Manali or Kulu and staying there for the night, then definitely bring Manikaran in your Itinerary, for its sheer, raw beauty.
Te bulk of the population lives on the northen side of the river, while the bus stand is in the southern side. You have to cross a bridge when you go by bus.
ManiKaran is a Hindu Pilgrimage as well as a Sikh Pilgrimage. According to Shiva Puranas, Seshnag, a snake, stole the mani kuntal (ear stud)of parvati , and went underground. Shiva was angry and created Naina Devi to search for the same. She went underground and brought Seshnag along with the Manikuntal. Seshnag also brought a number of gems to appease Shiva. Shiva only took the Mani Kuntal, and converted the other gems into stones to cover up the hot springs that had formed due to Seshnag coming up from underground. Hence the name ManiKaran.
Manikaran boasts of the hottest springs of the world. One can also bathe here. The waters are rich with sulfur. There is a Shiva Parvati temple too, at the Kund. People also bather at the meet of the Brahma Ganga and Parvati river.
Guru Nanak came here in 1578 A.D. And discovered the hot water springs after removing the stones. There is a gurudwara too, commemorating the occasion. There are Vaishno Devi, Naina Devi, Hanuman temple, Ram temple and Krishna temple as well.
The only bane is, the place is a bit moist, and smells of Sulfur all the time.
How to reach: You can reach it from Manali or Kulu, by Bus or by hired cars. There are overnight buses from Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla to Kasol. Bhuntar is the nearest Airport.
Where to Stay: You can stay at Gurdwara or at Ram Mandir Dharmashala. There are quite a few hotels too. Check our hotel booking links for prices, photos, options, rates and online booking. Staying at Kasol is better option. It is also the base camp for Sar Pass, Yanker Pass, Pin Parbati Pass and Khiriganga trek routes.