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Veiled in tranquility


Sarvesh

Juhi Jhunjhunwala

The majestic Himalayas offers a wide array of picturesque places, with rivers running down amid deep gorges and high mountains, but the Kullu valley has its own unmatched charm. Lavishly bestowed with beauty, Kullu is often referred to as the Land of God s. Manikaran is a little town in this serene setting, and is called the heart of this land.

Manikaran is about 45 km from Kullu and can only be accessed by road. We took a bus to Manikaran from Kullu. The entire stretch is full of breathtaking scenery and makes for a memorable drive. One can also trek to Manikaran from Kullu. But the route is q uite dangerous. It is advisable to take the road.

Nestling at the confluence of the Parvathi and Brahmganga rivers, Manikaran has many hot and cold caves around the area. Apart from these, there are many hot water springs. It is a widely-held belief that a bath in these springs can cure various ailments .

By crossing the temporary bridge on the river Parvathi, we reached the Gurudwara, built to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru, who meditated here. Guru Gobind Singh also spent some time here. It is now a place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs. Interestingly, we found symbols of all religions painted on the walls of the gurudwara.

Situated close to the gurudwara are two ancient temples. The temple of Ardhnareeshwar is about a km from the gurudwara. The other temple, dedicated to Lord Raghunath, is situated in the market close to the gurudwara. Both the temples are very well-known in the region and attract large crowds.

Apart from these, one can also take excursions around Manikaran. About 12 km from here is the Rudranag waterfall, which gets its name from its shape that resembles a water snake.

An uphill climb from Rudranag takes you to the river Kheerganga. A bridge on this river, called the Pandav Bridge, is believed to have been built by the Pandava prince, Bhima.

A trip to Manikaran and its surrounding areas has a mesmerising effect on the tourist. It provides good relief from the monotony of a hectic urban life. The snow-capped mountains, gushing rivers and the atmosphere of this place leave an indelible mark on the tourist. Is it any surprise that we carried back unforgettable memories of our visit here?

Fact file

How to get there

By air: The nearest airport is Bhuntar, 10 km from Kullu. Direct flights are available from New Delhi and Chandigarh.

By road: Himachal Pradesh road Transport Corporation, Haryana Roadways and Punjab Roadways have regular bus services to Kullu and Manikaran from all major towns.

When to visit: The best season to visit Manikaran is from mid-March to mid-November.

What to wear: It is advisable to wear light woollen clothes during summer and heavy woollen clothes during winter.

For more information contact:

Himachal Pradesh Tourist Information Centre

The Mall, Manali.

Ph: (01902) 24212

or

Himachal Pradesh Tourist Information Centre

Chanderlok Building

36, Janpath, New Delhi.

Ph: (011) 3325320, 3324764.

Picture by Sarvesh

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