Hello lovely readers! I hope you had a wonderful start to the New Year. So what’s on your bucket list for 2018? Many of you would have experienced snowfall, but what about having a natural hot water spa in the lap of nature when it’s snowing!! Abhi are you kidding, there can’t be such a place!!! No, I’m not. Have you heard of Manikaran near Kasol??
Parvati River near Manikaran
Located around 5 kms from the famous hippie town Kasol, Manikaran has one of the most scenic natural hot springs out of the approx. 350 identified in India. So what exactly is a hot Spring? It is a pool of water that gets heated naturally/geothermally as it emerges from the Earth’s crust. The water is said to have healing properties.
The hot springs in Manikaran cover a region of around 1.2 kms and are situated on the banks of Parvati River which flows across the town. The water leaving the spring is extremely hot. Thus it is kept in a pool for quite a while to make it suitable for bathing.
Vapor coming out of hot water in Manikaran near Kasol
How to reach Manikaran
The cheapest and most preferred way to reach Manikaran near Kasol is via railway and bus. The nearest railhead to Manikaran is Pathankot which is nearly 165 kms. Chandigarh railway station (295 kms from Manikaran) is preferred over Pathankot due to its better connectivity to other Indian cities.
From Chandigarh, catch a bus to Manali, though you don’t have to travel till there. You need to get down at Bhuntar (48 kms before Manali), which is 36 kms away from Manikaran. From here, you can catch a local bus to reach your destination.
Note: – Manikaran does not have direct connectivity by bus/train from major cities. I took a bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate Delhi to reach Bhuntar.
Getting around Manikaran
Manikaran is quite small and all places are easily accessible walking around. What I would suggest is to have a leisurely walk from Kasol to Manikaran which would take around an hour. Get ready, pick a camera and go lost in nature!!!
Dog at Manikarana near Kasol
My journey to Manikaran
Kasol was the main reason what brought me to this part of the globe. I had heard so much about Kasol and always wanted to experience the Hippie culture present in the town. After spending a remarkable day in Kasol, I along with my college friends headed for Manikaran.
I had been to Vashisht hot water spring in Kullu but somehow missed taking a bath. So I was extremely eager to experience my first bath in a natural hot water spring. What’s astounding about the hot water spring in Manikaran is its location; at a distance, you can see the snowcapped Himalayan Mountains. The Parvati River flowing across the town adds up to the beauty.
Manikaran near Kasol
When I at first touched the water, I couldn’t keep my hand in the water for a moment. It was hot; indeed extremely hot!!The water is so hot that the Langar (community kitchen in a Gurudwara) of Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara cooks its food in large vessels immersed in the hot water. But if you can bear the initial hotness of water; with time your body will be acclimated to that high temperature.
Hot water pool at Manikaran near Kasol
It is said that the water here has a high content of Uranium and other radioactive elements. The geothermal warmed groundwater can hold more dissolved solids than normal water; thus hot water springs have high mineral content. People from all around the world visit the hot water springs to cure ailments such as muscular pains and arthritis.
Apart from the spring, Manikaran has a lot of temples and hence is a major pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs. An experimental geothermal energy plant has also been set up here.
Taking a bath in hot water pool in Manikaran
Food and stay options at Manikaran
The Gurudwara at Manikaran gives shelter and food to all the pilgrims free of cost. The food for Langar is prepared with the help of the natural hot water spring and is served with great reverence. The food is very tasty. For stay, Sarai facility is available which can nearly accommodate 4000 people. You will be provided with quilts and pillows and will be provided with a common room to stay there. For more details on stay, check out SaraiBooking.
In return for all the services what you can do is some seva (help) whatever is needed at the Gurudwara.
If you are not comfortable staying in Gurudwara, you can head to Kasol as there are various budget stay options available there.
Parvati River flowing across Manikaran near Kasol
Best time to visit Manikaran near Kasol
Manikaran has a pleasant weather throughout the year. The best time to visit Manikaran is from December to March, as taking the dip in hot boiling water would be an amazing experience when the whole valley is covered with snow.
On your trip to Manikaran, you could explore the nearby Kasol, Tosh and Kheerganga trek as well. For Tosh, you can check out my earlier post on Tosh, Himachal – The Last Hippie Village in Parvati valley. For Kasol check out my post- Kasol Himachal – Stoner’s escapade in the mighty Himalayas. Information and detail on Kheerganga Trek is underwriting and would be shared in a couple of days.
On way to Tosh from Manikaran
So would anything be more pure and relaxing than to take a natural hot water spa in the midst of the beautiful nature? If you are looking for a poolside excursion, for what reason not pick a healthier choice? So in case you’re planning a trip to the Himalayas soon, don’t forget to include a visit to the hot springs.
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Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.
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