Manikaran – Popular Pilgrim Place
Located in the Kullu district of the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Manikaran is a popular pilgrim place for both the Hindus as well as Sikhs.
The place is enveloped in nature’s beauty since it is situated in the Parvati Valley on the banks of River Parvati, at an altitude of 1760 meters.
The place has a list of Hindu temples and also a gurudwara. According to the Hindu legend, long ago when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were taking a walk in the area, the goddess’ jewel (mani) fell in the water. When she asked the lord to retrieve it, he asked his attendant to do so. However, when the attendant failed, it vexed the lord and he inauspiciously opened his third eye, resulting in a lot of destruction.
That is one Sheshnag entered the picture and stopped the unceremonious destruction and that gave rise to the boiling waters from the earth from which the goddess’ jewels erupted.
Lord Shiva and Parvati were happy after retrieving the jewels. In Hindu culture, it is believed that it was only after this destruction that Manu recreated human life on planet earth.
The two most popular Hindu temples here are Lord Shiva Temple and the Lord Ramachandra Temple.
On the other hand, according to Sikh beliefs, long ago, the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak, along with his disciple Bhai Mardana had visited this place. The latter was extremely hungry and there was no fruitful result to his starving as there was nothing to eat.
Guru Nanak had then asked Mardana to collect some eatables for the community kitchen. A large number of people gathered to donate flour as well as roti. However, the main problem arose when they realized there was no fire to help them cook any food.
That is when Guru Nanak asked his disciples to pick up a stone. When he followed his guru’s order, a hot spring appeared out of nowhere. Right after that, Mardana started pouring the rotis in the spring, but to his dismay, the chapattis sank.
The guru then told the disciple to pray to the lord and added that if his prayers were accepted the chapattis would float back from the spring. Mardana religiously obliged and when he did so, all of the chapattis began floating back to the spring all baked.
That’s when finally Guru Nanak preached to everyone that whoever had the will and kindness to donate in the name of God would have his drowned items float back to him.