Manikaran is a village in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on the banks of river Parvati, surrounded by dense forest and snow-capped mountain peaks. The village’s name is named after a rare tree, the Manikaran tree. This tree bears flowers during summer. The blossoms are red and resemble blood drops.
Hence, the locals call it ‘Manikaran,’ which means blood drop. Manikaran is located more than 300 km away from its district headquarters, Kullu, and is well connected through either road or rail to other region cities viz., Mandi, Shimla, Manali, or Kullu via different routes.
Location of Manikaran
Located at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,769 ft), Manikaran is a tranquil place located amidst the majestic Himalayas. There are many tourist destinations that one can visit to explore the scenic beauty of this enchanting place. The Salkhua Nature Park is located at a distance of nearly 30 km from Manikaran and is situated on the banks of the river Parvati. The famous Nanda Devi National Park is also situated in Manikaran.
Another favorite tourist destination in the region is the Kullu Valley. The Manikaran River flows through it. There are many notable trekking routes to be explored in the region, including Chukar Parbat (6,950 m), Nanda Devi, and Trisul Passes. Many other places around Manikaran that one can explore include Kagru Lake, the forest and Holi festival at Lagmatoria, the valley of flowers, etc.
Places People Can Visit in Manikaran
#1 Manikaran Sahib
This is a place where the locals worship Sant Baba Bishambhar Nath. The place is situated on the banks of the Manikaran River. The village is popular for its temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Amareshwara.
#2 Kangra Lake
This lake is situated at a distance of nearly 15 km from Manikaran town in the Kullu valley. This lake has many attractions, such as forests, animal species, and waterfalls located here. It is one of the best tourist destinations in the region that people can visit for sightseeing and adventure activities.
#3 Hot Springs
There are hot water springs located at a distance of nearly 10 km from Manikaran. These springs are teeming with peepal trees, shrubs, and flowers. One can enjoy the hot water for therapeutic purposes by walking through the garden.
#4 Nanda Devi National Park
This national park is one of the best tourist destinations in the Kullu valley region. It attracts many tourists during winters. It is a favorite spot during winters due to its snow-capped peaks and picturesque scenery. It also acts as an entertaining place to watch wildlife living in their habitat, especially various birds and wild animals like deer, foxes, civets, etc.
#5 Harinder Mountain
This mountain is located at a distance of around 30 km from Kullu and is on the bank of the Manikaran River. After crossing this mountain, one reaches Nanda Devi National Park.
#6 Trishul Pass
This pass connects Manikaran and Kullu Valleys and is one of the best hiking places in Himachal Pradesh. One can enjoy tremendous panoramic views in all directions as one walks through this place. The village also hosts a century-old temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu called ‘Chandi Mata Temple.’
#7 Manali and Kasol
These towns are located in the Kullu Valley region. It is located at a distance of nearly 90 km from Manikaran and attracts many visitors during the summer season.
It is the gateway to Kullu valley and can be reached within 2 hours by road from Manali. It is ideal for adventure activities like river rafting, rappelling, hiking, etc. The famous Naggar Castle is also located here, built by Maharaja Sansar Chand in 1834 AD.
Adventurous Activities People Can Perform in Manikaran
Skiing and Rafting
Manikaran is one of the best ski destinations in India due to its proximity to high peaks like Trisul, Bara Shigri, and Anal Peak. One can enjoy skiing in Manikaran on the National Highway near the village. Rafting is one of the most popular water sports in Manikaran that one can perform or watch during summers or winters. There are also chances to go paragliding, mountain biking, and rock climbing which is a suitable attraction for adventure lovers to explore during their stay at Manikaran.
One can enjoy hiking in Manikaran in the Himalayas. There are many trekking routes to explore in the region, including Chukar Parbat, Nanda Devi, and Trisul Passes. The best time to hike is during winters as water streams and snow cover the ground. During summers, one can also enjoy trekking in Bhuntar, Dharamsala, and Kullu valley.
Trekking and Fishing
Manikaran is a perfect place for trekking due to its proximity to the Himalayas and snowcapped mountains nearby. One can explore places like Chukar Parbat, Nanda Devi, and Trisul Passes by setting off on a trekking adventure. There are several spots in Manikaran where one can go fishing during their visit to this region. Some of the most popular spots include Kagru Lake and Manikaran River.
White Water Rafting
Manikaran is one of the best places to enjoy white water rafting in Himachal Pradesh. One can enjoy rafting on the Parvati river, a great attraction for adventure lovers during winters as the region is popular for its snow-capped peaks. There are also chances to go paragliding, mountain biking, and rock climbing which is a suitable attraction for adventure lovers to explore during their stay at Manikaran.
Points to Consider While Visiting Manikaran
Getting around Manikaran is quite easy as an efficient local transport service is in place. The locals also use pedal rickshaws for their transport needs. One can also hire taxis and auto-rickshaws to travel from Manali to Manikaran.
The temperature during winters is quite low, which ranges between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, and during summers is above 30 degrees Celsius, making it a favorable destination to visit during the winter season. Summers are best enjoyed by exploring the bike trails at Kagru Lake and the nearby areas, including Harinder Mountain and other places in the Kullu valley region of Himachal Pradesh.