Manikaran is a small town situated some 45 km from Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. Towards the northern side of Manikaran, there is the Harinder Mountain and on the south is the Parvati River. The place is very important and holy for both Sikhs and Hindus due to the gurudwaras and temples that dot Manikaran.
Manikaran or Jewel of the Ear is often associated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and according to an epic story, a precious jewel of Goddess Parvati got swept away in the waters and Lord Shiva asked his attendants to find the jewel. When the jewel could not be found, that enraged Lord Shiva and his third eye opened that resulted in earthly turmoil in the waters, from where many precious stones came out. It is from this story that the place got its name.
One of the major attractions of the region is the temple of Lord Ramchandra. According to the local priests of the village, the idol of Lord Ramchandra was brought from Ayodhya and was erected by the Raja of Kulu. An idol of Lakshman was also there which is now missing. The idol of Goddess Sita is there on the left hand side of Lord Ramchandra. The history of the temple is engraved on one of the walls.
Other attractions include the Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurudwara and the temple of Lord Shiva. The gurudwara at Manikaran is considered one of the holiest by Sikhs. According to the 'Twarikh Guru Khalsa' or Janam Sakhi by Giani Gian Singh, Guru Nanak Dev visited this place with followers or five Piaras. The Kulant Pith, a holy place for pilgrimage is perhaps the most esteemed of all Sikh Piths in the country.
The hot springs of Manikaran also attract a lot of tourists who come here to drink water or take a bath because there is a popular belief that, drinking water of this place will help people in attaining Moksha. The hot springs of Manikaran have uranium and other radioactive minerals which have curative properties.
The closest airport to Manikaran is located in a town called Bhuntur, which is around 30 minutes away. Taxis can be availed from the airport to reach Manikaran. The nearest railhead is Pathankot Railway Station, at a distance of 150 km.