Manikaran is a picturesque town located in the Parvati Valley of the Kullu district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an altitude of 1,760 meters above sea level, and it is about 35 km away from Kullu. Manikaran is known for its natural hot springs, scenic beauty, and religious significance. It is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims alike.
Manikaran has a rich history that dates back to the ancient times. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati once visited Manikaran. While they were here, Parvati lost her earring in the River Parvati. She asked Lord Shiva to retrieve it, but he could not find it. Then, Lord Shiva placed his trident into the ground, and hot water started gushing out from the earth. Parvati found her earring in the hot water, and they both were pleased. This incident led to the belief that the hot springs in Manikaran have divine powers and can cure many diseases.
The town of Manikaran also has historical significance. It was a major center of trade between India and Tibet. The traders used to cross the Parvati River via a wooden bridge to reach Tibet. Manikaran was also a popular stopover for travelers who were traveling to and from Leh, Ladakh, and Central Asia. The town was under the control of the Kullu kings until the 19th century when the British took over.
Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley, which is one of the most scenic valleys in Himachal Pradesh. The valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, and meandering rivers. The Parvati River flows through the valley, and it is a major source of water for irrigation and hydropower generation. The town of Manikaran is situated on the right bank of the river. The landscape of Manikaran is rugged and rocky, and it is prone to landslides and flash floods.
Manikaran has a small population of around 1,800 people. The majority of the population is of the Hindu and Sikh communities. The locals speak the Kulluvi language, which is a dialect of the Pahari language. However, most of the people also speak Hindi and English. The literacy rate in Manikaran is around 75%, which is higher than the national average.
The economy of Manikaran is primarily based on tourism and agriculture. The hot springs in Manikaran attract a large number of tourists from all over the world. The town has several hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants that cater to the needs of the tourists. The locals also engage in small-scale farming, animal husbandry, and handicrafts. The agriculture in Manikaran is dependent on the irrigation water from the Parvati River. The major crops grown in the area are wheat, maize, and vegetables.
Manikaran has a rich cultural heritage that reflects the influences of Hinduism and Sikhism. The town has several temples and gurudwaras that are visited by pilgrims throughout the year. The most famous temple in Manikaran is the Lord Shiva temple, which is situated near the hot springs. The gurudwara in Manikaran is also popular among tourists and pilgrims.
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