Parvati Valley – Himachal Pradesh
This beautiful valley is becoming more and more popular with travelers attracted by the peacefulness in the valley. It is a pleasant, laid-back place.
Manikaran is a friendly fast-moving town that is popular with budget travelers. Many travelers do not spend much time here, but go to Kasol or other villages in Parvati Valley. It is known for its Hot Springs, which are supposed to be very healthy.
Manikaran means, “jewel from the ear.” The story is that Parvati put her earrings on the riverbank before bathing. The large celestial snake, Naga, came and took Parvati’s earrings and put them in his nose to hide them. When Lord Siva heard this he went looking for and found the snake. Then Naga, who was very angry, snorted the earrings out his nose. They hit the ground so hard that steam came up creating the hot springs.
The Parvati River divides the town. Most of the guesthouses and the temples are located on the side of town north of the river. No vehicles are allowed in this area.
Cash and travelers cheques can be changed at the Padha Family Guest House, near the Sri Guru Nanak Gurdwara. The closest bank is in the town of Kullu.
There are baths at most of the guesthouses. At the Hotel Parvati you can use their baths for fee. There are also public baths at the Sikh temple (separate for men and women).
The Shri Ramachandra Temple is in the center of town. The Shri Guru Nanak Devaji Sikh Gurudwara is a large, interesting looking temple.
There are buses to Bhuntar (1½ hr) and Kullu every half-hour (last at 6 pm). There are five buses a day to Manali. From Manali you can take a tour bus to Manikaran, which also stops at Kasol.
This is a small pleasant village, which is a popular place with foreign travelers. It is a nice place to hang out and relax. There are several basic guesthouses here and many people stay in houses for a few months. People usually go to the Rainbow Guest House the first night and then find some where else to stay. There are rooms in people’s homes. Yerpa’s Guest House has clean rooms with bath for Rs 125 and with hot water. It is popular.
Rainbow Guest House is a popular place with travelers. The restaurant serves Indian and Western food. It is a popular place at night to hang out.
Moondance Restaurant (Pokhara Fishtail) has very good Italian, Mexican, Indian and Western food. The people who manage this place are efficient and friendly. It is a relaxed, recommended chill-out place.
Jari, around 20km east of Bhuntar, is a fairly popular place with travelers. It is a relaxed, peaceful village.
Other Places in Parvati Valley
Khirganga is said to be where Siva meditated for 2,000 years. There are some Hot Springs at this place. There are some basic places to stay and eat here. You have to walk to here from Manikaran passing Pulga (5 hr) on the way.