Manikaran Sahib – Abode of Guru Nanak Dev

Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley along the banks of river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 40 km from Bhuntar. Manikaran, one of the famous pilgrimages of Himachal Pradesh, is considered a symbol of religious unity. Here a river named Parvati flows, on one side of which is the Shiva temple and on the other side the historical Gurudwara of Guru Nanak Dev.

History:-

While playing in the river here, the gem of the ear ornaments of Mata Parvati fell into the water and went to Palat Lok. When this happened, Lord Shiva asked his ganas to find the gem. Even after searching a lot, Shiva-Gana did not find the gem. Enraged by this, Lord Shiva opened his third eye. Naina Devi appeared with his eyes as soon as the third eye-opening. Therefore, this place is considered to be the birthplace of Naina Devi. When Naina Devi went to Hades and asked Sheshnag to return the gem, Sheshnag presented the gem to Lord Shiva.

According to beliefs, apart from the gem of Goddess Parvati, Sheshnag had also presented many beads to her to please Lord Shiva. Then Lord Shiva had asked Goddess Parvati to recognize her gem and wear it, all the other stones were made in the form of stones and put them in the river. It is said that the beads sent from Sheshnag are still present in the river here in the form of stones.

Hot Water Resource:-

There is also a hot water source near the Shiva temple here. This hot water is at some distance from the Parvati River with cold water. Where the hot water comes from in this matter remains a mystery till date. Rice is cooked in this hot water source to make gurdwara offerings. Rice is kept in a pot and kept here, and then it is cooked in a few minutes. The water here is so hot that no one can even put hands in it. The water of this source is mixed with the water of the Parvati River to make it suitable for bathing.

According to Sikhs, during third Udasi, Guru Nanak Dev Ji came to this place in 1574 Bikrami with his disciples Bhai Bala & Bhai Mardana. Guru Nanak asked for Langar from the village. They received all the raw material but there was no fire to cook. Guru Nanak Dev Ji told his disciples to lift a stone. To everyone’s surprise, there was boiling hot water under the stone – good enough to cook food in it. However, the food kept getting drowned in the hot water pond and the disciples looked at the Guru. Guru taught them a lesson in gratitude when he asked them to offer the food to God if you want to have it. And yes, as soon as it was pledged to be offered to God, food started floating.

The water of the spring is also supposed to have curative powers & extremely auspicious. The water is so hot that rice for the “Langar” is cooked by putting it into a linen bag and dipping it into the boiling water.

Kheerganga – Gifted Abode for Natural Hot water Springs

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Parvati Valley is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. From the confluence of the Parvati River with the River Beas, the Parvati Valley runs eastwards, through a steep-sided valley from the town of Bhuntar, in the Kullu valley. The valley offers beautiful view of Parvati River and the Glacier of Lahaul Spiti. The valley echoes of mystical power of nature and has lot to offer to the travelers.

Kheerganga is situated in Parvati Valley at a distance of 22 km from Manikaran. Kheerganga or Kheer Ganga as the name suggest is Ganga River ( the Ganges River) as White as a Kheer (an Indian sweet dish made from milk and Rice) The name Kheerganga came due to the milky waters of the river flowing in all its vastness and its streams flowing into Parvati valley from all sides of the mountain.

For Khirganga, one has to go by motor-able road up to a place called ‘Barshaini’ and from there to Khirganga on foot. This trek leads through hilly terrain. This is the place where ‘Kartik Ji’, the elder son of ‘Lord Shiva’ remained in ‘housands of years.

KheerGanga remains snow-covered during winters and only gets temporary settlement during summers which make is a perfect hide-out for those who want to smoke weed, hash etc. without any concern…… Cheap and safer staircase to heaven… The natural hot-water-spring experience is something that you will remember for a lifetime..

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The trek is very pleasant and offers some exhilarating views. The vegetation changes dramatically and opens up into a flatland that is graced by the occasional tent, the few guest houses and cafes and the temple premises which also comprises of the hot water spring.

KheerGanga is known for hot water stream which flows beneath the temple of Lord Shiva. Temple is highly revered hence alcohol is not permitted in KheerGanga however other kind of Intoxication are in surplus. There is well made pool to bathe in the hot water stream and water is really hot.

 

Great Himalayan National Park – The World’s Heritage Site

Great Himalayan National Park – Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), located in the state of Himachal Pradesh lies within the Parvati valley of Kullu division. Its boundaries are also contiguous with the Pin Valley National Park. Spread over an area of 754 sq. km, the Great Himalayan National Park is the newest addition to the list of India’s most amazing national parks. Built in the year 1984, the park lies at an altitude of 1500 to 6000 meters. The exquisite location and scenic surroundings of this park are highlighted with Deodar and Oak trees.

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It boasts of over 375 fauna species, including 31 species of mammals and 181 species of birds. The fauna of the park includes some of the most exotic species of animals like snow leopard, blue sheep, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, goral and many others.

In June 2014, the Great Himalayan National Park was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee granted the status to the park under the criteria of “outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation”.

Five rare species in Great Himalayan National Park-

  1. The Western tragopan
  2. Snow leopard
  3. Himalayan Tahr
  4. Himalayan musk deer
  5. Himalayan blue poppy

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History

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. The Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary (61 sq.km.) and the Sainj Wildife Sanctuary (90 sq.km.) have also been brought under the National Park administration. Following a survey in 1980, the Himachal Wildlife Project-II, in 1983 , recommended the creation of GHNP and notification of intent was gazetted in March 1984. In 1994 the notification of intent to constitute the Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary was filed which was followed by a notification to include the upper Parvati catchment. In May 1999 the Government of Himachal Pradesh issued the final notification of the Great Himalayan National Park.

The best time of the year to visit the Great Himalayan National Park is between the months of April to June and September to November.

Malana Cream – The World’s Best Hashish

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Lurking in the North east Kullu range, Malana is completely isolated from the monotony of India’s city culture. This remote village is mainly known for it’s charas, and has over time drawn hashish lovers from all over the world. But Malana is so much more than that. Malana is famous for ‘Malana cream’, a strain of Cannabis hashish which has high oil content and an intensely fragrant aroma.  Malana Cream is a hash made from heirloom cannabis grown in this remote area of the Parvati Valley. In Amsterdam, the stuff sells for $250 per tola, which is 11.66 grams of hashish.

The Cannabis, the Police and the Government 

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Malana Village

For the locals, cannabis is a ‘religion.’ There is nothing else that grows in the valley except cannabis. Unlike other mountain villages where people farm potatoes and peas, Malana grows only one plant—cannabis. Infact, the stretch of cannabis fields in the whole of Parvati valley is quite unbelievable. They are seen growing wild everywhere. So, the livelihood of all Malani people depends on those 3 months of cannabis harvesting from September to November. There are approximately 7000 people in the village and almost each and everyone work together during the harvesting time.  But, the Malanis learnt the art of cannabis rubbing quite recently. Prior to that their only source of livelihood came from selling sheep wool.

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The Village That Grows The World’s Best Hashish.

Many hash retailers label hash as Malana Cream to increase profits. Yet, the real stuff is so popular due to the quality of the beginning cannabis strains. The heirloom varieties grown in Malana are naturally high resin producers, making hash extractions from the plant all the more potent.

Some claim that hash made from Malana plants contain 30 to 40% THC, which is pretty darn high considering many Indian cannabis plants produce between 5 and 8% THC per plant. The hash itself is dark black and has a bit of a chewing gum consistency.

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Now the world knows of the sweet pleasures of the Parvati valley. Malana cream has won the Best Hashish title twice, in 1994 and 1996, at High Times magazine’s Cannabis Cup. The village is a stoners paradise branded in travel and ganja-hunting literature as the exotic and alluring “ Malana and the Magic Valley.”