Today, we set off from Manali towards Manikaran. Manikaran has a Gurudwara (Sikh temple), along with some hot springs. The route to Manikaran was bumpy as usual, and took around 2.5 hours. The driver dropped us off in front of the temple.
We first headed to the hot baths. Unfortunately, these weren’t the cleanest, and could have been maintained better. There were a lot of people taking a bath, and there were separate women and men’s tanks. The women’s section was closed and dark, and the water was very hot. So, we skipped the bath. The men’s bath was in the open area, and was luke warm.
Once we were inside the temple, we noticed that there was another women’s bath area inside. This one was a bit cleaner, and the water was not as hot, so we took a quick dip.
We headed into the temple, which was one large room, and had some religious men reading from the scriptures. Everyone had to cover their heads before heading in, and there was a basket of scarves outside.
After visiting the temple, we went to the lunch hall. Like any Gurudwara, there was a langar (free food) served through the day. We collected plates and spoons, and seated ourselves in the line. Volunteers served rice, dal (lentils), and two kinds of vegetables.
After lunch, we walked around the cooking area, which was interesting to watch, since they cook massive quantities of (free) food every day.
After spending time at Manikaran, we drove to Kasol, a neighboring village. We were told that there was a hike from Kasol to a village called Challal that was good.
Our driver dropped us off behind Kasol village, where the trail started with a bridge across a river.
The trail was unpaved for the most part, and muddy in some parts, because of recent rain. Here is my dad with some goats.
It took us an hour to get to the village up the hike, and there was literally nothing there. I wouldn’t recommend this trail, if you’re looking for scenery. The first 5 minutes across the bridge, and near the river were the most exciting part.
By the end of the hike, it was starting to rain, so we made it back to our car and drove back to Manali for the night. While Manikaran and Kasol were good towns, this was my least favorite day.