MANIKARAN is a disaster that is waiting to happen

  • Through a series of pictures we share how the Dera could be at risk and possibly cause loss of life and property. Can we learn to respect Nature- requires us to be less materialistic.


Many of us have read about and seen pictures of the great damage caused by floods in Himachal Pradesh in July 2023. This Tribune report states “that unregulated construction along the banks of the Beas, from Manali to Mandi district is considered the major cause of destruction caused by flash floods.”


The same factor of unregulated construction exists in many hill states. Every time there is a natural disaster we focus on it, only to forget very soon and then revert to our old ways. Loss of life and property do not matter, it seems.


One such disaster waiting to happen again is in Manikaran. An earlier one happened around 7 years ago when bolders fell on the Manikaran Gurudwara Sahib resulting in the death of 8 people. See ABP News video 


The very scenic pilgrimage town in Kullu district is located on Parvati river in the lovely Parvati Valley and is about a two hour’s drive from Manali. It is primarily visited for an old Shiv Mandir, Hot water springs and a Dera. To enjoy drive see video To see good video by MS Vlogger 16 minutes


I visited in August 2016. Through a series of pictures tell what could go wrong. To see full Manikaran album click


Pic is Shivji ki pratima just at entrance of Shiv Mandir. Steam that you see is coming out from the hot water springs. Sewaks from the Dera next door bring food here for cooking to place in the hot water (see pots at bottom of pic). The hot water is found at various places in Manikaran for e.g. here, in the Sri Ramchandraji Mandir and Dera. 

Pic shows Parvati river. In centre is Shiv Mandir. Behind that is Dera and staying rooms that has many floors. You can see a bridge connecting both sides. On right of river is town. It also a Naina Bhagvati Mandir (made in wood), Sri Ramchandraji Mandir (which also has a langar-very good kadi chawal and small room for hot water springs water) etc. On left is the road that from Kullu that brings you to Manikaran. It has some houses and a three storeyed car park as you will see later.

Close up of bridge, dera and Shiv Mandir. You might notice that the dera structure is in front and temple behind.


Why am I calling it a Dera and who founded it?

Dera is a camp. In earlier times whenever any Siddhpurush or Guru or Yogi sat down it became a temporary camp or Dera. This was one such camp.

The person who meditated here, whose picture you see, was Param Pujya Shri Sant Narayan Hari ji Maharaj i.e. how the dera came into being. Today it is run by his daughter and son-in-law Baba Shri Ram. Pillars have pictures of Ma Durga and Shri Krishna.


A friend who visited in the 1970-80’s says it performs arti and ardas different from the SGPC version. Then a few very basic rooms existed, not like what see today. Just like when I visited Hemkunt Sahib in 1989 we spent the night in the open area of the Gurudwara at Govind Ghat. In 2001 it was much bigger. Am told, that today it is even bigger.

Guru Nanak visited pilgrimage places like Haridwar, Puri, Omkareshwar.

Guru Nanak also visited Manikaran besides major pilgrimage places like Haridwar, Puri, Omkareshwar, Burhanpur, Pushkar etc.


Read Why did Guru Nanak visit pilgrimage towns

Pic is of a bridge that connects the old Dera with newly made rooms.  Extreme left of pic is the car park. In front the pool like structure has hot water. A friend who visited in the 1970-80’s said earlier there was a small ropeway type bridge to cross onto the other side. 


The building seems a recent construction. Part of it seems is made on the river bed.

River Parvati, Dera on right, old rooms in front, left a large swimming pool design structure that has hot water and behind it, a three storey car park. When I visited in 2016, the rooms were built but not furnished. 

Do you notice that the gap between where the hill ends and river starts is not large.  

Should such a multi storey structure be permitted on the river banks? 

It is clear that part of the structure in pic is made on the river bed. During an unexpected cloud burst or flood this could be washed taking people and cars with it as we saw at Govind Ghat near Badrinath in 2013 and recent Himachal floods.


To see video of recent overflowing and furious Parvati river near Dera


Video says bridge washed away but they have not showed area without bridge.


This pic is of about seven years when boulders had fallen on old rooms building resulting in death of 8. Pic courtesy ABP News. To see video   


I have been to other places that Guru Nanak visited like Pushkar, Omkareshwar, Lakhpat, Amarkantak (also very scenic). Nowhere have I seen such a large number of rooms for devotees. It appears that the scenic Parvati Valley, at a height of 1780 metres, attracts a large number of devotees just like Hemkunt Sahib (height 1828 metres) in Garwhal for which Govind Ghat is the base To see album  , Badrinath too. I call it drive in religious tourism.

See old structure in centre of pic with hill behind. Left of pic are rooms.  


Construction of buildings on river bed is asking for trouble. I pray for the safety of devotees. Will the authorities take action!


Can we start respecting NATURE and be grateful for what the Universe has given us?


If we do not learn from past mistakes, be prepared to give up your body sooner than expected.

If I have made some errors in writing, am happy to stand corrected. Please mail me with pictures.  The pictures are self-explainatory. It is not my intent to defame any organization or community. My aim is to prevent loss of innocent lives. 


To see all albums on scenic Himachal Pradesh



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