Manali – the beautiful hill resort, is also a religious and spiritual power.
The hill resort of Manali may be much spoken about for its beauty and lushness. However, this once-sleepy hamlet is steeped in history and culture. As per legend and folklore, it is mentioned in India’s most well-known mythological epics, The Ramayana and Mahabharata. These rich references whisper secrets of its antiquity past, making Manali a place genuinely a site for Religious Attractions.
Religious Attractions in Manali
Some ancient narratives tell stories of the Kullu Valley being associated with Manu, a revered sage also regarded as humanity’s progenitor. Manali has its name from Manu-Alaya, which translates to ‘the home of Manu’. It is believed that during the Great Deluge, Manu wanted to protect humankind from all kinds of destruction, so he built his ark on the side of a mountain. This is what helped the floods come to a halt, post which people started inhabiting this town. And that’s how Manali became a holy and spiritual Retreat.
That’s not all – Manali is also revered for its association with Parshuram, often recognised as a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that he lived here, which is why the locals have immense faith in him and regularly visit the Parshuram temple in Nirmand, a quaint village located in the Kullu district, not too far from Manali.
Mythological Sites in Manali
Interestingly, the mythological references are plenty and situate Manali as an essential destination, particularly from a religious and spiritual context. The river Beas–Manali’s lifeline–is linked with saint Vashistha, who also finds a mention in The Ramayana. After the loss of both his sons, the saint didn’t have any will to live. He jumped into the flowing Beas River with his hands and feet tied. In what can be called a miracle, the tightened ropes burst and carried him to the shore without the slightest injury. This miraculous incident made Beas known as ‘Vipasha’ or the ‘liberator of bonds’.
But there’s more to this tale. After the Beas protected Vashishtha, he attempted to end his life in the Satluj River. However, yet again, the pious waters of the river came to his rescue by splitting into as many as a hundred channels, which left him on dry land. Thus, the river got ‘Satadree’ or ‘that which has a hundred channels’.
Religious History of Manali
Apart from this, Manali has an intrinsic link with the Pandavas from Mahabharata; it is here that they spent a large part of their exile. There’s a Hidamba temple in Manali, Shangchool Mahadev Temple in Sainj and the Dev Dhank temple in Nirmand that bear testimony to these tales.
It’s not just the mythological history of Manali that piques the interest of many; what also strikes out is how the Kullu Valley, where Manali is situated, gets its name. Some references point to the district’s existence in November 1966, while historically, its antiquity goes back over 2000 years, as reflected by particular ancient objects and inscriptions.
The word ‘Kullu’, some say, comes from ‘Kuluta’, which was first seen on a coin from the 1st century AD, during the reign of King Virayasa. Others say the town was brought alive by Behangamani Pal, who belonged to Prayagraj. The famous Chinese traveller, Hieun Tsang, called this valley ‘Kiu-lu-to’, which translates to the ‘end of the habitable world’.
Now that you know all about Manali’s rich history and culture, plan a trip to Manali and spend a few days here amid the luxuriant and verdant hills. Bookmark Resort Manali is the best luxury resort in Manali. It offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the place while allowing you to learn more about its history and culture—head here to experience a wellness journey like never before.