After you leave Kasol and drive for about 11 kms you hit a small town called Manikaran located between the rivers Beas and Parvati.
It is a pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Sikhs. The Hindus believe that Manu recreated human life in Manikaran after the floods, making it a sacred area. According to a legend, when Shiva and Parvati were walking in the valley, Parvati dropped one of her earrings. The jewel was seized by Shesha, the serpent deity, who then disappeared into the earth with it. Shesha only surrendered the jewel when Shiva performed the cosmic dance, the Tandava and shot the jewel up through the water. Apparently, jewels continued to be thrown up in the waters at Manikaran until a earthquake of 1905.
While according to the Sikhs, when Guru Nanak came here 1574, his disciple Bhai Mardana felt hungry but they had no food. Guru Nanak sent Mardana to collect food for the langar. Many people donated atta to make roti but in the absence of fire it was difficult to cook. So Guru Nanak asked Mardana to lift a stone and a hot spring appeared. When Mardana put the rolled chapatis in the spring they sank. Guru Nanak then told him to pray to God saying that if his chapatis float back then he would donate one chapati in His name. When he prayed all the chapatis started floating duly baked. Guru Nanak said that anyone who donates in the name of God, his drowned items float back.
The water here is so hot that rice can be cooked in it and is supposed to have curative powers.
Further 18kms up lies the bag packers’ paradise, Tosh.
As you reach Barshani, where a big hydro electric dam is being buit you can either go down for a trek in Kheer Ganga or go up on a non-existent road up to Tosh. There are a number of staying options in Tosh starting from Rupees 500 but if you are my age it is better to return to Kasol the same as apart from the natural beauty of the mountains all you have is hash and the bag packers. The village itself is quite dirty with slippery walk ways.
We returned from Tosh next morning to Thirthan Valley.