Himachal Pradesh is one of the most preferred holiday destinations for many of us, and Parvati Valley without second thoughts is the hotspot of leisure stay and beautiful landscapes. Known as the Amsterdam of India, the valley is well known for the cultivation of charas.
To begin with, why is it called Parvati Valley?
It is said that Lord Shiva meditated in this valley for about 3,000 odd years. He is believed to have taken the form of a naga sadhu or a naked ash-smeared sanyasi.
Seasons came and went and one day he opened his eyes and looked at this untouched, beautiful landscape and named it Parvati after his consort.
PC: Raman Sharma
The Legend Behind Manikaran
When Shiva and Parvati where staying in the Parvati Valley, Parvati happened to loose her earring, which had precious stones embedded in it, in the waters of a stream.
Upset with the loss, she came to Shiva asking him to retrieve it, who in turn asked one of his bhootaganas to find the jewel.
However, the bhootagana returned, unable to find the jewel. Shiva is said to have opened his third eye, which brought about havoc and anarchy in the world.
To pacify Shiva, Sheshnag or the serpent god was appealed, who hissed and it gave rise to the flow of boiling water. The water which spread over the area eventually brought out the lost jewel and the place got its name, Manikaran.
Guru Nanak Visiting Manikaran
Sikh legends say that Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism came to this place along with his disciple Bhai Mardana. Mardana felt hungry, but they could not find any food.
Guru Nanak asked him to go collect flour from the langar or the community kitchen, after which they rolled them into rotis and realised there was no fire to cook. That is when Guru Nanak asked Mardana to lift a stone and a hot spring is said to have been formed.
Following the instructions of Guru Nanak, Mardana placed the rolled rotis on the spring but to his disappointment, they sank. Nanak asked him to pray to God saying that if the rotis would float, he would donate one roti in his name.
When he offered the prayers, all the rotits began to float properly cooked and that is when Guru Nanak came to the conclusion that anyone who donates in the name of God, will get it back eventually.
The Legend Of Kheerganga
Ages ago, Kartikeya, the younger son of Shiva and Parvati meditated here for thousand odd years. As per legends, when he was here, Shiva and Parvati would occasionally come to visit him and Parvati is believed to have made kheer (rice pudding) for them, which attributes to the milky colour of river Ganga flowing here.
PC: Jan J George
The Untold Story Of Malana
The villagers of Malana are believed to be descendants of the Greek soldiers of Alexander the Great, yet one can find some traces of their existence which are deep rooted in the Hindu mythology.
The inhabitants believe in Jamlu Rishi who is a local deity. It is said in the Puranas that a sage once inhabited the land and laid the foundation of democracy which still works here and also has a fully-functional parliament.
PC: Jan J George