Hot sulphur shower near Manali:Vashist, Himachal Pradesh
Located at a distance of 3.2 kilometres away from the Manali bus stand across the River Beas is the hot spring village of Vashist. This village of Vashist is situated at an altitude of around 6503 feet above sea-level (1990 m).Vashisht is located just above the Manali-Keylong road and is easily approachable by foot via a small hike from the town of Manali. The hike which is more of a walk along the road. The walk takes around 35 minutes.
Travellers have another option, which is also the more preferred one i.e. to hire an auto rickshaw from the town of Manali. The rickshaw ride takes around 15 minutes and the fare is pretty reasonable. Government buses do not ply to the village of Vashist.
This village of Vashist is renowned for its temples and sulphur hot springs, which are supposed to have magical healing powers in them to cure people of skin and joint ailments. Taking a dip in the hot springs of Vashist is a must do thing for everyone who visits this village.
There are also a few modern bath houses, with Turkish-style showers, that have hot water piped into them for the convenience of the visitors who come to Vashist to benefit from the medicinal properties.
The hot and cold water in these paid bath houses are separately piped, maintaining the regular temperature of bathing. The charges for a dip in these paid ones are very nominal.
The natural sulphur hot springs, have their tanks underground just below the temple, with two separate bathing tanks for men and women which are generally always full of tourist. It is advisable to go early in the morning before 8 am to experience the hot bath with much lesser crowd.
A very important thing to keep in mind, while taking a dip in this holy hot water is that there are plenty of pick pocketers who operate as a clan and there have been cases of tourist being robbed after hanging their trousers or bags on the hooks provided. It is always better to have your valuables kept with someone trusted while entering into the bath.
Vashist also is famous for a pair of old stone temples, opposite each other above the main square. These temples are dedicated to the local patron saint Vashista. The smaller of the two stone temples opens on to a partially covered courtyard, and its adorned with elaborate wood carvings. The walls lining the interior of the shrine have blackned by years of oil-lamp and incense smoke.
Outside the temple complex there are a few locals who will always be spotted holding big fluffy rabbits. These rabbits are rented out to people for a picture.
The final slope leading to Vashist has plenty of shops selling various junkie jewelry Made out of coconut and silver and clothes along with chillum, bongs and mixing pouches. Some shops even have hand painted T-shirts. Bargaining is a must while shopping here in Vashist.
Accommodation in Vashist is in plenty and also to cater to the needs of all kinds of travellers. There are decent backpacker guest houses with common washrooms and deluxe resorts for families.
Vashist has plenty of cafes and restaurants which serve up really good food. A must have while in Vashist is the chai (tea) and noodles or aloo parata that is made in nearly all the dhabas there.
This village of Vashist attracts pilgrims and devotes throughout the year, but the best time to visit this place is during the summer months from April to May end when the temperature is pleasant.
Vashist is a must visit place for all those who come to Manali to experience a dip in the hot sulphur spring of the might Himalayas.