India is the birthplace of many religions, home to diverse cuisine, and has long been inhabited by some of the most hospitable people in the world. Its landscapes vary from snow-covered Himalayan peaks to lush plains stretching out to deserts. As diverse as India is, it’s just as likely that you might find hot springs there too — with hundreds scattered across this eclectic and sprawling country. Why not get to know one of the country’s more popular tourist destinations, one steeped in history and culture: the hot springs in India. Join us as we explore this lesser-known wonderland.
India may be well known for its beaches, temples and tea but few recognize it as a centre of natural healing pools. In fact, hot springs dot the country from Kashmir (Kashmir Valley) to Ratnagiri district at Maharashtra’s Western coastal border with Pakistan (near Khandala).
This post explores 10 of India’s most beautiful hot springs: what they’re like, how they came into being, who visits them… and so much more.
Manikaran Hot Springs
Manikaran is a small village located at the foot of Parvati peak, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh State in northern India. The village is surrounded by thick deodar forests and has a reputation for being one of the most scenic spots on the route from Delhi to Manali.
Not much is known about how Manikaran’s hot springs were discovered, but there are several legends. One tells of a soldier from the Mughal court whose horse fell into a deep ravine along with its rider.
Panamik in Nubra Valley
Panamik is a village located in Nubra Valley, Jammu and Kashmir State, India. It is surrounded by rivers and mountains, making it one of the most beautiful places in the region.
Panamik Valley is accessible from Leh via Khardung La, the highest point on the famous Karakoram Highway. The village itself is simply composed of a few houses where locals live and operate hotels for tourists. Every year, thousands of travellers take this scenic route to see Panamik’s hot springs which are open to everyone for free.
Chumthang in Leh District
Chumthang, which means “the place of springs”, is located in the Himalayan region of Leh District in the northern Indian state of Kashmir. It’s part of the Nubra valley, a huge area that includes several other small villages, each with its unique hot spring.
In Chumthang alone there are around 50 springs that emerge from the ground at temperatures ranging from 20 to 90 degrees Celsius (68 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit). However, not all springs are open to the public and those that have a fee for using them.
Kheerganga is a small village, situated on the bank of the river Chandra, in the Nubra Valley of the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It serves as a base for trekking to two beautiful hot springs: Tso Moriri and Rakshas Tal. Both offer different experiences and have their characteristics. While Tso Moriri is known for its clear blue waters surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Rakshas Tal is usually visited at night when it’s possible to see fireflies hovering in the darkness.
Kasol Hot Spring
Located amidst the lofty peaks of the Himalayas, Kasol is a peaceful village of around 1,000 residents in the upper reaches of Kullu Valley. It is also one of the most visited Hot Springs In India.
Kasol’s hot springs are not well known although they’re quite beautiful. At some point, locals built a wooden deck over the water pipe that transports hot water from the source to their houses and cafes. Now, these natural springs are available to anyone who wants to soak in them or drink the thermal waters.
Tattapani Hot water spring
Tattapani is a village in Palampur district, Himachal Pradesh. It is surrounded by mountain peaks and waterfalls, giving it a breathtaking view.
The village has also been chosen as one of the 8 most beautiful villages in India by the National Geographic Traveler magazine. The hot spring located in Tattapani serves as the main attraction in this breathtaking village and is also one of the most visited Hot Springs In India.
Gaurikund and Suryakund in Uttarakhand
Gaurikund is a beautiful village situated on the banks of the Mandakini River in Uttarakhand, India. The other hot spring, Suryakund, is a narrow gorge that opens up to a small lake with natural and also maintained pools of water.
As tourism has become more popular in Gaurikund and Suryakund, several guest houses have popped up around the region. The place can get quite crowded on weekends so it’s usually advised not to come here during that time of the week if you’d like to enjoy it in peace.
Sahastradhara is a valley located in the Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand State, India. It’s part of the Valley of Flowers National Park and is located at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 feet).
There are no known eye-witness accounts or reliable evidence about how this hot spring was discovered so there are some debates about its origin. However, most historians agree that it came into being over 800 years ago when some sadhus used to live around the area.
Yumthang Hot Spring
Yumthang, also known as Yumthang Valley, is a beautiful valley situated in the lower reaches of the West Sikkim district.
The village itself has several hotels and is located just above the famous Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The hot spring in Yumthang Valley has been said to have been discovered over 300 years ago. But no significant change occurred until the early 1900s when some Chinese people settled there.
Aravali Hot Water Springs
Aravali is one of the most well-known villages in Maharashtra. It is known for its three beautiful hot springs that have formed natural baths over time.
The village of Aravali is divided into two parts: the upper and lower areas. The lower area serves as the base camp for any tourists who want to go trekking in the nearby hills. Those who would like to visit this beautiful village but don’t want to walk a significant distance can take a boat trip from here or wait for busses to come.
Q. What is the temperature in the water?
A. The water in most hot springs are considered not hot enough to need bathing and are simply a tourist attraction. However, some of the hottest springs are around 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). And heat up to 115-120 degrees Celsius (239-248 degrees Fahrenheit). In those springs, it’s advised to take off all clothes before entering because they can burn your skin off after your bodies get wet.
Generally, the popular ones in India run at temperatures around 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). But it’s crucial not to drink or use these waters as they could make you very ill.
Q. Where can I find the best deals to visit hot springs in India?
A. It generally depends on your budget, but if you’re looking for the cheapest tickets, we recommend using MakeMyTrip.com. They offer really good deals and prices so you can save money while booking your flight or train tickets as well as accommodation in India. It’s also convenient because they offer a mobile app so you can book everything on the go!
Q. Are there any rules to visiting these springs?
A. It varies from place to place and depends on the locals as well as official rules. In most of these, you do not have to pay a fee to enter. Some people say that it’s better not to go in at all. But there are a lot of people who do go in which means the water is always clean. So, know that you can either choose not to go but risks getting fined or go into it for a few minutes and still enjoy your trip!
Q. Why should I visit these springs?
A. It’s important to remember that most of these hot springs were discovered long before tourism became popular and so they won’t be very fancy. However, they are very unique in their way and offer something really special compared to other attractions in the country. It’s rare to find such things in places that are so close to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, or Mumbai.
Also, the water is always clean because locals use it daily.
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