At a distance of 3.5 km from Manali Bus Stand, Vashist Temple in Manali is dedicated to sage Vashisht, the Kula guru of Lord Rama in the village Vashisht across the River Beas. It is among the most famous places to visit in Manali.
The village of Vashisht was named after Rishi Vashisht one of the seven sages of Hindu. According to the legend, Rishi Vashisht was left depressed on finding out that his children had been killed by Vishwamitra. Rishi Vashisht tried to commit suicide by jumping into a river but the river refused to kill him. He then started a new life in the village here. The river which took the rishi to the village was named Vipasha, meaning freedom from bondage. The Vipasha River is now known as the Beas River.
The Vashisht temple is believed to be more than 4000 years old. Inside the temple there is a black stone image of the Rishi wearing dhoti. The Vashist temple is decorated with excellent and beautiful carvings on wood. The interior of this temple is rather traditional which is ornamented with antique painting and figures.
The Vashisht Hot Water Spring is one of the famous attractions of this region. The hot springs is believed to have medicinal value. The springs are said to cure many skin diseases. Many people go to the Vashisht baths to take a dip and rid themselves of skin infections and diseases. There are also separate bathrooms for both men and women.
There is another ancient stone temple known as Rama Temple adjacent to the Vashisht Temple. Inside the Rama temple the idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana have been installed. Dussehra is celebrated for seven days. The village was the centre of Vaishnava cult for a long time.
Timings: Vashist Temple: 7 am to 9 pm, Vashisht baths: 7 am to 1 pm, and 2 pm to 9 pm on all days.