If you’re looking for rejuvenating natural hot springs against dreamy backdrops, India won’t disappoint. Rich in minerals, these spring waters not only make for a peaceful escape but also come with plenty of health and beauty benefits. Here are some of the best ones to visit around the South Asian country.
Located in the picturesque Parvati Valley of Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, the small town of Manikaran attracts droves of tourists interested in its pilgrim centres and hot springs. The waters here have a high percentage of uranium and an array of radioactive elements believed to relieve bronchitis and rheumatic aches. Close to the nearby hill stations of Kullu-Manali, they’re an easily accessible antidote to the chilliness of the highlands.
The little-known village of Panamik, located in the charming Nubra Valley of Ladakh, is home to sulphur-rich hot springs whose healing properties are said to cure skin diseases and rheumatism, among other ailments. Owing to the therapeutic nature of the springs, they are often frequented by people from neighbouring villages. There are separate pools for men and women, along with cabins fitted with changing rooms and showers. Should you wish to stay and explore the valley, there are several guesthouses and homestays available.
Another option in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, the Kheer Ganga hot springs are worth trekking to. Accessible from the village of Barshaini, the route passes through a dense forest, making the journey relatively moderate. Once you’ve reached them though, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful setting: hot springs with soothing mineral waters surrounded by breathtaking views of the glacier of Lahaul-Spiti and the Parvati River. Men and women bathe separately. Although it’s possible to make a day trip out of this, overnight camping near the hot springs is recommended, to enjoy the sunrise and sunset amid the mountains.
Literally meaning hot water, Tattapani is another popular spot in Himachal Pardesh. Blessed with minerals that are said to heal joint and bone ailments, this geothermal spring bubbles out from the riverbeds of the Satluj River. Prior to relaxing in these hot springs you can go white-water rafting. There are several hotels and guesthouses located nearby.
Located about 10 miles from Joshimath in Uttarakhand state, the Tapovan is one of the most scenic hot springs in India. Surrounded by lush mountains and valleys, the springs have emerged out of the crevices of yellow rocks, and contain a high percentage of sulphur, with strong healing properties. Given their convenient location near Joshimath, this is a perfect day trip spot. If you’re looking for more adventure, combine a dip in the hot springs with a trek up to the nearby Dronagiri Chaukumbha and Nanda Devi peaks.
The Vashisht hot springs are located about two miles from Manali, in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. Rich with sulphur compounds and skin-friendly minerals, the water temperature in these springs range from 40-50°C. Located in a temple high above the Beas River, the Vashisht hot springs are a must-visit. There are separate baths for men and women.
Walking distance from the main road of Yumthang Village in Sikkim are the Lachung River and Yumthang hot springs. Surrounded by picturesque snow-covered mountains, the two pools have an average temperature of 50°C. The waters contain a high percentage of sulphur and minerals that are said to be extremely good for the skin. Before heading back into the village, explore the nearby Yumthang Valley, with its rainbow of flowers.
Bakreshwar, located in the Birbhum District of West Bengal, is a pilgrimage town famous for its 10 natural hot springs with temperatures ranging from 43-80°C. The hottest of the springs is the Agni Kund (80°C), loaded with sodium, sulphate, potassium, silicates, chlorides, bicarbonates and calcium, each credited with specific therapeutic benefits. There are diverse accommodation options, from guesthouses and cottages to hotels, within easy reach.
The little hamlet of Chumathang in Ladakh is famous for its hot sulphur springs that bubble from the ground near the banks of the ice-cold Indus River. The mineral-rich waters are said to treat skin diseases and joint pains. There’s a basic guesthouse and the Hot Spring Resort in the area.