Manu Temple: The Only Shrine in the World Dedicated to 'Rishi Manu' in Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Do you know about a unique temple dedicated to a sage known as Manu Rishi, the progenitor of humanity in Hinduism? 

The Manu Temple in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India, stands as the only temple in the world dedicated to Rishi Manu. 

Rishi Manu, also known as King Manu, is a revered figure in Hindu mythology, credited with saving and repopulating the human race. The temple, located in old Manali, is believed to be the very place where sage Manu meditated upon arriving on earth. This place has a rich historical background that captivates most visitors to Manali.


Legend has it that Manali derives its name from Manu, with "Manali" being the derivative of "Manu-Alaya," translating to "the abode of Manu." According to Hindu cosmology, Manu is said to have disembarked from his ark in Manali after a great flood had devastated the world, marking the end of a cyclic age, and set about recreating human life. This mythological backdrop adds an air of mystery and spirituality to the temple, attracting visitors from far and wide.


Sage Vaivasvata Manu is believed to be the first king to rule the earth after saving mankind from the great flood. He was warned of the great flood by the Matsya Avatar of Hindu lord Vishnu, and advised to construct a gigantic boat.

According to the Matsya Purana, Lord Vishnu’s Matsya Avatar initially appeared as a small carp to King Manu while he was washing his hands in the river. The small carp requested King Manu to save him. Honoring the carp’s request, King Manu placed it in a water jar. Soon the carp grew too big to fit into the jar, and King Manu shifted it into a bigger bowl. The carp kept growing bigger, and King Manu had to shift it from the bowl to a well, and then into a reservoir. The carp, now a fish, kept growing bigger and bigger, and King Manu had to shift the fish back into the river. Very soon, even the river seemed insufficient for the fish as it had grown to gigantic proportions, and King Manu had to shift the fish into the ocean. That is when the huge fish transformed into Lord Vishnu and informed King Manu of an all-destructive deluge that would soon flood the entire world.

King Manu built a boat big enough to house his family, 9 kinds of seeds, and animals and birds to repopulate the earth once the deluge was over. It is believed that post the deluge, King Manu stepped on the earth and meditated at the very spot where Manu Temple is situated. King Manu later on came to be known as Sage Manu, who is also ascribed to the Manusmriti (Laws of Manu). The Laws of Manu form the basis of Hinduism. The Manusmriti text presents itself as a converse given by the Sage Manu to an assembly of Rishis who beseeched him to guide them in how to face natural calamities and establish peace and discipline in the society. The dialog between Sage Manu and other Rishis was captured and preserved and came to be known as Manusmriti.


The Manu Temple in Old Manali features Pagoda-style architecture, which is a distinctive characteristic of many temples in Himachal Pradesh. This ancient shrine is constructed primarily from wood and concrete and boasts a unique wooden roof that resembles the architectural style seen in Nepal. The combination of these elements gives the temple a timeless and culturally rich appearance.

Visiting the Manu Temple offers more than just a glimpse into ancient architecture and mythology; it provides a chance to immerse oneself in the rich cultural and historical tapestry of the region.This fascinating temple holds significant historical and mythological importance and is a must-visit attraction in the picturesque town of Manali.

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