Lakhpat Fort in the Haunted City of Rann of Kutch

Lakhpat is a haunted city in Kachchh district of Gujrat at the mouth of Kori Creek. It was once a busy port city and the center of trade. It lost its prominence after an earthquake in 1819 changed the course of Indus River, after the formation of the natural dam, Allahbund.

As per 2011 census, only 566 people lives in this ghost town, in a total of 108 households. In 1818, when the city was at its heydays, 15,000 people lived here. The revenue generated that time was to the tune of £6000. After the earthquake in 1819. the population of the town was reduced to 6000 next year. Most of the houses were ruined, even though the fort was intact. Its an ideal haunted tours location.

Lakhpat fort gate
Lakhpat fort gate

Lakhpat fort is an 18th century seven kilometer long fort built by Fateh Muhammad, The fort erected in 1801, is still intact, to a great extent. The fort gives excellent view of the Great Rann of Kutch. Night sky view is spectacular, especially around the new moon day for its stargazing. Views of the Sunrise and Sunset over endless horizons are the beauty of haunted places like this.

Pir Mohammed Kubo tomb at Lakhpat, Kutch, Gujarat, India
Pir Mohammed Kubo tomb at Lakhpat, Kutch, Gujarat, India

Pir Ghaus Muhammad tomb is there in the town. He was a Sufi saint & Syyed of Lakhpat, and was half-Muslim and half- Hindu, who died in 1855. The tomb made of black stone in octagonal shape is built on a platform of 54 square feet in area. The grave of Pir Ghaus Muhammad is covered with a white marble canopy with verses from Qua-ran on the walls.

Lakhpat Gurudwara Sahib is another major historic place for Sikhs. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, is belived to have stayed here on his way to Mecca.

Sayyed Pir Shah Dargah has intricate carvings and is a 9 domed mausoleum. Nani Mai Dargah and Hatkeshwar Temple are some of the other structures, which reminds us of the past glory of this haunted city.

How Do I Go to Lakhpat?

Lakhpat is connected by SH 42 to nearby cites like Kotada, Jadodar, Deshalpar, Bhuj, Kukma, etc.

Manikaran, Hot Water Springs

Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh state of India is famous for its Hot Water Springs and is a pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs. It is believed that a visit to Kashi (Varanasi) is not required if one visits Manikaran. The hot spring waters of Manikaran is so hot that rice and potatoes can be cooked by immersing them in the spring waters! The water is also believed to have powers to cure diseases.

Hindus believe that Manu recreated human life in Manikaran after the Great floods during the times of Vaivasvata alias Sraddhadeva or Satyavrata, king of Dravida. Dravida King along with family and seven sages escaped the flood in a boat as per the warnings given by Matsya, an avatar (form) of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver. (As per Hinduism, God Brahma is the ‘creator’ of Universe, Lord Vishnu is the ‘preserver’ and Lord Shiva is the ‘destroyer or transformer’. These Trimurti (three forms of God) is considered as different forms or manifestation of one single Supreme God.)

Manikaran is thus considered as a sacred place for Hindus. Pilgrims to Manikaran take bath in the holy hot spring waters here. It is also believed that Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvati stayed at Manikaran and Parvathi dropped her earring in the stream waters accidentally. Goddesses Parvati asked Lord Shiva to retrieve the earrings. Lord Shiva asked his attendant to find it out and the attendant failed to find out the earring. On hearing this, Lord Shiva became very angry and Lord Shiva opened his third eye, which disturbed the whole universe. To pacify Lord Shiva, The Serpent God “Sheshnag”, hissed. This resulted in boiling waters to flow and precious stones emerged from these hot waters, likes of which Goddesses Parvati possessed.

Manikaran Hot Water SpringsA Hot Water Spring in the Gurudwara Complex, Manikaran.

Manikaran is sacred for Sikhs as Guru Nanak (15 April 1469 – 22 September 1539), the founder of Sikhism came to Manikaran with his disciple Bhai Mardana. Mardana felt hungry and there was not food. Guru Nanak sent Bhai Mardana to the community kitchen and he came back with flour to make Roti (Chappahi). But there was no fire to cook and Guru Nanak asked his disciple to lift a stone and a hot spring appeared. Guru Nanak asked his disciple to put the rolled raw Chappthis into the hot spring. But the Chappathis sank in the water. Guru Nanak asked his disciple Mardana to pray to God that he will donate one Chapatti, if it floats back. After his disciple prayed, The Chapatis floated in water, fully baked.

How Do I Go to Manikaran Hot Springs?

Kasol is the nearest ton at around 4 kilometers distance. Manikaran is at a distance of around 44 kilometers  from Kullu hill station. Delhi is at around 535 kilometers distance and it may take around 14 to 15 hours to cover this distance. Chandigarh is at around 280 kilometers distance from Manikaran.

Pathankot railway station is the nearest MAJOR railway station, which is well connected to other parts of the country, at around 190 kilometers distance from Manikaran.

“Joginder Nagar” station on the narrow gauge line is the nearest railway station at around 130 kilometers away. Being a narrow gauge station, there is no direct connectivity to other parts of India.

The Picturesque ‘Bhuntar Kullu Airport’ alias ‘Bhuntar Airport’ or ‘Kullu Manali Airport’ with IATA Code ‘KUU’, on the banks of Beas river in the Kullu valley, is the nearest airport to Manikaran.