Wednesday, 15 April 2015

L is for Lakes in Himachal Pradesh


This post is written as part of A to Z Challenge



L is for Lakes in Himachal Pradesh

Right – Himachal has some lakes on high altitudes which are not only magnificent but sacred too. Here I would talk about some of them.

Parashar Lake is in Mandi sitrict and is 49 km north of main Mandi town. One needs to drive from Drang through Kataula to Parashar. It has a three storied pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The lake is located at a height of 2730 m above sea level. With deep blue waters, the lake is held sacred to the Prashar Muni who is believed to have meditated there. It is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and looks down on the fast flowing river Beas. The temple was built in the thirteenth century and legend has it was built by a baby from a single tree. The lake has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth. If you are travelling to this place make sure you reserve the forest guest house in advance from Mandi.
Parashar Lake

Khajjiar is situated 24 km from Dalhausie and is an unexplored hill station. It is also referred to as mini Switzerland. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests at a height of 2,000 m above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. It is part of the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary. Khajjiar can be reached from Dalhousie, the nearest major town and hill station, by bus / car in an hour or so. It has a rare combination of three ecosystem viz lake pasture and forest in one place.

Khajjiar

Bhrigu Lake is named after Rishi Brighu and is considered extremely sacred. Situated in the Kullu district, It lies east of the Rohtang Pass and is about 6 km from the village of Gulaba. People from all over Kullu, Mandi and Lahaul valley frequent this lake a lot despite the fact that its shore lacks any human settlement. The lake is around 3 to 4 m deep and is blanketed by snow throughout the winter season.

Bhrigu Lake

Rewalsar is located at an altitude of 1360m and a distance of 24 km from Mandi town. The Rewalsar Lake is square in shape. The legend behind the lake states that it was formed when at the orders of the king Arshadhara of Zahor, his own daughter and Padmasambhava were punished. The latter was burnt alive in secluded place which for around a week after it continued to be covered by smoke. The king, rather surprised, visited the place himself and found out that a lake had appeared at the place. The king apologised to the saint and married off his daughter to Padamsambhava. From then onward, the lake became a pious place for Buddhist. The Hindus too have their own beliefs that make the lake sacred for them.
The Lake is famous for its floating island which is believed to house the spirit of Padamasambhava. There is also a small zoo located close by the lake. It can be easily reached by road from Mandi in an hour. Rtewalsar Mela is organised every year around this lake.

Rewalsar Lake with Padmanabhan Idol

Dal Lake is on the way from Mc Loed Ganj to Naddi (10 km from Dharamshala) in the district of Kangra. The lake is surrounded by tall Deodars and offers a panoramic view. It is also regarded sacred by the people and has a small Shiva Temple on its bank. Every year in the month of September, the surrounding area of the lake becomes venue for a fair. This fair is attended by a large number of people including Gaddi folk. The lakes get covered with ice during the winter season.

Dal Lake with Deodar at the back


Manimahesh lake is situated at a height of 4080 m in the district of Chamba, around 32 km from Bharmaur. The lake lies at the foothills of the Manimahesh Kailash which is considered an abode of Lord Shiva. As such the lake itself is believed to under the protective aegis of Lord Shiva. People also believe that the lake enjoys the blessings of Goddess Kali as well. A fair is organised here on an annual basis in the month of August or September.

Manimahesh lake


Chandartal Lake At an altitude of 4300 m, the Chandartal Lake is situated at a distance of around 6 km from the Kunzam Pass (the one that joins Lahaul and Spiti). It is believed to be the same place from where Yudhishtra, the eldest of Pandava brothers, embarked on his journey to heavens in his mortal form along with Lord Indra.


Chandratal
The Renuka Lake (672 m) is regarded as the embodiment of Renukaji, the wife of the sage Jamadagini and the mother of Parshurama - one of the ten `Avatars` of Lord Vishnu. Shaped like the profile of a woman, the lake has the circumference of 2.5 km and is the largest in Himachal. This placid stretch of water is fed by underground springs and the surrounding hills are padded by lush forests that support a large variety of plant and animal life. Boating and trekking are the additional attractions of Renukaji, whose natural beauty has to be seen to be believed. Here is a perfect year-around destination that beckons every traveller. It can be reached easily by road from Nahan in Sirmaur district.

Renuka Jheel

Patsio : It is a halting place for caravans 34 km north of Keylong towards different passes and has a small fresh water lake at the top of the mountain. 

Patsio



There are many other lakes in HP both natural and manmade. But the above ones have something different so a must visit if you are on these routes.

That's all for today. Tomorrow it would be M

For other posts on Himachal written as part of Ato Z Challenge : List of post on Himachal Pradesh written as part of A to Z challenge.


Aditya Sinha

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