Location of Manimahesh Lake
Manimahesh Lake also known as Dal Lake of Himachal Pradesh, is a high altitude lake situated close to the Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.
Myths of Manimahesh Lake
Myths say that the lake was created by Lord Shiva after he married Goddess Parvati. As per another explanation, it is also claimed that Lord Shiva performed self-punishment here for seven hundred years, and the water started flowing from his tangled hair which later took the form of a lake. The lake is in the shape of the bowl and is divided into 2 main parts. The larger part is celebrated as 'Shiv Karotri' (the bathing place of Lord Shiva); meanwhile the lower part is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, 'Gauri Kund' (the bathing place of Parvati).
Attractions of Manimahesh Lake
Manimahesh Lake is surrounded by sandy boulders, small hilly knolls and spiky dry bushes, and there is no sign of any grass. On a clear day the reflection of the abode of Lord Shiva, the Kailash Mountain can be seen on the lake surface. The place remains desolate all the year round, without any inhabitants. The air is fresh but icy cold. There are almost no fauna in the lake at its precincts - no ants, snakes or any kind of wild life. A few bird species are sighted rarely. The silence of the place is broken only when the pilgrims visit the place in large numbers, an evening before the holy dip (locally known as ‘naun’) in the lake. The still, clear and unpolluted waters of the lake reflect the snow-capped peaks that overlook the valley. There is also a small temple in ‘shikhara’ style on the periphery of the Manimahesh Lake. A brass image of Lakshmi Devi known as Mahishasuramardini is deified in the temple.
During the month of August to September, Manimahesh Yatra is organized in full swing. A huge procession, followed by "aarti" is organized during the special festival. The trek to the royal Manimahesh is one of the most beautiful treks in Himachal Pradesh. The most popular and easiest trek starts from a small town of Hadsar. A well-marked mule trail connects the town from Manimahesh and starts near the Buddhil nullah and Manimahesh nullah junction. Visitors can go for a Helicopter Ride to Manimahesh Lake. They can make their reservations for the ride from either Bharmour or Chama.
Visiting Information of Manimahesh Lake
Manimahesh Lake is well connected with the rest of the country. Visitors can arrive from Lahaul and Spiti via Kutti pass. One more road is to take the Karwarsi pass or Jalsu pass through Tyari village, near Holi in Bharmour from Kangra and Mandi. The easiest and most convenient way to reach the place is by Bharmour is Hadsar-Manimahesh route. There are buses, private taxi and shared taxi accessible for all the above routes.