lap of Himalayas, on the Pir Panjal Range, Manimahesh Lake is situated. It is
more popularly called by the name of Dal Lake. The lake belongs to Bharmour, a part
of Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. The lake is 4,080 meters above the sea
level. Manimahesh Lake comes second in magnificence to the Tibetan lake
Mansarovar. The word Manimahesh refers to “Shiva’s Jewels”. People
say that in the nights when it is a full moon, one gets to observe a reflection
of that jewel into the water of this lake. The lake remains closed most of the
time of a year because of snowfall. Manimahesh is a great trekking place
because it has a walking distance of 13kilometers. After crossing the path, all
the tiredness of the way vanishes when the visitors witness the breathtaking
beauty of captivating mountains and lush greenery around the lake.
lake is located at the top of the Manimahesh Kailash Parbat. This place is told
to be the sacred adobe of God Shiva. If the legends are believed, He formed
this hill with Goddess Parvati as his marital home and people believe that they
still live together on the peak of the mountain. The mountain also has a marble
statue of Lord Shiva which is called Chaumukha. The lake looks like a saucer.
It has two main parts. The first one is Shiv Katori. This is believed to be the
place where Lord Shiva takes bath. The other part is Gauri Kund; where Goddess
Parvati takes bath.
main source of water in this lake is the melted ice water from all the nearby
peaks. In the month of June, ice melts from mountains and takes the form of
numerous little streams. These clear streams flow through the bottle green hills
and colourful flowers, giving the meadows a beautiful serene look. The
landscapes all around this lake are very picturesque. One can observe the snow
all around and little bushes peeking out of these snow-clad mountains. The
unpolluted, clean water flows through the valley. The air is chill as ice. It
feels pious and pure, filled with all the prayers of pilgrims and the blessing
of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.
More on Manimahesh Lake
Legend of Manimahesh Lake
are various legends associated with this lake. The most popular is about Lord
Shiva. People say that, after Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati, he created
this lake. It is also said that Lord Shiva’s displeasure and wrath creates all
the blizzards and avalanches in this region. The lake is also considered as
Lord Shiva’s penance.
popular legend says the Gaddi tribe started to worship Lord Shiva as their
deity. Lord Shiva was pleased with their prayers and gifted them the Chuhail
topi. This is a type of pointed cap, which is very popular among the tribe.
This cap is worn by the people belonging to this tribe along with their other
dresses, Dora and Chola. Chola is a coat and Dora is a 10 to 15 meters long
black cord. They called the land as Shiv bhumi or the land of Shiva and
announced themselves as the purest and truest devotees for Lord Shiva.
legend states the land as the adobe of three Hindu Gods: Vishnu, Brahma, and
Mahesh. The lake is told to be the Heaven of Shiva. A waterfall named Dhancho
is Lord Vishnu’s and a mound overlooking the small city Bharmour is Brahma’s
heaven. People say, lord Shiva resides in this mountain for six months of a
year. Then lord Vishnu comes to live here. The day when Lord Vishnu comes to
reside here is the day of Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna. Later when
Lord Shiva comes back to Manimahesh, it is celebrated as Shivratri.
Manimahesh Kailash Trek
For all the trekking lovers,
Manimahesh is the best place. Trekking to this lake can be a memorable
experience. The experience stays in the memory of the trekker for the rest of
their life. It is the most beautiful trekking route in Himachal Pradesh. The
most amazing trek begins from the tiny town Hadsar. A well-laid trail connects
the town to Manimahesh. It starts near Manimahesh nullah and Buddhil nullah
intersection. A huge gate and some temples mark the starting point of the trek.
The first few kilometers of this trek
are modest but after that, the trekking path is full of turnings and is laid in
a zigzag pattern toward the first Manimahesh stream. After a 1km path, one will
reach Dhancho which is 2,280 above sea level. From there the trekking path
takes one to the valley of floras and faunas along with medical herbs. Crossing
this field one reaches Sundarsi.
After reaching Sundarsi, one has to
choose between two paths. One is a zigzag path that goes to Gaurikund. The
second is a bit difficult. It reaches to Gaurikund via Bhairav Ghati. If the
trekker takes the first path, they will cross the Manimahesh nullah over a
metal bridge. Manimahesh Lake is 1.5 kilometers away from this place.
The trekking usually takes 1 day but
visitors can also take rest and stay overnight at Dhancho. They can stay in
tents and kitchen facilities are available there. So there will be no problem
with food. It is an easy trek relatively. Pilgrims usually cross this path
Manimahesh Lake Pilgrimage
The lake is most visited by pilgrims
during the Hindu month of Bhadon. They come from all around the world. The
Yatra or Jatra starts on Janmashtami and ends on Radhastami. It is 15 days long
walk. Pilgrims cross a distance of 14 kilometers barefooted on the mountain. A
procession heralds this Yatra which is called “Holy Chhari” by local people.
“Chhari” means stick. All pilgrims carry a walking stick in their pious trek,
so it is called Holy Chhari. Songs and Hymns dedicated to the Lord are sung on
this blissful and colourful procession. Medical facilities and transports are
also available for them.
From Dashnami Akhara and Laxmi Narayan
temple of Chamba, the holy Yatra starts. When the pilgrims reach their
destination, they dip in the water of the holy lake to cleanse their soul and then
take three rounds of the lake to gain the blessings of the Lord. The women go
to the Gaurikund and men go to Shiv Katori for their holy dip. The yatra is
recognized as a pious fair by the Himachal Pradesh tourism administration and
Helicopter Ride to Manimahesh Lake
The best way to view the wonderful
beauty of Manimahesh lake is by helicopter ride. The reservations for a
helicopter ride can be made from Chamba or Bharmour. The helicopter will take
one to Gauri Kund. From there the visitor has to trek 1 kilometer and visit the
lake. They can take the blessings of the Lord there. The scenic beauty is worth
the visit. Then they can return to Chamba or Bharmour on a return flight.
The return trip costs 14,500 INR from
Chamba and 8,600 INR from Bharmour.
Best Time To Visit Manimahesh Lake
Due to heavy snowfall, the lake
remains closed during most of the times of a year. But in months of April to
Mid November, the snow melts and people can visit this holy lake.
Stay Near Manimahesh Lake
During the yatra season, people can
stay in Dhancho. The kitchen and tents are available there for a night stay. In
the non-yatra season, people can stay at the hotels of Hadsar. The local people
there are very helpful. They also let the visitors stay in their houses and
rent beds and food for a very affordable price.
For adventure lovers, the best way to
gain a memorable experience is to stay in a tent near the lake and enjoy the
starry sky at night.
Tips For Visiting Manimahesh Lake
Visiting Manimahesh lake during the time of holy
Yatra is bliss but one needs to be aware of the huge crowd of devotees.
One must carry extra clothes, water, and food. There
are no stores available near the lake. Only very few are available, that too
during the time of Yatra season.
All the trekking supplements should be carried along
to make the trekking comfortable and memorable.
Wandering alone in the trekking path can be
dangerous. Visitors always should go into groups with their trekking guides.
One should mind their steps while trekking down.
Walking fast can cause the loss of limbs.
To capture the heavenly beauty, one should carry
Camping near the lake can give one a charming
experience. The night sky looks hypnotizing from there.
As it is a remote location, visitors can face
disturbance in networks.
How to Reach Manimahesh Lake
three main routes to reach Manimahesh
People can go to Lahaul and Spiti through
Another way is, people, can take Jalsu pass or
Khrwarsi pass via Tyari village in Bharmour from Mandi and Kangra
The route taken by most of the visitors is by
the Bharmour-Hadsar-Manimahesh route. This involves 13 kilometers trekking path
from Hadsar to Manimahesh lake. It takes almost two days trekking which
includes an overnight stay at Dhancho. The trekking path is well maintained and
private taxis, and shared taxis are available for all the routes. Visitors can
even take a helicopter from Hadsar and Bharmour to enjoy a heavenly view.