62 km from the city of Jammu is located this
serene picnic spot, Mansar Lake. It also has a twin lake, Surinsar, and
together they are of immense religious value to the people of Jammu. As well as
being a popular picnic spot, it is also famous for its pilgrimage. It is over a
mile in length and half a mile in width. The lake has a popular legend, by the
name of Lake Mansarovar. While visiting Mansar, you can also spend time at the
nearby Surinsar lake and the Mansar-Surinsar Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are looking
for a place to cut away from the noise of the material world, Mansar lake is
the place to go to.
Mansar lake’s religious significance can be
attributed to the two main temples located there – Umapati Mahadev &
Narsimha and temple of Durga – amongst many others. These temples are regularly
visited by devotees from all over the state. The shrine symbolises small
serpents waiting on the deity Sheshnag through iron chains on a huge boulder.
Newlyweds are advised to take 3 parikramas
(circumambulations) around the lake as a sign of respect and to gather
blessings from Lord Sheshnag. Mundan ceremonies, or first haircut of the male
child, of many Hindu families is performed at Mansar. People also believe the
water of the Mansar lake to have enough power to wash away the sins of those
who bathe here. While Mansar attracts visitors due to its religious
connections, it is also famous for its scenic flora and fauna. The environment
is serene and you can witness lush green nature till as far as the eye can see.
The lake is home to many species of fish, tortoises and seasonal birds. You can
watch them from a well-lit cemented path by the lakeside. The lake is inhabited
by 207 species of algae, 7 species of fish and 15 species of waterfowl. You can
avail boating services too.
do at Mansar Lake
Mansar lake is perfect for a quick getaway if
you’re craving some time alone to indulge in your own thoughts. Take a walk
around the perimeter of the lake on the cemented path surrounded by rich fauna
and even small animals. Sit beside the lake in the properly maintained gardens.
For a meagre price of INR 100 per hour, you can
avail boating services from the eastern shore of the lake. Drink in the
calmness of the waters on a gently rocking boat. Boating services are open from
7 in the morning till 7 in the evening.
The rich history of Mansar Lake goes back to the
times of Mahabharata, specifically to the post war at Kurukshetra. To show
their superiority after winning against the Kauravas, the Pandavas performed
the Ashwamedh Yagna. The horse that was set free was ultimately captured by the
ruler of the area of Babruvahan. The ruler captured the horse and rejoiced as
he claimed to have also killed Arjun. On bringing Arjun’s head to his mother
Ulpi, she declared that he had accidentally managed to kill his own father.
The resurrection of Arjuna required a special
mani (jewel) from Sheshnag who resided in the Patal Lok. From his arrow, Babar
started to form a path from ground below to the Patal Lok. The construction of
the path resulted in water springing from earth to form a lake. This lake was
named Surinsar. Babar reached Patal Lok and victoriously acquired the mani by
defeating Sheshnag. To get back on the ground, he again shot an arrow which
also made water spring out to form another lake. This lake came to be known as
Visit Near Mansar Lake
Lake: Surinsar Lake is also known as the twin of
Mansar Lake. It was formed after Babruvahan shot his arrow into the ground to
make way till the Patal Lok to get the mani from Sheshnag. The lake is covered
with lovely lotuses and buffaloes lolling about in its waters.
Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary: Next to the Mansar Lake is
this wildlife sanctuary. It is home to flora and fauna belonging to many
species. The highlights include spotted deer, nilgai, cranes and ducks.
to Visit Mansar Lake
Although the lake is open throughout the year, it
is advised not to visit during the summer months of May to June, since, it gets
a bit too hot. The spring and autumn months are the best times to visit the
lake in a pleasant weather.
Visiting Mansar Lake
Visitors are allowed to feed the
fish in the lake by getting prepared dough from the vendors available at the
You can also get to experience the
culture of the region if you decide to visit during the festive months.
For summer visits, try making a
trip to the lake either early morning or late in the evening to avoid the
Stay for longer periods in Jammu
in tourist complexes and beautifully architectured huts courtesy of J&K
Reach Mansar Lake
The lake is a part of the Mansar-Surinsar
Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located 49 km from the city of Jammu. You can take a
private cab or your own vehicle from the NH1A bypass road to reach Surinsar
road. Drive through the wildlife sanctuary to get to Mansar from Surinsar. If
the traffic is good, it should take you about 2 hours to reach the lake.
Private taxis charge INR 2500-3000 for a full day
visit around Jammu. Bus options are also available from the bus station. At
regular intervals, buses leave for Mansar at a nominal charge of INR 45 per