Prashar Lake, Mandi
Prashar Lake is a scenic lake located 68 km from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and is situated in the hills between Mandi and Bajaura. This beautiful lake is located at an altitude of 2,730m/8,956ft and is considered as sacred due to the belief that Rishi Prashar once meditated here. There is a three storied pagoda-style temple built in the honour of Prashar Rishi near the lake. It is believed that the temple was built in the fourteenth century by a baby from a single tree. The place is filled with natural beauty and peace, one can stay a day long and specially the night if you love to gaze the stars in the clear sky.
The lake is having deep blue waters, surrounded by the snow capped peaks in all the four sides. The depth of the lake is unclear till date and it also said that once a 30 meter tall tree fell into the lake during a storm and it got completely disappeared. There is a unique floating grass island in the lake which is said to be moving, in summers it is at one end and in winters at others. To make this thing believe to myself, I visited the lake two times in different seasons and found this to actually happen 😉 (see the photos below). Another fact about the Prashar Rishi Temple is, the priest of the temple is not a Brahmin but a Rajput.
The Journey: Delhi to Prashar Lake
It was the month of May, and the travel bug inside me was pinching me again and again. After a few discussions, we decided to go to Prashar Lake. The total distance between Delhi to Prashar Lake is around 481 km and we wanted to reach the lake by evening. We started early in the morning from Delhi and reached Mandi by 3:00 pm. The lake could be accessed either from Mandi or Bajuara (5 km before Bhuntar), the distance from each side is 68 km and 49 km respectively. We planned to reach the lake via Mandi and descend via Bajuara as we had Kasol and Manikaran also in the travel list. We took our lunch near Mandi and started again at 4:00 pm. Though the distance left was only 52 km from here but we were told that it may take upto 3 hours to reach the lake.
Two kms ahead of Mandi, we took a right turn upwards near Bhiuli Bridge. 2.5 km ahead was a slight right turn onto Katindhi Rd/Mandi-Bajaura Rd/Mandi. We were instructed not to miss a slight right after 25 kms from here or else we will be reach Bajuara directly, so we took special attention on this. The road till IIT Mandi was descend and smooth with nice tarmac, though it was a steep ascent so the speed was much lower and took us around 40-45 minutes to reach. After the slight right after Old Katuala, the road was a good until Bagi and a rough patch of aroun 10km from here until the Prashar Lake.
We reached the lake at around 6:30 pm, it was a nice setting in between the beautiful mountain peaks. The Lake is hidden between the peaks, so we had to park the car on the road and a walk uphill of around 100 m took us to the first view of the lake and the temple. We talked to a camp guy as we decided to spend the night here and settled down. After having our tea near the temple, we took around a walk round the lake and took some photographs. The guy organised a bonfire for us, we enjoyed the night under the beautiful clear sky. It was an amazing experience looking at the stars so clearly. Overall, it was a beautiful journey with a few problems on the road but once we reached the lake everything seems to be like worth.
History of Prashar Lake
It is said that this lake was made after Mahabharta when Pandawas were on their way with Dev Kamrunag, the Deity loved the isolation of this place so much that he decided to live here for the rest of his life. Bhima(भीम) one of the Pandava formed this lake by pushing his elbow on the mountain peak, after the request of the Deity. According to locals, this the reason of oval-shaped lake and the unknown depth.
Prashar Lake Hotels
There is a government rest house near the Lake which charges around Rs. 500-700 per night. Also due to increasing tourists and trekkers, there are a number of providers who are arranging tents and camps at Prashar Lake charging around Rs. 500 per person.