The Elated Cult
Rewalsar Lake Mandi

Sacred Rewalsar Lake in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

Rewalsar Lake Mandi

Rewalsar Lake is located in Rewalsar, a vibrant village at a altitude of 360 m (1,181 ft) is 24 km (15 miles) southeast of Mandi. Rewalsar lake is a very peaceful lake and is admired by Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs. If you’ve any interest in Buddhism it’s a perfect detour worth taking. The three Tibetan monasteries (Nyingma, Drikung Kagyu and Drukpa Kagyu) holds an important place of pilgrimage. There are Hindu Temples and a Sikh Gurudwara as well, all of which attracts a flow of tourists and pilgrims all round the year.

On the strands of the Rewalsar Lake, there are three Buddhist monasteries, three temples and a Gurdwara which honored the month long stay of the tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in 1738. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava departed from Rewalsar in the 8th century AD to spread Buddhism to Tibet. It is also said the Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs came together here in the seventeenth century to plan their opposition against the Mughals. Around the small sacred lake and along narrow lanes, there are full of shrines and stalls selling Tibetan curios, before lounging beneath the prayer flags on the lake’s grassy edges.

Rewalsar Lake History

It’s believed that Guru Padmasambhava left many footprints and handprints in the caves and the rocks up in the hills around the lake. Steep paths lead up from the lake to caves are now used today for meditation as a secluded place. Tso-Pema Ogyen Heruka Gompa is the most sacred and atmospheric of the three monasteries around the lake. Check out the tree planted in 1957 by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who visited India to celebrate the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha’s birth. Standing over the lake and visually commanding the Rewalsar village is the much newer Drukpa Kagyu Zigar Gompa. It holds an active thangka (Tibetan cloth painting) school and a large central Sakyamuni statue. A 12m-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava is situated on the hill above the lake.

This place holds an importance for Hindus as well. Rewalsar Lake is regarded as the home of the Rishi Lomas during his penance here as a dedication to Lord Shiva. The lake was created with holy waters from the Ganga and Yamuna for the sake of Rishi Lomas. Three small temples dedicated to Krishna, Lomas Rishi and Lord Shiva, along with the Nandi bull statue are situated here. The Sikh Gurudwara attracts pilgrims following the steps of Guru Gobind Singh. This is one of the few places in Himachal Pradesh associated with his life. To the south there is a small sanctuary which protects deer and Himalayan black bears.

Rewalsar Lake Hotels, Sleeping & Eating

Nyingmapa Gompa Guesthouse (01905-240226 room with shared/private bathroom)
These simple but clean rooms appeal to Buddhist pilgrims looking for spiritual rather than physical comfort.

Dribung Kagyud Gompa Guesthouse (01905-240364; room with shared bathroom)
The guesthouse at the red gompa has simple but cosy quarters for pilgrims and nonpilgrims. Bucket hot water is included.

HPTDC Hotel The Tousrist Inn, Rewalsar (01905-240252; room with private bathroom)
Built on a slight rise, holds a commanding view of both the lake and the valley below.

Hotel Lotus Lake (01905-240239)
Close to Hotel Rewalsar, this tasteful modern place is Buddhist run and the tidy, tiled rooms gleam.

Getting There & Away

Frequent buses go to Rewalsar from Mandi Bus Stand., making your trip easy and can be done in a day. Taxis from Mandi costs around Rs 400-600 return. Local taxi drivers can arrange tours for your to other temples and viewpoints around the lake, including the Buddha Cave on the ridge, where Padmasambhava allegedly meditated.

Rewalsar Lake Images

Mandi’s hinterland contains many other places of scenic beauty. To the east, Jhanjheli and Karsog, both about 100 km (62 miles) away in apple orchard country, offer the possibility of lovely treks to the hilltop temples of Shikari Devi and Mahunag.

Please spend a minute to have a look at this beautiful Meditating Monk Buddha Smoke Backflow Cone Incense Holder, which creates an illusion of a smokey waterfall. This piece of art has lord Buddha sitting and meditating beside the waterfall.

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