Himachal is the land of countless lakes (natural and manmade). There are many breathtakingly beautiful lakes in the state. People travel from far off places to witness the tranquility. Today, I am going to take you to one lake which is unique in appearance and possess unparalleled beauty. Let’s visit Parashar lake.
Parashar Lake: The Location
Parashar lake is an oval lake present atop the mountains in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Located at an elevation of 2730 meters (8960 ft) above sea level, it can be approached from two sides of mountain ranges. One from Mandi town (it is 49 km towards north) and second route is from Kullu side. The distance from that side is around 65 km. One can enter from one side and make exit from the other.
Parashar: The Lake
The lake is considered sacred by the locals of Mandi and Kullu areas. Unique feature of the lake is – a naturally floating round island which keeps moving in all directions.
The lake is said to have connection with sage Parashar. A beautiful temple on the bank of the lake is said to have been built by King Ban Sen of Mandi in 14th century.
Parashar lake is equally popular among the locals as well as the travel enthusiasts. People visit this lake in all seasons. The place is lush green in rainy season, covered by snow in winters. Visit to Parashar lake is a delight to the Nature lovers. The route passes through dense forest. You get to see many streams, hear countless birds singing. The immediate vicinity of the lake is in the form of silky meadows.
The panoramic view offered by the mountain top is awe-inspiring. You can see the snowy mountain ranges at distance even in non-winter seasons.
Good news is- the enticing place is not reserved only for trekkers. Even the less adventurous folks can visit this place easily. Mandi is connected to many major cities and Parashar lake also has the facility of road. The condition of road is mixed type. The drive is steep and the roads are narrow. Remenber, patient and steady drivers always win in mountains…as there is no race!
Our Journey to Parashar Lake
Our trip to Parashar lake was somewhat unplanned. We were on our summer vacations in Kullu-Manali and had double minds. When we finally made our minds, it was decided that we would stay in Mandi that night and travel to Parashar the next day. If you have travelled to Manali, land sildes near Aut must not be a new thing for you. We were stuck there in traffic jam for hours. Maturity said ‘find a place to spend a night or you would be back to square one’. There was no point going back to Kullu again.
Mr Coolhead turned the Car. As expected the hotels on our way back were actually sold out. It took us time and patience to find a good place to stay near Bajaura. The hotel was nice. Next day, we started for Parashar early.The route we took was the typical hilly road- narrow, curvy and superbly green.
After crossing many villages came a point where the road from Mandi side also converged in our road. The path was common after that. The road kept spiraling up hill.
When We Met Parashar Lake
Our trip to Parashar coincided with the annual Parashar Fair. Hence, we didn’t land up there alone! In-fact, the place was way too crowded. There was a lot of mayhem. Police was on alert because some very important person was the chief guest of the occasion. Some police men signaled for us to park at a certain point! (If we had listened to them, it would have been the big mistake as the lake was still six kilometers far and we were expected to walk!).
‘Mr CoolHead’ became Mr ‘DeafEar’ for a few seconds and kept going. Whether it was his demeanor or our overall appearance, we were allowed to cross the check point. I was stunned to see how the common people have to suffer because of the VIP culture. After a while when, we were near the lake, the traffic lanes looked crazy. To find a place to park the vehicle seemed tough. Anyways, these hurdles couldn’t stop us and we finally climbed up the green pastures to witness one of the most gorgeous things hidden between the mountain walls.
Because it was a fair, many palanquins of regional deities were present near the temple. The Deities met and greeted each other turn by turn. It was a very interesting sight.
We were told that it is auspicious to make a circle around the lake and then visit the temple. En route, we saw one man entering the eutrophied region of the lake and pulling something out of the bottom. Only he was allowed inside the wired lake circumference.
On closer look, I noticed it was some algae sort of thing. People were asking for more and more. Out of curiosity, I inquired what it was! They said it is called “Phool” and is very sacred. Basically, it is taken to be the blessing of the deity! I took one too.
Everyone was joyous and chirpy around. After bowing our head in the temple, we took a final look at the area. Hundreds of people were dancing merrily making huge circle, the chief guest was speaking on the loud-speaker at one corner, the men at various stalls were yelling! In all, typical Mela vibes.
The pagoda was silently witnessing the festivity as if talking to the island and saying, ‘Don’t panic my friend. it’s just a matter of today. Tomorrow-it would be Me and You again.’
That’s all for now. Did you read my previous post of a road trip to a Mountain Pass? If not read it here.