By: Mohammed Amir khan (B&F)
Parashar Lake is located at 49 Km’s north of Mandi District (Himachal) having an elevation of 2730 Mtrs. Lake is considered sacred by Himachali’s due to its mythology, says that lake was formed by Pandawas, A temple called Parashar Rishi next to lake was built in 13th century has a lot of significant architectural brilliance carved on the wooden walls, local people visits temple for offerings in all seasons.
Lake is surrounded by Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and Kinnaur mountain ranges with a majestic landscape. One can reach lake by road and a beautiful trek through range of different terrains from arid mountains to charming lush green valley with small village’s huts and vegetation.
Lake is accessible nearly throughout the year but best time to visit lake is during summer months from March – May and spring from September – November. Although Prashar Lake has its own charm in every season of the year. The environment here is cool and calm, temperature varies from -5 degree c to 23 degree c, weather is unpredictable, rain and snow might wet you any time due to the dense forest area.
I always travel with lots of information and plans, but this wasn’t planned, I read a blog that gave me a fair idea of travelling and an overview of locations nearby. I posted on facebook asking if someone wants to come along, 3 photographers from my friend list responded to accompany me on this journey.
We started from Delhi to Mandi on 27th April (Friday) at 9:00 p.m. Mandi district is a part of Himachal, located on Delhi-Manali route. Bus dropped us on Mandi bus stop around 7:00 a.m.
Further from Mandi bus stop, Govt. bus departs daily at 7:45 a.m. and reach Parashar Lake at 11:30 a.m. this road of stretch accumulates around 50 Kms well connected through a narrow bitumen road. One can start trek (8 Kms/4 hrs) from Baagi village that lies on way before Parshar Lake. Trek can’t be considered as easy as terrain starts with big boulders to dense pine forest with steep trail, there are no sign boards along with jungle trail, trail is bifurcated in many places, following only well-defined path is highly recommended, you may not find anyone to guide in case you goes out of rugged terrain.
After 3/4 Hrs of trek crossing pine forest trail you’ll go uphill and reach plane horizon, further 1 Km and you can see forest department guest house and a concrete path heading towards temple fence.
Rain started right after we reached near Lake at 3:45 p.m. temperature started dropping rapidly, while travelling to these places always pack a rain cover and a heavy jacked that can manage in a temperature as low as 0-2 Degrees.
We spend our night in temple accommodation, Temple have 2/3 Saraai for accommodating visitors, they charge nominal amount for bedding, if you are traveling during June/July, rooms might be occupied because of religious events and people visits in huge numbers during these months.
A forest rest house, a PWD rest house is there at Prashar Lake, both are excellent options to stay. These Govt. rest house needs to be booked well in advance as sometimes you may not get accommodation.
You can pitch your tent outside temple premises that is surrounded by a fence without any prior permissions.
There are 2-3 Dhabas near to temple premises, you will get Rajma Chawal/Daal/Sabzi/Roti at very reasonable rates. i tired food at both of the dhabas, food was simple and delicious, in breakfast mouthwatering tasty Maggie/Tea/Paranthas with pickle were served.
It’s been a great experience traveling to this place, I loved the peaceful environment around lake, and you can enjoy charm of this place by taking an evening/morning walk to the nearby peaks, the temple with a small ground alongside the lake offers great scenic natural beauty. The deep blue lake lies in a saucer shaped valley and is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The primary inflows to the natural sweet water lake are rain water and glacier runoff/meltwater and the lake depth is unclear as of now. There is a little floating island in between the lake which keeps on revolving and changes its position at regular intervals which is quite unique.
An entire amazing panorama of snowy mountain ranges is visible from this location. At the top of the valley, one can be surrounded by lash green spots with cows, lambs, horses grazing and small mud huts made by Gaddis and Gujjars. Lake freezes in winters due to heavy snowfall and is a delight to watch, the area almost cut off from the outside world for 1/2 months. Imagine a place wrapped in the arms of white snow-capped mountains, where the deep blue water of a calm high-altitude lake reflects the golden sun rays and a mystical shrine leaves the whole place enchanted! It might sound like a dream so you will need to see it for real to believe it. The good part is that the area is completely pollution free, clean, calm, less populated, and totally untouched by the modern amenities. Mobile Networks are hardly available, you need to take a 500/600 Mts walk if you need to connect with Airtel/Jio network.
From Parashar Lake to Mandi Bus Stand, bus departs at 1:00 p.m. and it takes another 3 hrs reaching bus stop. We took a Volvo for Mandi for travelling back to Delhi.
if you need further information, let me know in comments below.