“What you seek is seeking you.”
The ultimate goal of a person’s life is to be at peace. Some find it at home among their loved ones, some find it in the bustling life of cities, and some find it in the arms of nature.
If you belong to the last category, plan a trek to Prashar Lake. Why? Well, you will love its beauty and serenity. It gives you some time to be with yourself and realize the true meaning of life. The place holds great significance for Hindu pilgrims while trekkers and campers want to make a permanent abode here as Rishi Parashar did. Yes, it is the place where Rishi Prashar used to live. After all, the place is named after him.
Prashar Lake: Location, History & Best Time to Visit
Location & Geography
Only 50 km from Mandi lies a place that looks as if it was created by God himself. It’s nestled in a beautiful saucer valley housing a stunning lake with crystal clear water. When it comes to the Prashar Lake trek, it’s 7 km with different routes. Situated at an elevation of 2730 meters above the sea, the place is known for its untouched beauty and architectural elegance set in such a secluded place. Despite the wilderness, the place is easily reachable and a must-visit trek for every trekking enthusiast.
Prashar Lake Overview
The lake is situated in a saucer-style valley in the middle of which lies a beautiful lake. Encircled by greenery, the blue water of the lake looks simply breathtaking. The major attraction of the lake is a little floating island at its heart. Yes, the island keeps changing its location very slowly, though. Just close to the lake, there is a temple of Sage Parashar. The Prashar Rishi Temple, featuring Pagoda-style architecture, has been there for centuries.
The place is known for its beautiful trek that leads to the temple and the lake. Every year, thousands of tourists come here to experience serenity and nature at its vibrant best. It is also a perfect camping place where you can spend nights gazing at the stars above. Prashar Lake in winter is the only thing visible here, as the entire place gets covered in snow.
History of Prashar Lake
Sage Parashar was the grandson of Rishi Vashishtha. It is believed that the Rishi created the lake by sticking his axe into the spot, and water erupted from there. To date, there have been many excursions to find the source of the water that keeps it full throughout the year. Per a popular perception, Prashar Lake is a bottomless lake.
King Ban Sena is credited with building the Prashar temple in the 14th century. The temple is entirely constructed of deodar wood. Locals believe that a six-month-old baby started the construction and completed it in 18 years. The temple looks amazing with serpents and animals carved on wood inside it.
Best Time To Visit Prashar Lake
The lake offers different scenic views at different times of the year. In summer, the entire place is green, and the blue lake shines like a sapphire in it. Open blue sky and a beautiful blue lake on earth present gorgeous scenery that etches in your memory.
In winters, the trek becomes difficult, but trekking enthusiasts still come here to catch glimpses of the Prashar Lake. The temple roofs and the valleys get blanketed in snow, and it looks amazing.
In the rainy season, the rain washes the entire place, and you can see several wildflowers on your way to the trek.
How To Reach Prashar Lake?
There are two ways to reach Prashar Lake. One, you can trek from Baggi Village. Two, you can take a road trip from Mandi. To reach Mandi, you can use any of the following means:
- By Air- The nearest airport to Mandi is Bhuntar Airport in Kullu at 60 km. You can consider flying from Delhi to Bhuntar.
- By Train- The closest railway station is Joginder Nagar Railway Station. Direct trains are not available between Delhi and Joginder Nagar. You can arrive at Pathankot from Delhi and then travel to Joginder Nagar via train.
- By Road- You can take a direct HRTC bus from Delhi and reach Mandi in approximately 12 hours. From there, you have the option of a bus or cab.
If you are not up for trekking, you can also take a bus to Prashar Lake Mandi. It starts from Mandi at 7 am. Then the bus takes you to Prashar Lake directly and gets you back too. It leaves from Prashar Lake for Mandi at 1:30 pm. A bus is a feasible option for those who are not fit enough to walk 7 km. But those who can walk should get off at Baggi around 10 am.
You can also get to Prashar Lake on your bike or in your car.
Kantlu is 2 hours away from Mandi. You can reach Mandi in the morning and take a cab to Kantlu. After freshening up, it’s time to start your trek. It is a steep ascent at first in open land. But as you enter the oak forest, the ascent is gradual and comfortable. There are rhododendrons after 1 km where you can relax for a while. After 2 km into the trek, there is a motorable road that takes you to Til.
Here, you take the unconstructed road. After ascending for almost 600 meters, you can have your lunch break here in the meadows. When you start again, the apple orchards greet you. You walk for almost half an hour and cross the road again. The trek gets steep from here. You reach a clearing that offers some great views of the prominent Himalayan peaks after this steep trek. Next, you’ll witness Friendship Peak, Triund, Kap Chuli, Ali Ratni Tibba, Dhauladhar Matterhorn, Hanuman Tibba, Mukar Beh, Manali Peak, Man Hill, etc.
After walking a little more, you enter another forest. And, when the forest ends, there is the lake below, which is not your destination, however. Here you will find village huts and a road that leads you to the Prashar lake.
If you want to soak in the sunrise, prefer waking up early. You can use the same trek or a different one to get back to Mandi. Descending takes half the time as it takes trekking up to the lake. There are also buses from Prashar Lake. The last one leaves at 1:30 pm. You can catch it and arrive in town.
Reaching Prashar Lake Via Baggi
You can rely on a state-run bus from Mandi to reach the Baggi Village. Have some breakfast here as you will reach here early around 10 am. Consider filling your water bottles here as the water is pure. It is an approximately 4 hours journey, and the distance is about 7 km. Feel free to cover the distance at your own pace. Avoid rushing through.
On your way up, you will see some dense forests, river basins, stunning mountains, expansive meadows, steep hills, colorful flowers, and everything you had dreamt of. Take pictures whenever you can. It will be a journey you will remember all your life.
After reaching Prashar Lake, your first thoughts will be, “Wow!” The lake is breathtaking, to say the least. From the hills, you will see a temple in the distance. Take photographs here and just relax in the peaceful atmosphere. The sunset looks amazing from here. Later, you can walk down to the lake and set up your camp. Spending a night here is literal bliss.
It’s the same. You can get up early to experience the sunset. Then, it’s time to head back to Mandi, your base camp.
Where To Stay At Prashar Lake?
There are no hotels here, but only government-run guesthouses and the Dharamshala of the temple. Himachal Pradesh PWD and Forest Department own the two guesthouses near Prashar Lake. You need to make advance bookings to stay here; else, they won’t let you in.
Stay at temple Dharamshala only if you have no other option. They do not offer any furnished rooms. You only get a room you may need to share with strangers if they also come looking for a place. The blankets they give you are, god only knows, if washed or not. Plus, you can’t use the washroom there. You need to go out in the open jungle.
If you are a camper, bring all your camping equipment with you. But the washroom remains a problem. There are some campsites here where you can sleep a comfortable night without using their washroom. There is another campsite where they have washrooms, but it is two kilometers away from Prashar lake. So, if you reach there on time, it is better to trek back on the same day or make your bookings in advance.
Where To Eat Near Prashar Lake?
There are some shops where you can sip tea, munch on snacks, and if you are hungry, feel free to sample rice, dal, kadhi, rajma, etc. Food isn’t a problem here. Campsites offer you food, but you need to take care of the food yourself if you stay at the guest house.
Things To Do At Prashar Lake
- Visit the Prashar Rishi Temple, whose architecture will keep you awe-struck. However, there is an idol of Sage Prashar here.
- During the sunset, walk up to the hill and enjoy the beautiful evening. The mornings are also beautiful here.
- Don’t forget to capture some beautiful photos for your social media accounts.
- Thanks to the lack of crowds and technology, you can enjoy the much-desired tranquillity.
- If you get lucky, you may trace the island changing its position.
How Much Will It Cost To Complete The Trek?
The total cost of trekking to the lake and coming back to Mandi costs you somewhere around INR 1800 per head.
Who can Trek To Prashar Lake?
This trek is easy compared to other treks, and even a beginner can complete it. You can also make a weekend plan and fly to Bhuntar for a weekend trek.
Some Traveler Tips
- The weather is always unpredictable in the hilly areas. So, before planning your trip, do check the Prashar Lake weather predictions.
- Even if you are traveling in the summer, don’t forget to pack warm clothes. The Prashar Lake temperature can dive drastically, causing discomfort or even illness.
- Prashar Lake is believed to be a sacred place, so don’t drop your litter. Try not to use plastic. If using, bring it back with you.
- Make bookings for the guesthouse in advance if you want to spend a comfortable night at the lake.
Prashar Lake is a pretty simple trek. As villagers are also habitual of tourists flocking the place, they are helpful and welcoming. Hiring a local guide who can help you will also be a good option. We have covered almost everything in this guide Prashar Lake. It is something you cannot express in words but only experience it. To spend a great time in nature’s lap and the vicinity of a great sage’s ancient abode, you must spend some time here.
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