Prashar Lake: Epitome of Spirituality, Tranquility and Breathtaking Panorama!!!
The beautiful Prashar Lake lies 50 km north-east of Mandi and 64Km south of Kullu @ Coordinates 31.75426°N 77.10141°E. The lake is situated at an avg. height of 2730m (8,960 ft) in the lap of mountains. 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.
The lake has been named after the sage Prashar (father of Vedavyas) who has mediated here and is a pristine spiritual place.
Alongside the lake there is an old three storied pagoda shaped temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The temple and a small ground alongside the lake offers great scenic natural beauty and provides the feel of heaven. This temple was built by Raja Ban Sen of Mandi in the 14th century and is capped with a roof of slate tiles and has a wealth of wood carvings.
The area has been surrounded by the dense forest and is awesome place to relax and connect with nature. 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. The good part is that the area is completely pollution free, clean, calm, less populated, and totally untouched by the modern amenities.
In nutshell it is a must visit place for trips, picnic, and group parties.
In winter season:
Prashar has its own charm in every season of the year. The environment is very cool and calm here.
The temperature varies from -5 degree c to 23 degree c in the year. The weather here is unpredictable, rain and snow might wet you any time due to the dense forest area.
In winters due to heavy snowfall the lake freezes and is delight to watch. The area almost cut off from the outside world for some month.
It would be a great idea to stay here for a couple of days – to explore the serenity around.
There is a PWD guest house and a Forest department guest house at a walking distance of about 300 -400 mtrs from the lake. The view from the guest houses is magnificent.
Both of the guest houses has caretakers to provide basic facilities along with cooking.
The PWD Guest House having 5 suites can be booked at:
- EE Padhar Tel: 01905-222151 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Forest Guest House can be booked at:
- DFO office Mandi Tel: 01905 – 235360
- RFO Kataula, Tel : 01905 – 269469
Apart from that, you can also stay at the temple authorities dormitory-type-rooms with very basic facilities.
Hotels/Guest House/Home Stay near near Prashar:
Prashar Guest House, Kataula : 9816669256
Sri Prashar Home Stay, Nandli, Kataula : 9805371061
Hill View Home Stay, Kataula : 9418044003, 9816244003
Few shops besides the temple premises offers tea, snacks and lunch (mostly rice, daal, rajmah, kadi combination) at very reasonable rates.
Have a look of the rest houses:
Camping : This is an ideal site to spend time outdoors and look deep into nature.
Trekking : A trek in the mountain teaches you a number of things, from physical endurance to mental toughness, from appreciating nature’s beauty to feeling diminutive and vulnerable in front of the mountains, from spending a gadget free time to surviving on bare essentials, it’s a welcome break from the sedentary city life.
Baggi-Prashar : 5 Kms
The trek starts from Baggi village which is approx 8km far away from the lake. There is a defined route through the dense forest that will take you towards the lake. Locals visit the temple through this route and can be spotted on the way.
It is advisable to start trek early in the morning as it may take as long as 5 hours to reach the temple depending on earlier trekking experience, the climate and the amount of snow on the way.
Other Trek Routes to Prashar:
Jwalapur-Prashar : 7 Kms
Shiva Badar (Near Pandoh)-Thatta-Prashar : 7 Kms
Prashar-Tunga Mata : 6 Kms
Hanogi-Bandhi-Prashar : 15 Kms
Adventure come to the mind when one think about to travel Prashar lake.
The road to the Prashar is very adventurous and breathtaking. The road goes through a patch of dense lush green jungle and wild hens can be easily spotted on the way.
Journey starts from Mandi town (50Km approx) on Mandi – Bajaura (Kullu) via Kataula route and goes through Runjh, Katindhi, Kamand, Kataula, Shagli and Baggi villages. The road till Baggi is metaled and thereafter forest/rocky road.
- Kamand is a very beautiful place situated along the bank of Uhal river, IIT Mandi construction is going on full swing at the same place.
- Kataula is the main village in this valley where nearby villagers comes for showing and other works.
- Shagli is the intersection from where rough Prashar road starts. The Prashar lake is approx 23 km and Bajuara (Kullu) is approx 24km away from here
- Baggi is the last village on the way and Prashar is approx 11km from here. The road ahead is very rough and difficult to drive till Prashar. Along the lush green pine forest you did have good feeling as well.
By Taxi: The Prashar Lake can be reached in approx 3hrs through Taxi. Click here to see the taxi details.
By Bus: An HRTC bus runs on this route on daily basis. The bus starts from Mandi bus stand @ 7 AM and reaches the Prashar (via Kataula and Bagi) @ 11AM appro. The same returns from Prashar @ 1:30 PM and reaches Mandi @ 5PM approx.
The last HRTC bus makes an overnight stop at Suda village, between Bagi village and Prashar Lake.
Buses do not ply to Prashar Lake in peak winters because of snowfall and bad road conditions.
By Motorbike: Although the site can be visited through any motorcycle, the driving becomes tough with heavy motercyles.
Journey starts from Kullu town (64Km approx) on Kullu – Bajaura – Mandi (via Kataula) route and and goes through Ropa, Narainpairu, Tihri, Shagli and Baggi villages. The road till Baggi is metaled and thereafter forest/rocky road.
At Bajaura intersection there are two old temples: the rock carved Shiva temple of 8th century and the Vishnu temple of pine.
By Taxi: The Prashar Lake can be reached in approx 4hrs through Taxi.
Distance from Major Places:
- Delhi –> Chandigarh: 245Km approx. 5 hr via Car / 6.5 hr via Bus / 5.5 hr via Train
- Chandigarh –> Mandi: 202Km approx. 6hr via Car / 7hr via Bus
- Mandi –> Prashar: 50Km approx. 2.5hr via Car / 3.5hr via Bus
- Kullu –> Prashar: 64Km approx. 3hr via Car
- Hamirpur –> mandi: 85.4 km approx. 2 hr 26 min via Car / 3.5 hr via Bus / 2.5 hr via Train via Una-Jahu-Nerchowk RD
- Hamirpur –> mandi: 108 km approx. 2 hr 23 min via Car / 3.5 hr via Bus / 2.5 hr via Train via NH70
Best Time to visit:
The site can be visited throughout the year except the rainy season which causes the landslides in the hilly areas.
Local fair “Saranauhali” can be enjoyed in the month of June which is attended by large number of locals from Mandi and Kullu Districts.
The lake remains frozen from Dec – March so can be visited to enjoy snow.
Mandi town: Mandi itself is a beautiful town with rich Pahari culture also known as chotti kashi.
Saroa: Saroa is a beautiful place near Chail Chowk at a distance of 15 KM from here and 45 KM from Mandi at an altitude of 2230 meter above sea level on mountain ridge.
Devidarh: Devidarh is a small village and the beautiful place in the dense pine forest in the Jauni valley above Chailchowk.
Rewalsar Lake: Also known as Tso Pema Lotus Lake, is located @ 22.5 km south-west from Mandi. It is held as a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike.
Janjehli: Janjehli is surrounded by pine forest and mountains, one of the best place for adventure activities like, night safari, hiking, trekking and mountaineering.
Barot : A nice picnic spot situated at a distance of 33 km. from Mandi on the Mandi – Pathankot Highway. It is famous for trout fishing and a ropeway that attracts the tourist.
Pandoh Dam: Just 16-km away from Mandi is Pandoh Dam.
Kamru Nag Lake & Temple : Resting resort for trekkers at a height of 3,334 meters above sea level on the Mandi–Karsog road. You can start trek from Rohanda which is 40 km from Sundernagar & 60 km from Mandi.
- Book the guest houses on prior basis from the above mentioned numbers as the room might not be available due to many visitors or peak season (Apr – Aug approx).
- The road to the Prashar lake is not an easy one. It’s very important to hire a good car and an experienced hilly driver. Click here to see the taxi services from Mandi.
- As the temple is east facing, best time to visit the temple is before 8 am when the sun is just rising above the mountains in front of the temple.
- Due to snowfall in winters be prepared to trek the last 5-6km stretch to the lake.
- In winters there might be scarcity of water due to broken water pipes owing to freezing temperature, so carry some potable water bottles along with you.
- Fill your fuel tanks with enough petrol @ Mandi or Kullu, as there is no petrol pump in the hilly region.
- You might enjoy local festival in june.
- While visiting the hilly areas, please pack warm clothes & carry the first aid kit.
Some other useful links: TheTraveler.in
A request- Please do not litter at this place and let others enjoy the Mother Nature as you did.