A visible part of
Himachalís map is coloured blue and well over one percent of its mass
is under some form of water lakes and rivers and glaciers. Of the
lakes, some are natural bequests that date back millions of yers to
the time when the region was a vast inland sea and today thery are
fed by strems of pure snow melt or by groundwater springs Practically
without exception they are held sacred or at the very least have
fascinating legends lapping ther crystal clear water.
Other lakes are far
more recent and are manmade reservories many are sources of the rivers
that starts as tinystrems and migratory birds and a host of aquatic
These water bodies have
also opened a tremendous range of activity and adventure that includes
boating swimming canoeing water skiing kayaking sailing surfing and
lake (672 m) is connected by road and lies in Sirmour district. It is
123 k.m. from Parwanoo, 60 k.m. from Paonta Sahib and 37 k.m. from
Nahan. With a circumference of 3214m, Renukaji is the largest natural
lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this
is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess Renuka. Near the lake's
feet is another lake held sacred to her son, Parshurama. Both have
temples built around them and the main temple to Renuka is regarded to
have been built overnight in eighteen century. The lake lies in a long
valley and surrounding slopes are covered with thick woods. Boating
facility is available at the lake.
LOCATION: At an
altitude of 1360 m in district Mandi, 24 k.m. from Mandi town. It is
square shaped with a shoreline of 735 m, this dark jewel rests on a
mountain spur and is protected by a dense vegetation. The spot is held
sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. Legend has it that the
great teacher and 'Tatric'.Padmasambhava used his enormous power to
take fight to Tibet from Rewalsar. Also known as Guru Rimpoche, it was
under Padmasambhava's influence that Mahayana Buddhism took root in
Tibet at Rewalsar, his spirit is said to reside in the tiny island of
floating reed that drifts over the water. There are three Buddhist
monasteries at Rewalsar. Rewalsar has three Hindu temples which are
dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and to the sage Lomas. A small
zoo is maintained near the lake. The lake of Kunt Bhyog (1750 m above
sea level) lies above Rewalsar as do six other lakes of mythology.
These are associated with the escape of 'Pandavs' from the burning
palace of wax-an episode from the epic, Mahabharta.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 1900 metres in district Chamba, 16 k.m.
from Dalhousue and 25 k.m. from Chamba. Fed by tiny streams,this small
lake lies at in the centre of large Khajjiar glade. The glade and the
lake are held sacred to Khajjinag- after whom the place is named.
Khajjiar has thick forest of the Kalatope sanctury surrounding its
soft green grass.
LOCATION: In district Chamba, this is the reservoir of the
Chamera dam built over the river Ravi. Phase-I of the project
generates 540 MW of electricity. Phase-II which is under way will add
another 300 MW. The lake offers a variety of water sports.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4270 metres near the Rohtang pass
that connects district Kullu andLahaul. Also known as Dashaur and
Sarkund this attractive lake has a depth of 3 metres.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 3100 metres in district Kullu 20 k.m. from
Ani in the direction of the jalori pass. This lake has a picturesque
setting amidst pine forest.
ACCOMODATION: Hotels and Rest houses at Kullu and Shoja.
an altitude of 2730 metres in district Mandi, 40 k.m. from Mandi town.
The deep blue water at this beautiful lake is held sacred to the sage
Prashar. A three tiered Pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage lies
by the lake - 'rishi' Prashar is said to have meditated here. Its
remarkable setting is enhanced by a frame of snow draped peaks visible
from the lake's edge, the water of the river Sutlej flows due south.
The lake side and the near by villages are sites of various festival
held at different times of the year.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4235 metres in district Kullu, this lies
east of the Rohtang Pass and is about 6 k.m. from the village of
Gulaba. The shores of this clear water lake are devoid of human
habitation-yet it is visited regularly by the people of the area and
is held sacred to 'rishi' Brighu. It also lies on several trek routes
of the region.
At an altitude of 4080 metres in district Chamba, 32 k.m. from
Bharmaur. Held sacred to Lord Shiva this lake has in the Bundhil
valley at the foot of Manimahesh ranges. The peaks of Manimahesh
Kailash is regarded as one of the mythical abodes of Shiva. This is
the venue of annual Manimahesh yatra.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 3662 metres in the pooh sub-division of
district Kinnaur. The lake is surrounded by willow and poplar trees -
the village seems to be half buried by the lake's borders. On the
northern side, are four Buddhist temples with stucco image impressions
ascribed to saint Padmasambhava.
SURAJ TAL LAKE
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4950 metres below the summit of the
Baralacha pass in the Lahaul division
of district Lahaul and Spiti. The Baralacha connects Mandi and Lahaul
to Ladakh and the lake which draws a considerable number of visitors -
especially in summer - lies by its head. This is the source of river
CHANDRA TAL LAKE
LOCATION: At an
altitude of 4300 metres and 6 k.m. from the Kunzum Pass in Lahaul &
Spiti district that connects Spiti and Lahaul areas. Surrounded by
snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a
circumference of 2.5 k.m. This is the source of the river Chandra.
According to some believers, this is the spot from where the god
Indra's chariot took the eldest Pandava brother, Yudhishtra to 'swarga'
(heaven) in his mortal form.
This vast reservoir lies in the district of Bilaspur and Una.The
town of Bilaspur is 83 k.m. from the railway station at Anandpur
Sahib. The Gobind Sagar on river Sutlej, has been created by the huge
hydel dam at Bhakra and is named in honour of Gobind Singh the Tenth
Sikh guru. One of the world's highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises
225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the
famous American dam-builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was
completed in 1962. Incidentally, Slocum had no formal training as an
engineer, but his conceptions and designs have proven successful. To
maintain the level of water, the flow of river Beas was also channeled
to Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej link which was completed in 1976.
Today, this dam feeds electricity and water to a large area the Gobind
Sagar reservoir is 90 k.m. long and encompasses an area of
approximately 170 sqkm. There are provisions for water sports speed
boats and ferry rides. In October and November, when the water level
of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also
organizing by the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water scooter racing are popular
water sports activities during this period.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 1775 metres in district Kangra 11 k.m.
from Dharamshala, surrounded by deodar trees, this is on the motor
road to Talnu. Held sacred, this has a small shiva temple on its
banks. The banks of the lake are enlivened during September by a fair
attended-amongst other-by a large number of Gaddi folk