Manimahesh Lake, also locally known as , Dal Lake. is nestled high up in the Himalayas, and at an elevation of 4,080 meters.
It is considered only second in significance to the legendary Lake Mansarovar in Tibet. But don’t worry, we won’t be going all the way to Tibet today. Instead, we’ll be trekking a distance of 13 km through some enchanting mountains and greenery to get to Manimahesh.
Legend has it that on a full moon night, one can see the reflection of Shiva’s jewels in the magnificent lake. Shiva, one of the prime Lords of Hindu, created this lake after he married Goddess Parvati, and it’s said that he still resides here.
The path is well maintained, picturesque, and is guaranteed to give you an amazing experience. There are three different routes to get here, and the easiest and most convenient way via Bharmour-Hadsar.
Now, for those who prefer a bit of luxury, you can take a helicopter from Bharmour to Hadsar. You’ll get to take in the gorgeous landscape of Manimahesh from the air, and it’s definitely an experience you won’t forget. But if you’re like us, and you prefer to earn your way to the top, then the trek is for you.
The trek to Manimahesh is one of the most beautiful treks in Himachal Pradesh, and that’s saying something. It begins from the small town of Hadsar, and a well-marked mule trail connects the town to Manimahesh. The first few kilometers are a modest climb, but after that, the path becomes a zigzag towards the first Mani Mahesh stream crossing. You’ll trek through some valleys of flowers and medicinal herbs, and before you know it, you’ll reach Dhancho.
Dhancho is perched at an altitude of 2,280 meters above sea level, and it’s a great place to rest before continuing the trek. From here, the trek proceeds through more valleys of flowers and medicinal herbs to Sundarsi. From Sundarsi, there are two trekking routes available. The first and more convenient one choice is a zigzag path over a moraine straight on to Gaurikund. The other, slightly more difficult one reaches Gaurikund via “Bhairav Ghati.”
Once you reach Gaurikund, you cross to the Mani Mahesh nullah over a metal girder bridge. And then, the gradient finally eases up, and you’ll reach the Manimahesh Lake. But be prepared to be awestruck. The lake is shaped like a saucer and divided into two parts – the larger part is the Shiv Katori, the bathing place of Lord Shiva, and the lower part is called Gauri Kund, the bathing place for Goddess Parvati.
There are many legends associated with the origins of Manimahesh Lake, but one thing’s for sure – it’s a beautiful and holy place. So, pack your bags and let’s go trekking! But don’t forget to take a pointed cap, as it’s the local fashion statement.