Rewalsar, Himachal Pradesh

Rewalsar has one of the most picturesque natural mountain lakes of Himachal and is considered sacred by Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. The lake abounds in fish but fishing is prohibited. Hindu temples, a Sikh Gurudwara and Buddhist monasteries coexist in harmony here. Floating reeds on the lake are considered to contain the spirit of Padmasambhava, a great teacher who propagated Buddhism in Tibet. Tibetans, who know him as Guru Rimpoche – the Precious Master, converge to pay homage to him at the monasteries here. Guru Gobind Singh in his struggle with the Mughal Empire in 1738 spent some quiet moments besides the lake here.

Fast Facts

Height: 1350 m

Climate: In winter, the temperatures drop low and heavy woollens are required. Summers are pleasant and cottons are recommended.

Getting There & Away: How to reach Rewalsar

Road: Mandi is at a distance of 24 kms. From Chandigarh, it is 227 kms and from Shimla, it is 178 kms.

Rail: Nearest broad gauge rail head is at Chandigarh, 227 kms away. Jogindernagar, the terminal point of Kangra narrow gauge line from Pathankot is at a distance of 80 kms.

Air: Bhunter airport near Kullu is at a distance of 83 kms.

Tourist Attractions in Rewalsar

The three Buddhist monasteries at Rewalsar belong to the Nigmya sect of Buddhism.

The lake side Gurudwara was built by the erstwhile ruler of Mandi, Raja Joginder Sen.

The three Hindu temples at Rewalsar are dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Rishi Lomas (Padmasambhava).

Mini Zoo: The wild life department maintains a small zoo at Rewalsar.

In the surrounding foothills of Rewalsar are the picturesque lakes of Kunt-Bhyog, Sukh Sar and Kala Sar. At their scenic best during monsoons, they can be reached on foot.

Mandi (24 kms): Nestled in the Beas Valley where the Suketi river merges with the Beas, the riverside temple town of Mandi is known as the ‘Kashi of the Hills’. It was in 1527 AD that this place was chosen as the capital of the small mountain kingdom by the ruling Sen dynasty. The town derives its name from sage Mandava Rishi, who, belief holds, has mediated at this place. There are about 81 temples in Mandi. The old palaces, preserved by the erstwhile royal family of Mandi and the weather beaten stone built temples provide a rich heritage to this town of Himachal Pradesh.

Mandi Shivratri held in February-March is the most popular festival of the region. During the week long festivities, hundreds of Devtas and Devis (local gods and goddesses) in Rathas (palanquin chariots), carried on shoulders by devotees descend upon the town to pay homage to Lord Shiva at the Bhootnath temple. This is good time to witness hill folk exhibit their talent in dance, song and drama and also an opportunity to buy handicraft products of the valley.

Bhootnath Temple is as old as the town itself and dates back to 1520. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of Mandi. Raja Ajbar Sen, the founding ruler of the town is said to have built this temple.

The Panchvakhtra Temple on the opposite river bank of the Triloknath Temple is of the same design and architecture. The temple houses a five faced stone deity of Lord Shiva and facing it, is a life size sculptor of ‘Nandi’ bull.

At the Ardhanarishwara Temple, Lord Shiva is depicted in a composite half-male half-female form, symbolising the male and female principles of cosmic evolution.

The Gyarah Rudra Temple is symbolic of the Amarnath cave in Kashmir. The day Amarnath Darshan in Kashmir takes place; the temple is decorated to resemble the famous cave shrine.

The Shyama Kali Temple is located on a ridge of Tarna Devi hill towering above Mandi town. It was built by Raja Syama Sen in the 17th century to commemorate success after a particularly trying time. The temple provides an overview of the settlements along Beas and its tributary Suketi.

Prashar Lake (2,730 m, 40 kms) is a beautiful lake. The shore has a pagoda style temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.

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