Manimahesh Lake, which is also known as, Dal Lake, Manimahesh is a very high altitude lake at an elevation of 4,080 metres (13,390 ft) above sea level, found near to the Manimahesh Kailash parvat (Peak) within the Pir Panjal Range of the great Himalayas. The holy lake is situated in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The spiritual significance of this holy lake of manimahesh is next to that of the holy Lake of Manasarovar in Tibet.
The religious journey to Manimahesh Lake is known as Manimahesh Yatra. The Manimahesh Yatra is usually commenced beetween the month of August to September. Mt. Kailash popular as Home of Lord Shiva usually reflects in the still water of the manimahesh lake and pilgrims of numerous locations visit this holy place to experience a glimpse of divine Kailash parvat that can be viewed straight to this oval shaped Lake. There exists a Chaumukha a four-faced stone, the Shivling that is worshipped right here. Journey to this holy lake is carried out each year on Sri Krishna Janmashtami and the journey ends on Radhashtami.
There are actually two ponds on the way to Mani Mahesh Lake namely Shiva Krotri and Gaurikund. Gents pilgrims have a holy dip into the Shiva Krotri pond while women pilgrims take dip into Gaurikund pond. Pilgrims coming to this holy place really believe that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati use to take bath in these small ponds.
However the local people and pilgrims first take a dip in the small pond of Bharmani Mata temple, situated near the small town of Bharmour. It is a traditional belief that it is an essential part of this holy journey and before heading towards the Manimahesh Lake, they should take a dip in the holy pond of Bharmani Mata temple.
The road to Manimahesh is via the town of Chamba,the small town of Bharmour and the last point the small village of Hadsar. Motor able road goes till the village Hadsar. The remaining route is being covered by walking on foot, about 13 kilometers of steep climb via the banks of a river called Manimahesh Ganga, whose origin is from the peak of Manimahesh Kailash .
Throughout this yearly pilgrimage from August to September, a number of night shelters and eating points are available in the trekking route. Night shelters are also available at the midpoint of the journey at Dhancho, about 6 kilometers from Hadsar village on the way to Manimahesh. An additional less used trekking route originates from a small town known as Holi.
Travelling to the holy trek of Manimahesh Lake is a marvelous experience. One will certainly forget the pains of the tiresome journey viewing the amazing natural surroundings and get immersed inside the charming atmosphere. This glorious route not only excites the pilgrims but additionally, the adventure enthusiasts and travelers. However, bear in mind; you need to be physically very active to complete this journey to an altitude of 4080 meters above sea level.
The name Manimahesh implies a jewel called Mani, which is believed to be on Lord Shiva’s crown. Local residents of nearby villages claim that the moon-rays reflected from the jewel can be seen clearly in Manimahesh Lake on clear full-moon nights, which is usually a rare occasion. It is very likely to be the light reflected from the glacier that adorns the holy peak, like a snake on Lord Shiva’s neck.
The Manimahesh Yatra is treated as the state level fair in Himachal Pradesh, organized and managed by the State Government. The State tourism department offers several plans and programs to encourage this awesome trekking celebration.