States of India
Lakes In Himachal Pradesh
It is 6 kms from the Kunzam Pass that connects Spiti and Lahaul. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of 2.5 kms. 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.
Dal lake is in Kangra district, 11 kms from Dharamsala. 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 every September by a fair attended - amongst others - by a large number of migrant Gaddi folk.
The Gobind Sagar over the river Sutlej, is the result of 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. Its reservoir - the Gobind Sagar - is 90 kms long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 sq kms. As far back as 1962, the Gobind Sagar was declred a 'water fowl refuge' and even today, hosts a variety of water and shore birds. Fishing is a regular activity and 51 species and sub-species have been recorded. The varieties found, include Labeo dero, Tor putitora, Mystus seenghala and mirror carp and allied species. Water sports are available - as are speed boat and ferry rides. In October and November, when the water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organised by the Department of Tourism and Civil aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water-scooter racing become available at this time.
Khajjiar lake is in Chamba district. 16 kms from Dalhousie and 25 kms from Chamba. Fed by slim streams, this small lake rests in the centre of the large glade of Khajjiar. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag - after whom the place is named. Khajjiar has the thick forest of the Kalatope sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass.
Located in Chamba district, 32 kms from Bharmaur. Held sacred to lord Shiva this lies in the Budhil valley at the foot of the Manimahesh ranges. The peak of Manimahesh Kailash is regarded as one of the mythical abodes of Shiva. This tarn is the venue of the annual Manimahesh yatra.
Located in the Pooh sub-division of district Kinnaur. The lake is surrounded by willow and poplar trees - and the village seems to be half buried by the lake's borders. On the water's northern side, are four Buddhist temples with stucco images and murals. Near Nako is a footprint-like impression described to the saint Padmasambhava.
Parashar lake is in Mandi district, 40 kms from Mandi town. With deep blue waters, this beautiful lake is held sacred to the sage Parashar. A three-tiered Pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage lies by the lake - and he is regarded to have meditated here. Its remarkable setting is enhanced by a frame of snow-draped peaks and visible from the lake's edge, the waters of the river Sutlej flow due south. The lakeside and the nearby villages, are sites of various festivals held at different times of the year.
Renuka lake is connected by road and lies in Sirmaur district. With a circumference of 3214 m, 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 the eighteenth century. The lake rests in a long valley and the surrounding slopes are covered with a variety of vegetation and thick woods. Boating is available on the lake. Renuka has a mini zoo with spotted deer, nilgai, barking deer and Himalayan black bears - and a lion safari. Fishing is possible on the river Giri, at nearby Jataun.
Rewalsar lake is in Mandi district, 24 kms from Mandi town. Shaped quite like a square and with a shoreline of 735 m, this dark jewel rests on a mountain spur and is protected by a variety of dense vegetation. The spot is held sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. Legend has it that the great teacher and 'tantric', Padmasambhava used his enormous powers to take flight to Tibet from Rewalsar. There are three Buddhist monasteries at Rewalsar. It also has a gurudwara that was built in 1930 by raja Joginder Sen of Mandi. Rewalsar has three Hindi temples which are dedicated to lord Krishna, lord Shiva and to the sage Lomas. A small zoo also is maintained near the lake.
Below the summit of the Baralacha Pass in the Lahaul division of district Lahaul and Spiti. The Baralacha la connects Manali 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 the river Bhaga.