Perched at an altitude of approximately 9000 ft. above sea level is the pristine Prashar lake. The lake receives its water mostly from rainfall and melting ice and is believed to be formed by the Pandavas during their years in exile. It is said that the depth of this lake is unknown after many divers being unable to find the base of it. Beside the alpine lake is a 13th century temple, a testament to Kath-Khuni style architecture, which is said to be built out of a single Deodar tree.
According to the legends, the island in the Prashar Lake was the seat of the great sage Prashar, sitting on which he meditated for centuries. Another interesting fact about the island is that it keeps changing direction with time, even when the lake is fully frozen. That’s where the name ‘Prashar Lake’ comes from.
Along with the three storeyed pagoda temple, there are wooden huts inside the temple premises apparently belonging to the local tribe ‘Gaddis’.
Prashar Lake is a delight for nature seekers, boasting a stunning 180 degree view of mighty Dhauladhar, Kinnaur and Pir Panjal ranges of the greater Himalaya along with the best of Himalayan flora and fauna.
One of the most common animal sighted around the lake is the Himalayan Red Fox. The best season to visit this place is during winter when there is snow all around and the landscape is clear.
How to get here: Prashar Lake can be accessed through a sleepy hamlet called Baghi in Mandi. One has to reach Mandi, and then take a shared jeep or a bus to Baghi, approximately 40 kms away from Mandi. From Baghi, there is also a fair-weather motorable road till Prashar Lake, which usually is in bad condition during summer and remains closed due to snow in the winter. Don’t forget to pick supplies needed for the trek from Mandi itself as you won’t have many options after it.
By Karun Pandey