Manimahesh Lake (13,390 ft), is situated close to the Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas and located at 27Km from Bharmour and 51Km from Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.
The Word “Kailash” is enough to express and touch the feeling of Shiva’s devotees. Though there are many interesting mythological stories associated with this place, local legends say that Lord Shiva created this mountain after he married Goddess Parvati. Etymology of ‘Manimahesh’ signifies a “jewel (Mani) on Lord Shiva’s (Mahesh’s) crown”. It is said that the moon rays reflected from the Mani can be seen from the lake on clear full-moon nights, which happens occasionally. In fact the moon light reflected from the glacier on top of the peak, looks like a shiny jewel indeed.
The spiritual journey “Manimahesh Kailash Yatra” undertaken by thousands of pilgrims commences on the auspicious day of Janmashtami, which is the birth day of Lord Shri Krishna and it ends after 15 days on Radha Ashtmi. Pilgrims take holy dip in the Manimahesh Lake during this period. It is believed that a dip into the lake would bring in peace and cleanse the past sins. This lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and view of wafting clouds is soul stirring.
Manimahesh is not only famous for the religious aspect. This is also popular among trekkers across the globe. There are two different trek routes via Kugti or Kalah pass but these treks are recommended to prior experienced trekkers only. It’s commonly called as trekkers’ paradise and trek route is opened from the month of Mid May and continues till October.
Manimahesh Kailash Yatra
(Delhi == 480km == Pathankot == 82km == Dalhousi == 22Km == Khajjiar == 22Km == Chamba == 60Km == Bharmour == 13Km == Hudsar … 6Km … Dhancho … 6Km … Gaurikund … 1Km … Manimahesh)
Day 0: Delhi – Pathankot (By Train)
Board your train from Old Delhi railway station for Pathankot. Journey overnight.
Day 01: Pathankot – Dalhousie (80 Kms)
On arrival at Pathankot railway station next morning, either you can take a bus or hire a taxi for Dalhousie. It takes approx. two and half hours to reach there.
Accommodations: Limited hotel options are there, hence it’s recommended to do prior-booking. In case you’re in search of a hostel, Zostel, the backpackers’ hostel chain has recently set up one there. Spend your day there while doing local sightseeing and a few activities in Punchpula.
Day 02: Dalhousie – Khajjiar– Bharmour (110 kms)
Leave Dalhousie early morning after having a light feast. You may also get public transport for Chamba and Bharmour, but depending on state road transport schedule/frequency. Alternatively, you can also hire taxi which will certainly help you to explore Khajjiar ‘Mini Switzerland’ as well.
Unique saucer shaped lush meadow exquisitely bordered by Devadar Trees is the beauty of Khajjiar with an exquisite lake in the center and a floating island. This place in one of the 160 places in the world, which has tropical resemblance to Switzerland.
After spending couple of hours there, you can head toward Bharmour through Chamba. Once you reach Bharmour, check-in and have lunch, then visit Chaurasi Temple and witness the grand Aarti in the evening.
Day 04: Bharmour – Hudsar – Dhancho
Bharmour is last town before Manimahesh. Manimahesh is at a distance of 26 km from Bharmour out of which half route can be covered by taxi and half by trek. Once you reach at Hudsar then the next destination is Dhanchoo 6km kms. from here, where pilgrims take rest and spend night. You will see a beautiful water fall on the way which is also considered as the heaven (Vaikunta) of Lord Vishnu.
There will be many Langars and Bhandara camps on the route, almost after a kilometer, and a few other tea huts and shelters are there for night halts during Yatra.
Manimahesh Yatra by Helicopter
Anna Adventures & Tours Bharmour facilitate helicopter service with the help of a private company to the devotee of lord Shiva who are not able to trek this 13 Kms gradual and steep access to Manimahesh Lake. Prior-booking is recommended.
Day 05: Dhancho – Gauri Kund – Manimahesh Lake
Have light breakfast and start your remaining trek to the holy lake. You will be reaching there after noon. Take little rest and have a holy dip into this lake. Between Dhanchoo and Manimahesh Lake, there are various pilgrimage spots known as Bandar Ghati, Gouri Kund, Shiv Kalotri, Ganesh Ghati. Spend your night there.
Day 06: Manimahesh – Hudsar – Bharmour
Next morning, return to Bharmour and stay there.
Day 07: Bharmour – Pathankot – Delhi
After having breakfast, leave Bharmour for Pathankot and get your bus/train for Delhi.
How to Reach ManiMahesh lake?
Nearest Railway Station is Pathankot (Punjab).
Nearest airport is at Gaggal in Kangra (170 kms from Chamba).
Manimahesh is almost 200 kms away from Pathankot by road via Dalhousie and Chamba. Taxis are available from Dalhousie/Pathankot/Chamba. However, public transport is also available but has limited frequency and it depends on state transport schedule as well.
Let’s plan your trip to one of the abodes of Lord Shiva, the mini Kailash, also known as Kailash of Himachal and the Chamba Kailash.