Prashar lake isn’t one of those conventional treks, and this is what makes it one of the most worthwhile and special trails.
Every time I’m set to a lake trek, there are few things that I research about and check off the list without fail
Route map ✓
Accessibility of the lake ✓
Shockingly, I was completely taken off the grid when there wasn’t any such information available regarding Prashar Lake. Completely intrigued by the idea of exploring the oval lake studded in the Dhauladhar ranges, I had started from Delhi.
The trek that can be completed within two days, is located in Kullu at an altitude of 8,900 ft. It’s a moderately easy climb, through an emerald expanse of forests and crystal clear rivulets flowing between them. Moreover, a floating island remains on the surface of the lake mirroring the flow of the lake. Further, the lake also offers a beautiful crescent-like view of the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, and Kinnaur mountain ranges.
It doesn’t take long for the snow to pile up around the lake during winters. As a matter of fact, the trek route is mostly closed during December. The highest recorded temperature here goes about 21°C while the winters have seen a drop up below -8°C.
To experience the winters in Prashar lake, September is the ideal month.
During summers, it sets the perfect picnic spot. With the carpet of forest greens on one side, and the chilling breeze from the lake on the other side. Like I had said before, to date no one has been able to fathom the depth of this Lake. Added along with these, are the interesting tales narrated by the localities. They had witnessed a storm so harsh that it could uproot the tallest of the trees and moreover these trees dissolve deep within the lake without even leaving a trace of it on the surface. Whether it’s true or not, the lake remains an untouched beauty because of these beliefs and tales.
Prashar lake is one of the most worthwhile and special trails. It’s like the painite gem of lakes, rarest of its kind and yet the most rewarding. This lake is said to be a dent created by the strongest Pandava brother Bhima. After the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas were returning victorious with Lord Kamrunag (God of rain). Having stopped by the region around Prashar lake. Kamrunag got so mesmerized by the tranquility, that he decided to stay here for longer. Bhima, with all due respect for the Lord’s decision, rammed his elbow in the mountain, creating the Prashar Lake. This is also one of the reasons why the depth of the lake was never known to anyone, as they believe it to be created by the strongest man in that era. Hence, the lake is also lovingly known as the Kamrunag Lake and the valley as Kamru Valley.
How To Reach Prashar Lake
You can reach the lake by trekking, or via the motorable road. Biaggi, the common starting point can be reached via Mandi as there is no direct public transportation available. Also, there are usually buses from Mandi, a district in Himachal Pradesh, to the lake. Public transport available is one of the most viable and feasible options.
There are two commonly taken routes to the lake,
- Mandi – Bijani – Kamand – Biaggi – Prashar Lake
- Kullu – Bhuntar – Bajaura – Shayari – Bagi – Prashar Lake
Mandi is located at considerable distances from the major cities,
Delhi to Mandi – 415 km
Jammu to Mandi – 300 km
Chandigarh to Mandi – 178 km
From all these major routes there are buses available to Mandi.
There are no direct trains available to Mandi and you can board the closest one from Chandigarh, where cabs and buses can be booked.
Whereas, air travel options include the Bhuntar airport that lies 56 km away from the Prashar lake. But, this is not a completely reliable option as the weather fluctuations decide the availability of flights and other services.
One of the distinguishable features of the Prashar Lake trek is the array of options, in terms of choosing the base point.
The most commonly taken route is that of Baggi, which lies at a distance of 4-6 hours to Prashar Lake.
There are occasional buses available from Mandi to Baggi which would take around 2 and a half hours, without any interruptions.
Day 1 – Baggi to Prashar Lake
After reaching Baggi ensure that you have sufficient supplies and essentials in hand as there aren’t many shops around here.
You’d cross an approximate distance of 7 kilometers from the river basin at Baggi.
Water points are very few around here, so make sure you have extra water bottles in handy.
Almost 15 minutes into the trek would be the first water point.
After a small diversion from the rivulet the trail gets steeper and paves the way to alluring meadows.
Throughout the way, you’d cross settlements that show the humble Himachal way of life. The people here would be more than glad to welcome the trekkers with a warm cup of chai. There aren’t many halts en route and stopping by the humble homes of the localities was refreshing.
By evening you’d arrive at Prashar Lake and further explorations can be carried out the next day.
Day 2 – Exploring Prashar – Sukhsar Lake
Prashar Lake at night is a mesmerizing sight, blanketed by millions of glimmering stars.
The morning hours are when the lake gleams in all its glory though. With the mystic blue hues saturating the snow sprinkled greens surrounding it, it’s an image that’d remain etched in your mind forever.
Right next to the lake is the pagoda of the Prashar Rishi temple. Built-in the memory of Prasar Rishi who meditated here, the temple is the perfect blend of Himachali Architecture and minimalistic contemporary art.
It’s hard to miss any of these sights as the first rays of the daylight shine on your face. The sun feels like a foreign entity in the Himachals and just feeling some amount of sunlight is such a relief.
Wake up as early as possible, and have a stroll around the temple. This is a great spot for those who like to meditate, and it’s especially a really good start to the day ahead of you.
2 km trek from the Parashar lake is yet another natural spectacle, the Sukhsar Lake. The duration for this trek would extend to around 1 hour to 1 and a half hours depending on how used you are to trekking.
Day 3 – Prashar lake to Mandi – Delhi
Prashar Lake trek isn’t much of a complicated trail and it’s quite doable without a guide. But this also largely depends on your experience of trekking in the wilderness.
Returning to the campsite, you have sufficient time to relax after an entire day of trekking. No matter how many treks I’ve been to, at the end of the day I’d want to fall back to the comfort of a cozy bed.
Based on your preference you can choose to trek back to Baggi village or directly leave for Mandi from the bus available at Prashar lake.
There are overnight buses from Mandi. Within 11-12 hours you can expect to reach Delhi.
Where to Stay
The accommodation options around Prashar lake are very surprisingly feasible. With barely 300-500 Rs allocated for stay, you could afford a decent tent with necessary facilities.
In case you’re carrying your camping gear, you can pitch your tent at a safe distance from the lake. Pitching near the tent is not permitted as a safety precaution. So you might have to look for the right camping spot.
If you’re traveling with family, there are more options such as the Forest rest house which is located not more than 500 meters from the lake. It is safer and the perfect option for those looking for personal space. These houses require prior booking.
Yet another extremely feasible option is the temple dormitory facility which is home to every visitor. It doesn’t cost even a buck and guarantees a safe and comfortable stay.
You’d experience a rather hard time locating an ATM or petrol bunk around Prashar lake. So, ensure that you’re carrying sufficient cash and a full tank if you’re traveling by personal vehicle.
The roads to Prashar lake are well connected. so you would have to make small deviations en route if you want to fill up the tank.
In case you’re out of cash, make sure to withdraw sufficiently from ATM’s around Mandi.
One thing that you’d for sure run out of would be the network connectivity. Except for BSNL and Jio networks, there’s poor connectivity for other sims.