Manimahesh lake (also known as Dal Lake) is situated in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Nestled at an elevation of 4,080 meters, it is considered only second in significance to the Lake Mansarovar in Tibet. Manimahesh literally means "Shiva's jewels". According to a local legend, on a full moon night, one can see the reflection of this jewel in the magnificent lake. Most of the year, it remains closed due to the snow. The place is best suitable for trek lovers as it includes 13 km of walking distance. One travelling to the lake does not feel tired after watching the enchanting mountains and greenery.
The mighty Lake is situated in proximity to the virgin peak of Manimahesh Kailash Parbat, which is considered to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva. According to legends, He created both the landforms as his marital home with Goddess Parvati, and He is still believed to be residing on the mountain. There is even a marble image dedicated to the Lord in the periphery that is also called chaumukha. Shaped like a very aesthetic saucer, the Lake is divided into two main parts; the larger part is the Shiv Katori (the bathing place of Lord Shiva), and the lower part is called Gauri Kund (the bathing place for Goddess Parvati).
The glacial Manimahesh lake has its sources in the melted snow water from nearby peaks. As the ice begins to melt by the end of June, it breaks into numerous small streams. This streams, together with green hills and bountiful of flower give the valley a remarkable look. The landscape in the periphery is simply breathtaking. There is shiny snow all around with prickly dry bushes and no sign of even a little bit of grass. The clean, unpolluted water that reflects the snow-capped peaks seems to be penetrating the rugged valley. The air around is icy chill, and the environment is pure and pious, filled with prayers of the pilgrims and blessing of the Lord.
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