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Rewalsar Lake, Mandi Overview

Rewalsar Lake is also known as the Tso Pema Lotus Lake and is a mid-altitude lake located on a mountain spur in Mandi district, about 23 kilometres to the south of the town of Mandi. This mountain spur is protected by a variety of dense vegetation and plants, and the lake is particularly well known for its floating islands of reed. It is believed that all of these islands can be moved by prayer or breeze. The tranquillity and serenity that this place offers make it a popular tourist spot, and one of the most famous lakes in Himachal Pradesh that tourists should not miss out on.

This square-shaped lake has a shoreline of 735 kilometres and is located at an elevation of 1,360 metres above the sea level. The mixture of water, woodland and hills at this stunning lake here exemplify the wilderness of nature and are indeed a sight to behold. The unending sparkling beauty of the Rewalsar Lake and its surrounding are breathtaking.

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Attractions at Rewalsar Lake

The major attraction that can be found at the Rewalsar Lake is the statue of Guru Rinpoche, a mighty tall structure that stands to overlook the lake and is the second largest statue in the entire country. Standing 123 feet tall, this figure is also the most enormous statue in Himachal Pradesh and is situated at the height of about 4,000 feet above the sea level. Guru Rinpoche is also known as the second Buddha, and he played a significant role in preaching and propagating Buddhism across Tibet and Bhutan.
The Padmasambhava Caves, Zigar Drukpa Kagyud Institute, Naina Devi Temple, Drikung Kagyud Gompa, Kunt Bhyog, Jigar Monastery and six other prominent lakes that are associated with an epic episode of Mahabharata whereby an attempt to kill Pandavas in the palace of wax was made, are all located nearby, and you must visit them in combination with the Lake.

The Rewalsar Lake houses a beautiful Gurudwara which was built by Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi in the year 1930 to honour Guru Gobind Singh Ji's visit to Rewalsar in 1738. This gurudwara is known by the name of Guru Gobind Singh Gurudwara. Also, beside the lake, there are three temples which are dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and the sage Lomas.

The place also has a Drikung Kagyu Gompa, which is an academy for Buddhist studies. There also exist three Buddhist monasteries at Rewalsar, and it was in Rewalsar that Sage Lomas did his penance in devotion to Lord Shiva. These religious buildings located around the lake have given the place an altogether different kind of aura and spiritual importance. People with different beliefs come here to relax their mind and purge negativity from their soul. The forest department of Rewalsar also maintains a small zoo at this site which is also worth paying a visit.

Historical Significance of Rewalsar Lake

The pages of history reveal that the King of Mandi tried to kill Guru Padmasambhava when he learned about his daughter's intentions to run away with him. The King sought to break their bond by cursing his daughter and Padmasambhava to die in a fire. However, Padmasambhava transformed the funeral pyre into a lake of sesame oil which was surrounded by a ring of fire by using his supernatural powers. To his astonishment, a huge lotus flower on which Guru Padmasambhava was seated surrounded by rainbows and clouds bloomed magically in the middle of the fire.

It was also from this spot that Padmasambhava left for Tibet. According to popular legends, the sage Padmasambhava used his tantric powers to take flight from Rewalsar to Tibet so that he could preach Buddhism there. Popularly known to the Tibetans as 'Guru Rinpoche' or the Precious Master, it was under his influence that Mahayana Buddhism spread over Tibet. The spirit of Padmasambhava is said to reside in the islands of floating reed that can be found on the Rewalsar Lake.

Sage Lomas performed his penance to Lord Shiva at the Rewalsar Lake, and the tenth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh Ji also resided at this spot for a month. Owing to these historical connections and tales, the Rewalsar Lake has become an essential destination for people belonging to multiple religions, including Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.

Religious and Spiritual Importance of Rewalsar Lake

The Rewalsar Lake is considered to be a revered spot for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike, and houses three Hindu temples that are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Sage Lomas respectively; as well as three other Buddhist monasteries. The holy lake, Kunt Bhyog, which is located at an altitude of 1,750 metres above the sea level, is located above the Rewalsar Lake and is also a famous tourist attraction. The Tibetans call the lake as 'Tso-Pema' which means the Lotus Lake. There is a 12-metre high statue of Padmasambhava at the lake, which is the main attraction of the location. Hence, the place is as much a site of spiritual and religious importance as it is of natural and pristine beauty.

Best Time To Visit Rewalsar Lake

The best time to visit the Rewalsar Lake is between March and October.

Festivals Celebrated at Rewalsar Lake

The festival of Baisakhi is rejoiced with great zeal and gusto at the Rewalsar Lake. Annually, a large fair known by the name of the Sisu Fair also takes place here in late February or early March, which is visited by a large number of locals as well as tourists.

Stay near Rewalsar Lake

If you are looking for accommodation nearby, the Sikh Gurudwara offers some options. You can also rent a room for a really good price in the three monasteries.

How To Reach Rewalsar Lake

The Rewalsar Lake is situated really close to Mandi and is just a short ride away by a local bus. You can also hire a bus from Manali to reach your final destination.

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