Prashar lake is one of the most unexplored lakes near Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Prashar lake trek starts from the Baggi village which is around 20 km from Mandi. I’ve been wanting to visit this lake for a year and suddenly in the first week of March, I decided to trek solo.
It was solo travel, but in reality, I wasn’t traveling or trekking solo. There were lots of people I met which never made me feel alone. I thought it was up to me to go down which path, whether to make friends during my journey or choose my own path and enjoy my own moments.
Delhi to Mandi(Prashar Lake)
I took a bus from Kashmiri gate at 6:30 PM on 9 March 2018 which left me at Mandi around 6 AM the next day. The first bus from Mandi to Baggi village leaves at around 8 AM. I took a bus to Shegli immediately which is 4 km from Baggi village. I met a group which was also going to the trek. I walked and hitchhiked to Baggi village.
There were a few cafes at Baggi village where I did my breakfast. Prices were nominal, not so costly. I had a few parathas there and filled up my water bottles.
Prashar Lake trek from Baggi village:
I started my trek at 10 AM from Baggi village with the group I met on the bus. The trek started from crossing a naala and then walking straight for around a km on the rocky path. Thereafter, I entered the thick dense pine forests. It was so beautiful in between those pine trees and I didn’t meet any other person on the trek except the group which I met on the bus. I found only one source of water in the whole trek. So, it was good that I carried enough water with me. Before one km from the lake, I reached this open area and found some mud houses. It was an amazing feeling to not find a single soul in the range of a km.
After trekking for around 4 hours, I reached this beautiful peaceful lake and it was all worth it. Prashar temple also lies just near the lake and its architecture was awe-inspiring.
The lake is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of some large mountains. There is a 360-degree view of mountain ranges from the top area of the lake. Peaks of Triund, Indrahar Pass, Chamba, Hanuman Tibba, Spiti, Kinnaur and some other mountain ranges are visible from the top. There is no other two-day trek which gives such pleasant views within such a short distance.
I had my own sleeping bag with me and I knew that there were dorm rooms available in the temple. I went to the temple and talked to the Pandit Ji about the room and he told me to talk to the caretaker. Caretaker bhaiya showed me the room and gave me a mattress. And man, I swear that was one of the best nights of my life. I could see the lake from my window and it was amazing. After putting my backpack in my room, I went outside and ate some Maggi. I spent my entire evening watching the beautiful sunset and then ate Rajma Chawal and slept.
A local guy told me that there is a beautiful site 2 km from the Parashar lake. I followed the road, took a wrong turn and reached this place and enjoyed this stunning sunset alone.
Prashar lake to Mandi:
I wanted to go down by bus as I trekked while coming up here. So, I enquired about the bus from the people and took it to reach Mandi at 4:30 PM. Drive from Prashar Lake to Mandi was a treat. The bus went through some muddy path in between the lush green valley which was breathtaking for me. I ate some food at Mandi Bus Stand and took the bus to Delhi which reached at 5 AM.
Some amazing stories about this place
- Till now, various attempts have been made to find the depth of this lake but no one was successful. Isn’t it astonishing in the 21st century?
- It is believed that Prashar temple is built in the era of Mahabharata and the lake was created by Bhim’s elbow push.
- No one is allowed to enter the fencing around the lake except the local people who use this lake as a source of water.
- It is said that the small island which is in the middle of the lake changes its location with respect to the time of the year.
- The water of this lake is used for drinking by the local people and it tastes amazing.
- Tents are available itself near the Prashar lake at the cost of Rs. 300-500
- Bus from Mandi to Baggi village leaves at around 8 AM and costs around 50/-
- There are a few cafes in Baggi village where you can eat and pack your lunch for the trek as there are no shops during the trek.
- Direct buses also run from Mandi to Prashar lake which is the same bus that goes via Baggi village and reaches Prashar lake at 11 AM. The same bus leaves for Mandi at 1:15 PM and reaches Mandi at 4:30 PM.
- Temple may also be closed in the month of January and February.
- Various buses run from Delhi to Mandi in the evening and take around 11-12 hours to reach. The prices of Roadways HRTC bus is 530/-, Himmani Deluxe non-AC is 730/- and Himsuta AC Bus is around 1100/-. Prefer HRTC buses over the private ones.
- This trek can be done within the budget of 1400-2000 depending on which bus you take and where you stay. I did this trek in 1400/-
- You can take your tent if you want and camp near the lake.
- Cost of food is nominal near the lake. Maggi costs 30/- and Rajma Chawal cost 60/-
- Only Jio and Airtel networks are available at the lake.
Best season to visit:
This trek can be done at any time of the year. In winters, the lake freezes, so for the people who love snow, this lake is a blessing.
In summers, the area around the lake is fully green. This trek should be avoided in the Monsoon season as the trail gets slippery.
Prashar Lake temperature:
Temperature goes below -4 degree Celsius in the months of January and February. While in the other seasons, it’s between 10-15 degree Celsius.
Whenever you visit this lake, use water of the lake for drinking over plastic bottles. If you purchase some bottles then please take them to Mandi with you because it’s very hard to transfer all the plastics. Let’s make this beautiful lake pollution free.
This post is written by Mayank Gupta & one can follow his work at www.travelfortranquility.com.