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Planning Rewalsar trip?
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Sacred lake in Mandi
It was the last day of our package tour and we moved from Barot on 14th March, 2018 early morning towards Rewalsar Lake at Mandi. The Rewalsar lake is a mid altitude lake located at about 1360 meters above from sea level. The lake is surrounded by rugged mountains on all sides. This scenic lake is square in shape lies on a mountain spur protected by a variety of dense vegetation and plants. It is also a sacred lake for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. It is a popular tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh.
Rewalsar A place of Harmony and Peace
Many would question on hearing this name and would ask where this place is? People who are in the search of lonely calm places to spend holidays may be knowing this place. It's a small town in the district Mandi of Himachal Pradesh. It's approximately 25 km from the Mandi and one can take a short route to rewalsar from Ner junction if one is going from Chandigarh. Ner junction is 16 km before the Mandi and from ner junction the Rewalsar is 12 km. This route though narrower than from the Mandi route but is comfortable and through the thick green mountain trees. Whole of the town is based around the lake. On one side there is a temple, other side is a gurdwara and apposite it is a monastery with a huge statue of padamasambhava I happened to be there in June 2012. In fact I kept this place as a break in my journey to Thirthan valley another name people are not very aware of, but is known those in search of lonely places . We left Faridabad at around 7 am and reached Noida at 8am. Had breakfast there and left Noida 8. 45 am. I was in a hurry to cross Delhi before the traffic builds up and then every one knows it takes more than 2 hours to cross Delhi. Till Chandigarh it was a nonstop journey and we had almost crossed Chandigarh by 12. 30 pm. From Chandigarh we took NH 21 till Mandi. Unexpected bottle neck was waiting for us near Rupnagar(ropar it's old name ). As the road was not too wide and it was being rebuild, so there was a traffic jam of few kms. I was bit anxious as I wanted to reach rewalsar before dark as it's bit difficult to ask for and find the way in hilly areas. By 8 pm very few people are there, roads look like a deserted place. We had a booking in Himachal tourism hotel TOURIST INN which was at the bank of the river Rewalsar. So there was no tension of finding a place to stay. Unwillingly I did what many people were doing, to take rough tract through the fields adjacent to the road after waiting for half an hour in a traffic jam. It was a bad tract for low vehicles like sedans. It has been another test for my sedan in the second year, in first year it proved its Mattel after it returned through kinnaur with a big nail in one of its tyre. Although my car's undersurface at place brushed with the rough tract at places but some how we managed to bypass the jam after 45 min to one hour. It was a crazy scene in the fields, vehicles from many directions were roaming in the field with a common goal of bypassing the traffic jam. It was a dusty atmosphere giving the look of a battlefield, but I could not record the scene. After crossing the jam we had a lunch at a restaurant. There were many along the road one can find a suitable one and have food there. Food was okay. From Rupnagar we turned right on kiratpur sahib road, crossed through ghaunali, Kiratpurshaib and reach swargaht which was 48 km from Rupnagar. Moved on NH. 21 towards Bilaspur which was 41 km. Bilaspur was our second bottleneck in terms of traffic. In Bilaspur there is a big ACC cement plant near the highway. So there were many big trucks here and there waiting to test our patience, trailing one after the other, these monsters were difficult to take over as long trails were on both side of the road. Once I overtook one lot after few Km there was another waiting for us. Density of trucks keep on decreasing as we progressed towards Mandi. Moved on NH 21 through Ghangas, barmana, Sundernagar and reached Mandi. Roads were good with places where the road was broken with multiple potholes. Near 5. 30 pm we were at ner junction. From here we took left turn for rewalsar. It was a narrow road crossing through thick green mountains with few vehicles crossing. We enjoyed the journey and at rewalsar we asked for the hotel location and were told by a lady which was very accurate description of the route. We straightway reached our hotel TOURIST INN. We checked in around 7. After freshened up we ordered some snacks and tea. Preparations were good, we enjoyed everything. After that we had a short walk through the road around the rewalsar lake and also went to one monastery which was already closed by 8. 00 pm. We returned back by 8. 45 pm ordered dinner at hotels restaurant. We liked the food. Service was okay but a bit slow. Had a good sleep. One thing that bothered us was the menace by the pigeons till 10 pm. Their noises over the roof was real disturbance and it restarted early in the morning. We gathered the knowledge about. Rewalsar from the hotel staff and pictures and write ups in the hotel and from local people. It's a small place or we can say town with a thin population. It's place where people of three religions stay together in a great harmony and there had never been a news of any conflict between them in relation to the religion. These are Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. There are famous Hindu temples! Buddhist monasteries and Sikhs gurdwaras. Devotees from all over the India come here to pay visit to these scared places. Rewalsar is Located at a height of 1360m from sea level. Rewalsar has a quite high literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59%. Rewalsar has three Hindu temple dedicated Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Sage Lomas. There is a Satsar or Kunti Bhiyog lake situated at a height of 1750 m from the sea level. Here Arjuna produced water from earth during their stay at this place to quench the thirst of his team. Panda stayed near the lake during their vanvas period. 8 km from rewalsar is a Naina Devi temple at a height of 1900 meters from the sea level. From this place one can have a full view of all the surrounding mountain ranges. Baisakhi fair is being held in the month of April. LOSAR festival is held in the months of February and March every year. It's a festival of ritual dances. There is an ancient cave in rewalsar approximately 7 km from here. It's a 30 meter long cave used for meditation. Statue of Lord Shiva and Acharya Padam Sambhava is situated here. Rewalsar is also known as a sacred place for Buddhists. There are three buddhits monastries in Rewalsar. There is huge statue of pandmasambhava at the bank of Rewalsar lake. It was inaugurated by 14th Dalai lama of Tibet on 1st April 2012. Padamasambhava is recognized as second Buddha and is also known as guru Rinpoche. It was from PSO Pema ( Rewalsar lake) that padamasambhava went to Tibet to spread bu ddhism there. It was padamasambhava who introduced most of the Buddhist teachings to Tibet during the reign of king Trisong Detsen. Rewalsar is also a scared place for Sikhs. Gurdwara Sri rawalsar Sahib a sacred place for Sikhs is located at the bank of Rewalsar lake. It is visited by Sikhs from all over the country. Over this scared place Sri Guru Govind Singh Ji ( 10th Sikh guru) held a meeting in 1701 with hilly rulers to think over and plan a programme for saving Hindus and Hindu religion from the cruelty of Muslim ruler Aurangzeb. Guru ji stayed here for period of one month Next day we planned to visit the nearby place as I have mentioned. Day stared with breakfast at hotel, as we could not find place better than that for meals in rewalsar. After breakfast we left at around 11 am for Naina Devi temple which is about 8-9 km from Rewalsar. On the way to the temple is cave and Kunti lake. Way to temple is all surrounded by thick green trees and few villages. Kunti lake was on left side of the road and we missed the tract to go there so we left the plan to go there. We used binoculars to see the lake and big hanuman statue there. We also missed the cave which was about 2 km before temple from where we asked for taxi as I was told that the last 2 km are steep and the road is narrow one. Local people from whom I asked for taxi built my confidence and I managed to reach there on my own. My only fear was the narrow road and on that to give a pass to the opposite vehicle. It was a beautiful scene there with clouds all over the sky with cold wind. Few people like us were there. Calmness, silence, natural beauty and blessings of god, we enjoyed the stay there for one hour. Though we could not see the surrounding mountain ranges for which the place is famous for besides the temple. We took blessings in the temple stayed there enjoyed the weather. We returned back to rewalsar and searched for some restaurant for lunch but could not find suitable one, though there were few with moms and other Tibetan food. Finally we took the lunch at hotel. Relaxed for sometime and left for local sight seeing at Rewalsar. Around 4 pm we left the hotel room for some local sight seeing. First we covered the highest monastery with a statue of sage padamasambhava. By the time we reached at the top that also involved more than 100 stairs, we were almost gasping. On the way was a ZIGAR DRUKPA KARGYUD INSTITUTE. This institute provide education to young Tibetan children in traditional and modern subjects. It's also a center of religious training and education for the monks and followers of Drupka KARGYUD order. From that height we had whole glimpse of the rewalsar with a lake as a center of attraction. After that we visited other two. We visited Sri rewalsar sahib gurdwara. Sikhs from distant places in buses and trucks were coming to have blessings of the guru. Langar a lunch is a Prasad of gurdwara. We were short of time that's why we left without langar. It's also at a height with a good view of lake and on the opposite side a huge statue of padamasambhava. This gives a picturesque view of the lake. Visited local temples and finally visited lake. It's huge lake with whole city is based around it. It has various stories based on it as told by an old lady. People were throwing eatables into the river to feed the fishes. All kinds were available at local shops be it biscuits, flour balls and others. To get catch hold of eatables, there were too many fishes struggling for a pie. Scene giving the look as there were more fishes than the water in the lake. We met an old lady there, she told Many stories related to river and explained the purity of lake water. That lady made us to wash our face with that water though I did it reluctantly, but not convinced to have a sip of that water. There were many Buddhist monks praying at the bank of the lake with rotating yantra. Evening was a memorable moment. By 7. 30 pm we came back to hotel. Prepared for the next day journey to Thirthan valley. Had dinner by 8 Next morning we took the route to Mandi. It too was a beautiful scenic route with good road till Mandi. That's all about Rewalsar and will cover Thirthan valley next time .
Inspirational stories from travellers
There is so much to see in Rewalsar.
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