Parashar Lake – the unexpected travel story

Why Parashar lake is famous?

One of the most sacred places in all of Himachal is the Parashar lake or Prashar Pond. Parashar Lake is located at a height of approx 9,000 feet above sea level. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and looking down on the fast-flowing river Beas, the lake is known for deep blue waters and is held sacred to the sage Prashar.

Not only does this mountain boast an abundance of natural beauty, but the secluded hilltop temple is a charming escape from the busy city. And also a great place to experience an overnight temple stay.

Parashar Lake, heavy rain and fog in monsoon showing Parashar lake weather.
Heavy rain and poor visibility at Parashar Lake

Prashar Lake story

It is said that Sage Prashar pondered on the shores of this lake, which is why it is known as Prashar Lake. According to the legend, the lake was formed by Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers. As a result, Bheem (the strongest of the lot) smashed his elbow into one of the mountains, causing a large depression in the earth. Prashar Lake grew from this dent.

Is Prashar Lake Trek easy?

The Prashar Lake trip is 8 kilometers long and takes around 4 hours to complete. The path to Prashar Lake is surrounded by magnificent foliage, waterfalls, and little streams. Prashar Lake trek is a perfect family trek in Himachal and is ideal for beginners. Prashar Lake is accessible by road and you can take your car or bike all the way to Parashar lake.

Here’s the plan – How do I get to Prashar Lake?

We will rent a bike and ride along the river Beas. A right turn at Bajaura is where the narrow and less crowded, a road full of dangerous hairpin curves starts. The road will take you through some extreme landscapes, stream crossing, and some thick forest areas till you reach Prasar. On the next day, we explore the temple complex and return back to Manali.

The 2-wheeler uphill ride to Parashar Lake

Starting from Manali’s pleasant stay with a splendid view from our hotel room, we’ll ride a motorbike all the way to Pasar lake. Along the way, we visited the Dechen Choekhor Buddhist Monastry monastery.

As we had planned this trip during the monsoon, we were not sure of the view and the Prasar lake weather condition. The weather here cannot be predicted with apps as this is a mountainous region. We drove next to the Beas river till we reached Bajaura.

On reaching Kullu, we packed our bags with fruits and energy bars and enough fuel as there is no petrol station on the way. The ride was longer than we expected. The road is full of hairpin curves, narrow dangerous roads, breathtaking views. We stopped multiple times to enjoy the beauty around us.

Parashar lake hotel – The unexpected trouble

We reached late and it was dark and the weather changed drastically. To my surprise, the Himachal Tourism hotel stay that I had booked over the phone was given to someone else. And if you are looking for a Parashar lake hotel, other than the government guest house, you will not find any. But there are a few rooms available in the temple complex but poorly maintained.

There was no signal to call up anyone and luckily the temple staff helped in getting the permission to stay at the temple complex. Thanks to the temple staff who made sure we were comfortable and told us to stay till the weather is clear.

The rooms at the temple are strictly for pilgrims and we just had to pay for the pillow and bed which was available for rent. We had some snacks and a cup of hot tea in this cold weather at a shop in this temple complex at Parashar Lake. To end the first day we got a taste of the monastic life by staying overnight at the Prasar temple complex. It was a pleasant stay with minimal amenities.

The next morning, we were notified not to leave, by the temple staff as there were landslides on the way back, and crossing the stream was next to impossible. But, I had a different plan as we had booked 7 days Hampta Pass trek the next day. Check out my blog post starting from Trek to Jobra Campsite – Hampta Pass – Day 1.

Parashar Lake

After experiencing some morning temple rituals, we explored the place by walking around the temple. Our plan was to hike to the hill nearby and enjoy the view but bad weather and poor visibility made us stay indoors.

There is a floating landmass inside the lake, which is a common natural phenomenon all around the world. The floating land moves in all directions in the lake and covers 7% of the area of the lake. Prashar lake depth – It is said to be unclear how deep the lake is. The temple was built in the thirteenth century and legend has it was built by a baby from a single tree.

Once it stopped raining, we went around the historic temple complex, got a closer look at the lake surroundings, and said goodbye to the temple staff. The visibility was poor even during noontime. We had our lunch on the way back at a local shop with whatever was available. The view was breathtaking. Parashar lake trek is a common weekend hike for locals in Himachal. And Parashar lake winter trek is famous for the snow-covered lake and mountains around.

Crossing the stream

We had multiple things to worry about on the way back. The 2 wheeler fuel meter was at the red or empty end, did not have information on where the landslides were, and also if we can cross the stream or not. We arrived at the stream, and it looked like the water level had come down. It was still an overcast day but had stopped raining. Crossing the stream all alone would have been difficult, with all my camera gear. Thanks to the locals who helped us in crossing the stream.

More troubles

We continued further with an eye on low fuel. We deliberately kept the engine off while riding or in neutral all the time as the ride was mostly downhill. There was one more blocker that we had. There was a huge traffic jam because of landslides and the bulldozers were at work blasting the stones. It took a few hours but as we had a motorbike. It was easy to cross in the narrow path while the work was still in progress.

Lessons learnt from Parashar Lake trip

There are a few things to learn if you are planning to go to this place. Get confirmation on your hotel or tent booking. Get a higher-powered bullet motorbike instead of a scooty, in our case, it was not available. And have an extra can of fuel. Also, it is better to avoid a trip to this place during monsoon and winter. The place can be too cold at night.

We finally managed to reach Kullu town where we refueled the motorbike and went further to Manali. Finishing the short pilgrimage ride at Manali with all the unexpected adventures, our trip comes to an end. From here on the next day, we opted to go for a weeklong hike to Hampta Pass.

Hampta Pass trek
Hampta Pass trek. Photos by Ravindra Joisa

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