Mani Mahesh, Himachal Pradesh

Mani Mahesh, Himachal Pradesh
Here are some general points that a first time visitors should know.
If you have more in-depth knowledge and want to add points, please do.

Mani Mahesh Kailash
Mani Mahesh Lake


Manimahesh Lake
(also known as Dal Lake, Manimahesh) is a high altitude lake (elevation 4,080 metres (13,390 ft)) situated close to the Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The religious significance of this lake is next to that of the Lake Manasarovar in Tibet.[1][2][3]

Manimahesh Lake View

The lake is the venue of a highly revered pilgrimage trek undertaken during the month of August/September corresponding to the month of Bhadon according to Hindu calendar, on the eighth day of the New Moon period. It is known as the ‘Manimahesh Yatra’. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has declared it as a state-level pilgrimage.[4]

There are two trekking routes to the lake. One is from Hadsar village that is mostly frequented by pilgrims and trekkers. This route is easier and have adequate arrangement for basic food and accommodation during the pilgrimage season. The other one is from village Holi, which is for the more adventurous ones. This route climbs up further and then descends to the lake, providing a beautiful view. There is no other habitation, except for a small village on this route.

According to one popular legend, it is believed that Lord Shiva created Manimahesh after he married Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as Mata Girija. There are many legends narrated linking Lord Shiva and his show of displeasure through acts of avalanches and blizzards that occur in the region.[1]

Legend also mentions that Shiva performed penance on the banks of Manimahesh Lake. In the same vein, it is mentioned that Gaddis (Shepherd), the tribes of this region, adopted Lord Shiva as their deity. Gaddis are the people who reside in the Gaddi Valley which is the name of the upper regions of Ravi River where the Mount Chamba Kailash lies. Further, according to the legend, the Shiva, who lived in Mount Kailash, the highest mountain of the state, gifted the Gaddis with a Chuhali topi (pointed cap), which they wear traditionally along with their other dress of chola (coat) and dora (a long black cord about 10–15 m long). The Gaddis started calling the land of this mountainous region as 'Shiv Bhumi' ("Land of Shiva") and themselves as devotees of Shiva. The legend further states that before Shiva married Parvati at Lake Manasarovar and became the "universal parents of the universe", Shiva created the Mount Kailash in Himachal Pradesh and made it his abode. He made Gaddis his devotees. The land where Gaddis lived extended from 15 miles (24 km) west of Bharmaur, upstream of the confluence of Budhil and Ravi rivers, up to Manimahesh. Manimahesh was also considered the abode of the three Lords of the universe namely, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Manimahesh was reckoned as the heaven (Kaliasa) of Lord Shiva. The waterfall seen at the Dhancho on the way to Manimahesh Lake, and which emanates from the lake, was considered as the heaven (Vaikunta) of Vishnu. The heaven of Bramha is cited as a mound overlooking the Bharmaur city. The Gaddis also believe that Shiva resides in the Mount Kailash for six months, whereafter he moves to the netherworld handing over the reigns to Lord Vishnu. The day he departs to the netherworld is observed by the Gaddis reverentially every year, which is the Janmashtami day, the eighth day of the month of Bhadon (August), the birthday of Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). Shiva returned from the netherworld to Bharamaur at the end of February, before the night of his wedding and this day is observed as the Shivratri day; Gaddis observe this also as a festive day since Shiva and Parvati returned to Mount Kailash in the Gaddi land.[5]

Etymology of 'Manimahesh' signifies a "jewel (Mani) on Lord Shiva's (Mahesh's) crown". According to a local legend, the moon-rays reflected from the jewel can be seen from Manimahesh Lake on clear full moon night (which is a rare occasion). However, it has been inferred that such a phenomenon could be the result of reflection of light from the glacier that embellishes the peak in the form of a serpent around Shiva's neck.[3]

A legend in which Lord Shiva himself is tricked is narrated. According to this narration linked to Dhancho where pilgrims spend a night on their way to Manimahesh Lake, Lord Shiva, pleased with the devotion of one of his ardent devotees Bhasmasur (an asura or demon) bestowed a boon, which gave powers to Bhasmasur under which Bhasmasur touching anyone would reduce that person to ashes. Bhasmasur wanted to try this boon on Shiva himself. He, therefore, followed Shiva to touch him and get rid of him. However, Shiva managed to escape and enter into the waterfall at Dhancho and take shelter in a cave behind the rolling waters of the fall. Bhasmasur could not get through the waterfall. Then, Lord Vishnu intervened and killed Bhasamasur. Since then the fall is considered holy[6]

A rare event of the first sun’s rays falling on the Mani Mahesh peak is seen in reflection in the lake like saffron tilak. This display in the lake has enhanced the legendary belief of the Gaddis on the sanctity of Manimahesh Lake at the base of the Mount Kailash, which they visit on an annual pilgrimage. This event has also contributed to the practice of taking bath in the lake on Janmashtami day or Radhashtami day, fifteen days after the birth of Lord Krishna.[5]


A small lake with pilgrims living in tents during the annual - Manimahesh Yatra
The lake, of glacial origin, is in the upper reaches of the Ghoi nala(refer Leomann maps:India Himalaya Map 4) which is tributary of Budhil river, a tributary of the Ravi River in Himachal Pradesh. However, the lake is the source of a tributary of the Budhil River, known as ‘Manimahesh Ganga’. The stream originates from the lake in the form of a fall at Dhancho. The mountain peak is a snow clad tribal glen of Brahamur in the Chamba district of manimahesh range. The highest peak is the Mani Mahesh Kailas, also called ‘Chamba Kailash' (elevation 5,656 metres or 18,556 ft) overlooking the lake. The lake, considered a glacial depression, is sourced by snow-melt waters from the surrounding hill slopes. Towards the end of June with ice beginning to melt, numerous small streams break up everywhere, which together with the lush green hills and the myriad of flowers give the place a truly remarkable view. The snow field at the base of the mountain is called by the local people as Shiva’s Chaugan Shiva's playground. According to a belief, Lord Shiva stayed here with his consort Parvati.

Manimahesh is approached from three routes. Pilgrims from Lahaul and Spiti pass through Kugti pass. Pilgrims from Kangra and Mandi take the Karwarsi pass or Jalsu pass via Tyari village, near Holi in Bharmour. The easiest and popular route is from Chamba via Bharmour.[2][7] The most popular is the Bhanrlour–Hadsar-Manimahesh route which involves a 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) track from Hadsar village to the Manimahesh Lake. The highest altitude touched in this route is 4,115 metres (13,501 ft) and it takes two days with an overnight stay at Dhancho. Season to be undertaken is June to October and it has a gentle grade. The path leading to the lake is well maintained.[2]

Halfway up this track is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) of open and flat meadow land to Dhancho. Tented accommodation is available here during August–September. Night halt is preferred here. Free kitchens are opened by people to feed pilgrims. But many prefer to go and pitch their tents next to the lake to feel a divine experience. En route, there is waterfall at Gauri Nallah known as the Dhancho fall. From Dhancho, it is a steep climb. This track has seen lot of improvements over the years. In the past the first climb was first done by crossing Dhancho nalla. It was so tough that people used to crawl to get across. Since they used to crawl like a monkey in this stretch it was known as 'Bandar Ghati' (monkey valley). Now this track is much improved and the newly constructed path is used. However, some still prefer to take the old route as an adventure and go through the Bandar Ghati.[2][8]

In the past, on the trek from Dhancho, the bridge over the Mani Mahesh river was crossed to reach the left bank of the valley. After 2 kilometres (1.2 mi), the river was again crossed, over another wooden bridge, to the right bank.[10]

From this point, the climb passes through many zigzag paths along flowered meadows. Birch trees are seen in the vicinity, which indicates a gain in altitude as the trek proceeds. Along this stretch of the trek route, there are a number community kitchens (eateries) at about 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) elevation. From this location, the trail to Mani Mahesh Lake could be discerned. The waterfall, flowing from the lake, is also seen at this stage. A further trek of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) through the grassy ridges leads to the Manimahesh Lake.[10]

Lake and its precincts
Even though the Manimahesh Lake is of small size with shallow depth, its location, directly below Manimahesh Kailas peak and several other peaks and dangling glaciers, is an "inspiration even to the least devout pilgrim."[10]

Trekking in the last reach is through the glacier fields of the lake. However, on the way, the walk is through the valley of flowers and wild medicinal herbs up to the lake. The lake is situated at the centre of a snowy field touching the sacred peak. The lake is surrounded by sandy boulders, small hilly mounds and prickly dry bushes, and there is no sign of any grass. It is called Shiv Chaugan (play ground of Lord Shiva). The lake appears as if it has penetrated the rugged valley. On a clear day the reflection of the abode of Shiva, the Kailash Mountain can be seen on the lake surface. All the year round, the place remains desolate, without any inhabitants, because none dares to stay here. The air is fresh but icy cold. There are almost no fauna in the lake at its precincts – no ants, snakes or any kind of wild life. A few Bird species are sighted rarely. The silence of the place is broken only when the pilgrims visit the place in large numbers, an evening before the holy dip (locally known as naun) in the lake.[11]

According to legend, Lord Shiva performed penance for several hundred years here. The water cascades sprang out from his matted hair and took the form of the lake. The lake as formed appears like a saucer. It has two distinct parts. The larger part has icy cold water, called the 'Shiv Karotri' (the bathing place of Lord Shiva). The smaller part of the lake, which is hidden by the bushes, has lukewarm water and is called 'Gauri Kund', the bathing place of Parvati, Shiva's consort. Thus, men and women bathe in different parts of the lake. According to rites, the dip (called locally as naun) in the lake is taken four times, if permitted or otherwise only once.[11]

In the periphery of the lake, now there is a marble image of Lord Shiva, which is worshipped by pilgrims. The image is called the Chaumukha. The lake and its surroundings present an impressive view. The still, clear and unpolluted waters of the lake reflect the snow-capped peaks that overlook the valley. There is also a small temple in the shikhara style on the periphery of the lake. A brass image of Lakshmi Devi known as Mahishasuramardini is deified in the temple.

The holy pilgrimage to the Manimahesh Lake (revered by local people as resting place of Lord Shiva) is supported by the Government of Himachal Pradesh, Manimahesh Pilgrimage Committee and several voluntary organizations. For the Gaddi tribal population of the region, pilgrimage to the lake is most holy. It is held every year during the Hindu month of Badon on Radhastami, the 15th day following the festival of Janmashtami, corresponding to the Gregorian month of August or September. The Yatra or Jatra, as it is called, is also popularly known as the 'Manimahesh Yatra'.[13] It is heralded by a procession known locally as "holy chhari" (holy stick carried by the pilgrims on their shoulders) trek undertaken by pilgrims and sadhus. Pilgrims undertake the holy trek barefoot and cover a distance of 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from the nearest road point of Hadsar[14] to the Manimahesh Lake. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of the yatra. The colorful procession of the "chhari" is accompanied by singing and recitation of hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. The Chhari trek, considered a tough trek, follows a set ancient route with stops at the designated places. To facilitate this trek, pilgrims are provided with facilities of transport (jeeps up to road ends), food and medical facilities and so forth. It is a two-day trek to the lake from Hadsar with a night halt at Dhanchho. Tents are available for hire at Bharmour or Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. Ponies are hired by some devotees for the trek. Direct trekking from Chamba is also an option undertaken by the devout, which is a nine-day trek; the route followed is Rakh (20 kilometres (12 mi)), Bharmaur, Hadsar (12 kilometres (7.5 mi)), Dhancho (7 kilometres (4.3 mi)) and Manimahesh (7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi)) with a brief halt at Bhiram Ghati. The return trip follows the same route.[1][4][7][9]

The holy trek starts from the Laxmi Narayan temple and the Dashnami Akhara in Chamba town, with the sacred stick ('Chhari') of Gur Charpathnath carried by the pilgrims with participation of sadhus. The trek to the lake takes about 6 days. After the procession arrives at the lake, ceremonies are held all through the night. On the following day, pilgrims take a holy dip (naun) in the lake. After taking bath in the holy waters of the lake, pilgrims circumambulate the lake three times as an act of reverence, seeking blessings of the Lord Shiva.[1] However, before taking a final dip in the Mani Mahesh Lake, women devotees take a dip at the Gauri Khund, which is situated about a mile short of the lake while men take bath at Shiv Karotri a part of the main lake. The belief is that Parvati, Shiva’s consort bathed at the Gauri Khund, while Shiva took his bath at the Shiv Karotri. State priests of Bharmaur Brahmin family perform the worship (Pujas) in all temples within the lake precincts.

Manimahesh Lake - Wikipedia

This Video was Viral on Social Media as some Saint bathing in Freezing Himalaya.
This video is of Mani Mahesh Lake only.

बाबा बर्फानी मणिमहेश


Baba Barfani Manimahesh

Published on Mar 21, 2018

बाबा बर्फानी पवित्र मणिमहेश झील मे स्नान करते हुए |
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Reaching Hadsar is a tough task as it is not on a famous route or not on some most popular treks.
Most of people have No idea from which route they should go to Mani Mahesh.

For Mani Mahesh Trek,
Reach Pathankot then move towards Chamba and ahead to Bharmour then Hadsar.

Main Route :
Pathankot >> Chamba >> Bharmour >> Hadsar

Distance :

Pathankot to Bharmour

179.3 km in hills via NH 154A


Google Maps Link Pathankot to Bharmour for Main Route with facilities:
Pathankot to Bharmour

Bharmour to Hadsar :
13.0 km via Manimahesh Rd


Google Maps Link Bharmour to Hadsar :
Pathankot to Bharmour
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Transportation :

Pathankot :

Reach Pathankot from any transport medium.
Bus or Train both are Main Points of Halt and they get some services for further Journey.
Trains also stop at Pathankot Junction or Cantt Railway Station.
Buses from all over North India stop at Pathankot Bus Stand.

From Pathankot
Buses are easily available till Bharmour.
You can take Bus (Only Yatra Time) or Shared Taxi only available during Yatra time.
Private Taxi is there on Bus Stand of Bharmour if nothing is available from Bharmour to Hadsar.

During first and last 4-5 days or Weekends there is Jam like condition from Bharmour to Hadsar.
You may have to trek from Bharmour to Hadsar.
During Yatra season, you can reach Hadsar by Bus also, if there is No Jam.

Chamba is next Main Stop to get Bus, Taxi etc for Bhrmour / Hadsar.
You can get shared Taxi in yatra season only from Chamba.

Delhi - Bharmour :
A direct bus from Delhi to Chamba runs daily in evening around 6pm and late also.
This 6pm Bus will reach Chamba around 9am in morning.
You can take this bus to reach Chamba.
Take Bus from Chamba Bus Stand to Bharmour.
Bharmour to Hadsar can be done on a Taxi easily available at Bus Stand.

Return from Chamba to Delhi, Bus available around 1pm, 3pm, 5pm. AC buses are less for Delhi.
If you want AC Buses, Delhi - Pathankot service is good on this route only.
Then take ordinary bus to Chamba from Pathankot.
Delhi-Jammu / Katra Buses are sleeper / AC running at night.

मणिमहेश यात्रा के लिये बसों की कमी नहीं Frequent Bus Services during Manimahesh pilgrimage


Wonderland Him Aanchal

Published on Aug 24, 2019

Frequent bus services at Chamba, Bharmaur and Hadsar during Manimahesh Yatra.

Mule / Khachar / Ghoda (Horse):
These are available during Yatra Season only.
Don't expect Luxury here.

Helicopter / Chopper :
Helicopters are available from Bharmour to Gauri Kund and on Arrival only.

Govt website
Online Helicopter Booking for Shri Manimahesh Yatra | District Chamba, Government of Himachal Pradesh | India

Manimahesh Yatra Bharmour view from helicopter


All time free
Published on Sep 28, 2015

Manimahesh Yatra Bharmour view from helicopter
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Am I focusing on Bharmour ?
Not Hadsar !
Why ?

Because Bharmour is the starting point of Mani Mahesh Yatra.
You have to stay here and go to Bharmani Mata Mandir which is situated above Bharmour Bus Stand.

This is a trek of 3km approx.
Apple Trees, Fruit Trees, Greenery etc are very beautiful in Monsoon with hill views on opposite side.
This will take your half day.
You can go via a wide way of soil / mud route also, if there is No Rain and route is driveable only by 4 Wheel Drive only.
Don't try to take your car up and burn your Clutch worth thousands of Rupees.
Seen few enthusiasts who were stuck on switchbacks and were burning clutch while playing with their & other's lives.
Shared Taxi take only few hundred per person.
Road is narrow and Switchbacks are very tough and steep to cut via corner.
Taxi Union has specially deployed persons on this route to take back and go up in 3-4 time attempts by Mahindra Max Taxi.
They take a very reasonable cost in shared taxi for going up and coming down both.

Then after this, go to Chourasi Mandir.
This is very old Stone Temple Complex.
Visit here only after Bharmani Mata Temple Trek.
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Accommodation / Stay :

There are many Hotels and Guest Houses with basic Facilities at Bharmour.
Don't expect anything Luxurious here.
You can stay here for a night after the tiring night and daytime adventures.

Bharmour Market is also basic for normal hill people.
Simple Dhabas are here with basic food only.
The most beautiful thing I noticed here is simplicity.
This area is still not that commercial like other places.
They help Yatris and respect them.
Even Police is very Helpful and Shy !
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After getting fresh, you can start from here towards Hadsar in morning.
People in own vehicle go early morning also.
You can hire a Taxi by booking it in evening after Chourasi Temple Visit or in morning also.
During Yatra time only Shared taxis are also available after 6am when most of the people get ready for Hadsar.
When you will leave Hadsar, keep Identity Cards and detail of yatris going with you.
They Register the details while going out of Bharmour towards Hadsar at a Police Check Post.

You will reach Hadsar in 30-45 Minutes. Roads are narrow and jam can be there if rush is there.

Reach Hadsar and get down at Main Market.
There is No Parking for own vehicle.
You have to park your vehicle at main road only.
Try after few km also as after crossing a bridge, on other side of Water Stream, you can see parking space on roadside where all have parked their vehicles.
This road is towards Kugti.
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Mani Mahesh Yatra :

Hadsar >> Dhanchho >> Gharat >> Sundrasi >> Gaurikund >> Dal Lake / Mani Mahesh Lake.


Hadsar - 6km - Dhanchho >> Gharat -6km- Sundrasi >> Gaurikund -1km- Dal Lake / Mani Mahesh Lake.

Hadsar >> Dhanchho >>

This trek has 2 starting points.

Main Starting Point is at Hadsar at Trek Entry Gate.
This is at main market.
When You reach here people go up and A Police Check Post is also here.

Other Starting Point is after the Market.
Here you will see 2 wheelers are parked on a narrow path going upwards.
It is near a Water Stream which comes from above near Mani Mahesh Lake.

Whichever route you take, it will meet after a few km only.
Your Yatra is started among some Greenery.
Enjoy this till couple of kms.
Till some point you can see Bulbs / Light on this route at some intervals.
This helps in coming after dark.
But this is till Dhanchho.
Hadsar to Dhanchho is 6km as they say in hills.
Dhanchho is Main Point where Dhabas, Langars etc are situated for Yatris.
Dhabas take charges while some Free Langars / Camps are also available.
Administration has made many toilets and water points on this trek at suitable / available places.
Most facilities are in starting only.

Check your spaed and don't take much rest here.
Take light food / breakfast type meal only with some Juice / Glucose / Energy drinks.

Special Note :
From Dhanchho there are 3 ways to go up.

Vander Marg (Monkey Way) is steep uphill with No Facilities and few shops only till Sundrasi.

Normal Route : Recommended
Most of the people follow this route with narrow switchback type not so steep but longer route.

This goes up on the other side of Water Stream that is opposite side of normal route.
This route is of hard boulders and stones only as told by others.
There are No Water Pipes / Toilets.
Only few Dhabas after 3-4 km from Dhanchho are there.
Only hard core trekkers or Pahadi People can go via this route.
Some boys only seen on this route No.3, otherwise no one else dared to venture on this route.
However Pahadi Ladies with children were taking Route No.1 for fast speed and short distance with little better path in comparison to Normal Route.
You will reach Dhanchho from Hadsar in of 3-4 hours if you are fast enough.

>> Dhanchho >> Gharat >>
This place comes after 3-4km.
This place has a small temple with some sound like Gharat / Old Flour Water Mill.

>> Gharat >> Sundrasi >>

This place comes after some landslide area / treacherous Stone path /route.
Sundrasi is place where you can get Tents / Dhabas for Food and Stay.
Some Langars (Community Kitchen) are also here.

>> Sundrasi >> Gaurikund >>

This place comes after a Stone Path Route.
A Glacier is also here.
You have to cross it.
This Glacier is regularly cut by Administration for easy movement of Yatris during Yatra only.
Gaurikund is final place where you can see some beautiful view of much awaited Snow Peaks (Mani Mahesh Peak also) and route towards Dal Lake / Mani Mahesh Lake.

At Gaurikund, you can get Tents / Dhabas for Food and Stay.
Some Langars (Community Kitchen) are also here more than any other place till you have seen as good wide / open space / place available here.
Administration made Toilets are available in numbers.
Running Piped Water also available here.
On normal route, you will get Drinking Water taken from a Upper Natural Mineral Water Source.
Dhabas provide night bed on ground only at affordable prices and Blankets too.
Take 5-10 Blankets for night. It can be freezing temperature in night.
In Morning you can see Freezing Water also.
You can eat breakfast and can have Tea also.

At Gaurikund, You can take Helicopter for Bharmour or vice-versa.

>> Gaurikund >> Dal Lake / Mani Mahesh Lake

It is only a few km of trek and with less Oxygen, your speed may be slow.
But keep steady steps with calculation of time and breath, move ahead.
You will reach at Dal Lake / Mani Mahesh Lake in few or more hours depends on your speed.

Here you will find all basic shops having all facilities you want for this yatra.
Prasad, Water Carrying Bottles / Jars / Cans etc.
Some BSNL Phones were also there as seen in 2014.
At some minimal cost you can charge your Mobile also from a small Generator / Inverter.

Have Darshan of open Temple after bath in cold water of Dal Lake if you are comfortable to do so.
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Telecommunication :

Only BSNL works here at some particular places only.
At Dal Lake seen some shops having WLL connection in 2014.
You can't communicate with your friends / team mates on this trek.
Better move with each other and do not let go anyone ahead or keep anyone at back.
Maintain Visible Distance atleast.
This is notorious place and people get separated here often.
Some died also due to this reason as they were separated and some died due to some accident with No One to help and understand where one or the other is.
I will give log links in coming posts.
You will see this separation issue is in almost every log during Yatra Time and other time also.

An ad by Mani Mahesh Trust :


^Emergency Numbers will work only if you are in Network area. Hudsar has some Mobile Signals of BSNL^
Don't expect speed of 2G also here for Internet.

एसपी ने किया किन्नौर में यातायात जागरुकता अभियान का शुभारंभ
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Petrol / Diesel / CNG:

Only till Bharmour you can get Petrol / Diesel.
Better do tankful at Pathankot then at Chamba.

Hill Driving will be slower than other places as this is interior route and roads are just OK.
You will certainly get feel of your childhood days also.
Roads are Ok and during Monsoon Landslides also occur and can delay your trip or you have to keep few or more days spare for un expected surprises.

No CNG after Jalandhar now.
CNG is avilabole at Jalandhar Bypass.
You can Check on Google Maps also.
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Govt Website for Info :
Manimahesh Yatra | District Chamba, Government of Himachal Pradesh | India

Manimahesh Yatra
  • Heli Taxi - for Yatra

    Heli Taxi for Yatra

  • Manimahesh - lake

    Manimahesh lake

  • Chaurasi temple - bhamour

    Chaurasi Temple Bhamour

  • manimahesh

    Heli Taxi - for Yatra

    Heli Taxi for Yatra

    Manimahesh - lake

    Manimahesh lake

About Manimahesh Yatra
The Manimahesh Lake is situated Twenty-six kilometers from Bharmour in the Budhil valley , one of the chief pilgrimage spots in Himachal Pradesh. The lake is situated at an altitude of 13,000 feet at the foot of the Kailash peak (18,564 ft). Every year, on the eighth day of the light half of the moon in the month of Bhadon, a fair is held at this lake, which attracts thousands of pilgrims who assemble here to take a dip in the holy water.
Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this fair / jatra. He is believed to reside in Kailash. A rock formation in the shape of a Shivling on Kailash is considered to be the manifestation of Lord Shiva. The snowfield at the base of the mountain is called Shiva’s Chaugan by the local people.
Mount Kailash is considered as invincible. No one has so far been able to scale this peak despite the fact that much taller peaks, including Mount Everest have been conquered many times. One story goes that once a Gaddi tried to climb the mountain alongwith his herd of sheep. He is believed to have been turned stone alongwith his sheep. The series of minor peaks below the principal peak are believed to be the remains of the ill-fated shepherd and his flock.
There is yet another legend according to which a snake also attempted to climb this peak but failed and was turned into stone. It is also believed that the devotees can have a view of the Kailash peak only if the Lord is pleased. Bad weather, when the peak is hidden behind clouds, is a sign of the Lord’s displeasure.
At one corner of the Manimahesh lake is a marble image of Shiva which is worshipped by the pilgrims who visit this place. After bathing in the holy waters, the pilgrims go around the circumference of the lake three times. The lake and its surroundings present a majestic view. The quiet waters of the lake carry the reflection of snow capped peaks that carry over the valley.
Manimahesh is approached from different routes. Pilgrims from Lahaul-Spiti come through Kugti pass. Some from Kangra and Mandi come via Kawarsi or Jalsu passes. The easiest route is from Chamba and runs through Bharmaur. At present buses ply upto Hadsar via Bharmour. Beyond Hadsar, the pilgrims have to trek for 13 kms to reach Manimahesh.Between Hadsar and Manimahesh is an important halting place known as Dhanchho where pilgrims usually spend a night. There is a beautiful waterfall.
About one and half kilometers short of Manimahesh lake fall two religiously important water bodies called Gauri Kund and Shiva Krotri where as per popular belief Gauri and Shiva bathe respectively. The women pilgrims do take holy dip in Gauri Kund and the men pilgrims in Shiva Krotri before proceeding to Manimahesh lake.

Manimahesh Yatra Map-en

Manimahesh Yatra Map

Govt Website for Info :
Manimahesh Yatra | District Chamba, Government of Himachal Pradesh | India
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