Why the Prashar Lake trek? There exist some dumbfounding experiences in this world that manage to entrap the soul and the body at the same time, and the Prashar Lake trek is definitely one of these special experiences. Lounging 49 kilometers to the north of the Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh, Prashar Lake’s height is a majestic 2,730 meters above sea level, and is framed gently by the sturdy, snowcapped Dauladhar, Pir Panjal and Kinnaur ranges in the Kulllu Valley. Though it is one of the more unconventional destinations of the state, trekking to Prashar Lake does not, in any way, compromise or take away from the lush, serene natural beauty that the Himachal is most loved for. Prashar Lake’s trekking difficulty is easy to moderate, perfect even for an absolute beginner. To reach this offbeat gem, one must traverse a path littered with cedar forests, vast, soft open meadows and small, snaking streams. The lake itself looks down upon the ravishing river Beas. While there are many stories that revolve around the origin and the legend of the Prashar Lake, it is agreed upon by all of them that this lake was the cherished meditating spot of Rishi Prashar, the revered patron God of the Mandi region. The enchanting Pagoda style (i.e. multi-storied with a cone or pyramid-shaped roof) temple situated right next to the lake allows the whole experience of trekking to come full circle: While the view of the snow-dusted mountains framing the azure waters of the lake revitalize the senses, the spiritual aura of the temple soothe the soul. The temple is an ode to Rishi Prashar and has stood the test of time and faith in this region since the thirteenth century. Another chilling fact about the place is that to this day, its depth remains unknown. This “bird-eye” lake (known as such because of its shape) freezes during the winter season, transforming it into a fantastic destination which is perfect for trekkers who are looking to find their thrill in snow. The Prashar Lake trek length spans over no more than two days, thus making it a phenomenon the perfectly fits a weekend away from home, in the arms of nature. If you’re looking for an escape that packs volumes of experience in a short span, the Prashar Lake trek is for you!
About the Prashar Lake trek
The most popular story about the Prashar Lake suggests that the lake came into being when Rishi Prashar himself struck it with a rod. Another fantastical story of elucidates that it was actually created by Bhima, the strongest of the Pandavas, and later used as a point of meditation by the Rishi. Either way, it is believed by both, locals and the faithful, that the lake is of mystical origin
The height of the Prashar Lake trek is 8,956 feet, making it quite a thrilling trip to embark on. While the apple orchards, cedars and alpine vegetation blossoms and springs to life in the summer in this region, seasoned trekkers will tell you that the best time for the Prashar Lake trek is between December and February, when the lake is frozen and the Dauladhar range is completely frozen. Our Prashar Lake trek base camp is at a place called Pansara, which is at a distance of 23 kilometers from Kullu, and can easily be travelled to via cab. One way of getting to the base camp from Delhi is by directly taking a cab, which would take you around 12 hours at max. An alternative and faster way is to take a flight from Delhi to the Bhuntar Airport at Kullu, after which you can take a cab directly to Panarsa.
The weather of Prashar Lake changes drastically with time, and depends on the month you are choosing to embark on the trek. The temperature can fall up to -9 degrees in the winter. On the other hand, summers are pleasant, with the temperature going up to a maximum of 23 degrees. Either way, the Prashar Lake trek promises breathtaking views, a lakeside campsite that steals your heart, and a sense of unprecedented ease to rejuvenate your spirit.
Prashar Lake Height: 2,730 m (8,956 feet)
Prashar Lake Temperature: 18-25 degrees in the summer/-5 to 12 degrees in the in the winter.
Closest Airport: Bhuntar Airport (55 km away from Mandi)
Closest Railway Station: Jogindernager Railway Station (89 km from Mandi)
Other places near Prashar Lake: Dechen Cheokhor Mahavihara Monastery (8 km away), Kulanth Pit (9.8 km away), Triyugi Narayan Temple (10 km away)
Day 1: Panarsa – Jwalapur Village – Prashar Lake
Distance covered (by road): 25 km
Distance covered (by trek): 8 km
Our journey begins in the hamlet of Panarsa, where the first order of business is to check into our homestay. We follow this with a sumptuous breakfast. Make sure to conserve your energy -there is a hefty terrain for us to take on today. After breakfast, the entire trekking group will be transferred to Jwalapur village via cabs. Savour the winding hills, delicious conversation and the view of the dense forests as you ride to the starting point of the trek. From here, our 8 km trek to Prashar Lake begins. If you are embarking on the trek in the summer season, most of the path is going to be through patches of dense forest, peppered with many small waterfalls which make the view interesting. Keep an eye out for cedars and clusters of apple trees. A packed lunch will be provided due course the trek, and can be enjoyed by one of the waterfalls. After this, we continue on uphill, and it is not long before we see the sprawling meadows that frame the magnificent Lake. Once you reach, take the opportunity to relish the calming view of the lake as well as the robust Himalayan ranges that lie beyond. Here, you have the chance to visit the temple in tribute to Rishi Prashar, and bask in its mystical glory. There are also a few tea stalls and dhabas near the lake for you to enjoy some snacks and evening tea. After a rejuvenating evening of exploration, dinner follows, with the possibility of a comforting campfire. We camp under a blanket of stars tonight, very close to the edge of the lake.
Day 2: Prashar Lake – Jwalapur Village – Pansara
Distance covered (by trek): 8 km
Distance covered (by road): 25 km
We arise with the sun today, to witness the first ray of daylight as it hits the mountains before us. This is a great moment for photographers and nature lovers to capture the view – it is unlike anything you have ever witnessed before, and it is almost as if the mountains are putting on a show for you. In addition to the ranges mentioned before, Bada Bhangal and Deo Tibba (in the East and West respectively) may also catch your eye if you’re lucky. A delicious breakfast follows, seasoned and made more tasteful with the view of the lake. Savour these last moments in its presence. After this, we start on a relatively easy trek back to the village of Jwalapur, our original starting point. Once we reach our homestay, we take some time to rest and enjoy a piping hot lunch. Afterwards, we ride back to Panarsa via taxis, collect our baggage and possibly even take a stroll by the river if time permits. Until evening, you are free to enjoy the view and the taste of nature. At 7, Volvos to take you back to Delhi, the land of hustle and bustle, will arrive. For now, our journey together comes to an end.
The Prashar Lake trek package includes:
The Prashar Lake trek package does NOT include:
What to Carry:
Clothes: A pair of trekking pants, which is both breathable and durable is an absolute necessity. Moreover, carry at least two tshirts (synthetic material advised) and a warm protective layer (down layer/thermal wear) for the duration of the trek. Insulation is a must, especially during the winter season, because temperatures can drop down drastically, especially at the summit of the trek. It is strongly advised to also carry an outer layer that can be folded and fits conveniently in your backpack, without taking up too much space. The best way to dress in the mountains, especially for something like the Prashar Lake trek, is to layer your clothes such that they can easily be taken off and stored when the temperature is hot, and can be accessed easily when required.
Accessories: At least two to three pairs of socks are also advised. Not only will they provide protection from the cold weather, but thick socks also cushion your feet from the impact of the terrain. The need for a pair of strong trekking shoes is unavoidable, especially for the Prashar Lake terrain. Along with this, a pair of lighter camping shoes should be brought along as well. Too much exposure to heat could even cause a heatstroke, which is why a suncap is a must. Thick gloves are an absolute necessity, in case of the snow. A raincoat or poncho is also advised, for protection from rain and snow.
Food and water: Apart from a little bit of patience and determination, trekking in this region requires energy. To keep these levels from dropping, one must keep replenishing them with energy-intensive snacks like chocolate bars, cheese and nuts. It is mandatory to carry a water bottle (insulated bottle advised).
Miscellaneous: It is also advised to carry a set of cutlery per person (a mug, a spoon and a tiffin) and a miniature toilet bag with items like toothpaste, lip balm and moisturizer. A strong walking stick is a necessity, as it adds volumes of ease to your uphill snow-trekking experience.
Prashar lake is situated at an elevation of 2,730 m (8,956 feet) above sea level.
Definitely! Because of the convenient, well-charted out trail, the Prashar Lake trek can easily be taken on by beginners and first-time trekkers. The roads here are fairly open, and the slopes are mild and gentle.
Yes, the Prashar Lake trek remains open throughout the year. But if you’re an amateur trekker or a first-timer, it is best to go on the trek in the summers, as opposed to monsoons and the winter season.
If you’re willing to witness Himachal in its gorgeous summer and autumnal glory, you may want to embark on the trek between early May and the end of July and then to September, before winter sets in.
However, if you want to enjoy a slightly more challenging terrain and are a lover of all things cold, any time between December and February would be great. You will be avoiding the monsoon season (which can be harmful to your trekking experience), and the lake will be completely frozen.
The Prashar Lake trekking package includes the following:
- Vegetarian meals on both days (2 lunches, 2 breakfasts, and 1 tea for each person)
- A room to freshen up
- A storage room to stash extra baggage
- Transport to and from Panarsa and Jwalapur
- Accommodation in homestays and camps during the trek
- Trekking gear in addition to equipment like tents, sleeping bags, hiking sticks, Snow Gaiters, day bags and lights
- A certified trekking guide
- Safety equipment
The Prashar Lake trek is extremely easy to complete in the spring, summer and autumn months, as it is composed of gentle slopes and lush forests. However, during the winter season, the trail will be snowed in, and will become more on the challenging side because of the possibility of slipping and falling. The trekking pole will come in handy during this time.
There are two possible routes for Prashar Lake trek:
Mandi – Bijani – Kamand – Bagi – Prashar Lake (50 km)
Or the longer circuit of Kullu – Bhuntar – Bajaura – Shayari – Bagi – Prashar Lake (65 km).
If you are traveling from Delhi then you can head to Mandi and then hail an auto or a cab to the base camp.
The following items of clothing should be brought along:
Shirts or T-shirts
Warm and thick fleece
Woolen sweater/thermal innerwear
Socks, scarves, woolen gloves, etc.
Comfortable trekking shoes
Caps and hats
Proper trekking shoes like shoes from Woodland or Forclaz 500 while you head out to do Prashar Lake trek. However, normal sports shoes should be carried along to wear during your time at the homestays and campsites.
The total distance of the Prashar Lake trek is 16 km (8 km each). On the trek, you get majestic views of the Dhauladhar, Kinnaur, and Pir Panjal ranges that will delight and surprise you.
The consumption of alcohol during any trek to the high altitudes is dangerous. This is so because it dehydrates you quickly and opens up the pores on your skin. For this reason, alcohol is not allowed during most treks, including this one.
The average temperature will range between 20 to 25-degrees in summer. In winters, it can drop down to 0 degrees or even below.
From December to April, it will be snowing to some degree till the Village as well as the entire path to Prashar Lake. The lake itself will be frozen. The day temperature ranges between 8 and 16 degrees during this time, and it can fall to -5 degrees at night.
From May to October, the day temperature will be much warmer, between 8 and 16 degrees in the day, and will range between 2 and 8 degrees at night.
Planning a solo trek to Prashar Lake? This is one of the best destinations you could have picked! Situated at an elevation of 8,956 feet, it is both an easy as well as a mesmerizing trek. It is very safe for both, groups as well as solo trekkers. The best way to go about it is to book an overnight bus from Delhi to Mandi from where you can hire a local auto or cab to Panarsa.
Diamox is the medicine you should have handy if you’re prone to or worried about suffering from acute morning sickness. You will be traversing a height of almost 9,000 feet and it will be great to carry 10-12 Diamox tablets with you to avoid any possible uneasiness.
The Prashar Lake trek in December is completely snow-covered and one can get a view of the sparkling horizons. At this time, the temperature is -chilling and can even go down to -5 degrees. The lake is frozen solid.
The Prashar Lake trek is an easy-moderate one and but cardiovascular endurance is a huge asset for trekkers. Greater lung-capacity is conducive to an easier and more enjoyable. Start with jogging daily and make an effort to increase the distance and speed. Uncomplicated exercises like squats, skipping, swimming, and stretching go a long way in keeping muscle flexibility intact.
At each campsite, there will be separate toilets arranged for men and women. The number of toilets set up depends largely on the number of members present in the group. Toilet-tents consist of a deep pit, a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. Mostly, the toilets available while trekking are dry and you will be required to use toilet paper only. Room fresheners will be provided.
The distance between Mandi and Prashar Lake is almost 49 km and can easily be traveled by road. From Mandi, you can take a means of local transport to Panarsa, which is the starting point of the trek that we opt for.
The distance that needs to be covered to complete the Prashar Lake trek is about 8 kilometers. It will take about 3-4 hours (max.) to cover this distance. The lake is situated at an elevation of 2,730 meters and is one of the most underrated treks in Himachal Pradesh.
The Prashar Lake trek packs ease and comfort without compromising on the fun. It is a quick trek, as it can be completed in under four hours. The campsite is set up right next to Prashar Lake. Many activities like walks, bonfires, and group-based games are also organized at the Prashar Lake location.
To reach Prashar Lake, one needs to undergo a 3-4 hour long trek. The trek commences from the hamlet of Mandi. Many major cities connect to Mandi via buses, including buses on the way to Manali.
Prashar Lake is situated at a distance of 49 kilometers from the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. It is encircled by the majestic Dhauladhar and Kinnaur ranges in the Kullu valley.
During the winter season (December to mid-March), Prashar Lake experiences snowfall, and the lake is frozen rock solid. The entire landscape is carpeted with snow. While the destination takes on a completely different attire during this season, it is important to note that the drastic fall in temperature as well as the snow can add to the difficulty level of this trek. The destination, however, is worth the effort.
Prashar lake is located 49 km away from Mandi. If you board a bus that can drop you to Mandi and look for local transport to get to Panarsa, you’re good to go! The nearest airport to Prashar Lake is Bhuntar (60 km).
The cost of the Prashar Lake trek package comes at the affordable price of INR 2449. This includes your accommodation, lip-smacking meals as well as the exciting adventure and sightseeing included.
Prashar lake is 49 km from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an elevation of 2,730 m above sea level.
Yes, the Prashar Lake trek is completely safe for girls. You will always be traveling in a group, there will be separate tents for both men and women, and separate washrooms as well. You will also have an experienced trekking guide with you at all times in case you need any help with anything. It is always safer (and also much more fun) to embark on a trek in a group.
Prashar lake is at a distance of around 110 km from Manali. It is easy to get a taxi from Manali to Mandi. Once you reach, get down at the bus stand and wait for a bus or opt for local transport that can get you to Panarsa.
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