In 2016, we attempted our first ever trek to the famous Kheerganga mountains. And the next week, we attempted another Himachal trek which was the alluring Prashar Lake trek. When we attempted both these treks, we were still new to traveling and were quite worried about the experience.
But what we didn’t realize is how these travel and trekking experiences will change us and make us who we are. Nowadays, you will find a lot of people going for the Prashar Lake trek on weekends. But till 3 years back, this was not such a famous trek and you wouldn’t see a lot of travelers around here.
Yet we enjoyed our experience of this amazing place and even made some great friends on the way. So, if you are planning to undertake the Prashar Lake trek too, then below we have noted down all the information. Sure, you can choose a travel company to plan your trek. However, if you want the best experience then we would advise you to plan your trek yourself, just like we did.
And guess what, you can easily manage a trip to Prashar Lake in just 2000 – 2500 INR!
Also Read: Kasol, Tosh and Malana Travel Guide
About Prashar Lake
There is also a small floating island located in the lake which moves around the lake. Made up of plant matter in different decomposition stages, the island floats due to the oxygen released by the plants’ roots. One of the most interesting things about this place is that no one knows the exact depth of this lake.
Why Should You Go to Prashar Lake?
Firstly, it is a beautiful spot where you are surrounded by gorgeous mountain ranges. On the entire trek, you will be presented with some incredible views which will make this 3-4 hour trek completely worth it. And since not many people still come to this spot, you can enjoy some peace and quiet as well.
Another reason why you should visit this place is that the night sky is completely magical here. On a clear night, you can see the stars and the moon shine brightly in the sky. So, if you are interested in astrophotography or just admiring the night sky, then this is definitely a good place to visit.
Also, you can enjoy the most amazing sunsets and sunrises from the hilltop here. You can watch the sun go down behind the hill, giving off a warm golden glow to the lake and the temple. And if you are an early bird then you can even catch a mesmerizing sunrise from the hilltop here.
In the morning, the first rays of the sun peek out from behind the clouds and wash away the whole place in a magical golden hue.
The trek to the Prashar lake is in itself an amazing experience. It is not overly exerting or hard like other treks. However, it is a little challenging as you need to climb up the steep hill for 3-4 hours to reach the lake. And the meadow on the way is a must-stop place to witness the beauty of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Finally, visit this place to hear the stories about the mysterious lake from the locals. Also, if you notice, the small island in the lake changes positions. In fact, we ourselves witnessed it making a full round on our 2-day stay here.
How to reach Prashar Lake
As I mentioned before, Prashar Lake is accessible by a motorable road. So, there are a couple of ways in which you can reach here.
Below we have mentioned the different transportation options that you can choose in order to reach Prashar Lake.
Kalka is the nearest major railway station near Mandi. And it is well-connected to several major cities in India like Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, and so on. So, you can easily take a train to the Kalka station which is around 175 km from Mandi.
From Kalka, you can take a taxi to Mandi for around 2500 – 3000 INR. Another option is to take the Himalayan Queen Express to reach Dharampur and then take a taxi to Mandi for 2000 – 2500 INR. But honestly, this is a long journey if you are coming from a distant location.
Mandi to Bagi Village
Bagi Village to Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake to Mandi
Prashar Lake Trek Details
You can take the 1.30 p.m. bus to Mandi the next day. But if you want to trek back, then you would need to leave early at around 9 a.m. This will help you reach Bagi on time to catch the bus leaving from Prashar to Mandi.
Best time to Visit Prashar Lake
Although Prashar Lake trek can be completed throughout the year, each season offers something unique to the trekkers. Below, we have mentioned what you can expect in each season here.
Summer Season (March – June)
If you are trying to escape the heat then summer time is a good time to visit Prashar Lake. The air is cool at this time and you will enjoy camping near the lake. But make sure you carry sufficient water for the trek as you can get easily dehydrated on the way.
Monsoon Season (July – September)
Prashar can be visited all round the year but it is especially beautiful just after the monsoons and during the snowfall. If you are looking to spend some time during the lush greenery, then we would suggest you go just immediately after monsoons.
Do remember that the trail will be muddy and slippery during this time. And there will be a lot of leeches on the way. So, dress appropriately and wear proper trekking shoes.
Although the roads are closed from December to February due to snowfall, trekking is still possible. However, you would need snow trekking equipment in order to attempt it.
And it would be wise to go with a trekking company or a local guide as the entire route is covered with snow. So, accidents are likely to occur if you aren’t careful.
ATM and Network Availability in Prashar
ATMs in Prashar
There is no ATM near Prashar Lake or Bagi Village. So, make sure you withdraw sufficient cash before leaving. There are a couple of ATMs in Suran and Kataula but these are likely to have no cash in them. So, if you need to withdraw cash, do it in Mandi itself.
Network Availability in Prashar
You won’t find a strong mobile network connection in Prashar lake. There won’t be any signal on the trail itself but once you reach the lake, you might get a little signal on JIO or BSNL sims.
However, the signal is quite intermittent so finish your important calls in Mandi.
Also Read: Tirthan Valley Travel Guide
Where to Stay in Prashar
In terms of accommodation, you won’t find a lack of options here. Depending on your budget and comfort, there are three options for you to choose from.
Forest Reserve Guesthouse and PWD Rest House
Another option is to take a room in the Forest Rest House or Trekker’s hut here. There are two guesthouses here, located around a km from the lake. There are limited rooms here so make sure you book in advance.
You can call DFO Mandi at 01905-23536 or RFO Mandi at 01905-269485 to book a room for yourself. A room here is likely to cost you around 500-700 INR.
Dormitory at the Temple Complex
You can also stay in the dormitory in the Prashar temple. We aren’t sure of the cost but it shouldn’t cost you more than 300-400 INR for a night. But do remember that the facilities are quite basic here.
Food Options at Prashar Lake
At Prashar, you would find a couple of dhabas but they have limited food options. You would get Rajma Chawla and a few other dishes here, so don’t expect too much. Rajma Chawla is actually pretty great over here so, do try it out. A simple meal here will cost you around 70 – 100 INR and will be quite filling.
You can also take your own Maggi or Wai Wai and ask them to prepare it for you. They would take some service charge (around 10-20 INR) for it but they would do it for you.
Legends and Stories of Prashar Lake
Legend Number 1
It is said that this was the place where Prashar rishi used to meditate in the earlier times. And Prashar lake was the barrier against the demons who tried to enter the world. Sage Prashar had a faithful devotee who volunteered to go into the lake and kill the demons to protect the world once and for all.
According to the locals, the lake water started overflowing and threatened to drown this place. In order to stop this, sage Prashar’s devotee went into the lake and didn’t come out for another 4-5 days. No one knew if he was dead or alive. Finally, on the fifth day, he came out of the lake and water receded back to its original level.
From then on, he stayed with Prashar rishi here and made the Pagoda-like temple in his honor.
Legend Number 2
Another popular legend about this place is regarding the formation of the lake. It is said that Bheema, one of the Pandavas, created this lake. According to the story, Pandavas were returning after the Kurukshetra war with Lord Kamrunag.
Lord Kamrunag fell in love with this place so Bheema used his elbow to create a dent which is the Prashar Lake. According to the locals, the lake is in the shape of Bheema’s elbow which is why this region is known as Kamru valley. And the lake is also known as the Kamrunag lake.
Story Number 1
All the locals say that no one knows the exact depth of this lake. Many people have tried to find out the depth but all have failed. In fact, once a few people came with all the measuring devices and a long rope but they still couldn’t figure out the depth.
The locals have seen long trees being drowned in this lake with not a glimpse on the surface.
Story Number 2
Entering the lake premises is prohibited and no one is allowed to stand on that small island inside the lake. According to the locals, once a couple came and the lady wished to get her picture clicked while standing on that small island.
However, when she stepped on it, she fell down inside the water and her husband barely managed to pull her back. Since then this lake has been surrounded with fences to protect both the lake and the people.
Story Number 3
The small island inside the lake moves according to the climate. When it is going to be bad weather, it moves to the left side of the temple. And when it is going to be warm, it moves to the right side. This is what the locals believe but we don’t have any proof for it.
But we did witness the floating island moving and make a full circle of the lake.
Please Note: These are all the stories told to us by the locals to us. We don’t claim these to be 100% true.
Also Read: Rajgundha Valley Trek Guide
Prashar Lake is one of the lesser frequented treks these days. This is because there is a proper road leading to this lake. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a beautiful and worthy trek to attempt. If you are new to trekking or if it is your first time, then Prashar lake trek is a good choice for you.
The route is easy and you have so many amazing views to enjoy on the way. But make sure that you are properly prepared for the trek and have the necessary equipment and trekking items with you. I hope this article helps you plan your trek to this beautiful, mysterious location.
And if there are some new updates on the prices or the facilities, do let us know in the comments. 🙂
Important Note: If you are female travelers, you don’t need to worry much. Prashar is a safe place for female travelers and you can stay in a tent without much of an issue.