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MANIMAHESH LAKE

Place of OriginBudhil valley, Bharmour (Chamba District), Himachal Pradesh

Description

Manimahesh is a glacial lake is situated at an altitude of 4170 meters (one of the highest lakes in Himachal Pradesh) at the base of the sacred Manimahesh Kailash Peak, also known as ‘Chamba Kailash'. It lies in a glacial depression and is fed by snow-melt waters from the surrounding slopes. The water in the lake is crystal clear. (Source: http://library.advanced.org/10131/chamba_manimahesh.html)

Pilgrims worshipping Lord Shiva at Manimahesh


Religious significance

The lake is an important pilgrimage destination in the state, especially among the Gaddi tribes. It is believed that Lord Shiva created Manimahesh after his marriage with Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as Mata Gojra. There are plenty of legends about encounters with Lord Shiva and the display of His displeasure through avalanches and blizzards.

On the margin of the lake is a small marble Shivaling called Chaumukha.

Manimahesh Yatra

The yatra is held every year during the month of August or September. Thousands of people visit the lake to bathe in its sacred water, on Radha asthami , the 15 th day following the festival of Janmashtami every year. It is a colourful procession that starts from the Laxmi-Narayan temple in Chamba town and goes right upto the lake. It takes about 6 days to reach the lake. Pilgrims carry a sacred  ‘Chhari' on their shoulders. On reaching the lake, a night long ceremony is held and on the next day the devotees take a holy dip in the lake.After bathing in the holy waters, the pilgrims go around the lake three times.

(Source: http://www.indiatravelite.com )

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