Hidden in the serene and spiritual valleys of Himachal Pradesh lies the stunningly beautiful Prashar Lake. The pristine lake is considered to be a sacred destination by many. Situated on the lap of tall snow-capped mountains of the mighty Dhauladhar Ranges of Kullu, the lake holds a charm that is tough to resist. The jade blue waters of the lake handsomely overlook river Beas.
Every year people visit this location to feel blissful in the lap of mother nature. The panoramic views of the valley, and the landscape encircling the lake of Prashar are enchanting to tourists and locals.The three-storied temple standing on the banks of the lake is a major attraction to people from all around the globe.
Many visit the place for its mythological importance, which dates back to the era of the Pandavas, and many others visit the place to experience the serene tranquillity that envelops the surroundings of Prashar lake. If you are looking to embark on a short weekend trek, the Prashar lake trek is ideal for you.
Maximum altitude: The altitudes range from 6,050 ft (1,844 m) to a maximum limit of 8,900 ft (2,713 m)
Grade: This is a short beginner-level trek and can efficiently be completed with a moderate fitness level.
Duration of trek: It will take 2 days/1 night to complete the trek
Total Trekking distance: 16kms
The starting point of the trek: The Prashar lake trek starts and ends at Panarsa.
Trail type: Mostly descending trail with a few short ascents.
Nearest Railway station: The nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar Railway Station, which is 55 km away from Mandi.
Nearest Airport Bhuntar Airport is the nearest airport to Mandi.
Snow Season: December-February
The base camp of the trek: Panarsa
Best season: Early winters, which fall around the month of September to November, is the best time to visit.
Region: Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Who can participate: This short trek is suitable for everyone, including beginners and experts.
Day 1- The beginning of the Prashar lake trek from Panarsa to Jwalapur.
Once you reach Jwalapur, the real Prashar lake trekking will start.
From Jwalapur, the journey will continue until you reach Prashar lake through a beautiful scenic route containing lush green surroundings and sparkling waterfalls. (Total distance covered: 8 km)
Day 2- Capturing the sunrise near the lake and continuing the descent to reach Jwalapur.
Panarsa to Prashar Lake
Altitude: It will from 6,050 ft (1,844 m), and reach up to 8,900 ft (2,713 m).
Total time to finish: 1-hour drive from Panarsa to Jwalapur, and 4 hours trek to cover 8kms from Jwalapur to Prashar lake.
Trek gradient: Moderate in terms of difficulty level. The path contains steep ascents for 500 metres, followed by a uniform and easy climb for about 4 km. In the middle, there is another 300-metre-long steep ascent. The rest is an easy walk.
Day 1 schedule:
You will be reporting at Panarsa in a homestay at around 9:00 AM. Here you will get all the necessary facilities to freshen up and prepare yourselves for the Prashar lake trek.
After freshening up, you will be served a delicious breakfast in the homestay itself.
Once you are done with breakfast, you will be leaving for Jwalapur at around 10:30 AM in a shared cab. The journey is 20 km long, and will take around an hour to complete. You will reach Jwalapur at around 11:30 AM, and begin your Prashar lake trekking adventure.
The start of the trek is easy as it is filled with straight and curvy roads. You can enjoy the walk at a leisurely pace with the beautiful surroundings and a mild mountain breeze.
After covering the first few kilometres, the road becomes challenging with steep climbing and rocky terrain. Despite the difficult road, the views become more and more rewarding; you get to be in the middle of an enchanting forest filled with numerous waterfalls and small streams.
At around 2:00 PM, you will be served with a scrumptious lunch.
After finishing lunch, the second half of the journey is easy as the final 2 km is a stretch of plain road that leads to a marvellous blue lake glowing vibrantly on the lap of the mountain.
On reaching Prashar lake, you can visit the Prashar Rishi temple and enjoy the views of the Himalayan ranges. Make sure you capture the surreal beauty of the sunset, outlining the Himalayan range in hues of yellow, orange, and red.
Enjoy a fulfilling dinner in a bonfire under a sky full of stars. (If the weather is suitable)
Overnight stay in camps near the lake under the majestic blanket of the night sky glittering with millions of stars.
Prashar lake to Panarsa
Altitude: It will from 6,050 ft (1,844 m) to 8,900 ft (2,713 m)
Total time to finish: 4 hours to cover 8kms from Prashar lake to Jwalapur and an hour’s drive from Jwalapur to Panarsa
Trek gradient: Easy in terms of difficulty level. The path will contain easy descents with a few small ascents.
Day 2 schedule:
You can start the day early by capturing the 360° view of the Himalayan ranges from the campsite. You can spot the whole mountains from the spot, including Papsura and Dharmsura.
The breakfast will be served at 8:30 AM at the camp. You can enjoy a delicious meal with the serene background of the Prashar lake on display.
After finishing breakfast, you start descending down to Jwalapur at around 9:30 AM.
Retracing the same route, you reach Jwalapur by 12:30 PM.
On reaching Jwalapur, you will again get shared cabs to travel back to Panarsa.
On reaching the Panarsa homestay, you will have adequate time to freshen up.
Lunch will be served to you at around 1:30 PM in the same homestay.
After finishing the lunch, you end the Prashar lake trek and pack up around 3:00 PM.
Food grade quality plastics water bottle. You can also carry hydrating packs.
Some sachets of glucose, ORS, and sports drinks to refuel yourself in short intervals.
Good trekking shoes that can withstand the challenges of snowy, rocky, or rugged terrain. It should also have an excellent grip to help you overcome the steep ascents.
If you are travelling during the snow season, carry UV sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun glares.
Go for a superior quality waterproof bag that has a sweat protection layer on the back. The coating will keep you comfortable even when you are sweating. Don't opt for a hefty bag; a 20 -30 Litres backpack should be enough.
If your bag is not waterproof, make sure you carry a rain cover.
You must also bring a light raincoat with a cap, especially if you are travelling during the monsoons.
Carry enough light, breathable clothing like sports T-shirts and inner wear, full sleeve thick jacket. Do not carry heavy clothing like leather jackets, jeans, and more.
Always take a pair of thermal inners and a woollen monkey cap in winter.
It is good if you carry a pair of slippers to walk around the campsite. This will give enough breathing space and rest to your feet.
Carry a small emergency torch.
A Waterproof pouch to carry money, wallets, mobile phones, electronic gadgets, and other valuables.
Your trekking guide will have a top-notch first aid kit ready, but they might not have the medications that your doctor prescribed. Therefore you must carry your personal medicine and first aid kit according to your doctor's prescriptions.
Make sure to include medicines for mountain sickness, fever, nausea, injury of cuts, body ache/ headache, diarrhoea/ amoebic infections, injury of cuts, crape, and regular bandage rolls.
The trek ends near the Manali-Leh road, which makes it convenient for people to go to Leh from there.
The area near Prashar lake offers Mouth watering authentic Pahari cuisine. Here you will find Pahari dishes that are wholesome, flavourful, and healthy. You can enjoy a bowl of slow-cooked spiced lentils, aromatic curries, and savoury meat gravies with some hot roti and rice.
If you want to shop in a local Himachali market, there is a market in Mandi that is near Prashar. This market has a range of shops and street vendors that sell everything, including garments, ornaments, food, and more. Here you will find many handicraft items that are authentic to Kullu and Himachal at large. This market is perfect for purchasing souvenirs and tribal silver jewellery worn by traditional Himachali women.
The ancient Prashar temple was built under the rule of King Bansen in the 13th century. The temple was built as a sign of devotion towards Prashar Rishi. It is believed that he used to meditate in the valley beside the lake. The building of the temple depicts the Himachali style of architecture.
There is a floating dry island in the lake that is believed to have a connection with the revolving earth. The depth of this oval-shaped body of water remains a mystery.
Climatic conditions change quickly in high altitudes. Therefore you must take adequate time to get acclimated to these changes before moving ahead.
The management team will have the entire right to change or modify the trek in case of any emergencies or natural calamities.
Always listen to the trek guides and instructors in order to complete the trek safely.
Do not indulge in trekking during the night. Do so only if it is a part of the itinerary and a trekking guide is with you. Moving alone at night might be dangerous.
Respect the local area and nature. Avoid using plastic bags to maintain the ecological balance of the lake.
Guidelines issued by the state government must be strictly followed. The trekkers must maintain Social distancing, and the use of the mask is recommended.
Do not pack unnecessary items in your luggage. Keep your luggage minimum. Remember, the more you carry, the more you hassle while trekking.
Due to sudden drops in temperature, it is recommended to carry some warm clothes, including thermals.
Please carry proper hiking shoes for the Prashar Lake Trek.
Do not spoil the beauty of the local sites or campsites by littering. Travellers caught littering may be fined.
Consult your doctor before undertaking the trek. Remember to carry the medications in your prescription and a first-aid kit during the Parashar lake trek.
By road: There are many routes that you can select for the trek. You can board any bus going to Bhuntar. The same bus will drop you at Panarsa, which is 10 km before Bhuntar. If you are travelling from Chandigarh, Jalandhar, New Delhi you will get a direct night bus to Bhuntar. The bus will drop you in Panarsa early in the morning. As mentioned above, Panarsa marks the start of the Prashar lake trekking journey.
By train: You can take the train to the nearest station Shimla, from there you can take a direct cab to Panarsa. It take will around 5 hours to complete the journey from Shimla to Panarsa. The chances of getting a shared cab to Panarsa is low, therefore it is advisable to book a private cab.
By air: Travel by air to Bhuntar airport and book a direct cab to reach Panarsa. You will get a direct flight to Bhuntar from Chandigarh and New delhi both. It will only take 37 minutes to reach Panarsa from the airport.
The Prashar lake trek can be experienced throughout the year; however, if you want to witness snow, try booking a slot between December to march. During the months of January and February, there is a high chance of witnessing live snowfall at the lake. Imagine sitting in the middle of an area surrounded by the mighty Dhauladhar ranges, and a small crystal clear lake peeps through the clean white covering of snow. Majestic, isn't it? However, if you struggle to deal with low temperatures, it is advisable to not visit during the snow season, as the temperatures tend to fall drastically during the night.
If you want to visit during summer, May is a good time. The average temperature at the lake will be around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. With the white cover of the snow finally gone, you will be able to see a lot more colours in the surroundings. This is an ideal time to visit if you want to escape the scorching heat of the north Indian plains.July to August is the peak monsoon season, so there is a risk of landslides during this time. On a positive note, during monsoons, the valleys get covered under a thick carpet of grass. The dark green shade of the grass, accompanied by flowers of numerous kinds blossoming under the blue sky, makes a view adored by many.
The Parashar Lake trek is a perfect example of a short and beautiful trek. The journey is easy and filled with majestic natural elements. Here are a few highlights of the Prashar lake trekking journey:
You get to visit the pagoda-styled Rishi Parashar Temple, which holds the architectural brilliance of both Hindu and Buddhist cultures.
It allows you to be a part of the landscape where the glistening lake majestically peeps through the lush green mountain ranges.
You get to stay in the camps near the lake while admiring the mighty mountains outlined by a sky full of stars.
The trek gives an opportunity to meet new people and indulges in the fun during a bonfire on a starry night.
During winter, you get to admire the beauty of Prashar lake at 2,730 m. above sea level with live snowfall in the background.
The trek is small and takes considerably less effort to complete. Also, during the journey, you get to see some majestic trails covered in pine trees & several streams.
How Difficult is the Prashar Lake Trek?
The Prashar Lake trek is considered to be an easy trek. The minimum age requirement for this trek is 8 years. However, the constant encounters with steep climbing throughout the first half make it a little physically demanding. Moreover, if you travel during the snow season, the dropping temperature can also be a point of concern for newcomers.Thus, Prashar lake trekking requires a high amount of cardiovascular endurance. If you struggle with endurance, you can jog daily at a slow pace in order to be prepared for a high-altitude trek. Having a good combination of distance and speed targets will help.
What is the altitude of Prashar Lake Trek?
Parashar lake is situated at an elevation of 2730 m above sea level.
What is the total distance of the Prashar Lake Trek?
You must cover 8 km to reach the Prashar lake and another 8 km to reach back to the starting point. The total distance of the trek is 16 km. The entire stretch exhibits beautiful meadows with vibrant colours under the clear blue skies. During the trek, you also get to see the Dhauladhar, Kinnaur, and Pir Panjal ranges.
How is Prashar Lake Trek weather?
From December to April, there is a chance to find live snowfall at Prashar Lake. During the day, the temperature varies from 8 to 16 degrees Celsius, and at night the temperature will drop down to the lowest of -5 degrees Celsius.Between May to October, the daytime temperature will range from 8 to 16 degrees Celsius, and at night it will drop down to the lowest of 2 degrees Celsius.
How is Prashar Lake Trek in winter?
The views of the Prashar Lake trek in winter change, as the snow covers the trails of alpines and makes the terrain beautiful. The temperature drops down to 0 to 5 degrees Celsius, and is accompanied by the bone-chilling breeze, so make sure that you carry enough woollens for yourself.
What kind of physical fitness will be required for the trek to Prashar Lake?
Since the Prashar Lake trek requires you to cover a distance of 16km via trekking, therefore you are expected to have an average level of fitness.