Manimahesh Kailash

Manimahesh Kailash

Located in the Budhil valley in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, this pilgrimage holds utmost importance due to the Shivlinga possessing a “mani” that reflects through the lake. Hence the name of the peak is Mani Mahesh. The peak is located at an altitude of 13,000 feet and holds sacred importance due to various folktales related to it. A fair is also held at the banks of the lake, which is organized in the month of Bhadon on the eighth day of the half moon. It attracts a lot of pilgrims to atone their sins and wash them away in these holy waters. At the base of the peak, is a snowfield called Shiva’s Chaugan, where he is believed to be taking a stroll every now and then.

Folklore

According to locals, it is believed that Lord Shiva takes a stroll on these paths with Goddess Parvati. The two lakes, Shiv Karotri and Gauri Kund are believed to be formed from matted locks of Shivji’s hair when he was performing penance. Shiv Karotri has ice cold water and it is where Lord Shiva used to bathe. As for Gauri Kund, it has lukewarm water where Goddess Parvati used to bathe. A large marble image of Lord Shiva called Chaumukha is also located near these lakes, along with a temple known as Lakshmi Devi.

If you are not able to view the peak, it is taken as a sign of Lord’s displeasure. According to local legends, whenever someone has tried to climb the peak, they have been turned to stone.

Rituals of Yatra

There is a beautiful ritual where sadhus hold a stick and guide pilgrims towards the peak. They chant the name of Lord Shiva and sing hymns to appease him and take his blessings on this journey. After arriving at the lake, there are various ceremonies held throughout the night and after their completion, the men bathe in Shiv Karori and women bathe in GauriKund.

Important Places to Visit Nearby

Laxmi Narayan Temple 

This temple holds some of the most majestic idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, making it one of the oldest temples in the region. Make sure to check it out!

Chamera Lake

Take a speedboat or a rowing boat, and head into the depths of the Chamera lake. With beautiful sights and surrounded all around with peaks, it is sure to take your breath away!

Akhand Chandi palace

If you are an architecture lover, this is the place that should be on your list. Built by Raja Umed Singh, this place exudes architectural beauty.

Bundlamata Temple

Dating back to the 15th century, this temple is home to the presiding deity of the locals. It exudes a beautiful backdrop of Dhauladhar range. Make sure to visit and pay your respects on the way!

Bhagsu Waterfall & Temple

Located near Dharamshala, this place is a hotspot among tourists. Enjoy a relaxing time with your family and friends in the flowing waters. The temple is located at the back where the pool originates and gives rise to the waterfall.

Chamunda Devi Temple

A Shakti Peeth, this is where the Nadi of Sati fell. This temple worships Goddess Chamunda, a form of Goddess Durga. It was built around the 16th century.

Dal Lake

Located at 1775 meters above sea level, this magnificent lake is found near the Village of Tota Rani, Kangra. The area of this lake is around 1 hectare and is surrounded by huge forests of deodar trees. There is a small temple on its banks where it is believed that Sage Durvasa prayed to Lord Shiva.

How to Reach?

By Air- Gaggal Airport in Kangra is the nearest airport to this destination. Flights are available from all major cities in the country for this location. You can also catch a flight to Dharamshala as well in case of connectivity issues. From here you can take a taxi to Bharmour to reach the base point.

By Railways- You can take a direct train to Pathankot or Pathankot Cantt. From any major city. From here you can fetch a cab to reach Bharmour via Chamba. Bharmour is suggested due to its vicinity to Manimahesh peak.

By Roadways- There are direct buses to Pathankot from Delhi and Chandigarh. If you are approaching from any other major city, you can take connecting buses from these cities and reach Bharmour via bus. The last stretch of 13 kms is to be covered by foot.

Pick and Drop Points

Pick and drop can usually be arranged from Bharmour, Chamba, Pathankot or Dharamshala. As your travel consultants, pick and drop for our travelers can be arranged from many major cities as per the convenience and ask. Major cities like Delhi and Mumbai can also be considered as pick and drop points for groups with many members.

  • Available routes
  • Lahaul-Spiti pilgrims can reach through Kugti pass.
  • Kangra and Mandi pilgrims can reach through Jalsu pass or Kawarsi pass
  • Easiest and most taken route is from Bharmour through Chamba.
  • Required documents

There are strict guidelines from Tourist Authorities to submit a proper list of trekkers with updated documents in case of any emergency and keeping a proper record of people visiting the region. Please take note of these documents before you travel-

  • Original and Photocopy of Id Card (Aadhar Card, Voter Id, PAN card etc.)
  • Medical Clearance certificate ( to be filled by a registered practitioner)
  • Medical Certificate of Fitness and Disclaimer (Filled by the trekker)
  • The children traveling should be 15 years or older.
  • Adults above 75 years without strict medical clearance are not allowed on this pilgrimage.
  • If clearance of medical fitness is not provided at Bharmour, the traveler will have to discontinue their journey.
  • Temperature and Weather

The best time to go on this pilgrimage is around Mid June to Mid October, when the weather is most acceptable for this area of Himachal Pradesh. On the high altitudes, there is a chance that you can easily encounter snowfall as well. In the mid monsoon months, the temperature can be expected to be around 12- 20 degrees and during the start of winter months, it can drop to about 12-18 degrees during the day, and to -2 to 6 degrees at night time.

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