Updated: Mar 1
Manimahesh Yatra Duration :: 07 nights / 08 days
Best Time:: April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Places Covered: Delhi - Pathankot - Bharmour - Hardsar - Dancho - ManiMahesh Gauri Kund - Bharmour - Pathankot - Delhi
Mani Mahesh trek is one of the beautiful trek in Himachal. Mani Mahesh Yatra is also a holy place for Hindus. Manimahesh Lake Trek (also known as Dal Lake, Manimahesh) is a high altitude lake (elevation 4,080 meters (13,390 ft)) situated close to the Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The religious significance of this lake is next to that of the Lake Manasarovar in Tibet. The lake is the venue of a highly revered pilgrimage trek undertaken during the month of August / September corresponding to the month of Bhadon according to Hindu calendar, on the eighth day of the New Moon period. It is known as the 'Manimahesh Yatra'.The Government of Himachal Pradesh has declared it as a state-level pilgrimage.
Manimahesh Kailash Yatra Trekking Tour Highlights
Seek blessings of Lord Shiva at Manimahesh Lake.
Camp under the stars, on the lakeside of Manimahesh, amidst the beautiful mountains.
A rare event of the first sun’s rays falling on the Mani Mahesh peak is seen in the reflection in the lake like saffron Tilak.
View the majestic mountains and valleys while trekking.
Manimahesh Kailash Yatra / Trek 2022 Date
* Yatra which will start on the day of Krishan Janamashtami 30th August 2022 and ends on Radha Ashtami 14th September 2022. * Raksha Bandan Sanan will be held on 22th August 2022 on the occasion of festival Raksha Bandan. * Chota snan will start on 30th August 2022 on the holy occasion of Janamastami. * Bada Sanan will start on 14th September 2022 on the holy occasion of Radha Ashtmi.
Manimahesh Yatra Route
Manimahesh Yatra lasts for a total of 10-15 days and begins on the day of Janamasthmi also known as ‘Chota Snan’. It ends on the day of Radha Ashtami, also known as ‘Bada Snan’. There are three routes through which you can undertake this trek.
1. Bharmaur - Hadsar Route
This journey starts at Bharmaur village when the pilgrims take a dip in the holy pond of the Bharmani Temple called the Bharmani Temple Kund.
From Bharmaur, you can take a local bus to reach Hadsar village.
The trek to Manimahesh Lake starts at Hadsar. On the way to the lake, you will find several resting points, eateries, camps and tents where you can halt your journey and stop for a rest.
However, ideally, the next main stop is in Dhancho village. The trek from Hadsar to Dhancho is only 5 - 6 km and can be covered in 3 - 4 hours. On the way, you will also find several Bhandaras or Langars that will offer you free food.
From Dhancho, the extreme left route leads up to the second last stop that is Gauri Kund. This route is known as Shiv Gharat. Aside from the beautiful scenery, you can also hear the wind against the mountains which is believed to sound like a melody of drums. This route leads to Gauri Kund which is supposed to be the bathing place of Goddess Parvati. While men are forbidden to even go near the pond, it is considered holy for women to take a dip in the pond.
From Gauri Kund, Manimahesh Lake is only at a distance of 1 km. From the lake, you can spot the mighty Manimahesh peak in the distance. Pilgrims tend to take a dip in the chilling waters of the lake to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings.
2. Parikrama Route - Via Kugti Village
The route via Kugti Village is considered more challenging and it is advised to be only undertaken by professional trekkers. This one goes a full circular trip around the Manimahesh peak and covers a total distance of 38 - 40 km. This route lets you enjoy the bounteous nature in all its glory. You can admire the lush green valleys, quaint village of Kugti, gurgling water streams, rocky terrains and mighty glaciers.
This trek route also starts at Bharmour after taking a dip in the Bharmani Temple Kund and then reaching Hadsar.
However, after reaching Hadsar, the next stop is not Dhancho but you will need to walk ahead to Dharol or Kugti Village. For reaching here, you can either hike or hire a vehicle. The total journey till Kugti will take around 3 - 4 hours through hiking.
The actual trek starts from Kugti. Through a route of beautiful river streams and dense forest, you will reach Dhalotu. It is recommended to take a guide along with you.
Next stop is Alyas where you can set up your tent and stay for the night. If you are trekking at the time of the Yatra, you will find tents setup beforehand by the locals. Alyas can be recognised by a huge saffron coloured rock known as Hanuman Garhi or Hanuman Shila.
From Alyas, you can head off to Jotnu Pass. It is recommended to start this trek early in the morning (preferably at 7:00 AM) so you can reach your destination while the weather is still pleasant and clear. As the day passes, it might start snowing on the pass.
Jotnu Pass is the last stop. From here, you can see the Manimahesh lake and you will take hardly 2 hours to reach your destination. On the way, you will also come across Dham Ghodi and Kamal Kund.
3. Yatra by Helicopter
Ofcourse, this is the easiest way to reach the Manimahesh lake. Other than being easy, this is also the most thrilling. However, this way is only open at the time of the Manimahesh Yatra and is especially for the pilgrims who face difficulty undertaking the trek. The base station for the helicopter ride is at Bharmour village and it only takes a total of only 7 min to reach the Gauri Kund. Manimahesh Lake is at a distance of 1 km from Gauri Kund that the pilgrims will have to trek to cross.
Rituals of the Manimahesh Yatra
The rituals and the grand Manimahesh Yatra begins when the sadhus and pandits herald the event through the procession of “Holy Chhari”. According to this custom, the pilgrims and sadhus carry a stick on their soldiers and commence the journey barefoot. This procession is followed by recitation and singing of hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. The journey continues with halts and resting stops in between.
After the pilgrims arrive at the lake, they perform several ceremonies and rituals throughout the night. On the next day, they take a dip in the holy waters of the Manimahesh lake- Shiv Karotri for men and Gauri Kund for women.
Legend of Manimahesh Lake
Manimahesh Lake is supposed to be the abode of the Hindu God Lord Shiva. It is believed that while Lord Shiva was performing penance here, a stream of water gushed out from his matted hair and took the shape of the lake. The lake, which is shaped like a saucer, has two different parts. The larger part is called ‘Shiv Karotri’ and has icy cold water. Devotees believe that Lord Shiva used to take bath here.
The other, smaller part, is situated at a small distance and has comparatively less chilly and lukewarm water which is called ‘Gauri Kund’. Women are supposed to take a dip in the Gauri Kund. On the periphery of the lake is also situated a large marble image of Lord Shiva called Chaumukha that is worshipped by the pilgrims. There is also a small temple that is presided by Lakshmi Devi.