REWALSAR LAKE

Rewalsar Lake also called Tso Pema Lotus Lake, is a square shape lake located in the Mandi district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at 1360 m above sea level and has a shoreline of about 735 m. The lake is considered sacred by Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhists call it the Tso Pema ( Lotus Lake ) and believe the lake was created when the kind of Mandi tried to burn the Buddhist sage Padmasambhava ( Guru Rinpoche ) alive, to prevent his daughter from running away with him. It was from here that Padmasambhava left for Tibet using his tantric powers. He was responsible for the spread of Buddhism in Tibet. There are floating islands of reed on the lake, where Rinpoche’s spirit is said to be residing. It is said that these islands can be moved by prayer or breeze.

The lake has three Hindu temples of Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Sage Lomas and three Buddhist monasteries. The Drikung Kagyu Gompa with its Academy of Buddhist studies stands near the entrance to the lake. Nearby there is a lakeshore shrine to Padmasambhava, the Zigar Drukpa Kagyu Institute, a 12 m high statue of Padmasambhava, which is the second largest statue in Himachal Pradesh, a gold-domed Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara built in 1930 and the Padmasambhava Caves in the nearby vicinity to the lake. The lake has a large number fish, but fishing is prohibited in the lake due to the sacred reputation it has. Rewalsar is also the place where Guru Gobind Singh, who made an unsuccessful attempt at calling all the Hindu rajas of the Punjab hills for joint resistance against the Mughals.

The best time to visit Rewalsar is between March and October. One can stay at the Sikh Gurudwara, and different hotels and lodges.

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