With the dawn of 3rd May,2017,we entered the last lap of our journey.Usually,the final leg makes you run faster,as there is an evermore drive to reach the destination.However,that day none of us were in a hurry.We woke up in the morning taking our own sweet time,got ready and checked out of the hotel at around 10.We were just left with one last spot and then it was time to head back home.
Prashar lake is 50 km north of Mandi town,with a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to sage Prashar. The lake is located at a height of 2730 metre above sea level. As per beliefs,sage Prashar meditated here and hence the lake is regarded as sacred.The temple dates back to 13th century and the lake has a floating island,depth of which has not been ascertained so far.
According to mythology,the lake was formed by Pandavas (characters from Mahabharata),when they were on their way after the war with Deity Kamrunag and hence the entire valley is called Kamru valley.On the request of Deity Kamurang,Bheema(one of the Pandava brothers) formed the lake by pushing the peak of the mountain with his elbow and forearm and that is the reason it is believed that the lake is oval-shaped.
There are two ways to reach Prashar – a trek of 7.5 Km that starts from Baggi village(26 Km from Mandi) and a motor road that ends half a Kilometre before the lake. Of course,after showcasing my exceptional trekking skills on the expedition to Bijli Mahadev,my friends wouldn’t have taken the risk to make me slog through the trek (also,we were running short of time). So,instead we opted for the motor road and drove all the way to the top of the valley.
The view that you get to witness on the way to Prashar is extraordinarily breathtaking. Surrounded by Dhauladhar ranges,the lake is a hidden gem in the lap of Kullu valley. In case, you want to have an elaborate breakfast, be sure to make a stop at Mandi. However we,in our eagerness to reach the destination skipped our breakfast,after which Geetu literally had to force the driver to halt the car in front a small kiosk while driving up the valley. Even though there were limited options,yet after taking eons we finally decided the menu. Priya didn’t take anything as he was aware of the existence of the temple. Ankur and I,on the other hand,had eggs for breakfast.Later,on getting to know of the temple visit,we were left dumbfounded with mouthful of eggs,not being able to comprehend if we should eat any further. 😛
After having a sumptuous breakfast,we made our move and reached Prashar at around 12.00 in the afternoon. The weather on the top got chillier and we had to bring out our jackets(which we conveniently removed when we had to click pictures with the scenic backdrop).The temple architecture is extremely beautiful with intricate carvings and legend has that it was built from the bark of a single tree. Also,the lake has a patch of grass which moves from one end to the other with the change of weather.
We offered our prayers and after clicking innumerable pictures (as this was our last destination),we had some delicious Rajma-Chawal in one of the kiosk’s.Even though,we were quite full after the breakfast,yet the Rajma-Chawal were too tempting to resist ( ‘pahadi Rajma-Chawal ‘ are a must try when you visit Himachal).With this we ticked off the last spot of our itinerary and then made our way back to Chandigarh.On our trip back home,we further made two more stops. First stop was in Mandi to have ‘Dham’ (Himachal meal served in traditional occasions). ‘Dham’ is a ‘thali consisting of a variety of mouthwatering delicacies of the state(again a must have).That was our third meal within a span of 6 hours and I am sure after the trip we all gained our fair share of holiday weight. 😛
We made our second stop at Priya’s place in Sundar Nagar,which was formerly a princely state known as Suket. The name ‘Sundar Nagar’ completely justifies the heavenly beauty that the place beholds.After meeting Priya’s family and having a round of tea and snacks,it was finally time to head back home.The journey back was comparatively quieter, probably because all of us were tired and also because the trip had come to an end. Time truly flies and at that moment the five days felt like the blink of an eye.
When we first started planning the trip,for me the main motive was to meet Bharti and also to get content for my travel blog. Also,in my mind I had outlined this travelogue in a way where it was more about places than the people involved.But,after the trip as I started writing,I wanted it to be more about the six people who were part of this trip,because let’s be honest,in today’s world memories do tend to fade,friends become acquaintances and life moves on.So,I wanted every small detail of our trip to be etched in a way where I could come back and revisit the beautiful moments time and again.
We spent the next day in Chandigarh roaming around the city, gorging on delicious street food and then finally winding up our trip with a movie and a dinner of lip-smacking amritsari naan and lassi. On 5th of May,Harshada and I took our flights to Mumbai and Pune respectively,thus officially ending the trip.I went on this trip with a small duffel bag (after much persuasion from Bharti and Priya),but came back with another suitcase full of timeless treasures of memory.
It has been more than a month since we came back from the trip and yet it feels like yesterday when we all met.Of course, now all of us are busy in our respective lives,heading in different directions and probably won’t be able to meet soon or might take a trip again,yet I won’t be able to forget the splendid days,our sometimes silly and sometimes mature conversations,the laughs,the happiness and the friendship. I dedicate this blog series to the five lovely people (Bharti,Priya, Ankur, Geetu and Harshada) for making this trip happen and giving me some dear memories. 🙂
I hope my readers enjoyed reading the travelogue as much as I savored writing it. I will soon be back with more travel stories.Till then,happy reading .. 🙂