Saturday, 22 August 2009

Suraj Tal Lake, Himachal

Suraj Tal Lake in Lahaul, Himachal, India

Amongst some of the most beautiful lakes that I have visited in India the Suraj Tal High Altitude Lake is one that I have visited/trekked several times.

Suraj Tal lies just 3 km short of Bara-Lacha-La pass (4890m) and 65 km from Keylong in the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh. The lake is the source of river Bhaga which merges with river Chandra at Tandi to form Chandrabhaga River (also known as Chenab River).

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Prashar Lake in December, Himachal, India

Prashar Lake on Fire!

Among one of the most beautiful lakes I was fortunate to visit Prashar Lake in December of 2007 and what a memorable visit it was. I drove in my car from Delhi in the morning and halted at the town of Mandi and stayed in the Himachal Tourism Guest House there. The next morning I started for the lake and halted in the Mandi Forest Office to check on my status of reservation of the Guest House at Prashar Lake. They told me it is all done but I still took their phone numbers.

I checked on the status of the road till Prashar and I got various conflicting responses from ones that it is all motorable till the very end to one saying that I will not be able to reach even Bagi (the point till where there is a regular local bus service). I thought of trying my luck out. At Bagi had some light snacks at one of the Dhaba’s and re-enquired about the status of the road and still there was confusion so I moved on.

Beyond Bagi one could hardly call it a road or even a kutcha (unmettled) road. I was somehow about to go 12 km beyond Bagi when I encountered ice as well as huge piles of snow on the road and my Suzuki car could not go any further that that. Also I got a flat tyre due to the bad road. So I decided to dump my car at that point (Shogi), took out all important stuff and trekked all the way till Prashar (at places in deep snow). We reached in the evening and the caretaker at the Guest House had no information and therefore first refused to give accommodation and after lot of persuasion and making him talk to the forest officials at Mandi via my mobile phone he reluctantly gave a room. The Rest House had no water as the taps had frozen and the caretaker told as that for all purposes we have to go out in the open for the call of nature. There was no tea for food available except for the one dhaba which is close to the lake (half a km from the Rest House).

After dumping our stuff in the room we walked towards the lake and the first view we got of the lake wiped away all these small irritants as the sight was beautiful to behold.

After staying there by the lake we filled the water canteens and went to the dhaba and had dinner and returned back to the Rest House.

The Forest Rest House at Prashar

The whole of next day we loitered around the lake area and circled it several times and it was the best photography session that I have had in some years. Though the water is ice cold (half the lake was frozen early in the mornings) but in the sun even in December I felt quite warm and comfortable. Nights of course were chilly but then I love the cold weather.

View of Prashar Lake and and Temple from High Up

Another Long Shot View of the Prashar Lake and the Temple

On way to Prashar Lake from Shogi

Another Rest House (PWD) coming up near the Forest Rest House

The trip came to an end too soon for me as the third day we had to return back. I started the trek early so that I can reach the car and change the tyre and reached another lake town Rewalsar late in the evening. I will write about Rewalsar in another post!