Prashar Lake:Story of a winter snow trek
Close your eyes, now think you are at the top of a hill, everywhere around you is covered by white snow. Lake, Temple, Trees even your guest house all turned into white. Sun is setting down and Mon is coming out from the horizon. Suddenly you find 180 degree Panoramic view of of Dhouladhar range in front of you and the range is glowing by moonlit. Yes you are at Prashar Lake and I felt it when I was there. Hey come on, you have to read the whole article na! 😊.
Frozen Prashar Lake is a delight to watch. The place lok heavenly under snow and viewing Dhouladhar range in a full moon night is a life time achievement.
Prashar Lake is situated 49km North of Mandi,H.P, India. This place is named after saga Prashar. There is a three storied pagoda type temple dedicated to the saga Prashar. This place offers breath taking 180 degree view of Dhauladhar,Pirpanjal and Kinnaur mountain range.
The trek to Prashar lake is extremely delightful as it follows through a forest,a small stream and some scenic meows.
Best time to go:
June to August: Thus it’s monsoon season,Prashar lake will be surrounded by green colours topped with variety of flowers.
Late December to March: This is winter time, asol the places will be covered by thick white snow and thus Prashar looks like heaven.
How to reach Baggi Village-the base camp of Prashar Lake:
Baggi is the base camp of Prashar lake, it’s situated at Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. If you are coming from Delhi or Chandigarh take Volvo buses which are going to Manali, get down at Mandi. It will take nearly 10-12 hours (430km). Regular bus services are playing between Delhi and Manali. If you are coming from Manali side then take a bus from Manali to Kulu. From kulu take another bus for Mandi. It will take 4-6 hours to reach Mandi from Manali (110km). The road to Manali is in good condition. The distance between Mandi and Baggi is about 45km. You will get cab or hired car from Mandi to Baggi. Local buses are also playing frequently between Mandi and Baggi.
Driving direction from Mandi to Baggi:
After crossing Mandi central bus stand take left there will be a bridge towards Mandi-Pathankot highway. After crossing couple of kilometres you will find a signboard indicating distance of Prashar Lake. Now driver upto Kataula village. On the way you will find IIT Mandi. Ask people for Kataula village. Baggi is only 6km from Kataula. (coordination of Baggi bridge using Google map 31.781366N,77.079138S. Baggi bridge is the last point of Bagi village.
Bagi to Prashar lake trek:
Bagi is the starting point of the trek. If you want to take break fast or tea you will get it here. Follow the road upto ‘U’ turn, now you will find a small stream across the road. Cross the stream then you you will find a earthy road going across inside the forest valley. Now you will find the stream at your left. Follow the road, after going on the trail for 15 minutes you will find a mountain stream at the right side of the road.
Again walk for another 20-25 minute on this trail then you will find a little stream is coming down from right. Now get off the jeep trail. Take right and hike upto the first ridge.
Now follow the jungle trail. This trail is passed through dense first and the trail is bifurcated in many places, follow only well defined trail. After another uphill climb forest will be relatively thin. Now you will find Dhouladhar range for the first time. You will also find some villages at the opposite hill. In winter you may get snow from here. After walking for another 10-15 minutes uphill you will find some stones are stacked together inside the jungle. Now again walk through the jungle for 10-15minutes, now you will find a make shift water pipe from Prashar lake to village. You may take our drink water from here but don’t forget to adjust the pipe to its previous setting. Again you have to climb through the forest. After walking for 30-40 minutes you will find first clearing.
Here you also will find electric post. Follow the electric wires to upward. This writes will lead you to another forest, now walk again for another 15-20 minutes and you will be again at another clearing.
Here is the video of the trek Part-I
In winter the whole area will be show covered. Now again another 40-50 minutes walk will bring you to a open source from where you will find Shepherd hut to the uphill.
Now after crossing shepherd huts you will find two guest house at the top of the hill. Climb upto the first guest house. Now after reaching there take left and walk through the trail upto the wooden huts which are few meter left from the first guest house.
Here is the video of the trek Part-II
Reach there now you will find a fence with steel steps, cross the fence and now you will have the first view of the lake. You will have to follow the same route at the time of returning.
Here is the video of the trek Part-III
Distance from Baggi to Prashar(Trek route): Approximately 8km.
Required time: 4-6 hours depending on your shouted and experience.(Upwards)
2-3 hours (down wards)
Bagi to Prashar by car:
There is a motorable road which leads you upto half km before of Prashar. The distance between Bagi to Prashar is approximately 22km by road. The condition of the road may vary depending on the weather. In winter the road remains closed due to heavy snow fall.(Mainly from January to March). The road goes through dense forest and some places you will find apple firms. If you are planning to reach Prashar by car better skip your plan for winter. For Prashar you have to book your car from Mandi. Only if you are lucky enough then you may get a car from Bagi also.
What will you get at Bagi:
Bagi is a small village.Only 3-4 shops are there. Still you will get basic breakfast like Maggi,Bread,tea,eggs,candies and water from here. I will suggest you not to drink or smoke during trek but if you want you will get cigarette and local branded hot drinks here.
Mandi: 2461 ft(750 meter)
Bagi: 4438 ft(1353 meter)
Prashar Lake: 8477 ft(2584 meter)
Where to stay:
A forest rest house @ a PWD rest house is there at Prashar Lake. Both are excellent.
Contacts: See some use full contact section later.
Room rent: 500-800 per head per night.
You may also can stay at temple complex.(Note: If you want to stay in temple complex ask the prist, he will arrange everything for you. It will cost 150-200 per head with blankets etc. But remember there is no toilet facilities and for that you have to cross temple complex.)
What to eat:
Rajma rice with curry is the basic food available here. There is a dhaba just beside the temple complex, you can take breakfast,lunch,dinner from here. All these foods are served in hot. If you are staying at PWD or Forest rest house ,the caretaker will also cook food for you. Breakfast, tea, lunch, dinner everything is available there.
Cost of foods:
Rajma-Rice : 80-120 per plate
Maggie: 50 per plate.
Nearby places to visit:
Tunga Mata temple: A 6 km more trek from Prashar Lake.
Pandoh: 16-18 km from Prashar Lake
Majholi Mata temple: Few 100 meters from main temple (near jungle)
In winter: 1-8 degree Celsius
In summer: 15-18 degree Celsius.
Nearby bank and ATM: Mandi
Nearby petrol filling station: Mandi
Nearby car/bike service centre: Mandi
Available mobile network: Only Airtel network is available at Prashar (As of 2015)
Some useful contact numbers:
Local guide: Nishant Thakur 09816278509
HRTC Mandi: 0190523778(check the timing of buses from Mandi to Bagi.)
Mr. D K Thakur(Dhaba owner at Prashar Lake) : 08894582008
Veer Singh(Caretaker of FRH,Prashar): 9459137877
Tyagi Singh(Care taker of PWD guest house,Prashar): 09805482686/08988381585
D.F.O Mandi: 01905235360
R.F.O Kataula: 01905269485
Mandi police station: 01905222470
Emergency Number: 100 or 108