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The land of God’s Himachal has some of the most famous trekking and religious destinations. Not only these places are sacred and pious but also they offer us many adventure activities too. One such religious and adventurous activity lies in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas in Himachal. The Great Manimahesh trek os Manimahesh lake trek remains one such opportunity for us trekkers.
In the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh lies the magnificent Manimahesh lake which is at an elevation of around 4080 m or 13400 ft above the sea level. Manimahesh Lake is a highly revered pilgrimage which is take in the months of August and September. The Manimahesh trek is taken in the Bhadon month according to the Hindu calendar.
Religious Significance Of Manimahesh Lake
Manimahesh Lake has very high importance not only among Hindus but the place is revered in whole India. According to popular belief, Lord Shiva created Manimahesh after he married Mata Parvati. Mata Parvati is worshipped as Mata Girija here.
There is a Shivalinga on the tip of Mountain where Lord Shiva resides. People worship the Shivalinga which is at the top but according to locals, it is impossible to conquer this Moutain. And they say there is not a single person who could manage to climb and then come back.
Facts about Manimahesh Trek
- Difficulty level: Moderate
- Max altitude: 4080m
- Trek duration: 7 days
- Location: Chamba
- Nearest railway: Pathankot
Manimahesh Trek Itinerary
Day 1 Start from Delhi
Start your journey early from Delhi and take a bus from Kashmere Gate in Delhi. You can also take a train from Delhi till Pathankot and then reach Chamba via bus or taxi. Direct buses also run from Delhi for Chamba.
The best option though would be reaching till Pathankot and then booking a bus or taxi till Chamba. Pathankot remains a fairly popular station.
Day 2 Chamba to Hadsar
We reached Chamba early in the morning and directly went for Hadsar. Hadsar remains from the Base camp for Manimahesh trek. To reach Hadsar you can take either car or bus from Chamba only. Hadsar is around 71 km from Chamba and takes a good 2 to 3 hours to reach via bus. The bus route from Chamba to Hudsar goes through Bharamour.
Hadsar remains the last point to which buses and road transportation will work. While Hadsar is not that popular but it is a very beautiful village here in Chamba valley. The picturesque valley is so beautiful that we extended our stay here in Hadsar.
Day 3 Hadsar to Dancho
Hadsar remains the starting point of the Trek. While you can get buses and other taxi services till Hadsar but after that, the real Manimahesh Trek starts.
Dancho is a nice little place a few kilometers away from Hadsar. It took us around 3 hours to reach Dancho from Hadsar. The Trek remains fairly easy. The valleys around Dancho are very beautiful and you can even continue your trek to the Manimahesh lake but today we will explore the beauty of Dancho.
We reached Dancho around 2 in the afternoon as we started pretty late from Hadsar. Dancho is another small village with beautiful local people and a lush green valley. The night camp today will be in Dancho only.
Day 4 Dancho to Manimahesh lake
Our Manimahesh Trek will be completed today. Days of trekking and today We will see the Beautiful and alluring Manimahesh Lake.
We started our journey early from Dancho as we were pretty excited to reach the Manimahesh Lake. The Manimahesh Trek takes you via the route of flowers and medicinal herbs. The journey is one of the most beautiful I ever would have taken.
There are two ways from Dancho to reach the lake. The first one is for the visitors which goes through the temple and the other one is through the Bandar ghati.
The temple in the route is one of the most ancient and highly sacred Places here in Himachal. After a few hours of Trek only We reached the alluring and Magical Manimahesh Lake.
The Manimahesh Lake is encircled by the hills all around. These hills generally do not have any sort of vegetation due to being in such high altitudes. But the lake looks so beautiful that it can’t even look around.
One particular reason why this Manimahesh Trek is famous due to its Stunning sunrise and sunset views. And when the sun sets magic starts. Sunset in Manimahesh Lake is one of the most beautiful sights. It is a treat for the eyes.
Camp here around the lake under the stars. On the lakeside of Manimahesh amidst Beautiful mountains, the night seems Magical. Lord Shiva is right there to bless you.
Day 5 Manimahesh Lake to Dancho
We saw the Magical sunrise view in the valley we further explored the Manimahesh Lake. The sunrise is the rare event when the first rays of sun falls on the Manimahesh Peak and the reflection is seen on the lake which looks absolutely stunning.
But after a bit of exploration, it was time to trek down. Our Manimahesh Trek was slowly ending as we were descending down. On the same route, We trekked down till Dancho.
Day 6 Dancho to Chamba
After last night in Dancho, we further trekked down to Hadsar. After a good 2 and a half hours of trek, we were in Hadsar.
From Hadsar We straight forward went for Chamba. There can be a bit of difficulty finding vehicles here in Hadsar and buses have fixed time so make sure you check that before.
Day 7 Chamba to Delhi
On Day 7 We bid our farewell to great Manimahesh Peak and Manimahesh Trek as this was our last day here in Himachal. We went to Pathankot from Chamba as the nearest biggest Railway station in the whole valley remains the Pathankot railway station. From Pathankot, you can take a bus taxi train to reach Delhi.
The Map Route Of Manimahesh Trek
Delhi> Chamba> Bharmour> Hadsar> Dancho> Manimahesh Lake> Hadsar> Dancho> Chamba> Pathankot> Delhi.
As the google map cannot tell that you can trek till Peak. This map is jut for informational purpose.
Best time to visit Manimahesh Lake
The best time to do the Manimahesh Trek is from April to September excluding the heavy monsoon season. Below is the detailed information.
From Late March to May
If you want to experience a bit of snow while trekking then this time period is best for you. It is very fascinating to know that even in this time of the year the snow does not melt here in the valley.
While the temperature remains somewhere between 5 to 13 degrees Celsius but the nights are very chilly and the temperature is below freezing point. This trek is good in mid-April as in March also the lake is covered in snow.
From July to October
The snow melts considerably at this point t of time. Even though there would be some areas where you could find snow. While at this time of the year you could experience some rain so you should double-check before going on this journey.
While the weather remains fairly sunny and the trekking experience is very lovely at this time. Also, the temperature ranges from 13 to 21 degrees Celsius so at day there is no problem. While at night the temperature still remains low and sometimes it reaches even up to zero or below so one has to be cautious about clothing.
How to reach till Manimahesh Trek
As the nearest big town remains the Chamba so below are the means of transport to reach Chamba.
The nearest airport is the Gaggal airport which is in Kangra. The Gaggal airport is 170 km from Kangra and is well connected to Airports like Delhi and Chandigarh. There are many taxis and buses running from Kangra for Chamba. The second nearest airport from Chamba is the Chandigarh airport which is well connected to all the major cities of India. From Chandigarh, you can take a taxi or bus service to reach Chamba.
The nearest big railway station is the Pathankot railway station which is around 102 km from Chamba. Pathankot railway is very well connected to stations like in Delhi, Jaipur, Jammu, and other big cities of North India. Pathankot railway station is the gateway to Himachal as most of the trains and bus services run from Pathankot only. There are various buses and taxis available from Pathankot for Chamba.
Delhi and Chandigarh are two of the biggest cities near Chamba. There are various buses and taxis available from both of these big cities for Chamba. You can find buses for Chamba from Delhi via Kashmere gate. Also, you can book a bus till Chandigarh or Pathankot from Delhi, and then you can go to Chamba from there.
What to carry for Trek ?
- Water Bottle
- Trekking Boots
- Camp shoes
- Walking stick/Trekking pole
- Lip balm
- Light Sunscreen
- Camp towel
- Fleece jacket/vest
- Flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
- Personal toiletries
- Personal medicines
- Trekking pants
- Energy bars
- Thermal tops
- Vitamin tablets
- Thermal bottom
- Extra passport photos
For more information please visit the government website of the Chamba district here.
If you wish to read our other blogs in Trek in Himachal then please click here.