Himachal Pradesh with its beautiful hills, in the lap of lofty snow clad mountains, has myriad lakes with cool and serene water, which mirror the immense beauty of this Paradise on earth. Followings are the well-known lakes in Himachal Pradesh:
Govind Sagar : an artificial lake formed as a result of the world famous Bhakra Dam on the river Satluj, is in district Bilaspur, called Govind Sagar. It is becoming famous for water sport and fishing. Bhakra is the world’s highest gravity dam, has rightly been described by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru as a ‘New temple of Resurgent India’. The lake upstream adds immeasurably to the scenic beauty of the dam. The crystal clear water flowing out through river outlets in the shape of a cascade soothes one’s eyes. The area of this lake is about 168 sq.km and it exists between Slappar and Bhakra villages on 88 km. length.
Ghadasaru Lake : Located in district Chamba. It is 24 kms from Tissa. Tissa is 72 kms from Chamba. This is located at an altitude of 3505 msl with circumference nearly 1 km. Lake is mostly visited by local people to offer prayer at Kali temple, located on its bank.
Khajjiar Lake : in the centre of a grassy meadow, it is 1.5 km long and 1 km wide, and surrounded by cedar forest, a small lake, called the Kund, forms the centre piece of Khajjiar. This is the magical paradise called ‘Khajjiar Lake’. A temple dedicated to ‘Khajjiar Nag’ is also located there. It is 24 km from Dalhousie on the way to Chamba. Khajjiar is known as ‘Mini Switzerland’.
Lama Dal Lake : 45 kms from Chamba on the inner slopes of Dhauladhar range. This is a group of seven lakes, the largest of all is Lama Dal Lake situated at an altitude of 3962 meters (13200 feet). It is 20 km from Dainkund. It is said to have unknown depth and considered to be scared one. The biggest of all lakes. The lake stretches to in area of about 22 sq km. Having such a huge lake at such an altitude is mesmerizing. To add to it the lake is surrounded by perennial glaciers. The local Gaddi tribals visit the lake on Janmashtami.
Manimahesh Lake : 35 kms from Bharmaur. The lake of Manimahesh is 3950metres above sea level at the foot of Mount Kailash (5,660 metres), which is perhaps the highest of sacred waters in Chamba district. This lake is supposed to be blessed by Kali and protected by Lord Shiva. A fair is held every year at this lake during the month of August or September.
Mahakali Lake : this lake is also in district Chamba, on an elevation of 3657 meters above sea level. It is a little bigger than Khajjiar and Manimahesh lake in Churah area of Chamba district. It is dedicated to goddess Kali.
Chanderkup Lake : It is situated at an elevation of 3450 mts (14000 feet). It is one of the many lakes in the upper regions of Chamba towards Dharamshala. During summer season ice blocks keep floating in it to make it a memorable scene. It has mixed terrain, steep and rough while snow covers it for most of the time. This lake is situated at the highest altitude in the Dhauladhar range.
Dal Lake : Located in district Kangra and is 11 kms from Dharamshala, the district headquarters. The lake lies amidst hills and stately fir trees. Dal to ‘Lord Driveshwar’ built by sage Agastaya. After 15 days of Janmashtami a fair known ‘Radhashtami’ takes place there. This located at an altitude of 1775 met. above msl. This is also known as ‘Bhagsunag Lake’.
Kareri Lake : It is 35 km. from Dharamshala, at an elevation of 1,810 meters. It is surrounded by green meadows, oak and pine trees. Kareri lake water, falls into the Layun river.
Kumarwah Lake : It is 40 km. from Mandi town. This lake is situated in Chachiyot tehsil of Mandi district at an elevation of 3150 mts. An annual fair is held there. It is considered a sacred lake and the rare characteristics of this lake is that all the gold and silver offerings accumulated at a shrine nearby are thrown in this lake. There are many popular beliefs associated with this lake.
Rewalsar Lake : It is situated at about 225 km. from Mandi. It is an important place of pilgrimage. This lake is known for its floating island. As with the formation of Rewalsar lake, the lagend goes that princess Mandarva, the daughter of king ‘Arshadhara’ of ‘Zahor’ (the Tibetan name of Mandi) resolved to renounce her royal ties and dedicated herself to the religious order. The king agreed and she took her bows before a Buddhist scholar named ‘Shantarakshita’ (believed to be the brother of Padamasambhava). Padmasambhava having observed that she was a dedicated pupil, came through the air from ‘Uddiyana’ and appeared in person to give her teachings. A cowherd who saw all this spread the sirmour that he had seen the princess with charlatan.
Kunt Bhayog Lake : It is situated at the hill top of Rewalsar town at an altitude of 1700 mts. It is enclosed by hills from two sides. This lake is about 12 to 15 mt. deep at the centre.
Kalasar Lake : The Kalasar lake is situated at an altitude of 1755 mt. above mean sea level, at the top of the Rewalsar town. It is surrounded by beautiful green hills and experiences snowfall during winter.
Prashar Lake : It lies at 2743 metres above sea level and is 30 kms from Mandi town. This lake is situated on a cup like valley. A temple of great scenic beauty is also there. The pagoda like three storeyed temple and its surroundings make a great impression on the beholders.
Bhrigu Lake : It is situated at the height of 4235 mt. above the mean sea level near Rohtang pass. Its depth is about 3 mt. and it remains under snow for the whole winter. Being sacred, this lake is visited by the people of Kullu, Mandi and Lahaul valley.
Servalsar Lake : It is situated at the top of ‘Jaalori pass’ in Kullu district at an altitude of 3100 mts. It is 20 km from Banjar towards Anni.
Chandranahan Lake : It is situated on ‘Chanshal peak’ in Rohru tehsil, district Shimla, at an altitude of 4,267 meters. The Pabar river originates from this lake.
Tanu Jubbal Lake : Near Narkanda is situated the other lake of Shimla district.
Karali Lake : It is located on the Chhota Shali hillock just on the other side of Shali peak. The size of the lake is almost equal to the size of the Annadale ground of Shimla. The lake is a sheet of dirty water, but from a great way up the hill, its first sight between the trees is unforgettable, because of, its shining like a big emerald in the sun. it is also located in district Shimla.
Nako Lake : Famous for skating. It is near Nako village at an altitude of 3,662 mts. It freezes in winter and people enjoy skating on this lake. There is another lake named ‘Sorong Lake’ in Kinnaur district.
Renuka Lake : About 45 kms from Nahan, is one of the most picturesque lakes in Himachal with its crystal clear water. It is shaped like a sleeping woman; legend has it that this lake was founded when mother Renuka was sacrificed by her son Parshuram in obedience to his father, the sage ‘Jamdagni’. It has a circumference of 2.5 kms. Today myths brought to the fore, when each year in November, a fair is held to celebrate the immortality of Renuka and her son.
Saketi Lake : It is located near Shivalik Fossil Park in Sirmaur district. It was a lake at one time but now it is filled with sand and stones from near by hills. The lake could be developed as a good tourist centre by removing sand and stones from the lake, developing its outer walls to stop flow of the undesired material into it.
Sukhsar Lake : It is located at an altitude at 1760 mts. above the mean sea level at the top of the Rewalsar town. It is surrounded by rising hills and thick bushy vegetation in the catchment area. The lake also receives snowfall during winter.
Mantilai Lake : This lake is source of Parbati river. It is situated at an elevation of 4116 mts. There is a beautiful range of Parbati peaks surrounding the lake.
Shringtingu Lake : Its height is 4200 mts. from Seri, if one follows Gohru Nullaha, one would reach Shringtingu lake. The panoramic view of Bara Banghal is enjoyable from this place. To reach this lake one has to go from Manali to Khanol then to Tenta and further to Jammu Dugh (2250 mts.) via Seri.
Suraj Tal : It is situated at an altitude of 4800 mts. This is a beautiful lake, the source of Bhaga river. This lake is located opposite Baralacha having about 1200x1600 sq.mts. of area. There is a good trek to it by Zingzing bar. This lake is located in district Lahaul-Spiti.
Chandra Tal : Chandra Tal is in central Lahaul at an altitude of 4270 met. above mean sea level. It is also known as the ‘lake of the moon’. The crystal clear waters of the lake shining in the light are too inviting and one just can’t shrink having short bath in the cold water. It is the source of Chandra river, beautifully set on a large meadow between a lower ridge and Kunzum range.
Una-so Lake : This lake is situated in the Lahaul-Spiti district of the state.
Pong Lake : It is formed between Dehra and Pongdam. Its length is 42 km. It is made out of Beas river. In 1960, a dam was built on the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh. this dam resulted in formation of huge reservoir-Pong lake. This mass of water varies from 180 sq.km to 400 sq.km. the lake was decleared sanctuary in 1983. The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) acquired about 20,000 hectares of land for this reservoir. The reservoir displaced 95 villages and its residents, resettled in other places, continued to reside in the fringe areas, as the water level recedes. This area is cultivated by them, although the land remains with the BBMB.
Pandoh Lake : The Pandoh lake is 14 km from Mandi towards Aut on the Mandi-Kullu national highway no 21. The lake has been formed due to the construction of Pandoh dam after diverting the water of the Beas River to Satluj at Slappar. The water is being carried by two long tunnels of 13 km each under the hills along with 12 km open channel.
Chamera Lake : It is formed owing to construction of 540 mw Chamera hydroelectric project on the river Ravi near village Chamera in district Chamba. It is situated at a distance of 25 km from the famous hill resort of Dalhousie and is visible from the Chamba-Pathankot highway. The road connecting the Chamera Dam goes along the lake to ‘Bhalie temple’ and the famous thick forest of Bhandal Valley.