At a distance of 24 km from Mandi, Rewalsar Lake is a mid-altitude lake situated at Rewalsar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Also known as Tso Pema Lotus Lake, it is one of the most sacred lakes of Himachal Pradesh and among the most-visited tourist places in Mandi.
Situated at an elevation of about 1,360 m, Rewalsar Lake lies on a mountain spur and is protected by a variety of dense vegetation. The lake is known for the tiny island of floating reed that drifts over the water. The lake is held sacred by Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists alike. Legend has it that, the king of Mandi tried to kill Guru Padmasambhava when he got to know that his daughter Mandarava is running off with him. The king tried to ruin their love by cursing them to die in a fire. By using his supernatural powers, Padmasambhava transformed the funeral pyre into a lake, out of which arises a blooming lotus that supports the unharmed Mandarava and Padmasambhava.
It was also from this spot that Padmasambhava used his enormous power to take a flight to Tibet from Rewalsar to preach Buddhism there. Popularly known as 'Guru Rinpoche' or the Precious Master by the Tibetans, it was under his influence that Mahayana Buddhism spread over Tibet. The spirit of Padmasambhava is said to reside in the tiny islands of floating reed that can be found on the Rewalsar Lake.
This square-shaped lake has a shoreline of 735 m. Overlooking the lake, there is a 12 m-high statue of Padmasambhava, which is the second-largest statue in the country. There are three temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva, and the sage Lomas next to the lake. The lake is also home to the Drikung Kagyu Gompa which is an academy for Buddhist studies and houses a Sakyamuni statue. Beyond that, there is a Gurudwara dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru which was built in 1930 to honor Guru Gobind Singh Ji's visit in 1738 to Rewalsar. A small zoo is also maintained near the lake.
One can also visit the temple of Naina Mata that exists on a hilltop in Rewalsar. It is believed that the eye of Sati fell on the place and a temple of Naina Devi was built on this sacred place. Devotees from all corners of the state visit the temple throughout the year. The place is surrounded by pine trees and presents a panoramic view of Balh & Sarkaghat Valleys. People also love to trek to this place from Rewalsar. On the way to Naina Devi temple, one will come across another lake known as Kunt Bhayo named after Kunti, the mother of Pandavas. It is said that Arjun created this lake to quench the thirst of his mother.
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM