This deep blue and enchanting lake likes in a saucer shaped valley, at an astounding height of 8,960 ft and is surrounded by thick forests and snow-capped peaks. During monsoon, the lake and its nearby areas is all lush green. Come winters and it all get buried under a thick sheet of white in months of January and February. The primary source of inflow for this sweet water lake is rain water and glacier runoff/melt-water; but there is no outflow of water from the lake. There is also a tiny Phumdi island in the lake. I am talking about the small green patch inside the lake in the pic above. Take a look at THIS link to know more about what a Phumdi island is. This floating mass of vegetation keeps changing its location but at a very slow pace. During summer, it touches one part of the lake and then slowly floats away towards the other by winter. The temple next to the lake was built by Raja Ban Sen of Mandi in the 14th century. It is a very beautiful temple capped with a roof of slate tiles and beautiful wood carvings.
How to Reach
Prashar Lake Route The most common way to reach Prashar Lake, is to first get to the small town of Mandi, which is located at a distance of about 415 kilometers from Delhi and 170 kilometers from Chandigarh. Once you reach Mandi, you will take the narrow 50 kilometers long road which will take you all the way to the top of the hill that the lake is located on. A detailed explanation of the route is as below. Delhi to Chandigarh Not much to mention about this part of the journey except for that it will be a long and monotonous one. An early start from Delhi is highly recommended as the total journey until Prashar can even take up to 10-11 hours. The only good part about this journey will be that the road is super smooth all the way till Chandigarh. Chandigarh to Mandi From Chandigarh, the route is Roopnagar – Ghanauli – Kiratpur Sahib – Bilaspur – Barmana – Sundernagar – Mandi. The journey till Chandigarh would have remained on fast track but this is where it starts to get slow. First hurdle is Chandigarh. It doesn’t matter if you took a bypass or entered the city; you are bound to waste some time in the traffic here. After Chandigarh the road will get smooth again until Kiratpur Sahib after which you will get your first sight of the hills. From here on, initially the roads will be terrible and then will remain a mix of bad and average until Mandi. This part of the journey will easily take about 4—5 hours. Mandi to Prashar Lake Prashar Lake is located at a distance of about 55 kilometers from Mandi. The route will be Mandi – Bijani – Kamand – Baggi – Prashar Lake. Condition of this road will heavily depend on your time of travel but it will be just about average at its best. If you were visiting here during monsoon, then even this stretch will have several bad sections full of slush. It is a narrow winding road and the entire drive is really steep climb all the way till the top. I will strongly advise to go slow and carefully as the traffic here is two ways. Since not many vehicles travel on this route often, locals tend to speed up specially while going downhill. Even though the distance is only 50 odd kilometers, getting to Prashar Lake from Mandi will easily take you about 2.5 to 3 hours. Kullu to Prashar Lake via Bajaura 70-80% of the people coming to the lake follow the above mentioned route via Mandi. There is however another road from Kullu which also can be used to reach Prashar Lake if you were coming from Manali side. The route then will be as below. Kullu – Bhuntar – Bajaura – Shayari – Bagi – Prashar Lake In terms of distance, this route is slightly longer than Mandi, about 65 kilometers in total. Total travel time from Kullu to Prashar Lake will be about 3 hours; of which, about an hour will be spent on Kullu to Bajaura stretch and then another 1.5 to 2 hours to get from Bajaura to Prashar Lake.
Trekking to Prashar Lake
One of the most popular part of a trip to Prashar Lake is to trek your way on the final ascent. The full length of the trek is about 5-8 kilometers; which makes it perfect for people who do not have much experience in trekking. It is a trek meant for beginners and even for family outings (not with kids and elders though). Trek actually starts from different points; of which nearest and recommended one is Baggi Village, about 7 -8 kilometers. The trek route is well defined through the dense forest and you can actually just walk through on your own. I will however recommend that you ask a local to accompany you from the village; a guide who of course you will pay to navigate you through. The forest around the trek is quite dense and there is a chance of getting lost.
Camp Sites are a great choice and a lot of people come to Prashar looking to camp. The entire location too is perfect for camping. There are a couple of camp sites here.