Prashar Lake is situated at an altitude of 2,730 m. The lake has a breathtaking beauty to offer. The lake is surrounded by the portentous Dhauladhar Ranges in Kullu Valley. The trek to Prashar Lake involves awe-inspiring trails crossing the forests and several small streams. I and my friend undertook this trek from 23 to 25 December 2017 though not the right season for this trek but yeah we wanted to go away from our busy office life. The place is more beautiful during June July when the entire area is green, however, the winter has its own charm. There are plenty of beautiful views of Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, and Kinnaur mountain ranges.
Day 1: 23 December 2017
We took a normal HRTC bus till Manali from Chandigarh costing Rs. 453 per person as the ticket to mandi was not available at ISBT Sector 43. The cost of the ticket from Chandigarh to Mandi is 290. We started at 4:30 am in the morning and reached Mandi around 1:30 PM. Yes, we wasted our day on the journey but we couldn’t do anything else as there was a huge rush at ISBT and we haven’t booked a Volvo. But I felt that the journey via normal bus is much better. Then from ISBT Mandi, we took a bus to Kataula. It cost around Rs. 35 per person. As soon as we entered the bus we found two guys from Delhi going for the Prashar trek too. We four then planned to take a cab from Kataula to Prashar itself so that we could reach well in time and can see Prashar lake and have a trek to Tungamata temple. We got it for Rs 300 per person. On the way, we took some pictures of the beautiful mountain folds.
We reached Prashar lake at 3:15 PM. The lake lies in a saucer-shaped valley and was surrounded by dry as well as snow-capped peaks. There is an ancient pagoda-style temple located on the side of the calm lake.
Then we started arranging for a room for four of us. To our surprise, we got a free room at the Prashar Rishi Temple itself and we just had to pay Rs. 20 for a blanket and Rs. 30 for a mattress for one day. We spent time at the lake area and went uphill took some pictures of the sunset and view of the lake from the top.
The food at the small hotel (dhabha) at Prashar lake is awesome and very cheap. We got unlimited fresh Dal, Sabzi, and Roti at Rs. 50 per person only. At night we planned for the Tungamata temple trek talked to Jeewan Kumar, the temple manager. He is a very generous and supporting man. He helped us throughout our stay and arranged us a guide for Tungamata trek however the guide didn’t know the exact route to Tungamata. The guide took Rs. 1000 for the trek.
Day 2: 24 December 2017
After having breakfast we left for Tungamata temple trek at about 8:45 AM. You should keep yourself hydrated enough to trek the route well in time. Please don’t carry huge trekking bags if you are going to Prashar and Tungamata. A 25l to 30l storage bag would suffice. As we didn’t know the exact route instead of two mountains we trekked three and that too more of ascent. The path was dangerous at some places especially during the ascent and it was also not much defined in some places. The last one kilometre was very much steep.
We reached Tungamata top at 12:50 PM. The trek was snowy and steep in between. The entire trail was riddled and that added to the beauty of this walk. The journey was very fruitful. When we reached Tunga top the Himalayan magic unfolded itself and all of a sudden the towering mountains appeared to be rushing towards us from all the directions. The view of majestic mountains surrounding the temple was just jaw-dropping.
Indeed what lies beyond Prashar lake is the opulence of the mighty Himalayas.
We saw multiple peaks. The Dhauladhars, the Pir Panjals group rose together forming a crescent arrangement surrounding the Tunga Bhagwati temple and it appeared that the shrine is being guarded by the mighty mountains from all directions. Some of the prominent peaks which can be seen are Dharmsura, Papsura, Patalsu, Kr1, Hanuman Tibba, Ali Ratni Tibba, Swargarohini, Griffon, Shikar Beh, Mukar Beh, Ghepan Goh, Deo Tibba etc. The priest over there told us about the importance of the shrine and why it is situated at a higher altitude of about 3000 meters from Prashar lake. It is believed that the temple was built by Pandavas (Mahabharata era) from a single stone. In front of the temple there is a Goddess Kali Mata’s idol, just near there is some 8-inch hole where you can see the blood of Bali/ Sacrifice which is done over there.
The priest offered a free lunch which included fresh mutton. We further had some nice time with local people at Tunga top tried to play the local musical instruments. The people were very kind and helpful.
We were told by the priest that trekking should be taken from Jwalapur village to Tungamata top and then to Prashar Lake which will save our time to. After that, we came down and by this time we knew the route. The descent was slippery at some point of time due to snow.
Finally, we came down to Prashar by 5:30 PM had some tea at Krishna camps nearby Prashar lake. We decided to trek to the Baggi village from Prashar next day.
Day 3: 25 December 2017
We started trekking down to Baggi village as we missed the trek to Prashar. We started at about 8:00 AM and reached Baggi at about 10:15 AM. The trek involved walking through beautiful meadows and dense forests.
We were waiting for the only bus which comes from Mandi to Baggi at 10:30 AM but sadly it didn’t come but to our surprise there came a Mahindra force which took Rs. 100 per person and dropped us at Mandi ISBT. We were very exhausted.
The guys from Delhi took a bus to Chandigarh however we hired a cab (Dzire) which took Rs 1900 per person for the return journey to Chandigarh and yes our decision was right we reached Chandigarh by 5:00 PM and rested for the day.