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Prashar Lake Trek: Journey to the Enigmatic Blue Waters

Prashar Lake Trek

Surrounded by the Dhauladhar ranges in Kullu Valley is a blue-water lake called Prashar. Prashar Lake is a well-kept secret in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The trek follows a charming trail through a forest and several rivulets. Meanwhile, one can enjoy the local culture as the trail goes through villages as well. The trek offers a 180-degree view of the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, and Kinnaur mountain ranges.

For those interested in architecture, the local temple of Prashar Rishi next to the lake, with its riveting Himachali architecture, blends perfectly with the landscape.

Day 1: Assemble at Mandi at 6.30 am.

Drive to Kantlu. Kantlu Village (6,050 ft) to Prashar Lake (8,900 ft); 7.5 km, 4-5 hours

Day 2: Prashar Lake (8,900 ft) to Kantlu Village (6,050 ft); 7.5 km, 3-4 hours.

You will reach Mandi between 6 pm and 7 pm.

Altitude: 6,050 ft (1,844 m) to 8,900 ft (2,713 m)

Time taken: 1 hour drive + trek for 5 hours, 7.05 km

Trek gradient: Moderate. Steep ascent for 500 meters followed by a gradual ascent for about 4 km. Another steep ascent for 3oo meters followed by an easy walk.

Water sources: Carry two liters of water. There is one water source at Till, around 2.6 km into the trek. You can refill your water bottles here.

Kantlu is about 2 hours from Mandi. Reach Mandi by 7.00 am and head straight to Kantlu. Have breakfast here and begin trekking.

The trail begins with a steep ascent for about 500 meters through open land. You will see the valley on our right.

After this, you enter a jungle, which mainly consists of rhododendrons. The trail eases a little here to become a gradual ascent. In 400 meters, you reach a clearing from where you get the full view of the Dhauadhar range. Take a break here. It’s a good spot to click some photographs.

On you cross the clearing, the trail enters an oak forest. It continues to ascend gradually. After walking in the jungle for 1 km, you reach another clearing. This is also a good spot to take a break.

From this clearing, the trail gets onto the motorable road. Walk on this for the next 700 meters. You will then reach a place named Till. There are a lot of shops here.

From Till, seek the kachha road. Ascend on this for about 600 meters Till you reach another small meadow. Break here for lunch. The views are great from here.

Once you start trekking from the meadow, you will come across apple orchards. Make sure you do not pluck any apples. After 700 meters, you will cross the motorable road again. From here, the trail ascends steeply for 300 meters. This section is a little strenuous. You reach a clearing right after this.

The views from here are outstanding. The mountains that you see from left to right are Triund, Dhauladhar Matterhorn, Kap Chuli, Man Hill, Hanuman Tibba, Sikar Beh, Mukar Beh, Manali Peak, Friendship Peak, Mukila, Ali Ratni Tibba, and several smaller ones surrounding a beautiful valley. Rest here for a while.

In 300 meters, you enter another forest. The trail here is flat, followed by a short ascent. At the end of this section, you will see a beautiful lake below. But this is not Prashar Lake. Go down to the lake and explore around. You will also find two shepherds’ huts here.

From the lake, follow the motorable road for 1.7 km. You’ll see a few houses before reaching Prashar. Take a turn once you cross these. A low ground is visible from here. Once you reach the edge of this low ground, a beautiful lake comes into view – this is Prashar.

Prashar Lake is protected by a fence so you cannot enter it. There is a round, floating island inside the lake. If you are lucky, you can see the island move while you are there.

There is a beautiful temple dedicated to the sage Prashar next to the lake. Its architecture is unique and attractive.

Walk to the nearest ‘top’ from the lake to view the sunset and return early the next morning for the sunrise. You get to see whole mountains from here including Papsura and Dharmsura. Rest for the night at the dormitory.

Altitude: 8,900 ft (2,713 m) to 6,050 ft (1,844 m)

Times taken: 3.5 hours, 7.7 km

Trek gradient: Easy. Mostly descending trail with few, short ascents.

Water sources: Carry two liters of water. You can refill your water bottles from the small pump that you reach 2.2 km after starting the trek.

You will return to Kantlu today but through a different route.

Walk on the motorable lake from Prashar Lake for 1.5 km. From here, leave the motorable road and turn towards the right. This is a narrow path through grasslands. After 700 meters on this path, you will see a small water pump house. This is an absolutely quiet, beautiful place surrounded by forests. The only sound hear is that of water. You can refill your water bottles here.

The trail enters a dense forest from here. There’s another diversion after 500 meters, where you need to take the trail on the right. The trail descends gradually after the pump house. After 1.2 km, you will reach an ascent

The trail enters a dense forest from here. There’s another diversion after 500 meters, where you need to take the trail on the right. The trail descends gradually after the pump house. After 1.2 km, you will reach an ascent. Once you cross this, a house beautiful house set in a clearing appears out of nowhere to your right. In front of the house is an apple orchard, which is filled with apples in May and June.

Behind the house is a beautiful valley. You can see the Dhauladhar range, Mukila, and Hanuman Tibba peaks from here.

About 200 meters from the house, you will cross the motorable road again and enter a forest. This is filled with pine, oak, and rhododendron trees. After 1 km, the forest thins down. On your left will be a small reservoir. Within 100 meters you will reach a small village named Halgarh. This village has only a few houses. You get a clear view of Kantlu and the valley from here.

Begin descending again from this point. In a short while, you reach the part of the route taken on Day 1. Follow this to reach Kantlu, which is 2 km from Halgarh.

Have lunch at Kantlu and depart for Mandi.

Nearby excursions: A 12 km trek to Tunga Mata temple above the Prashar Lake is a viable excursion one can make while camping at Prashar Lake. The trail is a steep climb on the mountain ridge behind the lake. The view of the lake from here is stunning.


The Prashar Lake trek starts at Baggi, around 27 km from Mandi. Indiahikes arranges transport from Mandi bus stop at 6.30 am on Day 1. The cost is included in your trek fee.

If you are using public transport, take a Volvo bus from Delhi to Mandi in Himachal. Any bus plying to Kullu or Manali will go via Mandi. Volvo buses by Himachal Roadways and Himachal Tourism ply daily from Himachal Bhawan in Delhi. It takes around 10-12 hours (430 km) to reach Mandi from Delhi.

The Volvo bus journey from Chandigarh to Mandi takes 6-7 hours. The roads are in good condition Til Mandi, except for a few sections between Chandigarh and Bilaspur.

India hikes drop trekkers back to Mandi by around 6.00 pm. Buses from Manali to Delhi pass through Mandi between 7.00 and 8.30 pm. It is recommended that you book your tickets before the trek, and coordinate with the bus conductors for your pickup from Mandi.

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