LOCATION: Renuka lake (672 m) is connected by road and lies in Sirmour district. It is 123 k.m. from Parwanoo, 60 k.m. from Paonta Sahib and 37 k.m. from Nahan. With a circumference of 3214m, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess Renuka. Near the lake's feet is another lake held sacred to her son, Parshurama. Both have temples built around them and the main temple to Renuka is regarded to have been built overnight in eighteen century. The lake lies in a long valley and surrounding slopes are covered with thick woods. Boating facility is available at the lake.
ACCOMMODATION: The HPTDC has hotel Renuka ji near by. Dadahu (2 k.m.) has hotels, PWD and forest rest houses.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 1360 m in district Mandi , 24 k.m. from Mandi town. It is square shaped with a shoreline of 735 m, this dark jewel rests on a mountain spur and is protected by a dense vegetation. The spot is held sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. Legend has it that the great teacher and 'Tatric'.Padmasambhava used his enormous power to take fight to Tibet from Rewalsar. Also known as Guru Rimpoche, it was under Padmasambhava's influence that Mahayana Buddhism took root in Tibet at Rewalsar, his spirit is said to reside in the tiny island of floating reed that drifts over the water. There are three Buddhist monasteries at Rewalsar. Rewalsar has three Hindu temples which are dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and to the sage Lomas. A small zoo is maintained near the lake. The lake of Kunt Bhyog (1750 m above sea level) lies above Rewalsar as do six other lakes of mythology. These are associated with the escape of 'Pandavs' from the burning palace of wax-an episode from the epic, Mahabharta.
ACCOMODATION: HPTDC's Hotel Rewalsar, private hotels and rest houses.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 1900 metres in district Chamba , 16 k.m. from Dalhousue and 25 k.m. from Chamba. Fed by tiny streams,this small lake lies at in the centre of large Khajjiar glade. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag- after whom the place is named. Khajjiar has thick forest of the Kalatope sanctury surrounding its soft green grass.
ACCOMODATION: HPTDC's hotel Devdar, hotels in the private sector and rest houses are available.
LOCATION: In district Chamba , this is the reservoir of the Chamera dam built over the river Ravi. Phase-I of the project generates 540 MW of electricity. Phase-II which is under way will add another 300 MW. The lake offers a variety of water sports.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4270 metres near the Rohtang pass that connects district Kullu and Lahaul. Also known as Dashaur and Sarkund this attractive lake has a depth of 3 metres.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 3100 metres in district Kullu 20 k.m. from Ani in the direction of the jalori pass. This lake has a picturesque setting amidst pine forest.
ACCOMODATION: Hotels and Rest houses at Kullu and Shoja.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 2730 metres in district Mandi , 40 k.m. from Mandi town. The deep blue water at this beautiful lake is held sacred to the sage Prashar. A three tiered Pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage lies by the lake - 'rishi' Prashar is said to have meditated here. Its remarkable setting is enhanced by a frame of snow draped peaks visible from the lake's edge, the water of the river Sutlej flows due south. The lake side and the near by villages are sites of various festival held at different times of the year.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4235 metres in district Kullu , this lies east of the Rohtang Pass and is about 6 k.m. from the village of Gulaba. The shores of this clear water lake are devoid of human habitation-yet it is visited regularly by the people of the area and is held sacred to 'rishi' Brighu. It also lies on several trek routes of the region.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4080 metres in district Chamba , 32 k.m. from Bharmaur. Held sacred to Lord Shiva this lake has in the Bundhil valley at the foot of Manimahesh ranges. The peaks of Manimahesh Kailash is regarded as one of the mythical abodes of Shiva. This is the venue of annual Manimahesh yatra.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 3662 metres in the pooh sub-division of district Kinnaur . The lake is surrounded by willow and poplar trees - the village seems to be half buried by the lake's borders. On the northern side, are four Buddhist temples with stucco image impressions ascribed to saint Padmasambhava.
SURAJ TAL LAKE
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4950 metres below the summit of the Baralacha pass in the Lahaul division of district Lahaul and Spiti . The Baralacha connects Mandi and Lahaul to Ladakh and the lake which draws a considerable number of visitors - especially in summer - lies by its head. This is the source of river Bhaga.
CHANDRA TAL LAKE
LOCATION: At an altitude of 4300 metres and 6 k.m. from the Kunzum Pass in Lahaul & Spiti district that connects Spiti and Lahaul areas. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of 2.5 k.m. This is the source of the river Chandra. According to some believers, this is the spot from where the god Indra's chariot took the eldest Pandava brother, Yudhishtra to 'swarga' (heaven) in his mortal form.
LOCATION: This vast reservoir lies in the district of Bilaspur and Una.The town of Bilaspur is 83 k.m. from the railway station at Anandpur Sahib. The Gobind Sagar on river Sutlej, has been created by the huge hydel dam at Bhakra and is named in honour of Gobind Singh the Tenth Sikh guru. One of the world's highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the famous American dam-builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was completed in 1962. Incidentally, Slocum had no formal training as an engineer, but his conceptions and designs have proven successful. To maintain the level of water, the flow of river Beas was also channeled to Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej link which was completed in 1976. Today, this dam feeds electricity and water to a large area the Gobind Sagar reservoir is 90 k.m. long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 sqkm. There are provisions for water sports speed boats and ferry rides. In October and November, when the water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organizing by the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water scooter racing are popular water sports activities during this period.
ACCOMODATION: Bilaspur has both hotels and rest houses.
MAHARANA PRATAP SAGAR
LOCATION: Maharana Pratap Sagar is at 450 metres above sea level, 32 degrees North and 76 degrees East, In district Kangra , 170 Km from Chandigarh, 110 Km from the district headquarters Dharamshala. The closest railway stations are Mukerian- 30 Km, and Pathankot- 32 Km. The Settlements of Nagrota Suriyan and Jawalaji located on the Sagar's periphery are connected by the charming Narrow gauge Kangra Railway Line that connects Pathankot to Joginder Nagar. The closest airport is Gaggal- 40 Kms. The Lake is well served by a Network of roads. Named in honour of great patriot Maharana Partap(1572-97 A.D.), Maharana Partap Sagar was once known as Pong Dam Reservoir. Its Reservoir has an area of 45,000 hects at maximum flooding-the level varies with every season and averages around 30,000 hects. Over 200 villages with a population of 85,000 people are scattered along the wetland. In 1983, the Sagar was declared a Wild Life Sanctuary and over 220 species of birds belonging to 54 families have been sighted over the waters and these include black headed gulls, plovers, terns, ducks. The land portion of the Sanctuary has barking dear, sambar, wild boars, leopards and claw-less others. 27 Species and sub species of fish belonging to six families have been recorded in the Sagar's water. There is a branch of Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at the Sagar and year around activities include swimming, water skiing, surfing , rowing and sailing. The Directorate of Tourism and Civil Aviation provides equipment at the Sagar – this includes sale boats, paddle boats, speed aero boats. Various courses – beginners, intermediate and advanced – are also conducted at the Sagar.
ACCOMODATION: Hotels, Guest Houses, Forest and PWD Rest Houses are available at nearly Dharamshala, Dehra, Sansarpur Terrace, Dada Siba and Nagrota Surian.
LOCATION: At an altitude of 1775 metres in district Kangra 11 k.m. from Dharamshala, surrounded by deodar trees, this is on the motor road to Talnu. Held sacred, this has a small shiva temple on its banks. The banks of the lake are enlivened during September by a fair attended-amongst other-by a large number of Gaddi folk.
ACCOMODATION: Hotels and rest houses. The HPTDC has hotels both at Dharamshala and Mcleodganj.