For the most magical and mystical trekking experience in the Pir Panjal Range in Himachal Pradesh, head to Manimahesh Lake, situated at an altitude of 3,950 meters above sea level. It doubles up as the base of the Manimahesh Kailash Peak trek; the peak towering at a height of 5,653 meters above sea level.
Both the Manimahesh Kailash Peak and the Lake are considered extremely sacred. The lake in fact, is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend goes that, the mighty peak used to be the abode of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. One of the most popular events take place here during Janmashtami every year, when thousands of pilgrims from different corners of the country set out on a spiritual journey here.
Whether you’re a nature lover, an amateur trekker or a seasoned trekker, the journey up Manimahesh Kailash is one of the most beautiful treks in Himachal Pradesh. Manimahesh Kailash Peak, also known as Chamba Kailash, is one of the virgin peaks in the Himalayan region; untouched by mass tourism. Additionally, the pristine water of the Manimahesh Lake is a result of the snow melting off the Manimahesh Kailas Peak.
The trek starts from Dharamshala; you drive upto Hardsar, and from there trek upto Dancho which is perched at an altitude of 2,280 meters. From Dancho the trek is a gradual climb through the valley of flowers till you reach Manimahesh Lake. You can camp for a night under the stars near the lake for the most surreal experience. The trek then continues downhill again to Dancho and then comes to a halt at Dharamshala.
This Manimahesh Kailash trek is a 9 day trek, and is best done from the mid of May till October. The nearest airport is at Gaggal in Kangra, about 170km from Chamba. The nearest railway station is in Pathankot in Punjab. Manimahesh is well-connected to cities by road as well. Regular buses, taxis and coaches connect it to Chandigarh and Delhi.