Lying at a distance of about 65 kilometer from Jammu, Mansar Lake is a spectacular water body that is blessed with profound natural beauty. Flanked by lovely mountains and lush green forests, the lake is a popular holiday excursion for the tourists. The diverse flora and fauna can be seen in abundance here.
Immersed in the depths of beauty and natural splendor, Mansar Lake is one of the picturesque places of Jammu Kashmir. Bedecked with a cemented path from all sides, the lake offers opportunities to have a glimpse into the marine and terrestrial life. Ornithologists can spend hours adoring a wide variety of bird species that can be seen fluttering here and there. A wild life sanctuary in the vicinity of the place is a house of numerous flora and fauna. Tourists can get opportunities to watch the spotted deer. Cranes,ducks, neelgai etc. in the wilderness.
The nearby hilly places of the lake are inhabited by tribals like Gujjars and Backarwals who can be seen rooming over the open spaces surrounded by hills.
Religious and Cultural Significance :
Mansar Lake is considered a holy place to take a dip. It is visited by a number of Hindus and is notable for several religious shrines and temples that are located nearby. Since ancient times, the lake is linked with religious sentiments. A shrine of Seshnag that houses a piece of stone with several chains is a sacred place for Hindus. These iron chains are supposed to be the serpents that lie in wait of their deity Sheshnag. This mythological deity is a snake that has six heads. It is considered sacred for married couples to make circumambulation around the periphery of this lake. It is believed that if newly weds make three rounds, it will bless their marital life.
Two old temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati are also situated here. These are visited by devotees who come here to take a holy dip in the sacred waters of Mansar Lake. A Durga temple is also present in its vicinity and is visited by the devotees on special occasions. Some Hindu families come here for "Mundan" (first hair cut) ceremonies of their children.
Every year in the month of April, a cultural festival is organized where artists showcase their art works. In May, Chhing festival of Dogra tribe takes place and celebrates wrestling competitions. Another attraction of the place is a ruined palace that is adorned with beautiful frescoes.
How to Reach Here ?
To reach Mansar Lake, one can avail the service of the buses that start from Jammu.
Accommodation facilities like bungalows and rest houses are provided by the tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir.