Rewalsar is a small scenic hillside town that is well-known for its pagoda-style monasteries built on the banks of a holy lake. The towering presence of a tall statue of Padmasambhava, overlooking the holy waters, is indicative of the place’s spiritual importance. The monasteries have well-preserved old stucco sculptures, wall murals, and wall paintings.

A convergence of religions takes place at Rewalsar as the place is held sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. There are temples and a Gurdwara also by the lakeside. The fish in the lake waters are considered sacred.

A legend narrates that the King of Mandi wanted to kill Guru Padmasambhava when he learned that his daughter Mandarava had become a devotee of the Guru and wanted to run away with him. The king captured them and attempted to set them on fire but the Guru with his supernatural powers turned the pyre into a lake. Padmasambhava took a spiritual flight to Tibet from Rewalsar but believers hold that his spirit still resides in the lake. In Tibet, he is known as Guru Rimpoche.

The Gurudwara was built in 1930 to commemorate a month-long stay that Sikh Guru Gobind Singh spent by the serene waters. The Hindu temples are dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva, and the sage Lomas.

Getting there: Rewalsar (altitude 1360 m) can be reached by road only. It is 25 km from Mandi and 80 km from Jogindernagar, the closest train station to the place. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, Kullu, 85 km away.

Where to stay: Himachal Tourism runs hotel ‘The Tourist Inn’ at Rewalsar. Private hotels, guest houses, and homestay accommodations are available.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year.