The Manimahesh Kailash Peak which is also known as the Chamba Kailash is located over the Manimahesh Lake, in the Pir Panjal Range of Himachal Pradesh. The peak is about 5,653 metres high and is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva.
The Manimahesh Lake which is right on the footsteps of the Chamba Kailash Peak is situated 26 kms from Bharmour in the Budhil valley, one of the central journey spots in Himachal Pradesh. The lake is at a height of 13,000 feet. Each year, on the eighth day of the half moonlight in the long stretch of Bhadon, a fair is held at this lake, which draws in a great many pioneers who gather here to take a dive in the sacred water. Lord Shiva is the divine god of this fair/jatra. His abode is believed to be in Kailash. One of the rock formations which look like the Shivling on Kailash is viewed as the sign of Lord Shiva. The snowfield at the base of the mountain is called Shiva’s Chaugan by the local people.
Manimahesh Peak is considered very powerful; nobody has so far has been able to successfully summit this mountain. It is said that once a Shepherd attempted to ascend the mountain alongwith his herd of sheep. He is believed to have been turned into stone along with his sheep. The composition of minor tops beneath the chief pinnacle is believed to be the remaining parts of the disastrous shepherd and his herd.
An attempt to climb the peak in 1968 was made by an Indo–Japanese team, the mission was led by Nandini Patel, but it was aborted in between. This letdown was attributed to the divine prowess of the peak, as per the loyal devotees of the Manimahesh peak, which is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva.
At one corner of the Manimahesh Lake is a marble statue of Lord Shiva which is worshipped by the travelers who visits this spot. Subsequent to washing in the sacred waters, the explorers circumvent the lake multiple times. The lake and its environmental factors present a grand view. The tranquil waters of the lake convey the impression of snow-topped pinnacles that extend the valley.
Manimahesh is approachable from various routes, explorers from Lahaul-Spiti come through Kugti pass. Some from Kangra and Mandi come through the Kawarsi or Jalsu passes. The most effortless course is from Chamba and goes through Bharmaur. At present transports can go upto Hadsar through Bharmour. Past Hadsar, the explorers need to trek for 13 kms to reach Manimahesh. Between Hadsar and Manimahesh is a significant stop known as Dhanchho.
Around one and half kilometers away of Manimahesh Lake, are two significant water bodies known as Gauri Kund and Shiva Krotri where as per the beliefs Gauri and Shiva wash individually. The women do take a heavenly plunge in Gauri Kund and the men in Shiva Krotri before making a move to Manimahesh Lake.
The beauty of this sacred mountain is so enchanting that it certainly is an opportunity worth a lifetime to see and feel this aura. It is so pious that it fills ones heart with utmost positivity and joy.
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