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Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't

  

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -1 This time, my craving for adventure took me to the less-taken roads of the trek to Prashar Lake. No, I won’t say the place is offbeat and unexplored as the whole internet claims it to be. In fact, it is one of the sacred spots in the Mandi district. And the fact that there isn’t much to see in Mandi takes almost everyone to the Prashar Lake.

Why I am calling this a road less taken is because the direct roads to Prashar Lake have been laid out and it is not very difficult to take your vehicle or take the public bus straight to the lake. Prashar Lake trek is an easy one, only for those who actually want to travel around the place or whose adrenaline is pumping all the time. It definitely includes me!

CHOOSING YOUR TRAIL

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -2 Also, you can choose from the two trails for trekking to Prashar Lake. The one begins from Baggi village, which is a 9 km trek. You can reduce this distance by approximately 2 km and take the different route of 7 km which starts a little ahead of Baggi village, and the transport that you will be taking from Mandi will drop you right at the starting point. Now, the trek from Baggi to Prashar to steep, the trail goes through the deep dense woods, and in monsoon, you would also find the blood-sucking leeches (quite literally). But, that’s what makes this trek worth taking for the adventure junkies.

The other trek that begins from some unnamed location but easier to locate if you reach out for the local’s help. This trek is easier as it goes through the already paved roads. That definitely makes it a flop show. Since I did not take this route I cannot speak any further about it.

P.S.- You will lose your phone signals at Baggi, any calls or any important work leave that for Mandi. Somehow the miraculous Jio was working at Baggi and at some places between the trek but it is not reliable all the time either.

REACHING PRASHAR

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -3 Only and only two buses a day go straight to Prashar and that goes without saying only two come back. One leaves at 8 in the morning and the other 1 in the noon. The 8 AM bus leaves Prashar at 1 PM and the other bus leaves at 5 PM. The mobility of the bus depends highly on the weather conditions so it isn’t a surprise if the bus is canceled due to bad weather conditions especially during monsoon and winters. This piece of information is only important for those who want to go straight to Prashar Lake. You can find several buses leaving for Bagi all around the day once you reach Mandi.

THE TREK

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -4 This day trek begins from the rugged and rocky path carved out by the blue water of river (or was it just the overflowing monsoon water, I can’t speak of it). As you enter the thick woods, the sunlight leaves your way and you are welcomed by the chirping of birds, crickets and all the other possible insects that you can think of. Since I went out in the monsoons a path of approximately 1 km was filled with leeches that wouldn’t leave your body until they suck your blood or you knock them off them before they do. And trust me, leeches are more adamant than anyone you would know, they leave only when you strike them off with your hands. Welcome to the jungle! Cross the rocky paths, win over the leeches, climb the roots of the trees, take the steep (literally vertical) routes and with some stopovers in between (if it’s necessary) you will reach above the clouds.

There are apple and pear trees in the middle and we were absolutely very happy to dig in the not so ripened apples when our guide or you can say trek leader brought it to us as a surprise. It was probably the best apples and definitely the freshest fruits I have ever had in my life.

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -5 The 75% mark of the trek was definitely the highlight of the whole trip. It was so tranquil and since we made just on time and our good luck it was not cloudy that day we gazed at the spectacular sunset and the clouds denser that cotton floating around us. One moment it was all light and sunny and within few minutes we were ambushed by the clouds.

We moved forward towards our destination, passing the small village with a handful of cottages, no electricity, and no crowd. By the time we reached the high altitude situated Prashar Lake it was 10 and it was impossible to see few meters ahead during the trek as the clouds began to surround us and temperature took a steep low.

REACHING THE LAKE

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -6 Trust me when I say this, this trek isn’t for the infamous Prashar Lake but solely for its scenic and rough trail. The traipse is full of amazing elements of nature and few places in between the trek are spectacular and beyond what words can explain. It is about blissful solitude. The lake, on the other hand, is like any other religious spot, just surrounded by the mountains. A temple filled with families and you can’t go anywhere near the lake. The place is sacred and in my opinion not meant for the atheists. The temple undoubtedly an architectural masterpiece but there isn’t anything very special about this spot. You can surely climb up the surrounding mountains which are dotted with the colorful varieties of flowers to have a better view of the place!

OUR STORY

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -7 With a group size of 7, we laced up our treeking shoes and began our trek at 5 in the evening because we were stuck on the road due to a landslide. It was a bad time to start because it is a trek of 6-7 hours including the breaks in between which meant we would reach our destination in the middle of the night. But, it worked out for us at the end because we had planned to stay over for the night in the camps. We had no intention of taking along a guide but since there was only one place at Bagi who would provide us with the camps, his monopoly refused to give us camping facility without the guide. Not because he wanted to earn a few extra bucks but he was extremely concerned about the fact that if we would not reach the camping location on time they had to come searching for us. There were high possibilities we could get lost because #1 the trek is not marked, it is no less than a maze and he knew it. #2 It was dark and it very difficult to locate someone in those forests without any means of communication. I don’t doubt that for a second. Credits: Deepak Bhaiya!

Not only we reached the camping site safe and sound, we could complete that trek in 5 and a half hour with only two breaks in between with the very strict recess timings of 10 and 20 minutes respectively because Deepak Bhaiya wouldn’t let us take any more breaks than that. He was also very pleased to fool us about the 75% mark which he claimed to be the mid point, but only for our own good to take us to the camping site on time. We reached our site at 10:30 or 11-ish at the night.

Prashar Lake Trek- The Lake Is Overrated, Trek Isn't -8

We are glad that he was extremely firm on his decision and he convinced us to take a guide along with us because hadn’t we done that we would have definitely spent the rest of our night in the forests.
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