Very few people knows that Manimahesh trail is one of the most sereneic and scenic experience for even those who are new to trekking.
Manimahesh Lake (also known as Dal Lake, Manimahesh), situated in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, is a high altitude lake (el. 4080 m.). The Manimahesh Kailash peak that stands high close to the lake is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva (Hindu deity). This place is believed to be second to the Lake Manasarovar in its religious significance.
The place is a paradise for amateur trekkers, especially for those who wish to witness nature still in its pristine form. Towards the end of June with ice beginning to melt, numerous small streams break up everywhere which together with the lush green uphills and the myriad of flowers give the place a truly awe-inspiring view. The entire trek to the top goes by the side of the rivulet: Manimahesh Ganga, a tributary to Ravi River, which arises from thethe lake at the top. This lake is actually a prize for those who get there.
The name Manimahesh signifies a jewel (Mani) on Lord Shiva's (Mahesh'es) crown. Local people claim that the moon-rays reflected from the jewel can be seen from Manimahesh Lake on clear full-moon nights (which is a rare occasion). It is more likely to be the light reflected from the glacier that adorns the peak, like a serpent on Shiva's neck.
The route to Manimahesh is via Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, Bharmour and Hadsar. Motorable road goes till Hadsar. The rest of the path is to be covered on foot, about 13 km of steep climb by the banks of Manimahesh Ganga, which originates from the ManimaheshKailash peak. During the annual pilgrimage in August - September, numerous night-shelters and eateries spring up by the trekking route. Night-shelter is also available at village Dhancho, about 6 km from Hadsar on the way to Manimahesh, round the year. Another less frequented trekking route originates from Holi, which is connected to Chamba.