Mansar Lake

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2014

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62 kms from Jammu are two lakes Surinsar and Mansar, the former comes first. This collection shows pics of Mansar Lake - were not too impressed by Surinsar so just drove past the lake. Mansar is really huge. People take a dip in the lake on important festivals.

Drive from Jammu to Mansar is scenic. U see railway bridge with Jammu city in the background. We visited in Oct 2014.

There is a very nice and clean walkway all around the lake. Close to main entrance is a temple dedicated to Sheshnag that you see. According to tradition Mansar Lake is where Sheshnag resides so devotees come here to offer their respects to Sheshnag and seek his aashirwad.

Another view of Mansar Lake. There are temples around the lake. Length is more than a mile and width of lake is about half a mile. ''Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the tradition and sanctity of Mansarovar in Tibet.''

Mansar Lake is a perfect place to spend a day or two post Vaishnodevi Yatra. Relax, go for a walk round the lake, feed fish. There is a J&K Tourism Hotel there.

There is a small zoo adjoining the lake where we saw many deers. Lake is surrounded by forests and hills. Lake also offers boating. ''Close to Mansar Lake are two ancient temples by the name of Umapati Mahadev Mandir and Narsimha Mandir, known to be of religious importance as well.''

On banks of lake we saw fish and fish and fish. All of them want food and come to the banks for food. Newly weds consider it auspicious to do a parikrama (three times) around the lake to seek blessings of Sheshnag whose temple is on its lake banks. One round of lake is 4 kms. Boys come here for Mundan (first-cut) too.

Mansar Lake is home to two important species of turtles: Lessemy Punchtata and Trionix Gangeticus. Tourists trying to feed dough to a turtle. Lots of Gujjar and Bakarwal (shepherd) communities live close to the lake. Walk around a bit and you will get to see them, clothes and homes.

Fish with their mouth open looking out for food. Locals worship fish since lake is considered sacred and do not eat fish from here. ''According to Hindu tradition the origin of Surinsar Lake is related to Arjuna who is believed to have shot an arrow into Mansar land and the arrow pierced the earth and came out through at a place where Surinsar Lake is.''

Close to the main Sheshnag Temple locals just finished making dough. A turtle got out of the water and virtually put its head into the dough.

Loved the view of fish in water. To see pics of Poonch Click here

Whilst walking around the lake met children of a private open air school. Busy studying. We missed seeing ''Impressive ruins of a Palace and remnants of the mysterious Mahor Gadh situated close to the Lake.''

Panditji of Sheshnag Mandir. To read about history of Mansar Lake Click here

View of lake. Temple on left of pic (white color) is from where we started talking and which houses the Sheshnag that you saw in pic no 3. To see pics of Martand Sun Temple Click here

View enroute, railway line to Katra. To see pics of Vaishnodevi Yatra Click here

Close up of smiling children in school. They were so happy to have someone take their picture. I am so happy did so. To see pics of Sinthan Pass Click here

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