Fringed by dense forest, small parks, temple and low lying hills, Lake Mansar, together with its twin lake surinsar, is a very popular picnic spot and Pilgrimage site. Over and mile in length and half a mile in width, it is situated 62 km from Jammu. Besides being a popular excursion site, it shares the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. One can also visit the surinsar lake and the Surinsar - Mansar wildlife sanctuary nearby. Mansar is a perfect destination to escape from the hectic schedule of life, immerse in nature and rediscover yourself.
Mansar Lake is also home to two temples, Umapati Mahadev & Narasimha and temple of Durga apart from many others which are regularly visited by the devotees. The shrine encompasses a big boulder on which some iron chains symbolize the small serpents waiting on the deity of the Sheshnag.
Most of the newlyweds consider it auspicious to perform three circumambulations (Parikarma) around the lake to seek the blessings of Sheshnag. Many Hindu communities perform the Mundan ceremony (First haircut) of their male children here. It is also a common belief that the waters of Mansar Lake can wash away the sins committed. Apart from all the religious and sacred activities, Lake Mansar is also famous for its flora & fauna and the perfect natural environment. Well-lit cemented path with projected view desks has been constructed for watching various species of fishes, tortoise and seasonal birds. The lake also houses around 207 species of algae, seven species of fish and 15 species of waterfowl. The beautiful lake is also a famous boating spot.
Things To Do at Mansar Lake
Mansar Lake is a perfect destination for a quiet, laid-back 'me time'. You can take a good walk on the paved walkway that surrounds the lake or can drink in the aesthetic natural environment, sitting in the well-attended and manicured lawns.
History of Mansar Lake
The history of Lake Mansar dates back to the Mahabharat. Post the epic war at Kurukshetra, the Pandavas performed the Ashwamedh Yagna to show their superiority. The horse, which was the symbol of power of the Yagna, was captured by the erstwhile ruler of the area Babruvahan. Along with capturing the horse, he killed Arjun and joyfully showed his victim's head to Ulpi, his mother. She revealed to Babruvahan that he had mistakenly killed his own father.
To resurrect Arjuna, a sacred mani (jewel) from Sheshnag (who lived in patal lok) was needed. Hence, Babar made a surang (tunnel) from his arrow into the ground to form a path to Patal lok. From this tunnel, a spring of water emerged that was named as the Surinsar Lake. After defeating Sheshnag, Babruvahan shot another arrow and appeared on the ground with the mani and a spring of water forming the Mansar Lake.
Best Time To Visit Mansar Lake
You can visit the Mansar Lake anytime during the year. However, it is best to avoid the summer months (May-June), as during this time the temperature is quite high.
How to Reach Mansar Lake
Mansar Lake is located within the Surinsar-Mansar wildlife sanctuary, which is 49 km east of Jammu city. You can take the NH1A bypass road to Surinsar road. After reaching the Surinsar Lake, drive through the Wildlife Sanctuary to reach Mansar Lake. The drive takes around 2 hours, depending on traffic.