Manimahesh lake is a glacial lake is situated at an altitude of 4170 meters (one of the highest lakes in Himachal Pradesh) at the base of the sacred Manimahesh Kailash Peak, also known as 'Chamba Kailash'. It lies in a glacial depression and is fed by snow-melt waters from the surrounding slopes. The water in the lake is crystal clear. Lord Shiva Disciples believe that a dip into the Lake would bring in peace and wash all their past sins. Manimahesh Lake (also known as Dal Lake, Manimahesh), situated in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. 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.
Religious SignificanceThe lake is an important pilgrimage destination in the state, especially among the Gaddi tribes. It is believed that Lord Shiva created Manimahesh after his marriage with Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as Mata Gojra. There are plenty of legends about encounters with Lord Shiva and the display of His displeasure through avalanches and blizzards. On the margin of the lake is a small marble Shivaling called Chaumukha .
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
About one and half kilometres short of Manimahesh Lake fall two important water bodies called Gauri Kund and Shiva Krotri. As per popular belief Gauri and Shiva bathe in these two lakes respectively. The women pilgrims take holy dip in Gauri Kund and the men pilgrims in Shiva Krotri before proceeding to Manimahesh Lake.