Manimahesh is in the south-eastern corner of Chamba District. It lies at an altitude of 5,656 m, near the Chamba-Kullu border. The town is around 6 km south of Dancho and 6 km north-west of Bajoli. There is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is well-known to have picked up some of the most inaccessible spots up in the mountains as His abode. Every year in the month of September, around Krishna Janmastami devotees undertake this journey, known widely as the Manimahesh Yatra.Followers of Lord Shiva visit Manimahesh Kailash during Shivaratri and other festivals related to Lord Shiva to obtain the blessings of their beloved Lord. They firmly believe that a dip into the Lake would bring in peace and wash all their past sins. The Himachal Government makes good arrangements for the pilgrims for about 14 days centered on this yatra by providing with tents at intermediate points in the trek, as well as at the final destination of Manimahesh.
Manimahesh is a high altitude lake perched at a height of more than 4000 metre. Manimahesh is an ideal trekking destination.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.
Manimahesh is approachable from different routes. Pilgrims from Lahaul-Spiti come through the Kugti pass. Some from Kangra and Mandi come via Kawarsi or Jalsu passes. The easiest route is from Chamba and runs through Bharmaur. At present, buses ply up to Bharmaur, and jeeps go up to Hadsar. Beyond Hadsar, the pilgrims have to trek for 13 kilometres to reach Manimahesh.
Between Hadsar and Manimahesh is an important halting place known as Dhanchho where pilgrims usually spend a night. A beautiful waterfall makes the stop worthwhile.
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.