Thursday, January 28, 2016

Trekking from Baggi to Prashar Lake and Camping. - part 1


Hiking an eight to ten kilometers trek from Baggi to Prashar lake and then camping at the side of the lake bank, nearby to the Prashar Rishi temple was an another beautiful experience that I had this month. 

The lake is elevated to about 2730 m above msl, and is formed at the top of a mountain with a sufficient depression to hold the lake water so high. 

The rain water and the ice is said to be the source of the water. Snowfall occurs in the winter, but melts soon, and therefore road should remains open. 

You can reach Mandi via Bus. Nearest airports are Shimla, Bhunter and Gaggal in Kangra. Bhunter is the nearest. Joginder Nagar Railway station is just at 50 kilomteres distance from Mandi. 


The rain water and the are is said to be the source of the water. Snowfall occurs in the winter, but melts soon, and therefore road should remains open. 

It was October 24 when we made this trip, so there was no snow, but main attraction for us was that trekking and camping at night at the lake side.

Google map view of Prashar Lake and the surrounding towns of Mandi and Kullu.

Deepak, Anoop, Vipul, Nitin, Sai and I all batchmates from NIT Hamirpur, and seventh was Deepak's friend. All of us in good health, started our cab journey from Hamirpur to Baggi at around 10:00 AM in the morning. 

With a short halt at a restaurant at Bhambla nearby to Jahu, the village said to be the Home village of Kangana Ranaut, and then another at IIT Mandi, Kamand for packing some paranthas from the canteen that stood just at the entrance of this small half constructed campus at the bank of the Uhl river,  we reached Baggi at around 4:30 PM.

Water Stream at Baggi, the start point of trek to Prashar Lake, Mandi.

Our cab stopped just on the other edge of the Stream that had widened to a river size, perhaps with a cloud burst, therefore the water was flowing only in a small portion of it. This road that took a diversion from the Mandi-Bajaura road at Saghali, goes up to Prashar lake, so one can skip this trekking and go via the HRTC bus, hired cab or in their own vehicle.

In the deep Prashar forest. From left: I, Sai, Nitin, Deepak, Sarang(Deepak's friend), Vipul and clicked by Anoop.

It was already 4:30 PM and we were without any guide, so only one or two persons we met on the trek were of great help. After hiking up along this stream up to about one kilometer, we met few houses and a man on the terraced fields. With his advice we took the steep jungle trek, that seemed to get lost in the deep deciduous jungle. When we look at the Google map this jungle is named as the Prashar forest of DPF Pandehr, and the last village that we left below is named as Bara.

 It got quite dark at about two kilometers down the government rest house at the Prashar. There was a Gaddi shelter, with three to four persons inside, sitting around a fire, with meagre light in the remaining room.

Provided none of us had been along this trek before, we inquired about the length of the remaining trek, and got a very positive response. Another lighted building that could be seen at the higher top of the mountain was the govt. rest house, they said. 

One of them was to join on the same trek up to the lake, but a little later, so we started again and reached the rest house before him. Our cab driver was already waiting for us, because he had reached quite earlier on his cab.

We asked for the sleeping bags or blankets from a person pitching tent the varandah of the rest house, but he said that he can not provide blankets if we were not to stay at the rest house or in a tent pitched at the nearby place.  Fortunately we got more than enough when we inquired the same from the people we met at the Sarayas constructed beside the Prashar temple.

We were feeling hungry, so first thing we did after reaching the Prashar lake, was to eat those packed paranthas. If I make a random estimate, there were only about twenty more people who were present at the place for the night stay. 

Almost all of the sarayas were empty. They rented nothing for one room that we occupied but charged about twenty rupee per thick blanket.  I and Deepak carried our own tents, and we are excited to make our first camping with those newly bought tents.

Finally our tents were ready at Prashar lake. From left: Sai, Sarang, and Deepak. Click by: Sanjay(I)
Therefore, before taking dinners and it getting more cold and dark, Sai, Sarang and I worked on our tents. Finally when the tents seemed to be standing firm we ate dinner at the nearby dhaba. One more dhaba was there, but we visited that in the morning for break-fast. 

 a small chit chat at the rented saray, I came to make the sleeping arrangements in my tent and sleep. I had a sleeping bag, and two more rented blankets, so sufficient to sleep in warmth.

Prashar Lake and temple in early cloudy morning winter.- 2015 

Sai did not have the sleeping bag, so he took three or four blankets, and slept beside me later. At night some animal made very high pitched noises, which seemed to come from behind the corner house on the north eastern side of the lake. I was not afraid but it kept me awake till 12:00 PM. We woke early in the morning, it was cloudy in the night, and same in the early morning, but Sun came after a while, and morning shined very beautiful. be continued.