Manimahesh Yatra

Religious in Bharmour

In the fortnight following Janmastami (Krishna's birthday; late August or early September), up to 300,000 pilgrims make the demanding hike up to the sacred Manimahesh Lake, at 4200m altitude, in honour of Lord Shiva. The pilgrimage climaxes with a freezing dip in the lake, whose water level is believed to magically rise on the 15th day after Janmastami.

The minimal walk, around 13km, is from Hadsar village 13km east of Bharmour, but some pilgrims walk from Bharmour or even Chamba or beyond. The whole Chamba Valley is thronged with people travelling towards or away from the lake on foot or in vehicles at this time.