Welcome to Rewalsar
Hidden in the hills 24km southwest of Mandi, the sacred lake of Rewalsar is revered by Hindus and Sikhs but especially by Tibetan Buddhists, who know it as Tso-Pema (Lotus Lake). According to legend, the king of Zahor (today's Mandi) tried to burn alive here the revered Buddhist sage Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), to prevent his daughter Mandarava running off with the long-haired Tantric master. But after seven days on the pyre, instead of ashes, the king found him sitting on a lotus in the middle of a newly formed lake. Today a 12m statue of Padmasambhava dramatically surveys the scene, and the lake's 800m perimeter is surrounded by a collection of mostly modern temples, monasteries and monuments, with all three faiths represented. Despite the untidy architectural hodge-podge a spiritual atmosphere remains and Rewalsar attracts a steady flow of visitors for meditation, prayer or just a day trip.