We started from Delhi on Friday evening. Boarded the evening Kalka Shatabdi from New Delhi Railway station, and reached Ambala CANTT. at around 8pm. Renukaji is around 100km from Ambala. We stayed the night at hotel Grand Palace in Ambala. There is nothing grand about it. It has a vegetarian menu and is just OK for a 1 night stay. Would not recommend for solo female travellers.
Next day, we had pre-booked a taxi for taking us to Renukaji. We left at around 9am. On the way, we stopped at a waterfall by the side of the road. It is marked on Google maps as Badolia Baba Temple and the location is accurate. But if you don't know its there you might miss it. Didn't understand how to visit the temple though.
We also got a distant glimpse of snow capped peaks.
Finally we reached Renukaji around lunch time. The name of the place comes from its main attraction-The Renuka Lake which is said to be Goddess Renuka, the mother of Lord Parashuram. We had our stay booked at The Renuka, which is a hotel just by the lake and run by HP Tourism.
The location is the best part of the hotel as the lake is situated just at its entrance. The hotel is pretty nice and the rooms are decent. One must be careful of the monkeys though.
Renukaji is a holy place so you do not get any non veg here. The hotel had a vegetarian menu, but the food was tasty like homemade food. So we enjoyed a lot.
After lunch we strolled down to the lake, which is the main attraction of this tiny place.
Boating is available throughout the day. The charges for half an hour are-Rs. 200 for a 4 seater boat and Rs. 300 for a 6 seater boat. They are all pedal boats and in very good condition.
The lake is considered sacred so you have to remove your shoes before going boating in the lake.
The views of the lake are stunning and it is definitely worth going.
We spent the rest of the day lazing around.
The next day morning, we got up to visit the Renuka temple and the zoo.
The Renuka Temple is located at a walking distance from the lake, next to Parashuram Tal. The location is beautiful but there are lots of monkeys around. So be careful with any eatables. Otherwise they are harmless.
After paying obeseince to the deity, we went to find the zoo. A 3km parikrama around the lake through a wooded trail takes you through the zoo. Unfortunately, due to repairs cars were not allowed. We went halfway but could not find the zoo. But our driver told us there aren't many animals there. The walk through the misty trail in the morning was refreshing though.
We did not have time to visit the Haripurdhar temple around 50km from here. It is situated amid snow in winters.
After lunch, it was time to leave back for Ambala. But not before we captured some other beautiful vistas around Renukaji.
We boarded the Kalka Shatabdi back to Delhi, and came to the end of this short offbeat trip. But the best part was that it is unspoilt by commercialization, very few tourists know about it, and it is the best place to relax and get to know yourself better.
February is a great month when it comes to the weather in India. It is neither too hot to visit the plains nor too cold to visit the mountains. But this year(2019) saw pretty cold weather in the end of February. We were tired of the city life, and wanted to go for a quick trip to rejuvenate ourselves. My parents wanted to go to the mountains, but it was too cold everywhere. That's when I chanced upon this hidden getaway in the Sirmour District of Himachal-Renukaji. The Sirmour District is the least touristy District in the whole of Himachal, and mostly you'll find the local crowd here.