Emaho Tso Pema

Tripoto
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 1/11 by Himanshu Gupta
Tso Pema
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 2/11 by Himanshu Gupta
123 Ft High Statue Of Guru Padamsambhava
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 3/11 by Himanshu Gupta
Fish Feeding
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 4/11 by Himanshu Gupta
The Moods Of Nature
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 5/11 by Himanshu Gupta
One Of The Seven Lakes At The Top Of Rewalsar
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 6/11 by Himanshu Gupta
Statue Of Guru Padmasambhava In The Cave
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 7/11 by Himanshu Gupta
On The Way To Rewalsar
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 8/11 by Himanshu Gupta
The Snow Lake
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 9/11 by Himanshu Gupta
The View Through The Dashboard Enroute Via Nerchowk
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 10/11 by Himanshu Gupta
Ohh Thats Me And Tso Pema 22 Years Back :D
Photo of Emaho Tso Pema 11/11 by Himanshu Gupta
Om Mani Padme Hum :)

Emaho (ay-mah-ho)

It is an exclamation of joy, marvel, magnificence, wonder and realization.

Tso Pema (so-pema)

The direct translation is Lotus (Pema) Lake (Tso) in Tibetan. The Lotus represents the lotus born, Guru Padmasambhava.

Overview

Tso Pema popularly known as Rewalsar is a small town situated on a mountain spur in Mandi district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. At its heart lies the holy lake. The place is sacred to three major religions- Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, hence called as Trisangam (Tri-Three, Sangam-Confluence) also. It serves as a fine example of religious harmony and honour that makes this place glorious.

History

Hinduism:

The Hindu history of Rewalsar is found in Sakand Puran. Rishi named Lomus was searching for place to worship. He travelled and climbed the top of Drona mountain, from the top of mountain he saw a beautiful lake surrounded by beautiful trees, flowers and birds. He decided to meditate at the bank of the lake, written as hridyalashwar in Skand Purana. He meditated here and according to Skand purana Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati blessed him by telling the secrets of this place where all the Devatas and Ganas are in the form of flowers, floating lands and trees. Hridyalashwar means the king of lakes. Seven theological lakes associated with the Pandavas of Mahabharata are located above Rewalsar.

Buddhism:

The famous Tso Pema is associated with Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche), who is recognised as a second Buddha. One version of a legend has it that the king of Mandi had Padmasambhava burnt alive after rumours that the Guru had attempted to teach his daughter the Dharma, which was not accepted then. The pyre burned for a full week, with great clouds of black smoke arising from it, but after a week, a lake appeared at the spot where he was burnt and Padmasambhava manifested himself as a 16-year-old boy from within a lotus in the middle of the lake. The king, repenting his actions, married his daughter with Padmasambhava. It was from Tso Pema that Padmasambhava went to Tibet to spread Vajrayana Buddhism.

There are islands of floating reed on Rewalsar Lake and the spirit of Padmasabhava is said to reside in them.

Sikhism:

The tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh visited Rewalsar to consult with kings of the Hill states seeking support against the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He stayed at Rewalsar for a month. Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi built a Gurudwara at Rewalsar in 1930 to commemorate the Guru's visit. The place is particularly sacred to Namdhari Sikhs due to its mention in Sau Sakhi as a sanctuary.

Geography

Rewalsar is located at an altitude of 1360m (4460ft) above sea level. It is 23 Kms south-west from Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh state of India.

Climate

Lying in the Southern Himalayan belt, the summers in Rewalsar are mild and pleasant whereas the winters are generally cool and can sometimes be freezing when heavy woollens are required.

During the rainy season various mountain streams with white waters can be seen along the hill sides. I usually call them “doodh ki nadiyaan (rivers of milk)”.

Attractions

Lotus Lake:

Rewalsar is a serene place with exquisite landscape and diverse flora and fauna. Being a pilgrimage destination to many religions it is visited by people from India and abroad to make prayers, meditate or simply soak up in its tranquil atmosphere. The panoramic lake view with Lord Padmasambhava showering blessings on Rewalsar attracts everyone with it charm and grandeur.

Padmasambhava Cave:

There is a famous Padmasambhava cave at the top. One has to climb stairs to reach the cave. The landscape is punctuated by crags and boulders. Tibetan prayer flags can be seen everywhere. The Tibetan mantras are written on them and it is believed that the air carries the message of truth and peace written on these flags. Buddhists monks can be seen painting the prayer flags here and the ancient art they use is just one of its kind.

Temples/Monastries/Gurudwaras:

The village hosts some of the best in tradition of religious buildings - architecture, sculpture, painting and other allied arts. It is an ideal retreat to rejuvenate yourself and recharge your spiritual batteries. The pilgrimages are soaked with culture and richly decorated with carvings. Their colours and decorative lights are sure to catch your eyes and the inner beauty will capture your heart.

Zoo:

The forest department maintains a small zoo at Rewalsar. The entry fee to the zoo is at a very minimal charge and various animals can be spotted like bears, deers, tortoise, ducks, porcupines and many more.

Activities

Walk around the lake:

You can take a walk around the lake in clockwise direction. It is considered a part of ritual, a part of interaction, a part exercise. Indulge yourself with meditation and yoga with the clear air of Rewalsar. You can also take a dip in the holy water of the lake.

Feed the fishes:

The lake has a huge number of fishes. One can easily get the feed for fishes from local vendors selling nearby the lake which includes biscuits, crackers, flour etc. The quench of the fishes shoving each other and jumping out of water for the food is just an amazing experience. One can also see monkeys, dogs, pigeons fighting in the same league.

An important thing to note here is that the fishes are considered blessed, hence killing and eating fishes is not allowed.

Turn the prayer wheels:

The magical sounds of OM MANI PADME HUM and turning the prayer wheels in the monasteries is surely going to give you mental peace and heal your wounds. The Buddhist monks can be seen learning the dharma and insightful teachings of the Buddha.

Cycling:

You can hire bicycles at economical rates and roam around the lake and the Himalayas testing your muscular power.

Eat:

Almost all the variety of dishes are available in the restaurants or dhabas here in Rewalsar. The popularities are the Tibetan momos, thukpa and chowmien which one can get in both veg and non veg. The aroma is sure to leave your mouth-watering.

Shop:

You can pick up Indian handicrafts, sovereigns and Tibetan items from local shops. The most popular attractions among tourists are shawls, scarves, bells, dorjes, Tibetan trinkets and clothing.

My favourite destination is Emaho Cafe. It is a one stop shop for all your needs. One can sit here and enjoy various tea and coffee drinks. The cafe also sells items like incense sticks, herbal soaps & shampoos, oils, hand bags, post-cards, t-shirts as well as some traditional Tibetan clothing that is made of good quality cotton.

The best part is the price here is fixed and all the proceedings directly go to the monastery funds or monks welfare.

Best time to visit

Though the lake holds high spirits throughout the year. The Sisu fair held in late February/early march, and the festival of Baisakhi are important events at Rewalsar.

If lucky the lake can be seen wearing the white snow blanket during the winters.

Stay

One can find good number of cheap and medium range hotels and guest house.

How to reach

Via Air: The nearest airport at Bhuntar (Kullu) is 59 km.

Via Rail:The broad-gauge railhead is at Pathankot at a distance of 210 km. From Pathankot the narrow gauge railway connects Joginder Nagar, 56 km from Mandi.

Via Road: From Delhi one can drive directly to Mandi via Chandigarh and Bilaspur, the distance is around 450 km. The drive takes around 10 hours. Luxury / Volvo coaches from Delhi and Shimla bound for Kullu – Manali travel via Mandi.

From Mandi one can go via Nerchowk or via Randhara. From Nerchowk one needs to hit the Nerchowk-Una State Highway – 32 and take a turn at Kalkhar and hit the MDR. A short five kilometer drive will land you in Rewalsar or so called Tso Pema where you are welcomed by a huge statue of Lord Padamsabhava at the entrance itself.

May the peace and harmony of this place live long.

EMAHO!

Be the first one to comment