While a lot of lakes in the pristine state of Himachal Pradesh are famous for their inaccessibility and unspoiled beauty, Renuka Lake is an interesting exception. The lake, situated in the Sirmour district near Nahan is known throughout the state for its historical and spiritual connection.
Unlike most other lakes, Renuka Lake is a low-lying lake and lies at a mere elevation of 672 meters above sea level. But don’t let this fact fool you, for the lake lends some of the most breathtaking views in the vicinity. You just have to traverse through a dense forest and reach the ridge. Along with boating facilities, a number of aquatic species are present in the water body, adding beauty to your experience.
Interestingly, the most easily accessible lake in the state is also its largest natural lake, covering a circumference of 3214 meters. Lying in Sirmour district, merely around 38 kilometers away from the district headquarter Nahan, Renuka Lake is an idyllic water body shaped like a reclining woman.
Renuka Lake, therefore, is believed to be a personification of Goddess Renuka, mother of Lord Parshuram, one of the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu, and named after her. Present in the vicinity is another lake dedicated to Lord Parshuram along with a number of temples, one of whom is dedicated to Goddess Renuka.
If the legends are to be believed, an evil going by the name of Sahasrarjun killed Sage Jamadagni, goddess’s husband, and attempted to abduct the Goddess. And in a bid to escape, she threw herself in a pit. While there were numerous efforts by other Gods and Goddesses to coerce her out of the pit, she rendered them futile and decided to stay there permanently. And it was after her death that Renuka Lake came into being.
However, the locals till this day celebrate her and her son’s immortality. And each year, after Diwali, the legend is brought to the fore when a fair is held on the banks of the lake to celebrate the deities’ immortality. Each year, saints from rest of the country assemble at the lake where several idols Goddess Renuka, Lord Parshuram and several other local deities are carried in local palanquins. They are then immersed in the holy lake before being stationed in the numerous temples nearby.
While it’s a spot rejuvenate and relax, there aren’t many reasonable accommodations nearby. One of the best resorts that one can find near Renuka Lake is The Sirmour Retreat in Nahan. Set atop the ridge and overlooking green valleys, Sirmour Retreat is undoubtedly the best hotel in Nahan.