Renuka

The enchanting Renuka Lake, in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh, is believed to be the embodiment of Renukaji, sage Jamadagini's wife and the mother of Parshurama - one of the ten `avatars' of Lord Vishnu. Acoording to a local legend, when the evil Sahasarjuna killed sage Jamadagini and attempted to abduct the latter's wife, Renuka, she threw herself into these waters. The gods brought her back to life, and consequently, this lake is considered to be her embodiment.

Shaped like a sleeping woman, the lake is the largest in the entire state. This tranquil water body is fed by underground springs, and the lush forest cover embracing it, houses many a species of flora and fauna. Apart from the haunting natural beauty of this area, Renukaji also offers boating and trekking facilities to the adventurous at heart.

Sightseeing

Besides the lake, which is a famous landmark of this region, the other attractions include:

Parashurama Tal and Renuka Temple: Located at the base of the Renuka Lake is the Parashurama Tal, a massive pool embodying, it is believed, Parashurama, who desired to spend eternity at his mother's feet. Mother and son are reunited every year at the great Renuka Fair, held on banks of the lake, in the month of November.The original temple of Renukaji, is said to have been built overnight by a contingent of Gurkhas in the early 19th century.

Jamu Peak: Just above the revered lake, is the Jamu Peak, where Rishi Jamadagini is believed to have meditated. There is a temple at the spot, which offers a fantastic bird's eyeview of the surroundings.

Mini Zoo: Around the lake is a small zoo that has Asiatic lions, spotted deer, Himalayan black bears, barking deer and other species.

Lion Safari: Directly adjacent to the zoo is the Lion Safari, a large enclosure. An armoured van is the preferred means of observing these big cats, from a close range.

Access

By air: The nearest airports are at Chandigarh (95 km), and Dehradun(126 km).

By rail: The nearest railheads are at Ambala (95 km), Dehradun, and Chandigarh.

By road: Renukaji is 335 km from Delhi. Taxis/buses are available for Renukaji at all places.

Accomodation

Himachal Tourism's Hotel Renuka, equipped with all modern facilities, stands on the bank of the lake, with just a road dividing its terraced gardens from the stretch of water.

Hotel Renuka,
Renukaji,
District Sirmour,
Himachal Pradesh - 173022.
Tel: (01702)8339

Himachal Pradesh