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Home Tourist Destinations Lakes & Rivers Mansar Lake: Religious and Tourist hub of Jammu and Kashmir

Mansar Lake: Religious and Tourist hub of Jammu and Kashmir

Mansar Lake is one of the most prominent tourist Station situated in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. It is the most famous destination for school and college picnics. However, it is situated about 54 km east of Jammu City. It is 665 meters above from sea level. Despite being a tourist and picnic spot, this place has also religious importance because of Nag Devta temple situated on the bank of the lake.

HISTORY of Mansar Lake

The Mansar is earlier named as Manisar boasts a rich legend, dated back in the ages of Mahabharata. History of Bravest Pandava Warrior Arjuna is connected to this religious place. 20 Kms from Mansar lies a place KHOON, in the Majalta tehsil of Udhampur. The place was ruled by Babar Vahan(Arjuna’s Son) at the time of 18 days epic battle of Mahabharata. After the war got over, an Ashwamedha Yagya was performed by Pandava Warrior Arjuna as a tradition to claim his land superiority. His Horse(Sign of Power of Ashwamedh) was captured by Babar Vahan in village Khoon. Babar Vahan was the son of Arjuna from his wife Ulpi, unknown to both Father-Son.

Babar Vahan killed Arjuna in Khoon(the Blood Stains are still clearly seen on the stones). After the event, King Babar Vahan got to know from his mother that Arjuna was his Father. Then began his endeavor to make Arjuna alive, for which Mani was required.

Landscape view of mansar
Pathway around Mansar Lake

With his arrow, he bore a surang and formed Surangsar (now Surinsar). He had
A fierce battle with Sheshnaag.After defeating him under the land, he captured Mani and came out on land from Manisar(Now Mansar). At present both Mansar and Surinsar have been bloomed up by the Jammu Kashmir government as a popular tourist spot. Mansar Lake is being worshipped for Sheshnaag, believed to be living inside the waters of the Lake.

How to Reach

The nearest railway station to Mansar Lake is Manwal. From there one can easily get Sharing auto or matador up to Manwal bus stop. There onwards, you can take any bus of Samba-Mansar route. You May also visit the religious place by bus. From Jammu city, one can take the bus to Bilawar via the Mansar route. If you are coming to Mansar from Udhampur, then you can easily take the direct bus from the Town.
  

satellite view of mansar lake
Satellite image of Lake

Religious Importance

The Mansar lake is covered by Hills. It is one mile long and is half a mile wide. In spite of being a hangout spot, it is also a Sacred site for Hindus. They come here on various religious occasions and have a holy dip in the Lake especially during festive occasions. The eastern bank of the lake houses a shrine of Sheshnaag, a snake with six heads. Two ancient temples of Hindu Deity Mahadev and Goddess Durga are situated in the vicinity of the Lake. Vaishno Devi Katra is also very near to this place.

Newlyweds consider it auspicious to do parikrama of the lake and have the blessings of the Snake God, Sheshnaag. The Mundan ceremony tradition has been happening on the banks for decades, considering it auspicious.

Spices of Plants in and around the Mansar lake

HabitatName of PlantOccurrence
SubmergedNajas IndicaCommon
SubmergedHydrilla VerticillataCommon
SubmergedC. Vulgaris LinnCommon
SubmergedLychnothamnus BarbatumCommon
Free FloatingNymphoides IndicumCommon
Rooted with floating LeavesNelumbo PentapetalaAbundant
Rooted with floating LeavesP. natans LinnRare
EmergentRanunculus sceleratusRare
EmergentAeschynomene IndicaRare
EmergentBramia monnieriCommon
EmergentTypha AngustifoliaCommon
EmergentCyperus PumilusRare
EmergentEquisetum DiffusumRare
Table for flora and fauna of Mansar Lake

The species like Najas Indica grew under the shade of the leaves of Nelumbo or Nymphoides Indica. Preferably in deep water.

On the contrary, Hydrilla verticillata and Vallisnaria spiralis grew luxuriantly both in deep as well as shallow water. Rohini Agstam gives data of flora and fauna.

Different Fishes Spices in Mansar Lake

  • Channa Gachua belongs to the Ophiocephalus family and order Ophiocephaliformes.
  • Danio Rerio belongs to the Cyprinidae family and order Cypriniformes.
  • Carp fish also belong to the Cyprinidae family.
Mansar lake fishes
Fishes at Mansar Lake

The Channa Gachua is also known as Dwarf snakehead. The Danio Rerio trade name is Zebra Danio. It is a popular aquarium fish. The fauna and the main wildlife attraction in Mansar are:-

  • Barking Deer
  • Goral
  • Wild Boar
  • Blue Rock Pigeon
  • Black Partridge
  • Leopard.

Picnic Destination

Over the years, the gorgeous destination is an architect by the local government as the most popular Picnic Destination for schools and colleges. Paddling Boats are seen standing or if not standing, then floating in waters of Lake. Although it is prohibited to cross the Lake either by swimming or by boat as some of such accidents of drowning happened.Not very far the Mansar Lake, lies another sister lake, namely Surinsar. 

The Surinsar is no less charming than Mansar. Mansar and Surinsar lakes are at a distance of approximately 20 km. The sight of serving Floor (atta) to the fishes by the visitors are quite common. Some local village guy does the practice of selling atta to visitors. Once you give the fishes something to eat, the shoal of fishes approaches you, up to the last Mark of water. One surely gets overwhelmed by the eye-soothing view of fishes coming near you. Overall a picnic to Mansar Lake is indeed a thrilling experience.

Conclusion

The lake has not only to have its geographical and historical value but also very important for religious values. Dogri Language, which is spoken in Jammu and Kashmir, also arises from this place.

The task of following a daily routine of going Office, sometimes, looks very boring. The daily commute is quite monotonous and drains our minds. Then The spectacular Mansar Lake comes to picture to take you away from boredom and re-energize your body, mind, and soul. The lake duo of Mansar & Surinsar is undoubtedly the best weekend destination for your family.

Abhishek Jandialhttp://jandialabhishek.blogspot.com/
Author of non-fiction book LIFE OF DEATH.Guest Columnist for the newspapers and magazines of National & international repute.The author mainly writes in the genre of Economy and International Relations.He also has experience as travel blogger.

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