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Trek Detail

Trek from Baagi village to Prashar Lake

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Summary

Prashar Lake lies 50 km north of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India. Along the lake is a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to sage Prashar. Built in the thirteenth century, legend has it that the temple was built by a baby from a single tree. Sage Prashar is believed to have meditated here and the lake is held sacred. Snow-capped peaks surround the lake and temple and the trek to the lake provides breathtaking views of Dhauladhar, Pir Pinjal and Kinnaur mountain ranges.  A “good weather” road connects Baagi village to Prashar Lake. During winters, this road is closed because of heavy snowfall that this ridge receives. However, the presence of a road, albeit closed, ensures a painless navigation to the lake. The route is simple to follow with no steep ascents or descents. These factors combined, make this 16 kilometer trek an excellent beginner winter trek that is also quite child friendly.

 Prashar Lake and Temple

Prashar Lake and Temple

Trip Log

Trekking to Prashar Lake has been a mixed bag this winter. On our first attempt, it started snowing when we started. We did make it to the lake, but pitching an overnight camp was not the right thing to do on that day. Little did we know that this was the precursor to three days of snow that left Prashar Lake with over four feet of snow.

 A snowbound access to Prashar Lake

A snowbound access to Prashar Lake

Our second attempt, fifteen days later was a resounding success. The weather was sunny, the snow pristine and views of the mountains that encircle the Prashar ridge, were spectacular. The excellent weather held on day two and we made a quick day excursion to Tunga Mata. The trek to Tunga Mata is a must do side trek if you have ample winter trekking experience. It was a difficult walk through waist deep snow at times, but the views were worth the effort.

 Views around Prashar Lake

Views around Prashar Lake

On day three our luck dwindled. A huge group of trekkers seized the lake and they were extremely loud. This butchered the serenity around the lake for us and it was a clue for us to start our descent to Baagi village. With the recent Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kamand, serenity shall be hard to find around Prashar in the years to come. Thus, it is a good idea to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this jewel of a place while you can. As we bid adieu to Prashar Lake and its beautiful wood carved pagoda temple we were treated to a spectacular sunset. I guess sage Prashar didn’t want us leaving without showing off this place’s ample charm.

 Three storey pagoda temple carved out of wood

Three storey pagoda temple carved out of wood

Trek Detail

 The spectacular route to Prashar

The spectacular route to Prashar

The starting point in winter for the trek is Thakur Hotel at Suda village, a couple of kilometers uphill from Baagi village. The last Himachal Pradesh State Roadways (HRTC) bus from Mandi to Baagi village makes an overnight stop here. The hotel is open throughout winter and it sells simple Indian food like dal and chappati. The hotel does not offer any rooms but a couple of beds can be rented for a night.  A couple of indian style toilets are built along the Hotel. From the hotel follow the only road uphill. The road starts out as a desolate stone covered trail without many trees. About four kilometers from the hotel, a signpost suggests that the road is officially viable for a 29 seater bus.

 Road passed for a 29 seater bus

Road passed for a 29 seater bus

After the signpost the road winds through a series of switchbacks through a wooded hill. This is the toughest section of the trek. This neck of the woods does not receive much sunlight, thus the ice is slippery and the trees block any view. The wooded section is home to monkeys and villagers have reported bear sightings (although it sounds highly unlikely). You break through the woods along a ridge that leads due east to Prashar lake. The ridge has sparkling clear view of snow capped Dhauladhar, Pir Pinjal and Kinnaur mountain ranges. Follow the ridge for the next two kilometres to reach the Trekkers Hut and then on to Prashar Lake.

 Welcome to Prashar

Welcome to Prashar

Trek Summary

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

DURATION

4.5 hour ascent and 3 hour descent from Thakur Hotel in Suda village a few kilometres uphill from Baagi village

DISTANCE

16.3 kilometres one way

MAX. ELEVATION

2655 metres

START AND FINISH

Thakur Hotel in Suda village a few kilometres uphill from Baagi village

GETTING THERE

Buses ply regularly from Mandi (H.P.) to Baagi village. The last Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus stops overnight at Suda village, a few kilometers uphill from Baagi village. In winters, this is the closest you can get to the lake by public transport. Taxis  to Prashar may be rented from Mandi and Kataula

ACCOMMODATION

There is a Forest Rest House and a Trekker Hut near Prashar Lake which are open in winter. These can be booked by D.F.O Mandi (+91-01905-235360) and R.F.O. Mandi (+91-01905-269485). The temple complex has a dormitary, but as of 2015 January it was in a semi completed state. However, you can ask the temple priest for a free stay at the dormitory and bedding. If you catch the last bus from Mandi to Baagi, then Thakur hotel at Suda village is your best bet. Homestay can be arranged at Baagi village

WEATHER

Cold during the day. Under -9 degree C at night in December and January. Could go as low as -14 with windchill

 route overview - Baagi village to Prashar Lake (view in  wikiloc  /  Google maps )

route overview – Baagi village to Prashar Lake (view in wikiloc / Google maps )


Caution: While the trek from Baagi to Prashar poses no hazard due to its moderate difficulty, do keep in mind that Prashar Lake can get over four feet of snow in a single night which can make breaking trail difficult. The hills around Prashar ridge have a sheer drop and rocks are often obscured by snow. Do not attempt to glissade down these slopes.


Downloads and GPS logs

  • View  / download GPS route from wikiloc. Click here.
  • View  / download GPS route from Google Maps. Click here.

19 Comments

  1. Manu

    Hi
    Can you please help me with some info on, where an how can I get such GPS routes for other treks?
    Thanks

    • Bharat Singh Bhadwal

      Manu all our trek logs come with GPS logs. Are you looking for a specific trek?

  2. Anusheel Srivastava

    Hi..
    I stumbled upon your blog through some very old thread of IndiaMike (Thank god for that)

    Planning to go on 26 Jan via the trekking trail (and not via bus route). Have done Triund last year Jan and Kheerganga in May. Do you think taking the trail from Baggi will be a good idea?

    • Bharat Singh Bhadwal

      Anusheel, If you’re taking the trekking route, make sure you have the route staked out. If not, I’d recommend asking a local to join you. There’s some snow expected around the 26th so keep an eye out on the forecast. I will also recommend starting early so you’re at the lake by lunch and that gives you a chance to get back if you think it’s too cold.

      • Anusheel

        Hi Went on trek on 28 instead. Took the trekking route and I did not found challenging as such, just that last trail leading to fence was tricky, that too on descent. On trail I just kept on tracking wastes such as chocolate wrappers. It was a great experience.

        • Bharat Singh Bhadwal

          Thank you Anusheel for writing in. We’re glad you had fun.

  3. aman yadav

    hi. the info is really helpful. i wanted to ask few more things.

    we will reach on 13th dec morning but will start the trek next day. so which i the best place to stay. is it in baggi or sauda village. ( best in the sense – not lavish but in a remote place and naturally beautiful. )

    is it necessary to book the forest house now since we are not traveling on weekend and what is its rent for a day ?

    will it be snowing at this time

    thanks in advance

    • Bharat Singh Bhadwal

      Hi Aman,
      1. Baagi is a better option in my opinion
      2. Booking a FRH might be a good idea, however the shop at the temple should be open on the 13th and that is also an option
      3. There is some rain forecast in Himachal on the 11th. If it does rain substantially there is always a probability of snow

  4. Akhil Raina

    Hi Bharat. Thanks for all the info. I was there over the last weekend and found the info you have given quite useful.
    Just one thing that I wanted to add is that the trail from Baagi is also open unless there is heavy snowfall. So I went up the road and came down the trail, of which about one-third was covered with snow.

    • Thank you Akhil for that important piece of information. We will update the article asap. How was your experience up there? Some photographs? Facebook post?

    • ansh

      we are planning to prashar lake this week , any further information you provide akhil ?

  5. Doesn't matter

    Amazing pics!! I am thinking to go on a trek from so many years, but just kept on planning and research……convincing friends and my husband to accompany…planning everybody’s leaves….etc…

    So now….I have to go anyhow on my first trek……Please suggest, would it be a great option to go on this trek in mid of December? Will I get the snow covered views, you shown in your pics? I am a beginner off course..

    ..Thanks

    • Mid December is a bit iffy for snow (there may be and there may not be). If you can wait, we would suggest mid January as the best time for this trek. The snow would have definitely set in by then. If not Mid December is not a bad time. This year we are getting more than our usual share of snow in Himachal and the chances of catching a snow covered vista are high

  6. Shivam Srivastava

    Can this trip be done during July end ? We’re planning to go near Mandi.

    • Indeed it can be done in July. However it will be the monsoon season, therefore check the weather forecast and carry some wet weather gear. Have fun!

  7. Gaurav Thakur

    Great pictures Bharat. I went there in the last week of January and it was a great experience. The panaromic view of the snowclad mountains are surreal at times. A more detailed view of my travel can be found at my blog.

    http://www.scholargaurav.blogspot.in

    • Dear Gaurav,
      I quite enjoyed your blog post. Thank you for sharing. Do you think after reading our article you would suggest people to give it a shot on their own without a trek operator ?
      Cheers.

      • Hi Bharat,

        I would say if you are a complete novice at trekking then do go with a group. Otherwise with the proper equipments, and some local help you can do this on your own.

        One example that I do remember is of a group who had come on their own. While climbing down, because of the slippery slopes, the members of the group kept slipping. Our trek leaders then had to lend them the spikes, using which they were able to climb down safely.

        Having said that, with a bit of trekking experience, and good preparation this is a doable trek.

        Thanks !

  8. your pictures make me want to go there 🙂

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