Manimahesh Lake (also known as Dal Lake, Manimahesh) is a high altitude lake (elevation 4,080 metres (13,390 ft)) situated close to the Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The religious significance of this lake is next to that of the Lake Manasarovar in Tibet.
Pilgrimage from throughout the country undertakes Manimahesh Yatra, which starts from Lakshminarayan Temple in Chamba and ends at the Manimahesh Lake in Bundhil valley. After reaching at the holy lake, they take dips in the holy water. Every year, this Yatra begins on Krishna Janmashtami and concludes on Radha Ashtami. Manimahesh Lake is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva as per the Hindu mythologies. The Yatra to this sacred place in Himachal Pradesh is regarded as a state level fair according to the declaration of the Himachal Pradesh State Government.
One can see the traces and stories of the pious lake in many mythological. Manimahesh lake is revered by the people of Gaddi tribe and Hindus. People of Gaddi tribe know the lake as 'Shiv Bhumi' (Land of Shiva). The lake is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is believed that the mighty peak is the abode of the Hindu deity.
Legends say that the lake was created by Lord Shiva after he married Goddess Parvati. As per another account, it is also claimed that Lord Shiva performed penance here for seven hundred years, and the water started flowing from his tangled hair which later took the form of a lake. The lake is in the shape of the saucer and is divided into 2 major parts. The larger part is known as 'Shiv Karotri' (the bathing place of Lord Shiva); meanwhile the lower part is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, 'Gauri Kund' (the bathing place of Parvati).
The literal meaning of the Manimahesh is jewel (Mani), which can be found on Lord Shiva's crown. On the full moon night, moon-rays reflected from the jewel can be seen from Manimahesh Lake. Walking on the bank of Manimahesh Lake is an incredible experience which one can't forget throughout one's life. The aura of the lake is so pious and pure that it can purify anybody's mind and soul. On the bank of lake, there is a marble image of Lord Shiva which is also known as Chaumukha. The lake is surrounded by amazing landscape and a small temple in Shikhara shape which houses a brass image of Goddess Lakshmi Devi known as Mahishasuramardini.