Renuka Lake, Himanchal Pradesh, is a Beauty

By Mridula Dwivedi August 15, 2005 30 Comments

I would say that Himanchal Pradesh (HP) is one of the best-kept secrets of India. Parts of it are so beautiful and yet not visited by many. Renuka Lake is situated in HP and is one of such places.

Tourism has developed around a natural lake called Renuka (name of a goddess in Hindu mythology) and another one adjacent to it devoted to her son, Parshuram. Renuka Lake is the bigger of the two and having a circumference of 3214 meter. The lake is surrounded by small hills and lush green vegetation. It is an ideal spot for spending a quite vacation, and that is what my husband and I did.

Reaching Renuka Lake is not very straight forward task if you want to travel by state run buses but that is what we did. My starting point was New Delhi and from here we traveled to Kalka by rail and then took a bus to Nahan. From Nahan we took another bus that took us to Renuka Lake. The buses are very basic and leave a lot to be desired in comfort.

We stayed at a place called DevicosPlaza (a place two kilometers from the lake in the village Dadahu) and it is a new and decent hotel. In off-season room rates are up for bargain. The hotel had basic comforts like hot water, nice bed and a TV. Food was provided at the hotel and it had a table tennis table to knock against after the day’s sight seeing.

The scenery around the lake is beautiful with temples dotting the landscape. The walk around the lake is long and beautiful. It can also be done by car but that in my opinion is an offence to the beauty of the place. The smaller lake can be covered in a short time on foot but it has more ducks and fish that can be observed by sitting on the banks.

On the second day we took a walk (10 kilometers, ascending all the way) that is clearly marked (oops but in Hindi!) and leads to another temple. The task was not to visit the temple but simply to take the walk. Though I was not feeling equal to the task but my husband wanted to do it desperately, so we did that.

I climbed only up to 9 kilometers along a narrow cemented road and decided to wait for my husband there as the road was being constructed after that point. And anyway I was tired by then. That was a mistake. There was a gang of construction workers right ahead of me and as soon as my husband vanished out of site they started throwing verbal comments at me that were not very complimentary.

One sad experience and I breathed a sigh of relief when some 20 minutes later my husband walked back. He was unaware of all this but could see that I was upset. After we discussed it was decided that we would not do this again, me staying behind. Usually people are nice in hill states of India but I learned it through experience that not always and one should take caution. After spending a third quite day by the lake, we headed home for the crowds and the pollution!


30 thoughts on “Renuka Lake, Himanchal Pradesh, is a Beauty”

  1. don’t ever trek alone………Anyways Renuka Lake is really beautiful……awaiting another nice spot…..take care and have fun….

  2. That is a very beautiful lake! I’m sorry you had to endure some unpleasant comments, I love to read about your travels, although I don’t often leave comments.

  3. Vandy, the travels are not so frequent, I am infact writing about a lot of places that I visited in past. The Ladakh trip is the most recent of my travels.Avik, I have learned the lesson, of not trekking alone.Lily, Renuka Lake is 315 kilometers from New Delhi. We travelled through a place called Kalka but it seems better to travel through Chandigrah. Have a look at, thanks a lot for reading my tales and commenting on it this time. I too visit your space often.

  4. Ganga, start travelling and thanks for the kind words regarding the pictures.Gulnaz, let me make a deal to you, we will admire each-other’s work and stop envying 🙂 What do you say? Yeah, I wish they would do something for tourism in this beautiful country of ours.

  5. I must say the Kalka station hasnt changed much…brings back quite a few memories…You should try visiting Shimla just when it begins to snow there…just at the beginning of the off-season; it’s really nice around that time…Your blog’s a very nice read Mridula.

  6. india becomes more and more a blushing jewel to me. i have never been there. through blog photos like yours i am charmed by her. your images are magical.

  7. I am very fond of Kalka railway station. It is small and cozy. And I guess it must have not changed.Thanks for your suggestion for Shmila, we will try. My favorite saying is ‘so many places, so little time.’

  8. wow, those are georgeous. The plants next to the water are beautifull too, and that refelection in the water is stunning as well. I love lakes.. 🙂

  9. Normies, I enjoy lakes too but my husband has just one point agenda- mountains, so we them a lot more! Lily, let me add that the lake is situated near a really small town, so there is nothing to do at night, no nightlife at all. That is fine with us, but I wanted you to know. When are you planing to come to India?

  10. We’ll be there from December 7-January 11. We live in a small town so we’re used to no nightlife. I suspect that the quiet may be welcome after we’ve been there a few weeks.

  11. Thanks, I’m sure we will. We’re planning to fly in to Delhi, visit some smaller cities, maybe a wildlife park or two, work our way down to Goa and then fly out of Mumbai.Are people there typically pretty friendly to tourists? Visiting another country is always more fun when you get to know a few locals.

  12. Goa and smaller cities you will definitely enjoy. Indians are a friendly lot but I guess the questions that are considered normal here may seem awakward to Westerners. People can casually ask marital status, number of siblings or offsprings, paypackage etc. They mean no harm by it though. You will also see a lot of touts if you have not pre-booked everything. taxi and auto fares are up for bargain in most of the places.

  13. Americans ask similar questions when meeting people, although salary tends to be a closely guarded secret, especially from your co-workers.Our schedule will be pretty flexible, but we could pre-book one city ahead as we decide where we’re going. It would be nice to know where we’re going instead of wandering the streets looking for a decent hotel.

  14. It is a good idea to keep schedules flexible so that you can spend a lot of time in the places you like. So, have a nice trip and feel free to ask anything that occurs to your mind at a later date.

  15. Thank you! I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions between now and December. We’re already looking at hotels in Goa thanks to your suggestion and it’s a good thing because prices triple between Dec 26 and Jan 6. We may have to adjust our travel dates to leave a little later. Darn. 🙂

  16. I recently came to your blog and loved the stories here. Then I saw one about Renuka- and i had a just one word for it – wow. part of my childhood was spent in Nahan and Renuka was our favourite holiday spot. Have you been to Kinnaur in HP? pls do keep writing abt your travles.ThxRajeev

  17. Rajeev, I have not been to Kinnaur yet :)There are so many places and so little of vacation!If you grew up in Nahan, you should be writing about Renuka Lake, right?

  18. You are right about the ‘vacationing’ time being so short. I was fortunate to have lived and seen most of HP with my father who was employed with HP govt and had a transferable job. My recent travels there have been kind of ‘show off’ to my wife – as you said soemwhere- HP is such a secret still- I just love the place and remember many magical turns in the roads :). I did wonder at you discovering Renuka – its such a little known and out of the way place. maybe you could have added a super – shot of some lions that they keep there ;). The zoo there, is also quite old, i remember seeing a huge bear there in early 1980’s. But, I am no writer – Difficult for me to share in a meaningful way, the splendid memories and images from my childhood. I did start a blog abt our recent vacation trips – more as a record for ourselves. I hope to add to it as we find time for more vacations. Till then will come back to yours, to expereince the thrill of travel even when its second hand !

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I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.

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