Hi there reader,
I generally don’t write such ‘short guide’ posts because they are so easily available online, except for a few destinations for whatever reasons. Rewalsar is one of them… so here goes for the benefit of my fellow travellers esp solo women because we tend to plan out where we will be staying and general safety!
Rewalsar is a small town around a lake. Lot of Tibetan monasteries, Hindu temples and Sikh gurudwara. In the words of a truck driver I met “people come here to pray”. Even though the lake is quite small, its picturesque especially in the evenings with llamas, tibetan folks walking about with their prayer wheel or beads. Many a times some of them start singing their ethereal mountain songs or prayer songs all of it is just enchanting. And its fairly clean at least by Indian standards!
There are ample stay options. I would suggest the budget rooms in the monasteries.
Drikung Petsek – to the right just when you enter through the gate. Rooms cost from 150/- to 250/- its very basic but offers a good view of the lake and the Padmasambhava idol!
Nyingmapa Monastery – This monastery has a nice little temple in the courtyard. It offers views of the lake too. They offer varied range of rooms from 250/- to 600/- so people can take their pick!
Midway Hotel – There are many hotels in the town but especially for people who want to stay a bit away from the hustle & bustle can stay here. This is about 30 mins by staircase and 10 mins by vehicle from the lake. Its very close to the Tibetan cave mentioned below. They have a cafe with decent food. The family who owns it is also decent. The fare is from 300/- to 500/-
All the above are good for solo women as well, if any of them are wondering! 🙂
There are also good hotels which you will find with a quick Google search. Unless there is some Tibetan festival you really don’t need to reserve accommodation, just go there and you will find something good! 🙂
So there is one restaurant that I found – Kora which is very centrally located close to the gates. Its egg-etarian i.e. serves vegetarian food and egg stuff. The person who owns it Bijay is friendly. The rates are very reasonable. The above mentioned Midway also has a good cafe… I didn’t try any other place…
You can travel to Rewalsar via Mandi in one hour in a local bus (25/-) or private taxi. Mandi is very well connected by buses and taxis to the rest of Himachal Pradesh. Mandi is about 4 hrs from Chandigarh and volvos to Manali/Dharamshala from Delhi/Chandigarh usually halt at Mandi so you can take any of those to travel here.
Lake – awesome and sacred in Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Its also just picturesque!
Huge Padmasambhava idol, worship places, llamas and devotees chanting create a tranquil atmosphere!
Cave Temple – Padmasambhava is said to have meditated here. Going via a bus is just 10 mins but you can also take the stairs which take about 1 hr but its an interesting climb through local houses and small fields!
7 lakes – Rewalsar is one of 7 lakes. Would be fun to trek about to the other lakes! Himachal is so populated that there would be houses and roads to all these place thus making it very interesting!
Dogs – Crazy & loud howling at nights. This is why some people may prefer the far off stay places like Midway that I mentioned above! These dogs also pester when you are sitting by the lake. They just come and start scratching themselves right next to you!
Donations – Tibetan people come ask for donations because they are monks or they have lost their money for pilgrimage. They carry papers that are signed and authorized by someone. I don’t know the authenticity of these claims – i have seen many such hoaxes in Mumbai. Overall its a bit troublesome also cause in my 1 and half days of stay I found two such people coming to me and asking me – which creates an uncomfortable situation.
Overall this is one rare place where its a small town but still has decent stay and food options for us! Its a must visit when you are in Himachal Pradesh esp if you are looking out for places which are not entirely touristy!
I will be putting up more pictures of the place later on! 🙂