There are some beautiful high altitude lakes in the Lahoul Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. One such lake is the Neelkanth Lake situated below the Neelkanth Mountain. The height of this Neelkanth Mahadev peak is 17500 ft. The name Neelkanth means blue-throated and is referred to as Lord Shiva. The beautiful glacial Lake named Neelkanth Lake is situated at the foot of this Neelkanth Peak. The height of Neelkanth Lake is 13700 ft.
Neelkanth Mahadev Religious Belief
Neelkanth lake is often visited by local men who have not been blessed with a son. It is believed that a bath in icy cold waters of the lake and a prayer to the Neelkanth Mahadev Mountain is said to grant them their wishes and bless them with a son. The women are forbidden and not allowed by the local people to visit this place.
How to Reach Neelkanth Lake
HRTC (Himachal Pradesh Roadways Transport) runs daily bus services between Manali to Udaipur/Tindi. One can get down at Thirot, 30 km approx before Udaipur. Taxi services from Manali are also easily available. Spend the evening in the small and beautiful town of Thirot situated on the banks of the Chandrabagha river and explore the town. There is a PWD Rest House as well as some small hotels/guesthouses. The town of Thirot is divided into two parts by a river called Thirot Nallah. There is a bridge on this river that joins the Chandrabagha river. Upstream of this Nallah called Chokhang Nalah there is a hydel project. It is towards the source of this river that one has to trek.
Neelkanth Lake Trek
From Thirot one can reach Nainghar a small village. The trek starts from this village. The trek distance is approx 15km. On the way, you will cross a number of small streams and glaciers. You may come across shepherds and their flock of sheep and goats grazing. Though the climb is a bit stiff, it is worth the effort because, in the end, you reach a place so divine and heavenly. Once you can spend some time near the lake and explore the nearby areas.
Other Places of Interests
After your trek to Neelkanth and back, your next halt should be Trilokinath, 15-20 km from Thirot towards Udaipur. You reach Arat, cross over to the other side of Chandrabhagha (Chenab), and reach Trilokinath, a famous pilgrimage of both Hindus and Buddhists. From Trilokinath, Udaipur is just 15-20 km, where you can seek blessings of the ancient Mrikula Devi temple. Udaipur is also the place where again two rivers join together, Mayar Nallah and Chandrabagha. You move further on to Tindi, cross the HP & J&K border at Sansari Nallah, and beyond to Gulabgarh, Kishtwar, and Jammu.