During October, 2011 we were on a 10 Days trip in Himachal Pradesh and we hit Jalori Pass on sixth day. We reached early as per plan and though of exploring surrounding areas during the free time we had. Then we got to know about Sirolsar Lake, which was 45 minutes away from main market at Jalori Pass. There is a wonderful walk through dense forests, green meadows etc.Let's check out this Photo Journey from Jalori Pass to Sirolsar Lake in Himachal Pradesh, India...
There is small cut near Jalori Temple, which leads to Sirolsar Lake. After coming back from this trip, when I searched for lakes in Himachal, I got wikipedia as top link, but there was no mention about this lake. Which was sort of strange for us.
The walk/trek towards Sirolsar Lake started after some snacks at Jalori Pass Market. The boards shown in this photograph are appropriate indicators in forest. Actually there is a temple near Sirolsar Lake and people visit the place for religious reasons as well. Since there are various paths inside forest, so it would have been difficult to reach the place without these indicators.
There is a resort on the way from Jalori Pass to Sirolsar Lake. Actually Jalori Pass is very popular place among riders and hikers, there are some interesting place to stay around Jalori Pass. By looking at this resort, it seemed that place is not very popular and it was not very well maintained as well. Probably it was not the right time and they plan overall maintenance as per tourist season.
Overall it was fun walking inside these dense forests with cool breeze and colorful flowers all around. Some unique trees and plants in forest made this trek more interesting. We also shot some videos but never downloaded... Let's see when we would be able to share those.
Although the trek was as easy easy as we had expected. It took much more time than what we were told. Probably local folks reach the lake from Jalori Pass in 45 minutes, but it took 1.5 hr for us to reach the lake from Jalori Pass. There were few ups and downs which took more time than the plain routes.
After first 30 minutes of walk, we were exposed to wonderful mountain ranges. Each of these mountain ranges had different magic. Some of them were covered with snow, few were completely rocky with no grass or snow and others were covered by dense forests. It was sunny day but clouds were also playing games with us. At one point of time, we were scared that it's going to rain and there is no way to hide ourselves.
Slowly these clouds covered whole sky and suddenly it was very cold out there. Some of us were wearing shorts and T-Shirts :) .. But enthusiasm about reaching Sirolsar Lake was awesome. Two folks from the group reached the place in 1 Hr, while others took more than 1.5 Hrs.
Sunlight was welcomes back with some songs and dance in the forest. Whole journey was quite joyful with these interesting folks. We sang lots of folk songs from Shimla Region and I still remember few lines of 'Kaliaro Hando...' . In fact, after this trip Rohit tested me twice and I passed with good scores :)
This whole trek from Jalori Pass to Sirolsar Lake was very beautiful. At times, we passed through dense forests and then reached some places with deep valleys covered with green grass & colorful flowers. Cattle roaming here n there around our paths, although we could not figure out the owner of those cows. There was no village on the way and no sounds, which could indicate any habitation.
At times, clouds were literally chasing us and those moments were most beautiful moments of this trek. At times visibility reduced to 1 meter only. On hills, this is very usual scenario and it's very frequent during winters. During this we met some tourists from US who were coming back from the lake. They looked very happy and also showed some photographs. On asking the remaining distance for us, they smiled and asked us to keep walking :) ... They were carrying camping stuff as well and probably stayed at Sirolsar lake last night.
I am most tired person is the group and all of these folks were motivating me continuously :) ... Somehow energy was very low on that day. In above photograph, everyone is looking at me and asking to move fast. I love this colorful photograph with priceless expressions on these faces :)
After walking around an hour, we hit a place with some ruins of cottages. It looked like an old village, where none lives now. Most of these houses were made up of mud-bricks and wood and there was hardly any strength in these. But we were happy to locate a place where we could hide in case of cloud-showers :) ... Sirolsar Lake was near now.
Some of the houses were strategically built under huge rocks which were very well tied with hills. Overall it looked very exciting, but not sure how it would feel to live in such places with no access to daily-use stuff and very isolated from rest of the world. After reaching back Jalori Pass, we asked a shopkeeper about these houses and he told something very strange which was hard to digest. He said that a community called Gujjars own this village and land around this area belongs to them. But most of the time, they travel with their cattle. Each family own approximately 300 goats, few horses, dogs etc. They keep traveling during most of the time during an year and come back to this place in summers. Every year, they reconstruct these house and keep the budget low as they always know that place is temporary.
Again clouds were showing their magic, but we kept climbing.
Again folks waiting for me, as I was the last person in this group. Apart from tiredness, there were other reasons as well :) ... My Camera also needs time to observe things around the place and capture the ones having some story.
After crossing a very dense forest and few valleys, we reached Sirolsar Lake with a small temple on it's side. At first glance it looked small, but after a while we got to know about the actual size of this lake and magical beauty around it.
As you can see that water in this lake was crystal clear and whole lake looked like a huge mirror. There is a saying about Sirolsar Lake that if leaves from surroundings come inside this lake, birds come and pick them out to keep the lake clear like this. Don't know how true it is, but surely it was surprising to see this lake clear even when surrounded with lots of trees on adjacent hills.
I also googled about this lake but got very few links with relevant information. During this search I found a link with some interesting photographs of this lake. Frozen Sirolsar Lake can be seen at http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/trip-jalori-pass-sirolsar-lake-t621/
At this photograph, it can be seen that during winters Sirolsar lake freezes and anyone can easily walk on top of it. I wish to plan another trip to Jalori Pass and Sirolsar Lake in Winters.
A silhouette of temple at Sirolsar Lake, Himachal Pradesh, INDIA
Here exactly this temple looks like. This is a typical architecture of temples you see in Shimla, Kullu and Manali regions of Himachal Pradesh. There is a very famous temple in middle of Manali town, which is completely made up of wood and estimated cost of the temple was in crores and it is hard to digest the fact that such a huge money is invested on that temple, which is very small in size.
Luckily there was a small shop near Sirolar Lake, where we could have some tea and biscuits. I think he also had arrangements for maggi n all. Rates were quite decent as compared to the hard work required to bring all raw material to this place. We suggested him to charge more from tourists. At least he had proper right to charge 10 rs for tea.
Closer look to the shop and shopkeeper at Sirolsar Lake. He is the only person who lives here at Sirolsar Lake.
Rohit Sharma having some chit-chat with this only entrepreneur @ Sirolsar Lake. Media people are generally curious about all the facts like the place he belongs to, how much he earns in a month and what exactly is the daily schedule he follows etc.
It was time to come back after a short break at Sirolsar Lake. Lot of other things happened at Lake, which can be described by a video embedded in the last.
Sunset hues were visible in the sky when we reached Jalori Pass and we were quite late to reach our next destination, but everyone was quite happy after this trek to Sirolsar Lake from Jalori Pass.