Recently when we were roaming around Rewalsar lake in Mandi region of Himachal Pradesh and also thought of driving uphill till the temple of Naina Devi. This temple is located at a beautiful location on the hill top having views of snow covered peaks around Rohtang Pass and layers of different himalayan mountain ranges. The wind in this region was cool in the month of may, when temperature in other North Indian cities is 40+ celsius. The drive from Rewalsar lake to the temple takes 30 minutes and we crossed few other beautiful lakes on the way. Let's check out this Photo Journey and know why it's a must go place when you are around Rewalsar.
Rewalsar is a popular tourist destination and has different mentions on tourism websites. But here is something that we recommend every traveller to visit Naina Devi Temple which is 30 minutes away from the lake and a place with spectacular views of Himalayan ranges. And the 30 minutes drive is very beautiful through small villages, peach orchards and lakes. It seems that the region around Rewalsar and Naina Devi temple has 7 lakes. We could locate 3 which were just on road side. Although one of them was dry and land was being used for farming.
Above board will give you an idea about the location of this temple. This board was just at the main gate of temple. This place is just 35 kilometers from Mandi town and 11 kilometers from Rewalsar. Since this 11 kilometers drive is in hilly regions, it takes around 30 minutes.
Here is the first lake we hit after we started driving from Rewalsar lake. We had a quick pause around it but didn't go close to the lake. This photograph is clicked from road-side.
We were visiting the place with our parents, so the visit to temple became more important :) . It's not that I don't like visiting temples but this time the priority was to roam around the place and enjoy/appreciate exceptional himalayan views.
Naina Devi temple is one of the important temples in this region and has a very well maintained campus. If you are visiting the temple during first half of the day, you may want to enjoy bhandara (food) in the campus. Bhandara space is open for everyone till 2pm. There is no major hotel or dhaba around the temple, if you want to eat anything. So it's recommended to have your meal at Rewalsar and then climb us. Light snacks, cold drinks etc are available around the main gate and if you are looking for a recommendation, we would suggest to have a 'Kulfi', which was amazing and that only costs 10 Rs.
Eyes made up of silver @ one of the shops outside Naina Devi temple. 'Naina' means 'eyes' and pilgrims offer a pair of silver eyes along with prasad at Naina Devi temple.
There is a sitting place on one of the edges of this hills from where one can see different layers of Himalayan Mountain Ranges. One a clear day, one can see shining white hills with snow-sheet. Above photograph shows hills around Mandi, Sundernagar, Manali, Kullu and Rohtang Pass.
Here is one of the lakes around Naina Devi Temple, which had dried during winters. At this point of time, it was a farming field but soon it will get water during monsoons. This region of Himachal Pradesh gets heavy rains as well. I think this is only lake around these hills which looses it's water during summers and hence seasonal farming happens during those times.
If you are planning to visit Rewalsar, we strongly recommend a visit to Naina devi temple. Many folks find this place more interesting as compared to Rewalsar because of various reasons. One of the main reason is clean spaces around the temple as compared to Rewalsar town which is little dirty. But I am sure that a true traveller would love both the places equally. Because it's more about exploring two very different things.
If you plan to stay around this place, there is a HPPWD guest house but you need to book it in advance. There is a HPTDC hotel in Rewalsar as well, but spending a night around temple would be more fun because of the weather you will experience on the top of this hill. There are few Home-Stays on the way from Rewalsar to Naina Devi Temple. The one which is closest is just on the roadside and opposite of the dry lake. It's not the top most hill but can be a good place to stay if you don't find place in the guest house.
Feel free to drop your comments to know more about the place and if you need more about other places around this region.