Region: Sirmaur district, Himachal Pradesh
Best time to visit: April to June and September to November
Elevation: 672 meters
While most of the lakes in Himachal Pradesh are famous for their untouched beauty, Renuka Lake in Sirmaur district is famous for its cultural and historical connection. The tourist can experience some of the breathtaking views when they reach the ridge of the lake while passing through the dense alpine forest. The lake is located at an elevation of 672 m above sea level. Renuka Lake is the largest lake (area wise) in Himachal Pradesh, covering a circumference of about 3214 m.
It is believed that the lake is an embodiment of Renukaji, the mother of Parshurama - one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu –and wife of the sage Jamadagini. As per the stories told by the locals, once an evil named Sahasarjuna killed the sage Jamadagini (Renuka ji's husband), and attempted to abduct his wife Renuka, but she threw herself in the lake to escape from him. Many gods and goddesses tried to bring Renuka out of the lake, but she decided to stay permanently in the river. After her death, Lake Renuka was formed.
Even today, the immorality of Goddess Renuka is celebrated. In the month of October or November (after Diwali) a fair is held on the bank of the lake. Saints from all parts of the country come to the lake to witness the holy assembly of mother and son. Huge procession to Parsu Ram tal is organized in which several idols of Parsu Ram, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, along with other local deities, are carried in decorated palanquins. The idols are meant to be stationed at the temple but before that they are given a bath in the holy lake.
Renuka Lake is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate in the arms of nature. Here, tourists can cat catch the glimpses of animals at the nearby zoo, go for boating, sightseeing, and many other recreational activities like lion safari, etc. Next to the lake is the famous temple dedicated to Renuka which as per facts was built overnight in the eighteenth century. The lake is set on a long valley and surrounded by slopes covered with a variety of vegetation and thick woods. This is the perfect around-the-year destination that beckons every traveller.