Rewalsar Lake – Guru Padmasambhava met Consort Mandarawa


Rewalsar lake, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh of India can be  in the heart of every Buddhist. Because a beautiful lake in the town of Rewalsar is where Guru Padmasambhava showed tantric powers to atheistic people. He also met his consort Mandarawa at Rewalsar.

Guru Padmasambhava was once meditating in a small cave. The princess came to know about it. She silently then walked out of the palace.

King Zahor, on noticing the sudden disappearance of his daugher, ordered his army and bodyguards to go far east and west to search for the princess.

Beautiful view of Rewalsar valley from hilltop

Beautiful view of Rewalsar valley from hilltop

They found her with a hermit in a cave. The army reported to the king. He then ordered to bring the hermit to him and imprison the daughter.

The Love story of Guru and Mandarawa

No matter whether Princess Mandarawa and Guru were energetically drawn to each other by fate, king Zahor didn’t like their association.

Guru statue in his meditation cave above Rewalsar lake

Guru statue in his meditation cave above Rewalsar lake

The king was so much into looking the caste and bloodline of a person. He maintained the royal blood. Therefore, he couldn’t imagine of letting her go off with an unknown hermit.

Tunnel at Rewalsar

If you can get out of the tunnel, you’re clean

They were separated against their wills. Princess Mandarawa was taken to prison in Mandi. They placed Guru Padmasambhava on the pyre.

Guru foot print and mandarawa meditation cave at Rewalsar

Guru foot print and mandarawa meditation cave

They poured gallons of oil and the pyre was set on fire. When the smoke didn’t disappear for months, people went to see. They saw Guru was on a lotus flower in a meditative pose!

Guru burnt at Rewalsar lake

People must have seen smoke like this when Guru was on fire

Consequently, the regretful King Zahor came to apologize. In turn, Guru preached them. They became true Buddhists.

King Zahor became his disciple. People believe that the robes Guru is seen wearing in present statues were actually offered by King Zahor.

Animals at Rewalsar lake

Two ducks playfully floating in Rewalsar lake

The lake is the present lake we see at Rewalsar, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India. It’s called as Tsho Pema (a lake of lotus).

Tourist attractions nearby Rewalsar Lake

Therefore, every year thousands of Buddhist pilgrims come Rewalsar to pay their homage to Guru Padmasambhava and Khandro Mandarawa and receive blessings.

Great statue of Guru above Tsho Pema

Great statue of Guru above Tsho Pema

One of the best tourist attractions near Rewalsar lake is the great statue of Guru Padmasambhava and the temple inside it. Its design and paintings are wonderful.

Buddhist temple near Rewalsar lake

Buddhist temple near Rewalsar lake

Guru is in mediation pose sitting on a lotus flower. Guru Rinpoche introduced this pose when he was set on fire by King Zahor and his army.

monkeys near rewalsar lake

There are many monkeys near the lake

4-5km away from Rewalsar lake, there is a meditation cave of Guru and Mandarawa. We can also see their statues and footprints.

There are also three Hindu temples, one Buddhist temple and Zangdopelri monastery. In front of a Buddhist temple, there is a huge Triratna Peace Bell. But you cannot touch or even ring it.

Great peace bell at Rewalsar

Great Triratna peace bell near at Rewalsar

In Mandi town, there is Mandarawa’s prison. People call it Kuwa Rani Temple. There is a statue of Princess Mandarawa and other Hindu paintings inside it.

Statue of Mandarawa at Kuwa Rani Prison

Statue of Mandarawa at Kuwa Rani Prison

Moreover, people say that there are seven lakes around the meditation caves of Guru Rinpoche and Khandro Mandarawa. However, I could see only two of them – maybe others aren’t near.

Other lakes in Rewalsar, Mandi

A small lake on the way to meditation cave

In overview, I enjoyed my travel to Rewalsar. The hike uphill to meditation cave came was bit tiresome but satisfactory. However, nothing beats the beauty of morning view of Rewalsar lake. Because the magnificent view of great statue of Guru is something you shouldn’t miss. So I recommend you to visit Rewalsar.

Recommend to read following travel experiences and more exciting travel stories from India:

About Author

An auditor by profession, but a traveller, blogger and photographer by passion. This site was created to share travel stories of various destinations within Bhutan and also travel tips of travelling to Bhutan. Read More>>

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