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.
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.
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.
They were separated against their wills. Princess Mandarawa was taken to prison in Mandi. They placed Guru Padmasambhava on the pyre.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Bodh Gaya – Place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment.
- India Travel Advice – Expectations of its first time tourists.
- My experiences of travelling to Goa, the Rome of Asia.
- Lotus Temple at New Delhi, a symbol of unity and tolerance.
- Fun at Amatulla, a small Indian village near Daifam.
- Manikaran – Paradise of Good hot springs in Himachal Pradesh.
- Varanasi, Garden of Bliss and city of music and light.