Renuka lake is situated at a height of 672 m and lies in Sirmour district. It is 123 km from Parwanoo, 60 km from Paonta Sahib via Sataun and 38 km from Nahan via Dadahu. With a circumference of 3214m, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess Renuka. Near the lake’s feet is another lake held sacred by Hindus, and is associated to a legend surrounding her son, the legendary sage Parshurama. Both have temples built around them and the main temple dedicated to Goddess Renuka is regarded to have been built overnight in 18th century. The lake lies in a long valley and surrounding slopes are covered with thick woods. The lake is full of colorful fish and other aquatic animals. The lake is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary and a few other temples. Boating facility is available at the lake.
Renuka – Weather
Renuka experiences a pleasant weather during the summer months, while the temperature is very low during the winters. You can plan your holidays to this hill resort any time of the year.
Renuka – Origin
Renuka got its name from the Renuka Lake, which is located in this place. The Renuka Lake is considered as the embodiment of the wife of sage Jamdagini and the mother of Parashurama, Renuka ji. The mythological story goes that the devil Sahasarjuna had killed the sage Jamdagini and tried to abduct his wife Renuka. She flung into the water to save herself from the devil. The gods later restored her and the lake is regarded as her embodiment. The lake, with a profile of a woman, has a circumference of 2.5 km. It is the largest lake in Himachal Pradesh. The lake is fed by the underground springs.
Renuka – Attractions
Renuka has a natural beauty of exuberant forests, diverse flora and fauna. There is another lake close by dedicated to Lord Parashurama. The Renuka temple was reportedly built overnight by an invading force of the Gorkhas in the early 19th century AD. The Parashurama Lake is a large pool at the base of the Renuka Lake. Parashurama desired to spend all his life at the feet of her mother. An annual fair is held here in the month of November.
There is a mini zoo at a distance of 2 km from the lake. Species like Asiatic lions, spotted deer, lion tailed macaques, nilgai, mithun, barking deer and Himalayan black bears are found in this zoo. For animal lovers, the Lion Safari is a must to take a close shot of the lion with the camera. An armored van is provided for the closer glimpse of the lions within the enclosure.
Jataun is 5 km from the lake. There is a dam of the Giri Hydel Project. One can try angling for Mahseer from here. Jamu Peak is 8 km away from the lake. It is said that it is the peak where Sage Jamdagini had meditated. There is a small temple on this peak, which offers a splendid view of the lake and adjoining areas.
Fairs & Festivals
The reunion of mother and son is celebrated at the annual Renuka Fair in November where people come to seek the goddess’ blessings for a happy and prosperous family life. Caps and turbans are exchanged as symbols of brotherhood. Processions of twelve local gods visit the Devi’s temple during the fair. A number of food kiosks and entertainment pavilions are also set up for visiting pilgrims.
The famous gurudwara of Poanta Sahib is at a distance of 60 km from Renuka on the banks of the river Yamuna. Guru Gobind Sigh lived here for four and half years over here and fought his first battle at Bhangani.
Renuka – Get There
By Air: one can reach Renuka by air from Chandigarh and Dehradun. There is the airport at Gagal near Dharamshala also.
By Rail: Renuka is linked with Pathankot, Ambala, Dehradun and Chandigarh through the railway lines.
By Road: Renuka is well connected with important places road network. The State Road Transport Services of Punjab as well as Himachal Pradesh roadways links Renuka with various cities. Taxis and buses are easily available for Renuka.
A wide range of accommodation is available in Renuka to suit all the budgets. There are deluxe, standard and budget hotels. Resorts and forest rest houses are also available.