Kamrunag Temple: A Complete Travel Guide
Himachal has some of the best destinations in India that are full of breathtaking views, adventure treks and places close to nature. Kamrunag is one such destination, even though Kamrunag located at Kamrah Village is not an officially acclaimed destination of Himachal. But, if you are looking for a short trek and to get connected to nature spiritually that one must visit Kamarunag as a weekend gateway. This Lake is also known as Parashar Lake has a legend of its own.
Dev Kamrunag who is also called Baba Dev is a Local deity and the people of Himachal have immense faith in who is also the “Lord of Rain”. The Kamrunag temple is located on the hilltop of Kamrah valley amid Dhauladhar Range and Balh Valley, which is around 60 KMs from Mandi District. This destination is the best interception between spirituality, nature and adventure. A large number of devotees every year treks to Kamrunag Temple and the nearby Lake to pay their homage and wish fulfilment.
History of Kamrunag Temple
The history of Kamrunag Temple is centuries old during the Mahabharata Yuga. Dev Kamrunag was a warrior and his actual name was Ratan Yaksha. He self-trained himself to be a great warrior considering Lord Vishnu as his Guru (Master). During the Kurukshetra War, which was fighting for dynastic secession between Pandavas and Kauravas, Yakshas was eager to take part in this epic war by being a supporter of the weaker party i.e Kauravas. Lord Krishna knowing the motive of Yakshas, disguisedly appeared in front of this self-learn worrier as Yogi. Krishna conversed with Yakshas regarding the hardship the worriers are facing on the battlefield.
All this higher his spirit to have active participation in the war. Krishna was well aware of the fighting spirit and technique beheld by this powerful warrior. So he tricked him into a tough test where Yakshas was asked to pierce every leaf of a peepal tree with arrows however Krishna cunning plucked a few leaves from the same tree and hid them in his fist. But, surprisingly Yakshas arrow even pierced those leaves as well. It was quite astonishing even for Lord Krishna to see his skill, thus he asked him about his guru. To this Yasksha replied that it was almighty himself. Listening to his, Lord Krishna took the opportunity to get into his eternal form and asked for a fee (Gurudakshina) from his student.
Yakshas offered his head as an offering to the almighty but asked Lord to keep his head alive till the war ends so that he could see the war exclusively. Krishna agreed and was blessed immediately, his beheaded head was kept in Kamru valley which is presently called Kamrunag Temple.
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Mysterious Kamrunag Lake
Kamrunag Lake has a mystery, situated at a height of 3300 meters in Mandi District Kamrunag Lake has enormous spiritual and religious significance. The lake which is believed to connect the netherworld was dedicatedly made by Bhima (The second son of Pandu in Mahabharata) in reverence to the great warrior king of Yakshas. People living an around Mandi District has strong faith in Kamrunag Dev temple and Lake, Yakshas are believed to be the guardian of mysterious wealth that is present in the water bed of the Lake that has been accumulated over the years as people offer gold, silver and other precious gems for the fulfilment of their wishes or blessing.
Kamrunag Devta is a local deity of rainfall, and to offer ceremonial prayer a temple has been built near the Lake. Thus, due to the closeness between the both the Lake is also named after it. The lake bed have an uncontrolled amount of wealth over the centuries as devotees have a belief in offering gold and silver to appease their deity. To date, no one has ascertained this mysterious wealth and all attempts of theft or robbery have also failed.
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Every year in June, the infamous Saranahuli fair is held for 3 days (14th-16th) at the lakeside. Many Pilgrims from Mandi and other nearby Himachali districts devotedly attend the fair giving a divine aura. And as a ritual, the devotees tend to drop ornaments made of gold or silver and even coins/money in the lake to pay obeisance for centuries. The offering is for seeking the blessing of the deity and is also considered a good omen.
Best time to Visit Kamrunag Temple & Lake
Kamrunag located in Kamru Valley has a cool climate, it experiences snowfall in the winter months and rain falls now and then without any certainty. Thus, in Dec-Feb Kamrunag peak is laden with snow, and Kamrunag Lake freezes. Thus, months after March is regarded as favorable for tourists to trek and visit Kamrunag.
Complete Hiking Guide to Kamrunag Temple & Lake
If you are looking forward to a short weekend trekking trip in Himachal then Kamrunag valley will be best for your retreat. Located at the hilltop along with a mysterious lake Kamrunag Temple is a remote and untouched Hindu temple located around 60Kms from Mandi Town. The only way to reach the temple is via trekking as no proper roads are currently available. However, there are few options that trekkers can choose to reach Kamrunag Lake located high at 3300m above sea level.
Feasible Trek options:
Rohanda – Kamrunag Trek. It is the main route and the trek distance is around 6KM.
Saroa – Kamrunag Trek. It’s an 8KM trek.
Jachh – Kamrunag Trek, which is around a 9KM trek.
Dhangyara – Kamrunag Trek, the longest of 10 KM but the most generic trek of all.
Day 1: (Delhi to Mandi )
Mandi can be reached from Delhi or other neighbouring cities like Chandigarh by Bus. Bus connectivity is good and busses are amply available. Once reached, Mandi visitors can either stay in Mandi or can also choose to move towards Sundernagar (18.3KM forward)in case of owning private cabs.
Day 2: (Mandi/ Sundernagar to Kamrunag) Via Rohanda:
If the cab is booked right from the journey’s beginning then it will be beneficial, however, local cabs can also be hired till Rohanda which is 47 KM away at the cost of 1000-2000 INR. Once reached this point, the 3-4 hours of trekking beings. It is recommended to carry food and water for fueling. The track initially has a rough bouldered stone path but once the forest is reached the real beauty of the entire trek is experienced with a fascinating lush green view.
Once the hilltop is reached, you can enjoy and explore your destination and return. Or you can also choose to stay the night, trekkers can either opt to stay at Kamrunag Dharamshala or can bring a tent of their own.
Kamrunag Trek through Dhangyara is a 10KM trek, from Mandi Dhangyara, which is located at a distance of 49 KM. Once reached this location, the steep trek begins through a few small villages and valley forests. After trekking a few more kilometres, Chainn Village is reached where one can take some time off and enjoy the untamed landscape. When travelled further, the trek becomes steepers with thicker forest covering the tracks additionally the temperature drops as well.
A total of 3.30 Hrs trek is needed to reach the top of Kamrunag Lake. One can choose to stay in Kamrunag or get back to Dhangyara using the same trek path.
Day 3 (Kamrunag-Delhi)
The last day is all about going back from the hilltop to the plains. Although, trekking down the hill looks easy a little carelessness can be hazardous. Local buses are readily available connecting Rohanda and Mandi. And once Mandi is reached direct bus or cabs can be hired to cover the rest of the Journey till Delhi.
- Distance: 10 KM
- Height of Kamrunag Temple: 3000 meters
- Difficulty level: Easy
- Duration: 1-2 days
- Best time: April-June
Weather in Kamrunag Lake
Winter’s are chilly in Kamrunag and summer is cool.
Food and Accommodation Guide for Kamrunag Temple and trek
Transportation services and connectivity of Kamrunag are inadequate, thus there aren’t any hotel facilities or stay options. However, one can bring their camp setup or can opt to stay at Dharamshala near the temple for staying in Kamrunag Temple and trek. But, for food, it is highly recommended to carry one’s food because there are no restaurants or food stalls. Another option, that trekkers can do is trek back down the hill before nightfall and stay the night at Sunder Nagar or Rohanda.
Other Attractions near Kamrunag Temple Mata Hatkoti Temple
Hatkoti Temples is one of the famous pilgrimage spots in Himachal, the main temple is dedicated to the goddess Mahishasurmardini. However, Hatkoti Temples are a cluster of temples located at Jubbal dating back to the Gupta period which was around the 6th-9th century. The temples are located about 84 km from Kufri and 97 km from Shimla and the best time to visit is the month April-October.
Kamrunag Trek to Kamrunag lake and Kamrunag Temple is something that every 1st-time trekker needs to go if he is a natural love and a spiritual adventure.