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Harking back to the legends of Mahabharata, Mansar and Surinsar Lakes are linked with Arjun and his son, Babar Vahan. The myth suggests that Babar Vahan mistakenly killed his own father, and to bring him back to life, used the mani from Sheshnag (or the six-headed snake god), which he got from creating a surang (or a passageway) with his arrow.
The site where he made the surang is now known as Surinsar and where he emerged with the mani is called Mansar. These two together are therefore known as the Mansar and Surinsar Lakes. The lake now stands surrounded by temples and shrines, which makes the lake popular among pilgrims, who take a dip in its holy waters as a ritual. The lake is also a popular boating spot, where you can even feed the multitude of fish.
The Mansar Lake is around 62 km and the Surinsar Lake, which is an extension to the Mansar Lake, is around 24 km from the main city of Jammu.
Mansar is a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. Mansar lake, with its length more than a mile and width half-a-mile, is a very attractive lake in the midst of lusting greeneries surrounded by forest-covered hills. It is considered as a very holy site known from mythological periods sharing the sanctity and legacy of Mansa Sarovar. It is a very popular base of tourists.
On the eastern bank of Mansar Lake, there is the Sheshnag Temple, housing a figure of a snake with six heads. It is believed that it is auspicious for newly wed couples to seek blessings of Sheshnag by performing three parikarma around the lake. Holy dip in the Mansar Lake is assumed to be purifying the sins.
A temple of Durga and two other ancient temples Narasimha and Parvathi Shiva (Umapati Mahadev) are located in the close proximity of the Mansar Lake.
Tourists can also explore the traditional life style of Gujjar and Backarwal communities in the surrounding areas. These communities wear ethnic costumes and reside in open 'kullhas'.
Umapati Mahadev, Narsimha and Durga Temple are some of the notable religious shrines in proximity of Mansar Lake.
Activities to do at Mansar Lake:
Mansar Lake is an ideal spot for boating amidst the lusting greeneries of Jammu, people who visit Mansar do not miss Motor boating. Boating facilities are rendered at the site by the Tourism Department. Along with recreational facilities, the rich flora and fauna draws the attention of tourists. There is a cemented path around the water body along with decks for sighting birds, turtles and fish. Feeding Fishes, the Mansar Lake is full of fishes, people enjoy feeding fishes, it is a beautiful thing to do here.
Besides this there is also a wildlife sanctuary nearby , the wildlife sanctuary at the site provides shelter to Spotted Deer and Neelgai along with water birds such as Cranes and Ducks. It is also a must visit.
How to reach:
The Mansar Lake is around 62 km from the main jammu city, it is accessible by bus / car through well built road amid lush green forests, the journey to Mansar offers a lots of sightseeing in way.
Surinsar Lake: The Surinsar Lake, which is an extension to the Mansar Lake, is around 24 km from the main city of Jammu, the feature of the beautiful lake Surinsar, located in the proximity of Jammu, is extra ordinary. It Surrounded by thick forests in the backdrop of hilly terrains, the lake is a much loved picturesque tourist spot in Jammu region. Blossomed with lotus flowers, the lake looks like water based lotus garden in summer.
Hindu mythology points the origination of the lake to the legendary warrior Arjuna. It is believed that he shot an arrow to the Mansar land and the arrow pierced the earth and came out through at a place in Surinsar, hence both the lakes are formed.