most important place of tourist interest in Sirmaur is
the sacred and picturesque lake of Renuka, 45 kms. from
Nahan. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Himachal
Pradesh having crystal clear water. It is shaped like a
sleeping women. Renuka was killed by her own son, the
legendary Parsu Ram, in obedience to the orders of his
father-the sage Jamadagni. After the deed was done, lake
Renuka was formed surrounded by stepped fields of golden
corn. Today, each year in November, a fair is held to
celebrate the immortality of Renuka and her son. The
main features of the colourful fair are the festivity
It lasts for a week in which cultural programmes and folk
dances are organised for the entertainment of visitors.
Several idols of Parsu Ram, believed to be the incarnation of
Lord Vishnu and other local deities, placed in decorated
palanquins, are carried by an impressive procession to Parsu
Ram Tal. Before the idols are installed in the temple, they
are given a bath in this holy lake symbolising the body of the
mother. The poeple from the surroundings areas gather here,
chant praises of the two immortals, worship at the temple and
take a dip in the holy water. An old ceremony takes place as
the celebrants exchange turbans or caps or even a handful of
water to become brothers and sister in the name of the deity.
On the eve of the festival, markets springs up with stalls and
amusements at which locally made wares are peddled together
with home grown produce. Boating facilities are available in
this lake for the tourists.
Tourist Attractions in Renuka
The other tourist attractions in Renuka are the Wildlife Park,
Gayatri Temple, Renuka Sanctuary and Choordhar.
Around Renuka lake there is a Wild Life Park which has a
number of Sambhar, Chital, Barking Deer and Hog Deer. These
animals can be seen from the machans erected at the head of
grassy glade early in the morning and late in the evening.
Lions can also be seen from a closed jeep.
On the left bank of the Renuka lake there are three Ashrams
run by Sadhus. Gayatri temple has a 1.60 meter high Panch
Mukhi Ma Gayatri marble statue. Marble idols of Ganpati, Lord
Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Indra have also been
installed here. This temple is dedicated to Sri Ma Gayatri,
the mother of Vedas, the treasure of Hindu wisdom.
Another attraction is the Renuka Wild Life Sanctuary at a
distance of 42 kms. from Nahan. The sanctuary covers an area
of about 30 square kms. with a buffer belt of 2 square kms. It
lies among the lower Himalayan region sheltered by the
beautiful Renuka Lake. It is a treat to see the Asiatic Lion.
This animal is now provided with a much bigger enclosure to
roam around and display its natural behaviour. This sanctuary
also has large number of Black Bear, Barking Deer, Goral,
Jackal and Leopard. Besides, it has a large number of birds
and fishes like Parakeet, Barbet, Wild Fowl, Water Hen, Common
Coot, Wood Pecker, Kingfisher, Kalij Pheasant, Red Fowl,
Sambhar, Spotted Deer and Geese along with other aquatic
birds. The people have
of watching the animals from watch towers and mobile vans.
Dominating the entire landscape of fields, forests and ravines
is the Choordhar peak, which rises to 3647 meters and is a
trekkers treat from Nahan and Renuka. Approached by way of
Dadahu, Sangrah, Bhawal, Gandhuri and Nauhra, it is a 50 kms
trek. The other way to reach this place is by taxi or car to
Nauhra and thereafter a walk of 16 kms. The climb is difficult
but rewarding. The peak offers a fine view in south of the
Gangetic plains and the Satluj river and towards north of the
Badrinath, a well known Hindu pilgrim centre. Also seen are
the hills of Chakrata and Shimla from the top. An alternative
route to Choordhar is through Rajgarh, an orchard.
How to reach Renuka
Renukaji is easily approachable by road from Nahan.