Rewalsar was an unexpected stopover during our first Himachal trip. In my post: https://wanderingtalestraveldreams.com/2017/11/24/traveling-along-the-beas-river-in-himachal-india/, I outlined how we ended up there. Sometimes, unexpected detours turn out to be the most memorable ones… this was definitely one of those.
We reached Rewalsar around 5:30pm. The best definition for this town is “Temple Town”. In one small area you will get to see and experience Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism blending together beautifully and thriving while retaining their own individual character.
Two short walks you can enjoy in Rewalsar are as follows:
(1) Walk around Rewalsar Lake (about 2 hours)
This is a very interesting walk. As you go around the lake (recommend the clockwise direction), you will be able to visit monasteries, temples and a gurudwara along the way. Each of these places have very special stories associated with them which end up drawing in many pilgrims from all over the world. There is also a place that allows you to step down and take a bath in the lake if you choose to do so (supposed to be very beneficial but we did not get the nerve to do so). After two hours, you will be amazed at how much you have learnt in the process.
(2) Walk up to the Padmasambhava Statue (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours)
Now, this is not an easy walk as there are steep slopes and stairs involved. But, when you do reach the top, you will have an experience that you will never forget. When we went, only a few of us went up (the kids we felt were too young and the seniors could not walk up so many stairs and besides, they were more interested in having breakfast). We walked up narrow paths and quite a few steps before reaching the top where there is a monastery and the statue. The views are simply amazing. You can see the lake and surrounding structures around it. On the left side, you will see the tops of the mountains. Then, when you look to your right, you will see layers of the lower Himalayas. So, why is this right side view special? Well, early in the morning, you will see white fluff between the mountains while it is crystal clear and sunny where you stand. Your eyes will first wonder if it is another lake on top of a mountain close by. Then, upon closer inspection, you will realise that those are clouds that are covering the valley below and you are literally standing ABOVE the clouds. It is truly an incredible experience… just don’t miss it!
Some journeys happen not because you willed them but because the Universe wanted you to experience them. In retrospect, for me, the stopover at Rewalsar was definitely one of those experiences. During the last year, as I embark deeper into my spiritual growth journey, I realise that Rewalsar was my first encounter with the energy of Padmasambhava. While I have no idea where my inner journey will lead me to, I am grateful that these relatively short walks in the Himalayas are enabling me to experience the Himalayan beauty and energy in a gentle, non-threatening way.