Rewalsar, India

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Rewalsar

रिवालसर ਰਿਵਾਲਸਰ
town
Rewalsar Lake
Rewalsar is located in Himachal Pradesh
Rewalsar
Rewalsar
Location in Himachal Pradesh, India
Rewalsar is located in India
Rewalsar
Rewalsar
Rewalsar (India)
Coordinates: 31°38′02″N 76°50′00″E / 31.633889°N 76.833333°E / 31.633889; 76.833333Coordinates: 31°38′02″N 76°50′00″E / 31.633889°N 76.833333°E / 31.633889; 76.833333
Country India
StateHimachal Pradesh
DistrictMandi
Government
 • BodyNagar Palika
Elevation
1,360 m (4,460 ft)
Population
 (2001)
 • Total1,369
Languages
 • OfficialHindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationHP-
Guru Rinpoche overlooking Rewalsar

Rewalsar or Tso Pema in Tibetan is a small town and a pilgrimage place in a nagar panchayat in Mandi district in India. It is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The local name for Rewalsar is Tri Sangam. Rewalsar Lake is a tourist spot in the area.

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2001 India census,[1] Rewalsar had a population of 1369. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Rewalsar has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 73%. In Rewalsar, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Geography[edit]

Rewalsar is located at an altitude of 1360 m above sea level. It is connected to Mandi by a motorable road and is about 25 km from Mandi. Lying in the Southern Himalayan belt, winters in Rewalsar can be freezing, while summers are generally pleasant.[2]

Religion[edit]

Rewalsar is sacred to adherents of three major Dharma religions - Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Hinduism[edit]

Seven lakes associated with the Pandavas of Mahabharata are located above Rewalsar.[3] Also associated with Rewalsar are the legends of Lord Shiva and Lomas Rishi. [4] There is also a famous Krishna temple in the town.

The Hindu history of Rewalsar is found in Skanda Purana. A Hindu sage named Lomas was searching for place to worship. He traveled and climbed the top of Drona mountain, from the top of mountain he saw a lake surrounded by trees, flowers and birds. He decided to meditate at the bank of the lake, written as Hridayeshwar in Skanda Purana. He meditated here, and Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvati blessed him by imparting the secrets of this place where all the Devas and Ganas are in the form of flowers, and trees.

Sikhism[edit]

The tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh visited Rewalsar to consult with kings of the Hill states seeking support against the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He stayed at Rewalsar for a month. Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi built a gurudwara at Rewalsar in 1930 to commemorate the Guru's visit.[5] The place is particularly sacred to Namdhari Sikhs due to its mention in Sau Sakhi as a sanctuary.[6]

Buddhism[edit]

123 ft. (37.5 m) statue of Padmasambhava in mist at Rewalsar.

The famous Rewalsar lake ('Tso Pema' to Tibetans) is associated with Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche), who is recognized as a second Buddha. One version of a legend has it that the King Arashadhar of Mandi had Padmasambhava burnt alive after rumours that the Guru had attempted to teach his daughter, Princess Mandarava the Dharma, which was not accepted then. The pyre burned for a full week, with great clouds of black smoke arising from it, but after a week, a lake appeared at the spot where he was burnt and Padmasambhava manifested himself as a 16-year-old boy from within a lotus in the middle of the lake, with Mandarava in his arms. The king, repenting his actions, married his daughter with Padmasambhava. It was from Tso Pema that Padmasambhava went to Tibet to spread Vajrayana Buddhism.[7][8]

The Tsechu fair was held in Rewalsar in 2004 to commemorate the birthday of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). The fair was inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama and was attended by the 17th Karmapa along with 50,000 other Buddhist pilgrims.[9] The fair was held after a gap of 12 years.[10]

Rewalsar came to be known as a sacred place for Buddhists and there are two Buddhist monasteries also known as Gompas; the Drikung Kagyu Gompa and Tso-Pema Orgyen Heru-kai Nyingmapa Gompa.[11]

There is a huge (37.5 m or 123 ft) new statue of Padmasambhava that was consecrated, blessed and inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet on 1 April 2012.

The present head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Gyalwang Drukpa, was born here in 1963.

It is also home to more than 50 nuns living in the holy caves in retreat and prayers. The Holy Caves are visited by buddhist pilgrims as well as tourists from around India, Nepal, Bhutan and China etc.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Rewalsar Lake[edit]

Big bell, Rewalsar, Himachal Pradesh, India in 2010

The lake around which the town of Rewalsar is established has a maximum depth of 16.5metres. The lake is oligotrophic in nature. It is rectangular in shape, with the catchment area situated to its north and west.[12]

Religious places[edit]

At Rewalsar there are three Hindu temples. These are dedicated to the ancient Hindu sage Lomas, to Krishna and to Shiva. There are two Tibetan Buddhist monasteries located at opposite ends of the lake. Also there is a Gurdwara was built in 1930 by Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi. It commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's visit, when he sought to evolve a common strategy with the hill rulers against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Statue of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)[edit]

On April 1, 2012, a monumental statue (37.5 m or 123 ft) of Padmasambhava was consecrated, blessed and inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama. The building project, spear-headed by Wangdor Rinpoche took nearly 10 years to complete, with the foundation alone taking 3 years to construct. It was constructed almost entirely by hand by tradespeople from the immediate Rewalsar area as well as master artists from Nepal and Bhutan.[13]

Naina Mata Temple[edit]

The Hindu temple of Naina Devi sits upon the hilltop, which provides views of the town and the surrounding hills. The 'seven lakes' as well as various Buddhist temples are on the way to the temple. A PWD guest-house is located besides the temple.[citation needed]

Other attractions[edit]

The forest department maintains a small zoo at Rewalsar. Above Rewalsar, the 'Seven Lakes' including the 'Kunti Lake' are also of interest.

Accommodations[edit]

There is a Himachal Pradesh Tourism Hotel and some private hotels in Rewalsar.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  2. ^ "HP Tourism official site". Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  3. ^ "HP Tourism official site". Archived from the original on 23 August 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  4. ^ "Hindu legends about Rawalsar". Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  5. ^ "Guru Gobind Singh's visit to Rawalsar". Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  6. ^ "Sacred to Namdharis". Archived from the original on 3 January 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  7. ^ "One version of the Buddhist legend". Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  8. ^ "Rewalsar, District Mandi". Himachal Pradesh Government. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Article in The Tribune". Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  10. ^ "Article in The Tribune". Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  11. ^ "Buddhist monasteries in Rewalsar". Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  12. ^ "Study of Rawalsar Lake". Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  13. ^ "Wangdor Rimpoche: Padmasambhava Project". www.customjuju.com. Retrieved 29 July 2018.

External links[edit]

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