Bijli Mahadev and Prashar lake are located in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Both these places are historically and culturally enriching for various reasons! Bijli Mahadev is a sacred temple located on top of a hill in Kullu with a panoramic view of the Paravati Valley. You must wonder about the peculiar name of this temple. Here is some much needed history regarding this beautiful temple- as the name suggest, this temple is known as the temple of lightning. It is said that the tall staff of this temple attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightning. The ‘Shiva-Lingam’ is struck by lightning and it breaks into pieces, then the priest of the temple collects all the pieces and joins them together with the help of butter acting as an adhesive. There is not a single crack visible in its form! There is even a pool of water that manifested itself beneath the lingam.
The Rig-Veda has a prayer of Maharishi Vashishta to Lord Rudra (Shiva) to absorb the excessive electric current within himself. It is said Lord Rudra acceded and absorbed the excessive electricity current and saved mankind. This explains why the temple is called, Bijli Mahadev. According to legend this episode took place at the confluence of Parvati and Beas rivers. This is one of the very popular stories in the mythological background of Beas basin.
Not very far away from the Bijli Mahadev temple, there is Prashar Lake. It lies 49 kms north of Mandi town and also on same distance from a small town named as Bajaura. The Sage Prashar is supposed to have meditated at the bank of this lake and the lake houses three-tiered Pagoda like temple dedicated to his stay. The deep blue lake has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth. Many a time in storms an almost 30-meter-tall cedar tree would fall into the lake to disappear.
You know what is the best way to know about the Prashar lake? Oral testimonies of the localites! Bansen the king of Mandi got this temple built in the 13th century and surrounded by snow-capped peaks and the fast flowing river Beas. This Prashar lake has great historical significance because of certain stories attached to it. Some people say that this lake was formed by Pandawas! They were on their way after Mahabharata, with Deity Kamrunag to find the best place for their teacher. Dev Kumrunag fell in love with this place and its solitude that he decided to stay here for the rest of his life. Maybe that’s why this entire valley is named after him.
The story doesn’t end there! On his request, Bheem one of the Pandawa brothers formed the lake by pushing his elbow and forearm on the peak of the mountain. Gentle reminder that this happened in a mythology and fellow visitors must not freak out the localites by slamming their elbow on the ground. The probability of the ground breaking into a lake is perhaps very low.