Friday, 29 January 2016

At Tsho Pema - Rewalsar

It was an instant decision I made when I came to know that I have a chance to visit this holy place of Rewalsar Lake. As soon as I reached back from my vacation, I was told that my friend, Kipchu and his mom are going to visit Rewalsar. I asked him and confirmed to go the next day from Delhi. I had lots of regrets for missing the opportunity previously. Guru Rinpoche is deeply rooted in our Buddhist minds as the second Buddha and lots of people (from Bhutan and from other places too) visit this holy lake. It was a night Volvo bus from Tibetan Colony which took almost 10 hours to reach us to Mandi district of Himachal state. It was freezing 4.30 AM when we reached Mandi and so we took a taxi to Rewalsar which was an hour drive. Taking rest was obvious from the tiring journey we had the whole night so we got ourselves a room in a hotel and waited for the morning to break.

During the time we were taking rest in the room, my friend Kipchu told us the story of this holy lake. In those times, present day Mandi district was a kingdom called Zahor ruled by King Indrabodhi. His daughter Mendarava (Kuwa Rani in their language) was very much spiritual and she denied to marry anyone though she received so many marriage proposals. Her father, the king also understood her and supported her when she decided to lead a spiritual life. It was then when she met Guru Padmasambhava on the Rewalsar hilltop cave and received teachings from him that a cow herder saw them and reported to the King immediately. The king upon knowing this became furious and caught both Mendarava and Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche was brought to the present day Rewalsar lake and burnt alive while Mendarava was caged in a hole dug deep. But to their surprise, Guru Rinpoche with his supernatural power had transformed the fire around him into a lake which is currently known as the Tsho Pema.This was a brief ney-shey on the holy lake and cave.

By 8 AM, we got seated in a small restaurant for a quick breakfast. After that the three of us started our journey to the cave of Guru Rinpoche and Mendarava which took more than an hour on foot. Aum Dema (my friend’s mom) and I were completely positive that we should gain merits by walking though there were taxis available. The cave was on a hilltop overlooking the whole Rewalsar village and the gorgeous lake.
View from the hilltop
There was the cave where Khando Mendarava was receiving teachings from Guru Rinpoche. We made prostrations and offered our prayers.
Guru Padamsambhava
Khando Mendarava

The next cave was where Guru Rinpoche meditated.
Guru's cave
We reached the mountain top and hoisted our lungdar.
On the top

It was soon time to return back to lake and the journey this time was bit easier than climbing uphill. The 123 feet tall Guru statue lies overlooking the lake.
123-feet tall Guru statue

The lake is absolutely gorgeous to look at when we reach near it. Fishes are completely packed in, opening their mouth as we feed them. Its an amazing experience to feed those fishes of such holy lake.
Tsho Pema

Feeding the fish

The amazing structurally built Zangto Pelri located near the lake makes us feel completely like we are in the heaven. 
Heaven on earth

The next day, we made three rounds of the lake and returned back to Mandi to set back to Delhi. While in Mandi we visited Kuwa Rani Mandir where Mendarava was caged.
Aum Dema and me in the shrine built where Mendarava was caged

It was a tough job for us to find out Tilipa's cave but we could do it. Tilipa was a great Buddhist saint who was believed to have meditated in a cave at Mandi. We had a hard time asking people around about the cave and they had no idea. One thing that came to my mind at that point was that it was all due to the people not having any faith in Buddhism. When we finally found the cave, it was very much disheartening to see so many rubbish thrown just next to the holy cave. 
Tilipa's cave

My trip to Tsho Pema has been a fruitful one and I owe my thanks to Guru Rinpoche whose blessings have always kept me going on. I am even thankful to my friend and his mom for their wonderful company. 
Team together for the trip
I have always enjoyed visiting holy places since childhood and this trip was overall satisfying and a mind-purifying one.


  1. Finally your dream came true! I'm happy for you dear! :)

    Thank you for sharing your journey! Hope you can visit more pilgrimage places in the future! Have a lovely weekend! :)

    1. Me too very much happy to have made it. And thank you for your wishes.

      Take care and miss you too have a wonderful weekend. Take a good rest!!

  2. wow....indeed your passion in pursuit of holiness stepped further more satisfyingly and joyfully....i wish for more holy adventures and your beautiful pieces of writings...

  3. wow....indeed your passion in pursuit of holiness stepped further more satisfyingly and joyfully....i wish for more holy adventures and your beautiful pieces of writings...

  4. Thank you Sangay for your visit to my writing. And a big thank you for your wishes. I am very much satisfied and happy to have made it.

    Take care and goodnight buddy!!