Shimla : Thousands of pilgrims set of on the annual popular Manimahesh yatra in Himachal Pradeshâ€™s Chamba district Monday.
Local media reports quoting organisers said they are expecting a record 700,000 pilgrims to complete the 14 km arduous uphill climb to the Manimahesh lake this year.
The pilgrimage ends on September 5.
The holy Manimahesh lake is situated at an altitude of 4080 m and is thought to be the spot where Lord Shiva performed a long penance.Pilgrims take a dip in the icy waters of the lake and return.
The lake reflects the Manimahesh Kailash mountain 5,553 m.Even though this mountain peak is not so high, local folklore says due to superstition no human is said to have ever scaled this steep peak.
Besides the popular entry from Chamba, the lake can be reached from the Mandi and Lahaul as well.
The place is bustling with pilgrims during a fortnight or so.During rest of the year the place remains undisturbed but for an odd Gaddi shepherded and his flock.
In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.