On 29th July, after planning it for 3-4 times, I finally visited Renuka Lake near Nahan in Sirmour Distt. of Himachal Pradesh. The time is not usually recommended for such visits but due to scarcity of rains, we did not have much problem in motoring uphill to some beautiful tops.
We started from Nabha at 5:00 AM. The roads were clear except some construction going on after Ambala (we re-routed ourselves while coming back towards Dera-Bassi, Chatt, Banur, Rajpura, and Patiala to avoid this). We were in my personal car (Santro Xing GLX) though we had a dedicated driver. We took two pit-stops before we parked our vehicle near the lake. The car parking charges are high there–50 INR. On the curvy way to this beautiful place, we noticed some placards mentioning the names of villages like, Dadahu, Badoliya, Kotab, Kyaratu, Khadri, Malgaav, Chayavan, Jamata, and Nehli, etc.
A very large-sized fish (around 1 m in length usually not seen in ponds) greeted us in the lake as we started gathering the beauty of the area. There were some boats parked near the jetty and just opposite to it was a good looking restaurant that also offered room for staying. The food is excellent here and you should not eat anywhere else if you are visiting. As we neared the boats to get into the water, we noticed some people feeding rusks to the fish. Somebody noticed a very large-sized tortoise who was also trying its luck. Due to the agility and almost flying capability of the fish, it was hard for the tortoise to catch any morsel of the rusk. We bought a packet ( costing 1o INR) and tried feeding it. I had never seen such a large tortoise in action though I have seen even a bigger one in Hyderabad zoo. It had teeth-like nails at the end of their fingers and I must it was really big. We saw another one and fed it on the other side of the canal. The boat-keeper mentioned that there are plenty of them in the lake.
There is a temple dedicated to Renuka Ji, the revered mother of Sage Parshuram and also a shrine dedicated to him. There is a small pond built near the temple which is named as Parshuram pond.
Boating in Renuka Lake
The boating experience in the lake was not very exciting given that it grew hot and humid. Moreover, the peddling boats give you a lot of stress and leg-ache. The option of coxswain-driven or Shikra (As they call it in Srinagar) is also not available. However, it is one of those activities that you go there for. If you do not boat, what else you would do. 🙂
Jungle Safari at Renuka Lake
The arrangement to meet some wildlife creatures is very nice in Renuka. I loved the way they are presented. As you circumambulate around the lake, you come across various creatures like deers, antilopes, lion-lioness, Himalayan Black Bear, panther, etc. If you want to drive in a car, the charges are 200/- INR with 20/- INR extra cost for a still camera. Walking around would not be a good option.
There was an interesting incident that took place when we visited the cage of lion-lioness. The lion silently moved towards the corner where we were standing and the crowd got delighted as it came nearer and they could catch a better view of this sylvan majesty. However, there was something else in store for us. The lion turned his back towards us and threw a strong jet of royal pee upon us. It was so sudden and unexpected that the crowd almost forgot to laugh. It has been never heard that a lion pees on you leave aside the incident of seeing it. I could not help saving my camera and could not click the photograph. Deciphering the psychology of this move, I would say that the lion got irritated because the crowd was jeering at him and making sounds, which obviously he did not like. And guess what, he had a great idea to convey that this is how he values the crowd–worthy of bathing in his pee! 🙂
Eating at Renuka Lake
There are not too many options of eating out but the one that is there is the best. The food is tasty and served with elan. The place also offers rooms for staying if you are coming from far-off places and the charge vary from 1,500/- per day onwards.
A good choice for one day trip
Overall, it was a good day and we enjoyed a lot. If you are looking to plan a one-day trip, this should be a very good choice.