Sunday, 26 September 2021

Places to Visit in Himachal: Serolsar Lake

I revisited the Banjar Valley & Seraj Valley in Himachal after a gap of thirteen years. This time I stayed at three different locations in the valley. 

Serolsar Lake, Seraj Valley, Himachal

The Banjar valley is more beautiful than the Kullu valley and less touristy as it is away from the main Delhi-Manali-Leh highway. While staying at Shoja I decided to go again on the trek to the Serolsar Lake. Since I had driven from Delhi by car (it would take anywhere between 15 to 17 hours from Delhi to Shoja as the road conditions from Mandi till Kullu tunnel are not good) so I went from Shoja to Jalori Pass by car.

The drive from Jalori Pass to Shoja

Jalori Pass is at a height of 10280 feet from Sea level on the Kullu-Shimla route. I encountered patches of snow on the road and sides even though it was end-March and early-April period.

The Jalori Pass-Serolsar Lake Trek path through forest

From Jalori Pass the trek starts to the Serolsar Lake (also known as Seruvalsar Lake). From Jalori Pass to Serolsar Lake the distance is around five km and I would rate the trek as ‘easy’. However, it is advisable to carry sufficient drinking water and eatables as once you leave Jalori Pass and almost upto the Serolsar Lake you won’t get any place to have water, tea or snacks (especially if it is not a tourist season). I did see some shacks on the way but they had not opened for the season yet. The trek is through forests and therefore the walk is pleasant. 

Tried bouldering on a rock face on way to Serolsar

There are at some places huge rock faces so I did try doing some bouldering. However, I would advise against it if you were not a rock-climber.

A pond near the Serolsar Lake

Very close to the lake, there is a pond that collects rain water from the catchment area – so do not get confused and assume that you have reached the lake. This pond does not have clear water and has some weeds.

A view of the Serolsar Lake

The moment you see some dhabas offering tea, snacks and food you would realise that you are about to reach the lake site. The lake is in a depression with hill surrounding it on all sides to form a bowl, which is perfect catchment area for rain and snow-melt water to accumulate.  

A 360 degree view of the Serolsar Lake area

The first view of the lake itself is beautiful with clear water and surrounding hills still having the winter snow.

At the Serolsar Lake 

Like most of the lakes in the Himalayas, the locals also consider the Serolsar Lake holy. Therefore, it is advisable not to enter the lake for bathing or to wash clothes etc. 

Serolsar Lake with Budhi Nagin temple in the background

There is also the Budhi Nagin temple close by. Before starting the return journey you can have hot (and tasty) meal of Rajma-Chawal or Kadhi-Chawal and tea etc at the few dhabas located nearby. One should keep at least half a day for this excursion if one really want to enjoy nature leisurely. 

Even in April there were patches of snow on the Jalori Pass- Serolsar Trek

If you are the more adventurous type then you can try to climb the hills on the way and do some snow walking as well. My advice to travellers – carry good trekking shoes, water, snacks and do not litter. In case you are not carrying water etc then these can be bought at the Jalori Pass as it has few shops and dhabas.

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