Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary
Distance : 45 km from Nahan
The Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary also adds
much to the ambience of the place. It is home to a large number of
animals including Asiatic lions, spotted deer, lion tailed macaques,
peacocks, nilgai (large grey Indian antelope), barking deer
and Himalayan black bears. Around the place flutter thousands of
gorgeous butterflies. Theres a small aviary here which houses a
variety of waterbirds, red jungle fowl, black pheasant and peacock. On
your travel vacations take a travel trip to Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary,
highlighting a big lion safari and the Department of Forest provides
an armoured van which enters the large enclosures allowing a closer
glimpse of at least two dozen well-bred lions. A tourist bungalow and
cafeteria cater to visitors.
¤ Renuka Lake
About an hours journey from Nahan is the beautiful Renuka Lake,
also called Renukaji. It has been named so after the mythological
character of Renuka, Parashuramas mother. Parashurama, known for
his great fury, was Vishnus (the second of the Hindu Trinity of
Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) incarnation. Anyway, Renukaji a placid
expanse of water surrounded by the Ramadri hills padded generously
with flora. Its shaped like the profile of a woman, and with a
circumference of 15km, boasts as one of the largest lakes in Himachal.
Renukaji is fed by underground springs and is full of lotuses and
hungry fish and tortoises. Although a trifle polluted now, its
fun to watch the rippling waters. You can also hire a small rowboat
from the Hotel Renuka for a short cruise.
¤ Renuka Temple
Near the lake is the Renuka Temple dedicated to the immortal mother
and son duo. It is an important pilgrim spot for Hindus. Apart from
this one, there are other temples and ashrams along the banks. A major
festival is celebrated here in November.
¤ Legendary Tales Associated With The Temple
Myths and legends make up Renukaji along with its blue waters and
festival. Legend says that once sage Jamadagni got really infuriated
with his wife, Renuka, and ordered his son Parashurama to cut off his
mothers head. and Parashurama, like an obedient son, did exactly
so. Jamadagni was pretty pleased with his sons compliance, and
granted him a boon. Parashurama then immediately asked for his mothers
life, thereby ensuring her immortality.
Theres another story about Renuka. It is believed that once
Jamadagni and Renuka played host to King Shastrabahu and his huge
army. The king was surprised at resourcefulness of the humble sages
kitchen. On enquiry, he found that the holy kamdhenu cows
(mythical cows known to be the source of infinite wealth) were the
reason behind the sages affluence. Now, the greedy and
ungrateful Shastrabahu demanded the cows from Jamadagni. Obviously
Jamadagni refused. The king got wild and frantic. He killed Jamadagni
and tried to abduct Renuka. But Renuka flung herself into the waters
of the lake. The gods later restored her to life and the lake became
When their son Parashurama heard the tragedy that had befallen his
parents, he came straight down from Mahendra Parvat, his own abode up
in the hills. He fought a battle with Shastrabahu and returned only
after killing him and his entire army. and as the legend goes,
Parashurama comes every autumn, for a day, to meet his mother Renuka.
This the people celebrate by holding the festival.
¤ Renuka Fair Celebrations
On your travel vacations to Renuka wildlife sanctuary, enjoy the
Renuka Fair celebrations. This colourful Renuka Fair is held for three
days in the first fortnight of November. On the first day the idol of
Parashurama is taken in a decorated silver palanquin from the Jamu
village to the banks of the Giri River. The other local deities reach
the spot before he does, and then together they go to the site of the
fair (with Parashurama leading the jing-bang, of course). and then
Thousands throng to the mela (fair) grounds where a market
springs up. It is in good time, for the people have harvested the crop
and are free from work. and its time for winter to set in too,
so therell be the need to buy woollens and other paraphernalia.
The fair ground becomes just the place for buying and selling and
But Jamadagni is not forgotten totally, in spite of having had his
wifes head cut off. Directly above the lake is Jamu peak where
the sage is believed to have meditated. A small footpath leads to the
small temple here, which offers an excellent view of the lake and
surrounding areas. Therefore plan your travel vacations in such a way
that can gives you ample amount of wildlife sighting opportunities as
well sightseeing trip near the Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary.
¤ Facilities Available At Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary
About every hour or so a bus from Nahan goes to Dadahu, from where
you can walk (40 minutes) to the lake. Some buses continue to the lake
HPTDCs Hotel Renuka.