Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary

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. There's a small aviary here which houses a variety of water birds, 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 armored 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 hour's journey from Nahan is the beautiful Renuka Lake, also called Renukaji. It has been named so after the mythological character of Renuka, Parashurama's mother. Parashurama, known for his great fury, was Vishnu's (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. It's 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, it's 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 mother's head. and Parashurama, like an obedient son, did exactly so. Jamadagni was pretty pleased with his son's compliance, and granted him a boon. Parashurama then immediately asked for his mother's life, thereby ensuring her immortality.There's another story about Renuka. It is believed that once Jamadagni and Renuka playedhost to King Shastrabahu and his huge army. The king was surprised at resourcefulness of the humble sage's 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 sage's 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 her embodiment. 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 festivities continue.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 it's time for winter to set in too, so there'll be the need to buy woollens and other paraphernalia. The fair ground becomes just the place for buying and selling and gamboling.But Jamadagni is not forgotten totally, in spite of having had his wife's 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.