Fringed by hills and a thick forest cover, Mansar Lake is a beautiful place to enjoy and relax. This place has a distinct ambiance and natural beauty. The lake complex also has a wildlife sanctuary where Spotted Deer and Neelgai can be found in good numbers. Gujjars and Backarwals who frequent the area can be found in close vicinity of Mansar lake complex.

This region is home to twin water bodies - Mansar Lake and Surinsar Lake. Both these lakes are 62 km away and between them lies the Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary. This place is also popular among newlyweds. It is said that taking a stroll around Mansar is good for the wellbeing of a couple.

History of Mansar

The history of Mansar region dates back to the time of Mahabharata. Son of Arjuna, Babar Vahan was the ruler of this region during that period. With the end of that war, Arjuna desired to perform an “Ashwamedh Yagna”.

During the course of this Yagna, Babar Vahan captured the horse and killed Arjuna in the process. He thereafter presented the head to his mother only to realise that he had killed his father.

Arjun could be brought back to life only when Mani from Sheshnag was procured. Therefore, Babar Vahan made a tunnel (surang) with the help of his arrow and created a surangsar. The place is now known as Surinsar.

Babar Vahan defeated Sheshnag and came out with the Mani at Manisar which is now named as Mansar.

Things to see around Mansar

Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary

Mansar is also known for this wildlife sanctuary, which has eight mammal species and 15 bird species. The sanctuary has been named after the two lakes that surround it. This sanctuary covers an area of 98 sq. km. It is a vast expanse of lush greenery with a heavy population of scrubs. The scrub has thick plants such as Acacia, Mallotus phillipensis and bahunia variegata. You can find interesting animal species as well such as leopards, Goral, wild boar and the barking deer. A number of bird species are also found here, including black partridges, peafowl, grey partridge and green pigeon. An interesting species is the rufus turtle dove, which is interesting to see if you are able to find one.

If you want to see mammals at Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary, a good time to visit would be from September to March. For those who want to enjoy the avifauna, March to May is the right time to visit.

Palace in Ruins

Apart from Mansar Lake, you can also visit an ancient palace here, which is in ruins. However, it is a place of historical importance because their remain colourful frescoes on the walls here. Alongside the palace is another ancient building one can visit.

Mahor Gadh Ruins

If you are interested in archaeology, Mahor Garh ruins in Mansar can be visited. These are mysterious ruins because no one knows who built them or why.


Besides the lake, the place has two ancient temples. The temples of Umapati Mahadev and Narsimha are located in the tvicinity of this lake and people visit these temples after taking a round of the lake. The state tourism board also provides boating facility at the lake.

Culture of Mansar

The Mansar area is known for its interesting culture. This place is known for its folk culture, which is reflected in the dances and rituals of the area. Baisakhi is celebrated with much fervour in Mansar every year. This is done with a food and crafts festival that is organized by the state tourism.

Another major festival held at Mansar is organised in the end of May. This is a major festival where the folk spirit of Dogra citizens of Mansar is reflected in exuberant singing and dancing. Ching Festival is specific to Mansar. Wrestling bouts are held in this region and it witnesses participation of wrestlers from all over the country.

Best time to Visit

Mansar is conveniently located 62 km from Jammu. Any time of the year is perfect to plan a visit to Mansar and tourists can head back to Jammu after visiting the lake.

How to Reach

By Air

Satwari Airport in Jammu city is the closest approach to Mansar. Mansar is 62 km from Jammu. Taxis can be hired from the airport for Mansar.

By Rail

Jammu Railway Station is the biggest railhead in the region and it is a convenient place for disembarking, if one is on a visit of Mansar. Taxis and buses are available from within Jammu and can be hired for reaching Mansar.

By Road

A link road connects Pathankot in Punjab to Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir. From Udhampur, a link road connects to Mansar and can be used as an option if travelling by road.

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