Stroll, photography prohibited on the sacred lake Seolsar in Kullu: La Tribune Inde

Abhinav Vashisht


Photography and shoe-walking on the religiously important frozen Lake Seolsar, located at an elevation of 10,280 feet, has been banned after photos of tourists wandering in shoes on the frozen lake went viral on social networks. The lake stretches over a diameter of about one kilometer and is accessible on foot from Jalori Jot on the border of Banjar and Anni housing estates.

Devotees from all over the country and abroad come here in large numbers. After the vow is fulfilled, people take off their shoes and drink holy water from the lake. The lake is revered by offering incense and flowers.

Rinku Singh Rana, Kardar of Budhi Nagin Mata Temple located in Seolsar, said the temple committee has banned photography and walking on the frozen lake from today. The lake has mythical importance and is sacred. The decision was made in the light of religious belief, he said, and called on locals and guides associated with tourism to instruct their guests so that the sanctity of religious places is not compromised.

Rana said that recently it had been noticed that tourists accompanying locals were entering the frozen lake for entertainment with shoes and taking photographs. The temple committee expressed its displeasure at the violation of the tradition of the Godhead. He said it hurt the religious feelings of thousands of worshipers in the Anni, Banjar and Mandi area.

The temple committee warned it would be forced to take strict action if anyone violates the ban.

Residents said it could lead to an incident if the lake’s layer breaks. Sunil and Suresh, local residents, said everyone associated with tourism businesses should educate tourists about the customs and culture prevalent here so that people’s religious feelings are not hurt.

Banjar Subdivision Magistrate Hem Chand Verma said the administration would take action against stray tourists in accordance with the rules.

Stewart C. Hartline