Located about 20-km southwest of
Mandi town, is the most sacred
site of Buddhism in Himachal Pradesh. The place
possesses a pristine beauty characterised by an emerald green lake, and
surrounded by thick woods on all sides.
According to a popular legend, the spirit of 'Guru Padmasambhava' dwells on the islands floating in the lake. A majestic pagoda-type monastery looms on the lakeshore, which enshrines a huge stucco image of Padmasambhava. The interior is embellished with murals in mixed Indo-Chinese style.
Legend has it that Rewalsar was the place from where Padmasambhava proceeded to Tibet in the 8th century on the invitation of King 'Sron Btsan Sgampo', to disseminate dharma on the very roof of the world. It was this religion that came to be known as Lamaism. Rewalsar is, thus, for the Buddhists what the Mecca is for Muslims.