Legends often take us back in time when India was spread across regions which today belong to other countries. That doesn't stop us from following our religious texts which list out numerous sacred places.
Photo Courtesy: Krish Dulal
According to Hindu traditions, it is not just the temples but also lakes and rivers are considered as pilgrim sites. Some water bodies are given a divine status and hence visited as a place of religious importance. That takes us to the five holy lakes in India which are seen as places where one can absolve from sins.
Though Manasarovar Lake is considered as the epitome of purity, it is now situated in Tibet Autonomous Region. Many tirtha yatra packages arrange for Manasarovar trip. However, not everyone can visit as visa and passport are necessary for this pilgrimage. So, pilgrims visit Nainital Lake as it is considered as one of the most prominent holy lakes in India according to Hindu mythology.
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A striking image of the pear-shaped lake comes into the picture as we think of Nainital Lake. As per the local legends, Sati Devi's eyes fell here and hence this lake is considered as sacred. Nainital Lake is not just a holy place but also one of the prominent tourist attractions in Nainital, Uttarakhand.
According to mythology, once the sages saw that Naini lake was totally dry. So they brought the water from Manasarovar and poured it here. Naini Lake brimmed with water from then on, hence came to be known as a form of Manasarovar. Pilgrims who can't visit Manasa Sarovar come to Nainital to seek blessings from Naina Devi.
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Lord Brahma is said to be the creator of Pushkar Lake in Pushkar, Ajmer. It is a holy place and a tourist place in the city of Pushkar. Interestingly, it is named as Thirtharaj indicating to its prominence as a holy place in Rajasthan.
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Narayan Sarovar is around 4km from Koteshwara Mahadev Temple. According to the beliefs, the lake is fed by the holy Saraswathi river and hence it is one of the pilgrimage places in Gujarat.
Two small ponds are together named as Bindu Sarovar in Sidhpur, Gujarat. Legends says that Lord Vishnu's tears fell and thus the lakes were formed.
According to another myth, Lord Parashurama is said to have performed his mother's death ceremony on the banks of this lake. Hence, Mathru Shraddha is a popular ritual performed here.
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Pampa Sarovar is a tourist attraction in Koppal, Karnataka. As per the legend, it is here that Pampala, a form of Parvati, performed penance to Lord Shiva. And it is also the place where Shabari, waited for Rama's arrival in Ramayana. So, Pampa Sarovar is considered as one of the holy lakes in India according to the Hindu mythology.
These lakes are also wonderful tourist destinations; do visit and enjoy the beautiful vistas!