Q. What is Rakshastal?
The literal meaning of Rakshastal is The Lake of Devil or The Lake of Demon. It is located to the west of Lake Mansarovar. It is a saltwater lake carrying a high amount of negativity. Rakshastal has four islands namely Dola, Lachato, Topserma, and Dosharba.
The demon king Ravana meditated and worshipped Lord Shiva here. Ravana wanted Lord Shiva to shift to Lanka, but Lord Shiva denied this and said he won’t leave Kailash. Thus it is said that Ravana recited Shiva Tandav Stotram here to impress Lord Shiva.
The Chinese authority has barricaded the area of Rakshastal, you can spot the lake at a distance.
Q. Can we take a dip in Rakshastal and bring water from there?
According to Hindu mythology, the Rakshastal is associated with the demon king Ravana. Rakshastal is considered to be a poisonous lake and going for a dip in it can have a highly negative impact. Taking a dip in Rakshastal can be fatal and may result in health-related issues..
Q. When we reach Rakshastal and how much time do we spend at Rakshastal?
You will reach Rakshastal on Day 05 of 11 days by Heli route itinerary and Day 07 of 14 days by Overland route itinerary. You will be spending about 30 to 45 minutes at Rakshastal which is sufficient as no ritual is performed there, we only take a glimpse of the place and enjoy the view. One can notice the difference between the good (Lake Mansarovar) and the bad (Rakshastal) here.
Q. What is the history of Rakshastal?
Rakshastal is believed to be the dwelling place of Ravana- the Demon King. The lake has great spiritual significance as it is considered to be the place where Ravana meditated and paid reverence to Lord Shiva.
Different people from different regions have different beliefs and stories about the creation and existence of Rakshastal. There are several stories related to the history of Rakshastal. Below mentioned are a few popular ones'.
Rakshastal was created by Ravana the place where Ravana worshipped Lord Shiva. Each day Ravana beheaded one of his heads and offered it to Lord Shiva. Being impressed with his sacrifice, Lord Shiva appeared on the 10th day and blessed the demon king.
Another story is that Ravana was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. He visited Mount Kailash with the intention to get his wish fulfilled. He took a dip in Rakshastal and meditated here before visiting Mount Kailash. According to Mythology, Rakshastal is full of negativity and when Ravana took a dip in it, his mind got filled with a lot of negativity. While proceeding towards Kailash Parvat he saw Mata Parvati. Lord Shiva was highly impressed with the devotion of Ravana and he asked Ravana about his wish to which Ravana asked Lord Shiva for Mata Parvati. Legends believe that this inappropriate wish originated in his mind after taking a dip in Rakshastal. However, there is no final verdict on whether this wish was pre-planned or was after taking the dip.
Out of all here is the most popular story of Rakshastal, it is believed that the demon king Ravana wanted Lord Shiva to shift to Lanka. He deeply meditated and worshipped Lord Shiva at Rakshastal to please him. But Lord Shiva said he won’t leave Kailash Parvat. Ravana tried to lift the holy mountain but Lord Shiva put pressure on it and Ravana’s thumb got hurt. Out of excessive pain, Ravana started reciting Shiv Tandav Strotam. Lord Shiva got impressed with his act and gave him a Shivaling as his symbol to take with him and said wherever this Shivling will be placed it will be equivalent to Lord Shiva's existence. Seeing this Lord Vishnu was worried that if Ravna places the Shivling in Lanka, then Lord Shiva will be gone to Lanka forever. To avoid this from happening, Lord Vishnu disguised himself in a form of young child and offered Ravana to take a break,while he holds the Shivling for him. Ravana agreed to seek Some say that Shivling is situated in the temple of Rameshwaram and some say in
Q. Is Rakshastal considered auspicious or inauspicious?
Rakshas tal got its name because of the belief that the Demon (Rakshas) King Ravana constructed the Lake. Due to both Mythological and Scientific reasons, Rakshastal is believed to be inauspicious. People avoid taking dips or collecting water from it, unlike the Mansarovar lake which is situated only 500 meters away from Rakshastal. According to the mythological story, it is believed that the crescent shape of Rakshastal symbolises darkness and is filled with negativity that even Ravana's mind was affected by the negativity which made Ravana dare to ask the wife of Lord Shiva as a blessing from Lord Shiva. Science says it is the saline level of the lake that makes the water unsuitable for humans to interact with and is also the reason no aquatic life is found in the lake.
Q. Is Mount Kailash visible from Rakshastal?
Rakshastal is located to the west of Mount Kailash at a distance of about 50km. During the Mansarovar Yatra, the first glimpse of Kailash Parvat is visible from Rakshastal. It is said that Ravana took a dip in this lake before visiting Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash. He meditated and worshipped Lord Shiva at Rakshastal.
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