The Mystical Serolsar Lake and the Legend of Budhi Nagin: Exploring the Spiritual Traditions of Himachal Pradesh

The Mystical Serolsar Lake and the Legend of Budhi Nagin: Exploring the Spiritual Traditions of Himachal Pradesh

The Mystical Serolsar Lake and the Legend of Budhi Nagin: Exploring the Spiritual Traditions of Himachal Pradesh

Continents such as Asia and Europe, as well as the rest of the world, offer various experiences and destinations for travelers. One example is Swaswara, located at Om Beach in Gokarna, which promotes holistic living. Another option for accommodation is Piramal Haveli in Shekhawati. Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is a luxurious choice for those visiting the sacred city of Pushkar. Clarks Awadh offers a chance to experience the vibrant lifestyle of Lucknow. The Serolsar Lake holds a legendary tale about Budhi Nagin. In Indian culture, the first ghee produced from a cow's milk after giving birth to a calf is considered sacred and often saved for worship. I am fortunate to come from a family that values cows and incorporates them into our traditions.

Whenever a new calf is born, I have witnessed my mother and grandmother partaking in a ritual. Intrigued by the practice of collecting ghee in a jar and prohibiting anyone from consuming from it, I sought answers from my grandmother. It was during this conversation that I discovered the purpose of collecting the initial milk ghee, which is to offer it to Budhi Nagin in Serolsar Lake.

The story of Budhi Nagin originates from the Seraj region of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh. She was famously known as Buddi Nagin and was believed to possess some of the powers of Durga Maa, a manifestation of Nava Durga. Budhi Nagin got married in the Suket area, which is now known as Karsog district in Himachal Pradesh.

Buddhi Nagin decided to visit the local water area near the Satluj River. Before leaving, she told her mother not to disturb her sleeping children. In the kitchen, her children were peacefully resting in a basket made of husks. It was a common practice for people to use these husk baskets to hold their babies before strollers became popular.

After some time, the mother became concerned because the children had been sleeping for a long time without waking up. Despite ignoring the advice from Budhi Nagin, the mother decided to pick up the blanket. To her surprise, she discovered 5-6 snakes hidden inside. Terrified, she hastily grabbed some ash from the kitchen and threw it at the snakes. Startled, the snakes scattered in various directions. It is believed that they were forgotten about after this incident.

Buddha Nagin returned to find that her children were no longer with her, which left her feeling devastated. Overwhelmed by her emotions, she made the decision to leave the village. Even to this day, a small stone statue is revered and worshipped in the very house where Buddha Nagin resided in the village of Bhiuri, located in Karsog.

The small house is in a state where it cannot undergo any reconstruction or renovation. Budhi Nagin decided to leave the house and made his way to Serolsar Lake, located near Jalori Pass in the Banjar Valley of Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh.

Naga worship involves the belief that Buddhi Nagin is the mother of Nagdev, who is considered the snake god. The people in the area believe that the Nagas are connected to Shiva. Each Naga has its own designated area and village named after them, such as Chowasi Nag, Hungru Nag, and Jhakad Nag.

In the villages, there are numerous temples built in Himachali style, showcasing exquisite wooden carvings. Annually, the Nag Devtas, priests, and villagers gather and roam around their region. The locals offer donations in various forms to the Nagas, and they also partake in traditional Himachali dances known as Nati.

The lake can be found amidst captivating fields. Visitors can experience the most breathtaking sunset and appreciate the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains from every angle.

According to the tale, a being named Buddhi Nagin arrived at Serolsar Lake and settled on a large rock. In the vicinity, there were 60 young girls known as Joginis or Yoginis, who were divided into two groups. Some were on their way to Shikari Devi in Mandi, while others were heading towards Jalori Jot. These Joginis noticed Buddhi Nagin sitting by the Serolsar Lake and decided to approach her. They proposed the idea of playing a game together.

Due to her age, they assumed it would be simple to overpower her. It was agreed that if Budhi Nagin emerged victorious in the game, she would consider the location as sacred, but if the Joginis won, she would vacate the premises.

During the game, a girl broke the rules and cheated, which greatly angered Buddi Nagin. In response, she cast a curse on the girl, transforming her into a tiny bird and giving her the duty of cleaning a small body of water. This transformed bird is now called Abhi Chidiya.

After winning the game, Buddi Nagin made the decision to make this place her permanent home. She had a small pot with her when she left her house. While wandering around in Serolsar, the pot accidentally slipped from her grasp, resulting in the creation of a lake in that very spot. And so, the lake was formed.

The rock that Buddi Nagin was resting on is currently referred to as Kala Pathar.

The Pandavas, while in exile, arrived at Jalori Pass and eventually made their way to Serolsar Lake. They decided to cultivate rice in the vicinity of the lake. According to legend, a mythical creature called Buddi Nagin appeared before them and then retreated back into the depths of the lake.

The Pandavas retrieved the Murti of the goddess from the lake and placed it on the shore. They constructed a modest temple for her along the lake's edge. Over the years, the temple has undergone several renovations. The present temple is the fourth version after these renovations.

The Budhi Nagin Temple is known for its tradition of offering ghee. Budhi Nagin, who is considered the mother of all Nag Devtas in the Mandi and Kullu region, had a strong affection for cows. Therefore, visitors to the temple bring ghee as an offering for her. It is believed that when ghee is poured inside the temple, it is directed to the center of the lake where Budhi Nagin is believed to reside.

Individuals carry large quantities of clarified butter (ghee) to both the temple and the lake. The Nagdevas, who are deities associated with snakes, from the surrounding area, visit Budhi Nagin, a revered snake goddess, once annually during specific events. These special occasions are determined in

The temple cannot be visited during the winter because it receives a significant amount of snowfall.

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There is a lack of knowledge regarding the exact depth of Serolsar Lake.

Here is a story filled with mystery. One day, a Brahmin and his family were walking near a lake when the Brahmin accidentally fell into the water. Despite their efforts, his family was unable to save him. Surprisingly, after three years, the Brahmin reappeared, claiming to have returned from the lake. It turned out that he had made a promise to Budhi Nagin, a mysterious creature, not to reveal her existence to anyone.

His family persistently questioned him about his whereabouts and how he managed to survive. Eventually, Brahmin decided to tell the truth. He explained that when he fell into the lake, he descended to the lake's bottom where he was rescued by Buddi Nagin. According to him, she resides in a magnificent golden palace beneath the lake. He also mentioned witnessing numerous containers of milk while he was there, as Buddi Nagin was known to churn curd.

After revealing the truth, he met his demise. The villagers gathered at the lake, witnessing strange occurrences. It was deduced that Buddi Nagin desired the lake to remain undisturbed and maintained in a pristine condition. The lake, in fact, is consistently clean, devoid of any leaves.

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Jalori Pass is located in the Banjar Valley of the Kullu district, adjacent to the Suket area of Karsog. This pass serves as a connection between the Kullu and Shimla districts and was constructed by the British in order to enter Kullu.

Jalori Pass is situated at an elevation of 2000 meters. During the winter season, the pass is inaccessible as it gets blocked by a significant amount of snowfall. Banjar Valley, located in the Kullu district, is considered as a less explored tourist spot.

The district of Kullu is split into three primary valleys, namely Tirthan, Banjar, and Sainj Valley. A picturesque route to Jibhi called Jalori Pass can be taken, which is surrounded by thick deodar trees.

The Anni district of Kullu, located between Jalori's pass and Shimla, is famous for its apple orchards. Visitors can enjoy a stunning sight of these orchards during the season.

Looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Reconnect with the beauty of nature by embarking on a hike in the Himalayas. A scenic 5 km trail awaits you at Jalori Pass, leading you to the serene Serolsar Lake.

Hiking through a dense forest of deodar and banyan trees is a simple and straightforward experience. The hike offers the opportunity to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains in every direction, as well as witness an incredibly breathtaking sunset.

Each season follows a unique course; during summer, the landscape is filled with vivid colors as mosses grow on tree trunks. Moreover, one can encounter some of the most uncommon varieties of plants and animals, such as rare herbs, medicinal plants, and untamed wilderness.

Tips for travelers

If you're planning to visit Jalori Pass, there are plenty of affordable homestays available in the nearby area. Additionally, you can also find camping options in the beautiful meadows of Jalori Pass. Accessing Jalori Pass is convenient and hassle-free.

Pallavi Thakur wrote this post as a contribution to the IndiTales Internship Program.

Other articles from the same author:

– Bhuira Jams: A business created by women living in the mountains

– Ancient temples from the Pandava era in the Karsog Valley of Himachal

– Must-visit places in Tirthan Valley, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh


– This destination is a must-see for those interested in experiencing the richness of Indian culture and traditions. After reading your blog, I feel inspired to visit and witness the incredible beauty firsthand. Thank you for consistently publishing articles like this.

It's fascinating to learn about the customs and cultural significance associated with ghee!

Dear Corinne,

I found this blog to be very enjoyable, particularly the tale of Budhi Nagin.

Please cancel your reply. Remember to save my name, email, and website on this browser for when I want to comment again.

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