Renuka is the most important place of religious and tourist interest in Sirmour District Himachal Pradesh. It is nearly 40 km. away from Nahan. Renuka is famous for two things ( Famous Renuka lake & Renuka Devi Temple), Boating in Renuka lake is main attraction for the tourists visiting Renuka. This sacred oval shaped lake has a circumference of 2.4 km. Also there is Close-by lies the Parshu Ram Lake It is believed that Parshu Rama's mother consecrated into water out of which this lake was formed. Towards the end of the lake are towering palm trees which offer ideal picnic spots during day time.
This famous lake is visited by thousand of pilgrims every year on Kartika Ekadashi. The 1.6 Km patch between the Giri and humming camp where villagers hailing from far off places stay for a couple of days. Nightlong festivities including Kirtans are held by various groups.
The place remain full capacity during the days of the fair and offer a spectacular variety of activities. As one approaches the fair ground he is greeted by a notice board put up by the Wild Life Wing of the Forest Department warning, "Hold Your Gun--Game Sanctuary Starts".
In the Renuka devi fair the brass idol of Parasu Rama is brought from village Jamu, his permanent abode, in a silver palki accompanied by musical instruments with great pomp and show. The deity remains in the temple for three days i.e. sudi, dashmi to dwadashi (from 10th to 12th of the bright half). The hill people pray to pujari with questions during the night when he goes into a trance and turns an oracle. He answers each and every question. These answers foretell things and, quite often, enjoin upon the questioner some offering or sacrifice to the deity of some other act as a condition precedent to the fulfilment of the favourable prophecy such as deliverance from some misery or recovery of health from some disease. On dwadashi, generally, the people offer alms after the holy dip in the Renuka lake.
Renuka Temple is one of the scenic pilgrimage sites of Himachal Pradesh. It is around 45 km from Nahan. Besides being a sacred place, it is also an ideal holiday destination. Shaped like a reclining body of a woman, it is the largest lake in Himachal Pradesh. The famous Renuka Temple is situated on its bank. Renuka was the wife of Rishi Jamdagni and mother of Parshuram. The Renuka Fair, held in the month of November, brings in crowds of tourists here.
The Renuka Lake is regarded as the embodiment of Renukaji, the wife of sage Jamadagini and mother of Parshuram, one of the ten Avtars of Lord Vishnu. Shaped like a profile of a woman, the lake has the circumference of 2.5 km and is one of the largest in Himachal Pradesh. Boating and trekking are the additional attractions of Renukaji. Boating and trekking are the additional attractions of Renukaji. Stays in Renukaji are simple and economy segment like any Pilgrimage destination. Nearby Nahan (22 kms) provides more comfortable accommodations.
According to Hindu mythology, Renuka Temple was built in the later half of the 19th century. This temple complex comprises a 'math' (sacred shrine) that houses the image of Renuka Devi. This structure is also historically significant as it stood the Gurkha attacks in the year 1814.
There are a number of legends and stories associated with this temple. One of them states that Rishi Jamdagni disappointed with his wife asked his son Parshuram to kill her. Parshuram carried out the Rishi's orders but requested him to grant life to his mother. As per another legend, Sahasarjuna wanted to kidnap Renuka. To save herself, she jumped into this lake and the gods saved her. Since then, this lake became an embodiment of Renuka and is named after her.
Tourists enjoy the beautiful landscape here along with the boating activities at the Renuka Lake. You can tour a number of shrines located along the banks on paddleboats.