The Complete Guide to Serolsar Lake Trek
Serolsar Lake is in Tirthan Valley of Himachal Pradesh, located 75 km away from Kullu. The lake is situated at an altitude of 10,170 ft. To access the lake, you’ve to trek for 5 km. The trek starts from Jalori Pass, the highest altitude point that connects Kullu valley and Shimla Valley.
The lake is guarded by thick tall pine trees on all sides. Next to the lake is Budhi Nagin temple. Serolsar Lake is surrounded by a narrow track and a fence around it. The Serolsar Lake wears stunning colours during different times of the year. The lake looks white during winter, half snow-covered and half green during spring and summer, and lush green during monsoon and post-monsoon. This is something worth observing if you have the oppurtuinty to trek multiple times to this lake.
Apart from the scenic beauty, the Serolsar lake has religious significance as well. It is a pilgrimage place for the locals. Locals from the surrounding villages come here every saturday to do the parikrama. They mostly offer ghee and oil to the local diety. It is believed the goddess is submerged in the lake and protects the entire region.
Serolsar Lake trek is a paradise for someone who loves forest trails. The entire trail is through the dense pine and deodar forests. You also encounter clearings after every hour of the trek which makes them nice resting spots for trekkers to rejoice. From the 360-degree Viewpoint, you get great views of Pir Panjal and the Great Himalayan range.
Serolsar Lake trek is an easy trek. It can be done by both fit beginners and experienced trekkers. It’s a series of gradual ascents and descents until you reach the lake. The only steep ascent you encounter on this trail is the one that takes you to the 360-degree Viewpoint.
Table of Contents
Just like you, we love trekking! And this is a trek we’ve documented in great detail to help you do it on your own. Drop in comments at the end of the page if you need any help! You will get all the information required to do Serolsar Lake Trek on your own.
To navigate through the documentation easily, use this section of the Table of Contents.
- Trail Information
- Best Season to do the Serolsar Lake Trek
- Difficult Sections on the Serolsar Lake Trek
- How to Reach the Serolsar Lake Trek
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Emergency Contacts on the Serolsar Lake Trek
- ATMs and Networks on the trek
- Places to visit after the Serolsar Lake Trek
1. Serolsar Lake
As you descend through rock-carved stairs, you get the first glimpse of Serolsar Lake. It for sure draws your attention. Though the lake is not accessible during winter, from the months of March to May, the lake adorns the shades of white and green. This gives you a glimpse of both the winter and summer seasons. From June to November, the lush greenery of it aptly represents the monsoon. If this wasn’t enough, tall pine trees on the surroundings of the lake elevate the beauty of the whole place.
Serolsar Lake looks as if it's painted green during monsoons. Picture by Teena Shah
The religious importance it holds makes it even more interesting for someone who is interested in mythology.
2. Views from 360-degree Viewpoint
The 360-degree Viewpoint is definitely one of the highlights of this trek. From here, to your north lies the Pir Panjal range and to your left is the Great Himalayan Range. The sight of early morning rays hitting the snow-clad peaks is breathtaking.
To reach the 360-degree Viewpoint, you’ve to take a small detour from the trail after first clearing. The steep ascent to 360-degree Viewpoint adds to an adventure. Just close your eyes, listen to the sounds and feel the breeze when you reach this point.
3. Forest trails and clearings
Unlike many treks of this region, the whole trail is through the pine and deodar forests in this trek. The forest section here is so beautiful that you wouldn’t want it to end.
There is a clearly marked trail throughout. It’s like you’re walking on a ledge but in the forest section. On your right is a steep ascent on which these trees are rooted unevenly. It feels like they are touching the sky. On your left is a valley. There are pine and deodar trees on this side as well. Because of this setting, makes it very difficult for the sunrays to reach the ground. Not only does it provide you the shade throughout but also the sight of just a few sunrays making it to the forest floor is stunning to witness.
Magical forest trail that you trek through throughout. Picture by Chirag Manga
These forest sections are complemented with beautiful clearings every now and then. Don’t forget to spend some time here. They add a variety to the trek.
The forest section has a rich birdlife. You’ll hear the continuous chirping of birds throughout the trail. This is definitely a trek for you if you’re a birder.
Route Map of Serolsar Lake Trek. Screenshot on Google Earth Pro
Serolsar Lake Trek can be divided into 2 sections.
- Mata Jalori Mandir to 360-degree Viewpoint
- 360-degree Viewpoint to Serolsar Lake
Section I: Mata Jalori Mandir to 360-degree Viewpoint
Trek Distance: 2 km
Trek Duration: 1.5 hours
The trek starts from Mata Jalori Mandir. Right opposite to the Mandir, there is a small tea shop. The trial goes between the two. There is a clear road that takes you to Serolsar Lake. The initial trail is wide enough.
Tea stall at the start point of the trek. Picture by Chirag Manga
The good thing about this trek is, you’ve a clear marked trail from the start point till you reach the lake. So there are hardly any chances of getting last if you follow the trail properly.
Around hardly 100 metres walk on an open road, you enter a forest section. Suddenly it feels like you’ve entered into a whole different world. This forest section is unlike any you’ve seen before. It’s like you’re walking on a ledge inside the forest section. Pine and Deodar trees stand tall on either side of you.
The initial forest trail is a bit wider compared to others. Picture by Chirag Manga
Start walking on the mud trail further. While you do so, keep in mind to observe the nature around and listen to the chirping of birds. Look out for them and if you’re lucky, you might even spot some.
You will encounter many tea stalls alongside the trail.
One of the many tea stalls on the forest trail. Picture by Chirag Manga
After almost a kilometre of trek on this beautiful trail, you’ll encounter a huge clearing on your left. This is the first clearing. It makes up for a nice resting spot. Spend some time here.
Half a km later, to your right is a steep ascent. It's a small detour that you take from the trail to Serolsar lake. This takes you to the 360-degree Viewpoint. This is the highest point on this trek, even higher than Jalori Pass. Around 300 metres of a steep climb takes you to this beautiful viewpoint where you get to witness the snow-clad mountains of both Pir Panjal and Greater Himalayan Ranges. Soak in all the beautiful views that you get from here.
Tip: If you’re planning to start your trek early in the morning, make sure to reach the 360-degree Viewpoint for sunrise. You’ll get to witness the first rays of sun falling on the snow-clad mountains of Pir Panjal and the Greater Himalayan Range.
Descend back to the same route and continue on the trail to Serolsar Lake.
Section II: 360-degree Viewpoint to Serolsar Lake
Trek Distance: 3.3 km
Trek Duration: 2 hours
The forest section on this trek is never-ending. The more you start observing around, the more interesting it gets. Start noticing small things such as the beauty of moss-covered tree trunks, the sun rays trying hard to make it to the forest floor, and the way the trees are growing on their own terms, you see both the beauty and mind-boggling structures everywhere on this trail.
Moss covered tree trunks look beautiful and add a charm to the entire trail. Picture by Chirag Manga
After the first clearing, the trail gets narrower so that only one or two trekkers can walk at a time. You’ll hear the continuous hum of different species of birds throughout the trail. Make sure to try spotting at least one or two of them.
The forest trail gets narrower after the first clearing. Picture by Chirag Manga
500 metres in this trail, you’ll pass through another small clearing. This doesn’t really feel like a clearing as it’s very small and you’ll be walking on this for just 60 metres. So continue your trek on the same route.
The scenic forest route continues for another 2 km. Right after this, a huge clearing that you actually have to pass through comes in as a pleasant surprise. This is the last clearing on this trail. You can rest for a bit here.
From here to Serolsar lake, there are stairs made out of rocks. It's a bit of an ascent and then the descent to Serolsar Lake. On this trail, just 200 metres before the lake, you see an abandoned mud house. It’s interesting to see the structure of this house. It looks like it’s sandwiched between two rocks.
Abandoned building 200 metres before the lake. Picture by Chirag Manga
Continue on the same trail. You will see a small tea stall just before the lake.
Green Tip: If you want to buy any food in these stalls, make sure you carry your own tiffin box and mug and not buy any packaged food. This will ensure you wouldn’t litter anywhere on the trail.
Tea stall just before the lake. Picture by Chirag Manga
On this trail, you’ll get a glimpse of Serolsar lake. The lake surrounded by the forests on all sides looks stunning. There is a Budhi Nagin temple on the shore. Locals from the surrounding village come here and do Parikrama around the lake. They offer ghee and oil on the shore. They even believe that the goddess is submerged in the lake. That’s why it’s strictly prohibited for anyone to even touch the water. It’s also the reason you’ll see a fence around the lake.
Just on the opposite side of the lake, there is a cliff that gives you an aerial view of the lake and its surroundings. You can see those rock-carved stairs from here. The trees on both sides of the trail give you an idea of how dense the forest is.
A cliff near the lake gives you a bird's eye view of the surroundings. Picture by Chirag Manga
Just behind the temple, there is one guest house that has just one or two rooms and no toilets. Opposite the guest house, there is a trail. About 5 min hike on this trail will lead to two dhabas. This is where you can pitch your own tent. Camping at this place gives you an experience for a lifetime. You can literally feel the clouds emerging from the valley and passing through you.
There is a trail behind the hill on the side of the temple that takes you to the campsite. Picture by Mratunjay
Tip: There is a water source near the temple. Make sure you fill your water bottles here.
There is no water source near the campsite. So make sure you take enough water from here if you decide to camp.
The trek back is through the same route. It’ll take about 3 hours to descend. If you’re coming back on the same day, keep a Turn Around Time(TAT) of 3 PM. This is to make sure you’re back before dusk.
Best Season to Do the Serolsar Lake Trek
Best season to do the Serolsar Lake Trek is from March to November.
During winters, the trail will be covered in snow and will have a lot of block ice. Hence it’s not recommended to trek.
Patches of snow can be seen on the trail . Picture by Chirag Manga
Difficult Sections on the Serolsar Lake Trek
Serolsar Lake Trek is an easy trek.
The only difficult section on this trek is the steep ascent to 360-degree Viewpoint. Make sure to carry a trekking pole and wear proper trekking shoes.
How to reach the Serolsar Lake Trek
The trek starts from Jalori Pass. You can reach Jalori Pass by your own vehicle or by public transport.
Reaching Jalori Pass by Your Own vehicle
Jalori pass is 75 km, 110 km and 150 km away from Kullu, Manali and Shimla respectively.
If you plan to go by your own vehicle, use this link to help set up navigation on Google Maps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Permission and camping
You don’t need any permission to do this trek.
Camping is not allowed anywhere in the surroundings of the lake. But if you want to camp, another 30 minutes of a hike from the lake leads you to a clearing where you can.
The nearest town to Jalori Pass is Jibhi. It’s around 12 km from Jalori Pass.
You have many stay options in Jibhi. There are many homestays, hotels, and Airbnb in Jibhi.
Shoja is another option where you can stay. It’s a village just 5 km away from Jalori Pass and also has a few homestays.
Timings on the trek
There are no timings as such. But it’s best to start your trek early in the morning at around 7 AM and come back before it gets dark.
Food and Water sources
Food: There are small tea stalls throughout the trail. But these have only packed food and bisleri water. So make sure you carry enough food before the start of the trek.
Water: There are no natural water sources on the trail until you reach the lake. So carry at least 2 litres of water per person before you start.
Nearest Hospital and Police Station
Sub Health Center Jibhi is the nearest hospital just 12.5 km away from the trek start point.
Banjar Police Station is the nearest police station around 20 km from the trek start point.
In case of emergency, contact Himachal Pradesh Forest Department.
ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112
ATMs and Network
There are ATMs in Jibhi. Make sure to carry enough cash from there.
You’ll get all the major networks such as Airtel, and Jio on most parts of the trail.
Places to visit after the Serolsar Lake Trek
Jibhi Waterfall: It’s a beautiful waterfall located just 1 km away from Jibhi's main market. Jibhi is just 12 km away from Jalori Pass. If you plan to stay for the night here, it’s a must-visit the place.
Shoja Waterfall: Another beautiful waterfall, located around 5 km from Jalori Pass. If you choose to start your trek early in the morning, you could complete your trek by 3 PM latest. So, you can visit this on your way back.
Trek explored by Rishab Verma.
Photos contributed by Chirag Manga, Mratunjay and Teena Shah.
Photos Edited by Sneha.G.Iyer
Trek written by Manasa N L.