At The Foothills Of Ramtek Temple- Ambala Lake

About Ambala Lake

Ambala Lake At the foothills of the Ramtek Temple is an entity surrounded by the reminisces of Lord Rama and that of Narsimha, the slayer of the demon Hiranykashyapu. The lake was formed after the fierce fight between Lord Vishnu, in his Narsimha Avatar, a half-man and half-lion incarnation, which kills the demon strategically as he keeps Lord Brahma’s benediction given to Hianyakashyapu intact.It is believed that after killing the demon, Narsimha threw the cudgel of the demon with such force that it formed a huge crater at the foothills of Ramtek Temple, which is now known as the Ambala Lake. 

The Legend

Legend says that Hiranyakashyapu had benediction by Lord Brahma, which made him almost immortal. In order to avenge his elder brother Hiranyaksa`, whom Lord Vishnu slayed earlierHirnayakashyapu undergoes several years of austere penance after which Lord Brahma offers the demon a boon and Hiranyakashyapu asks for immortality. Lord Brahma mentions that He can only bind the death of Hirnayakashyapu with conditions but cannot grant him complete immortality. 

Thus, the demon deviously crafts his wishes and asks for the following wish from the Lord by which he would become practically immortal by natural laws of earth.

O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you.

Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought about by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal.

Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or nonliving created by you. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.

To which Lord Brahma replies –  Tathastu` (So Be It)

Resource: Wikipedia

Thus, Lord Vishnu, takes the avatar of Narsimha, half-lion and half-man (neither human nor animal), engages into a duel with the demon at twilight (neither day, nor night), drags the demon within the boundaries of a door step (neither outside nor inside any residence), drops him on his lap (neither ground nor sky) and tears open the demon’s belly with his sharp nails(no weapon). The avatar is neither a great snake from the lower planets, nor a demigod, and not even a pace in the battlefield. Thus, Lord Vishnu not only kills the demon, but also keeps all the conditions of Lord Brahma’s benediction intact.

The Experience

The Narsimha Temple at the Far Banks
The Narsimha Temple at the Far Banks of Ambala Lake

Today, the Ambala lake stands calm, holding back the chaos of yesterday within itself, and offers a peace of mind for its visitors, as the gentle winds form ripples over the surface of the lake waters. The lake has been bound at the edges with concrete steps which can be a good place to spend time in the early mornings or evenings. The banks of Ambala lake is surrounded by Narsimha Temples and you can enjoy a boat ride to visit these temples.

The river bank also invites a lot of travelers in the city to offer obeisance to the holy spirits of the dead and deceased and pray for their happiness.Located away from the chaos of life, the lake is amazingly calm and is a great place to sit, slow down and relax your mind and get rid of all anxieties of material world. Best, take a boat ride on the rowing boat and make yourself one with the serenity.

Reaching Ambala Lake

From Ramtek Temple: The Ambala Lake is visible far off enroute the Ramtek Temple and is a diversion downhill while traveling towards Ramtek Temple. The lake as of today essentially forms an extension of the Ramtek Dam and reservoir.

Activities To Do Near Ambala Lake

  1. Visit the Narsimha Temples: The Narsimha Temple is a must visit here as you can witness the evidences of the duel between the demon Hiranyakashyapu and Lord Vishnu in his iconic avatar.
  2. Night Camping: The spot being next to the water reservoir is an ideal place for night camping and hiking. The surrounding hillocks might seem to be less challenging but it offers enough resistance for the climb and dense forestation. The place has abundant camping grounds on the hill slopes and forms a great outdoor for a group size of 10-15 people.
  3. Photography: The Ambala Lake vicinity forms a source of water for many bird species and is an ideal opportunity for the photographers to entice their photographic talents. The early mornings and late evenings are pleasant and provides a scenic silhouette for a breathtaking photography.
  4. Boating: Although not much of water sports is not available here, but you can always enjoy yourself taking a ride on the rowing boats. A typical ride is available for Rs. 30/- and venturing slowly over the ripples with the soothing breeze is a mesmerizing experience.