History of Rewalsar
Rewalsar as a part of Mandi district was an inhabited area existed ever since the pre-historic men but as a recognized royal place it was founded by Bahu Sen in 1200 AD. The rulers of Mandi district were believed to be the descendants of the Chandervanshi Rajputs of Sen Dynasty of Bengal, who are said to be the offspring of Pandavas of the Mahabharata times. The area was ruled by the Sen Dynasty for a long time by Shyam Sen, Gaur Sen, Sidh Sen, Shamsher Sen, Surma Sen, Ishwari Sen, Jalam Sen, Balbir Sen, Vijay Sen, Bhawani Sen and Joginder Sen.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied the territory in 1839 but he died very soon in the same year. This led to the fall of Sikh rule and the British rule slowly began to spread its power towards the mid-18th century.
Lala Lajpat Rai began the revolutionary activities in this area in 1906. The residents actively participated in the freedom struggle.
Finally after independence the present District of Mandi was formed along with Himachal Pradesh state on 15 April 1948, by merging the two princely states – Mandi State and Suket. Rewalsar became a part of Mandi district.
Rewalsar town has been religiously emphasized by three different religious tales.
1. Hinduism- The town has been mentioned in the Sakand Puran and the Mahabharata. The lakes around Rewalsar are associated with the Pandavas as their abode during their escape. The town is also associated with the tale of Rishi Lomas who meditated here to please Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Lord was so impressed with his devotion that they blessed him by revealing the secrets of the place where all the Devatas (Gods) are disguised as flowers, floating lands and trees.
2. Buddhism – Rewalsar is associated with the Buddhist Saint Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). The tale says that the King of Mandi heard that the Saint was teaching his daughter the Buddhist religion. He was outraged at this act of the Saint and without any investigation he had Padmasambhava burnt alive. The pyre burned for a whole week and the clouds were full of black smoke. It was so surprising for everyone that after a week, a lake appeared at the site where he was burnt. In the middle of the Lake there was a Lotus flower and Padmasambhava appeared as a 16 year old boy from the lotus. The king was so sorry and shameful of his act and he got his daughter married to Padmasambhava. The Saint later went to Tibet and started preaching Vajrayana Buddhism.
3. Sikhism-The legendary tale says that the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh came to Rewalsar to seek the support of the King to fight against the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Rewalsar was ruled by the Sen Dynasty rulers – Bahu Sen, Ajmer Sen, Shyam Sen, Gaur Sen, Sidh Sen, Shamsher Sen, Surma Sen, Ishwari Sen, Jalam Sen, Balbir Sen, Vijay Sen, Bhawani Sen and Joginder Sen.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied Mandi in 1839
The British took over Mandi in the mid-18th century
Rewalsar became famous as it is sacred to followers of three different religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism