Located at an altitude of 4360m, Gosaikunda Lake is considered as one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Nepal. The lake surrounded by mountains is situated in Langtang National Park of Rasuwa District. It is also spelled as Gosainkunda. The lake is accompanied by nine other lakes.
The lake remains frozen for six months in winter and the ice from the lake melts down to form Trishuli River. During the festival of Janai Purnima, in the month of August every year, a large number of devotees come to take holy bath in the river. There is a large rock in the middle of the lake which is believed to be the remains of Shiva shrine. It is also said that a medium carries water directly from the lake to the tank at the Kumbheshwar Temple in Patan in the Kathmandu Valley.
According to the legend, the lake is believed to have formed from digging the land by Lord Shiva’s Trishul (three pointed sword) after he drank poison from the Samundra Manthan and wanted cold water to quench the burning in his throat. It is mentioned in the Hindu scriptures Bhagvata Puran and Vishnu Purana and in the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as Samundra Manthan.
The Gosaikunda area is considered as religious site and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri. Its holy water is considered significant particularly during the Janai Purnima, sacred thread changing festival. This place observes maximum Hindu devotees from Nepal and India on this particular day.
One could also trek to this holy lake. The trail ascends across the forests from Dunche or Syabru. Also, on the way one could pass through a monastery and a cheese factory. The views on the trail are splendid and the sights of the mountains and the numerous small and big lakes are captivating. The Gosainkunda Lake, thus, holds significant religious and natural values adding up to the religious and natural heritage of the country.