Mansar Lake is situated 62 km (39 mi) from Jammu, Mansar is a lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Surinsar-Mansar Lakes is designated as Ramsar Convention in November 2005.
Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. On the Eastern Bank of the Lake there is a shrine to Sheshnag, a snake with six heads. The shrine comprises a big boulder on which are placed a number of iron chains perhaps representing the small serpents waiting on the tutelary deity of the Sheshnag. Two ancient temples of Umapati Mahadev & Narsimha as also a temple of Durga are situated in the vicinity of the Mansar lake. People take a holy dip in the water of the lake on festive occasions.
Newlyweds consider it auspicious to perform three circum-ambulations (Parikarma) around the lake to seek the blessings of Sheshnag, the lord of serpents, whose shrine is located on its eastern bank.
Certain communities of Hindus perform the Mundan ceremony (First hair cut) of their male children here.
There are also some ancient temples on the lake’s shores, which are visited by devotees in large numbers. Mansar is also ideal for boating for which the Tourism Department provides adequate facilities.
With all religions belief and heritage behind the Mansar Lake is also picking up its fame among the tourists with all its flora & fauna. The lake has cemented path all around with required illumination, with projected view decks to enjoy flickering of seasonal birds, tortoise and fishes of different species. There is a wild life Sanctuary housing jungle life like Spotted Deer, Neelgai etc. besides other water birds such as Cranes, Ducks etc. One can also witness the traditional and typical distinct life style of Gujjar and Backarwals wearing ethnic costume, living in open Kullhas around on the hills of Mansar Lake.
This Mansar lake road joins to another important road that directly links Pathankot (Punjab) to Udhampur (Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu Province. Udhampur is a Town of strategic importance, again on National Highway No. 1A. The shortcut road from Mansar or Samba to Udhampur by-passes the Jammu town. Surinsar Lake, a smaller lake that is linked to Mansar, is 24 km (15 mi) from Jammu (via a bypass road).