About 62 km from Jammu, Mansar is a beautiful lake sounded by forest-covered hills with its length more than a mile and width half-a-mile. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it also has provision for boating for which adequate facilities are provided by the J&K Tourism.
The history of mansar and surinsar goes back to the time of Mahabhartata. Babar Vahan, son of Arjun and Ulpi (daughter of king Nag), was ruling this area during Mahabhartata. After the war of the mahabhartata arjun performed "Ashwamegh Yagya" to prove his supriority over the land. The horse (used as sign of power for Ashwamegh Yagya) was captured by Babar Vahan at village 'khoon' nearby village Ramkot on dhar Udhampur road where Arjun was killed by babar vahan. With joy of victory, babar vahan presented the head of Arjun to his mother Ulpi. She told him that he has killed his father. To make arjun alive again, mani from sheshnag was required. Hence babar vahan made a surang through his arrow and formed surangsar which is now named as surinsar. After defeating sheshnag and capturing mani, babar vahan came out at manisar later on known as mansar.
Mansar can be reached from Jammu on the National Highway while traveling from Jammu to bordering state of Punjab. You can also reach from Udhampur (A District Headquarters, Udhampur is a town approximately 60 Kilometers away from Jammu on the National Highway while traveling from Jammu to Srinagar) on National Highway 1A.
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 from Jammu (via a bypass road).
Mansar is a holy site as well, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. There are ancient temples on the lake side, which are often visited by devotees in large numbers. Some Hindus from the region perform Mundan (First hair cut) ceremony of the male baby here.
Apart from its religious importance and heritage, the Mansar Lake is also picking up as a great tourist spot for all its scenic beauty, flora & fauna. The lake has proper walk way 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.