Acchoda (Achchhoda) is one of the greatest of all the famous lakes mentioned in Purāṇas (Puranas). In significance it is at par with the lakes Mānasa and Vindu. Due to variance in pronunciation it is sometimes spelled as Akṣoda (Akshoda).
The lake was dug by a particular sect of manes called Agniṣvātta (Agnishvatta). It is located in front of a mountain named Candraprabha (Chandraprabha) which is situated on the north-eastern side of mount Kailāsa (Kailasha). It is from whence that the river Acchodā (Achchhodaa) originates.
A goddess named Śivadhārinī (Shivadharini) dwells in that lake.
According to modern opinion this lake is in Tibet. If we consider mount Candraprabha to be Surange La which is also situated in the North-Eastern side of the Kailāsha mountain range then by analogy lake Acchoda must be located in Tibet. Another group of scholars believe that lake Acchoda is located in Kashmir and its modern name is Acchāvala (Achchhavala). The lake is 10 miles from Mārtaṇḍa (Martanda), modern day Martana or Matana, and 15 miles from Anantanāga (Anantanaga). From Bāṇabhaṭṭa’s (Banabhatta) surreal description of the lake Acchoda in Kādambarī (Kadambari), it is apparent that the lake is located in Kashmir.
According to a tale in Purāṇas, five gandharva (celestial beings adept in music) maidens used to spend their days in Kuvera’s palace in mirth and merriment. One day they visited the banks of lake Acchoda to pluck flowers for worshipping goddess Gaurī (Gauri). After having plucked a golden-lotus from that lake the gandharva maidens lost themselves in revelry. At that moment, the great sage Vedanidhi’s eldest son came to take a dip in the lake Acchoda. The maidens, through amorous dances and gestures, tried to seduce the sage and marry him. Vedanidhi’s son tried to explain to the maidens that he was still a bramhacārī (brahmachari; celibate bachelor) and without having completed his education in the gurukula (the master’s household-cum-school) he could not marry them. But the gandharva maidens paid no heed to his words, and undeterred, they kept on trying to seduce him. This infuriated the sage and he cursed them to become piśācī [pishachi; a type of (female) ghouls with hideous physical appearance and nature]. In return, the maidens cursed Vedanidhi’s son to become a piśāca (pishacha). As a result, all of them were compelled to live on the banks of Acchoda as piśāca and piśācī. Later, they were freed from the curse by the blessings of sage Lomaśa (Lomasha), and the divine grace of river Narmada.