Planning Your Trip to Chandratal Lake: A Guide to Reaching this Breathtaking Destination
Chandratal Lake, popularly known as the trekker’s paradise, is a beautiful lake nestled in the Himalayas. It is located on the Samudra Tapu plateau near the Chandra river and offers stunning views of the Spiti region from its altitude of 4300 meters.
The lake is named after its crescent shape, and it is a perfect destination for those seeking both adventure and relaxation. To reach Chandratal, visitors must navigate through the challenging trails of Batal, which provide an adrenaline rush. Along the way, they can also climb the glaciers between Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass.
This mesmerizing site is steeped in folklore, but it is the turquoise blue water, majestic mountains, and serene surroundings that draw visitors to camp at the lake. Covering an area of 2.5 kilometers, Chandratal attracts a large number of travelers during the summer months.
In the winter months, it is frequented visited by adventure enthusiasts who are eager to push their limits. Chandratal Lake truly lives up to its reputation as one of the most charismatic lakes in the Himalayas.
Chandratal Lake Overview
Chandratal Lake is one of the most breathtaking lakes in Himachal Pradesh, offering a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty. To reach this pristine lake, which is situated at an altitude of 4270 meters, visitors must trek through difficult roads and glaciers. However, the stunning views along the way make it all worthwhile, which is why it is a top destination for expert trekkers.
The Chandratal Lake Wetland Reserve is protected under the Ramsar Wildlife Act, which prohibits camping around the lake. However, visitors can still camp at a designated site about 2 kilometers before reaching the lake.
For those who love the Himalayas, a trip to Chandratal Lake is a must. The reflections of the surrounding mountains in the lake at sunrise are truly magical and something out of the ordinary.
Places of interest
Chandratal Lake Trekking
For avid trekkers seeking challenging hiking trails, the Chandratal Lake trek is a must-do. This exhilarating trek begins in Manali and takes you to Chikka, nestled at an altitude of 3100 meters. The trail then leads to Balu Ka Ghera, Hampta Pass, and Shira Gorh.
After reaching Shira Gorh, you will ascend to the treacherous trails of Batal. Although the route from Batal is tough and exhausting, the stunning views around you will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. From this point, the route splits to Kunzum, the main gateway to the Chandratal Lake.
How to reach Chandratal Lake?
There are two main routes to reach Chandratal Lake by road from Chandigarh. The first route passes through Manali, while the second route passes through Shimla and leads to Spiti Valley.
For the Shimla route, travelers can start from Chandigarh and head towards Narkanda. From there, they can move to Kalpa, Kaza, and Nako before finally reaching Chandratal Lake. It is recommended to travel from Shimla to Kinnaur and then towards Spiti Valley while following this route. After exiting Spiti Valley, travelers can visit Chandratal Lake.
For the Manali route, travelers can start their journey from Delhi and pass through Mandi, Kullu, Rohtang La, Battal, Gramphoo, and finally reach Chandratal Lake. This is a shorter route than the Shimla one.
Travelers can also opt for public transport while traveling to Chandratal Lake. For the Manali route, there are two early morning buses that travel between Manali and Kaza. For the Shimla route, there are two non-AC buses that travel from Shimla to Reckong Peo. Once travelers reach Reckong Peo, they can board a 7:00 AM HRTC bus to reach Kaza. From Kaza, they can take a bus to Manali and get down at the Chandratal Lake diversion point. The remaining distance can be covered by hiking.
The road conditions can be challenging and unfavorable once travelers divert from the Manali-Leh highway. The track from Gramphu to Batal is a rough and dirty route with several water crossings. Similarly, even on the Kaza-Chandratal route, there are several troublesome spots due to rocky formations.
Best Time To Visit Chandratal Lake
Winter is not an ideal time to visit Chandratal Lake as the entire route is blocked by snow. Although the snow starts clearing up in May, the routes beyond Losar remain blocked. The best time to visit the lake is in June, after the snow clearance operation is complete. During this time, you can reach the lake by trekking the 14 km long road from Batal. Alternatively, you can plan your visit between July and September when the roads are open and the weather is pleasant. However, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon season in August due to wet roads and landslides.