Chandrataal

Durations

4 Days

Difficulty

Easy

Max Altitude

4240

Avg. Temperature

0-20° C

distance

120 km

season

June - October

The Moonlake

Chandratal is a mesmerising glacial lake located at about 4300 meters in the Chandra valley of Lahul district, Himachal Pradesh

A mere description doesnt do justice to the beauty of the lake. It is a crescent shaped lake which showcases different characters and moods depending on the sun and the clouds. The different states and shades of the lake are equally alluring making you want to come back for a visit from time to time. “It can easily said to be the lake from the dream”

Apart from the visuals, the lake is also home to some exotic animals such as snow leopards, Himalayan Ibex, Blue sheep and Red fox, who can adapt to such extreme conditions.
If you are a bird enthusiast, you can find Chough, Kestrel, Snow cock, Chukor and even the Ruddy Shelduck which migrates from extreme cold temperatures to the warmer summers up in the Himalayas.

The lake is situated on the ‘Samudri Tapu’ plateau, surrounded by huge mountains of scree or snow in off seasons.
It is fed by streams originating from the “Samudri Tapu Glacier” which is the source for the river Chandra, the glacial system of the “Chandrabhaaga Ranges”. The lake too drains into the river itself via a soft flowing stream. It had been believed for a long time that ‘Chandrataal’ was the source of origin of the river.

Due to the remote location of the lake, it is only accessible 4-5 months of the year i.e. from June to October as the trail roads become snow free. The lake also thaws out towards the end of May, revealing the enchanting beauty it holds. One can reach the lake from Manali, through Atal tunnel or from Kaza via Kunzum Pass.

The roads are non existant with huge riverstones as the area witnesses over 20 feet of snow during winter. Only the most skillfull drivers can navigate through the trecherous roads without getting stuck. A 4x4 is advised to whosoever is planning a visit on their own.

Mythologies - There are a few folklores around the lake, being told over the generations.
According to ‘Mahabarata’, Lord Indra landed at the lake from the heavens to take ‘Yudhistir’ who was the eldest of the pandava’s, back with him to ‘Swarg’. The lake gained its holy status because of this mention.

Another tale from Spiti speaks about a relation between a mermaid and a shepeard. Some say they got married, some say the shepeard denied her request and the heartbroken mermaid can be seen from time to time but only to unmarried men. Some also believe that the mermaid steals stuff from unmarried men due to being betrayed.

There is one more folklore which talks about the ‘Moon god’ regaining his beauty and powers after bathing in the lake.

Whatever the stories or the folklore say, A visit to the lake is indeed spellbinding. Definitly worth visiting before you die!

Note - Trips depend upon road closure, weather and other such conditions

Early season might see fresh cut roads in the snow. Such conditions require a 4 x 4 vehicle which is not included in the costing

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Stay at outskirts of Manali town
  • Drive to Lahaul valley through Atal Tunnel – 3 hours 
    Altitude – 3200 meters
  • Overnight stay at Luxury Camps
  • Drive to Chandratal via Batal – 4.5 hours
    Altitude – 3850 meters

  • Overnight stay in Luxury camps
  • Checkout and Depart by 10 towards Manali
  • Disperse

Area Map

Included / Excluded

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