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Chota Dara

Chandratal Lake Trek - 8 Days

Trip Introduction

Chandra Tal meaning the Lake of Moon is situated at an altitude of 4270m in the Himalayan region of Lahaul and Spiti. Situated mostly in the part of Spiti. Chandratal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. The Lake is accessible on foot from Batal as well as from Kunzom la pass from late May to mid of October. There is motor able road from Batal which is 16 kms but before mid of July conditions of road can be bad, but less than 2 kms of walk is essential from road head. Trail from Kunzom is more scenic and panoramic overlooking Samudra Tapu glacier, Chandra River and CB peaks. It is 8 kms and takes only 4 hrs. walk from Kunzom to Chandratal Lake. There is no visible source of this Lake yet it takes all its source underground. During summer banks of this Lake are filled with wild flowers. The vast meadows of Lake and its surroundings is favourite summer home for Gaddi Shepherds who graze their flocks in the vicinity of the Lake. The Gaddi shepherds has long held traditional grazing rights in the area. The Lake is also one of the two high altitude wetlands of India which have been designated as Ramsar sites.

 

This trekking program, lasts for 8 days, sets out from the Sethan village (2900m), 8 km. South of Manali, at the beginning of Hamta valley and ends after arriving at Baralacha-la pass (4890m). Begin to trek from Sethan village (2900m) gentle and easy trail through thick silver oak forest, Hamta river to Chikka (3300m), following by small stream before Jwara.  Scaling height and leaving Bears den (Baloo ka Ghera) behind you cross Hamta-pass (4268m). From top of pass one could see peaks of Deo-Tibba (6001m) and Indrasan (6220m). Now trek down to main Chandra valley, after crossing river, following the left bank of Chandra, we cross over the wooden bridge near Chatru (3100m). Further 45 km on dirt road, driving up to Kunzom La pass (4551m) having a view of Spiti valley, 8 kms trek down in large meadows, lake of moon approached. Further the trail crosses the two river crossing of Tokpo Yongma and Tokpo Gongma. Crossing over the boulders and grassy stretches, reach the top of the Baralacha-la pass. The pass joins the Manali-Leh national highway.

Outline Trip itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Delhi / Chandigarh - Drive to Manali.

Day 2 - Arrive Manali. Relax visit local sights in around Manali

Day 3 - Drive to Prini (1'900m) - Sethan (2900m) 1 hr -Trek to Chikka (3,100m) 4-5 hrs, O/N camp

Day 4 - Trek to Balu Ka Gera (3'600m) 6-7 hrs, O/N camp

Day 5 - Trek to Hamta pass (4'268m) - Shia Goru (3'900m) 7-8 hrs, O/N camp

Day 6  - Trek to Chatru (3'100m) 5-6 hrs, O/N camp

Day 7 - Drive to Batal - Kunzum la (4551m) 2 hrs, Trek to Palhamo dhar (4650m) -  Chandratal (4270m) 5-6 hrs.

Day 8 - Trek to Tokpo Yongma 4'400m 6-7 hrs, O/N camp

Day 9 - Trek to Tokpo Gongma (4'700m) 6-7 hrs, O/N camp

Day 10 - Trek to Baralacha la (4'890m) 4-5 hrs & drive to Keylong (3'100m) - Manali (1'940m) 8 hrs.

Day 11 - Manali - Chandigarh - Delhi. Volvo overnight buses to Delhi leaves at 4:30pm.

Day 12 - Arrive Delhi 6:00am,  fly home.

8 days Cost Includes (Day 3 to Day 10)

  7 nights camp with all camping facilities

  3 men spacious four season tent for 2, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cozy dining tent, Trekking poles.

  All meals Ex Manali to Manali:  (Except day first breakfast and dinner last day).

  Group transportation by private vehicle - to and fro per itinerary.

  Qualified and trained local guide, cook, camp helper and trekking mules or porters 

  Portage for your baggage

  Service tax 3.50%

  Medical first aid basic kit.

 

Cost excludes

  Domestic flight ticket and hotel accommodations in Manali.

  Soft or hard drinks

  Tipping  and other items of personal nature, Laundry and

  Any unforeseen cost arises beyond trek schedule.

Trip facts

Activities: Trekking, walking, camping

Best season: June end to Mid-October

Trip length: 8 days Manali to Manali

Trip grade: Moderate

Altitude: Maximum 4890m/16040ft

Group size: 2 -12 people

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY

Day 1 - Arrive Delhi / Chandigarh - Drive to Manali.

Day 2 - Arrive Manali. Relax visit local sights in around Manali

 

Day 3 - Drive to Prini (1'900m) - Sethan (2900m) 1 hr -Trek to Chikka (3,100m) 4-5 hrs, O/N camp

Today leaving Manali, we drive 3 km south of Manali on the left bank of Beas River to Prini village. Continue to drive through the Prini village and temple located above the village. Arriving at Hamta village and Sethan village. Sethan village is small settlements of early horseman known as Khampas of Tibetan origin. Who are mainly dealt with trekking mules up today? 45-minute walk through alpine forest to the Panduropa, Panduropa is known for the small paddy field - where Pandavas of Mahabharata during their exile, spent a part of time in this region and said to be cultivated crops at Panduropa. Now we trek 3 hrs. Horizontally through thickly forested area with abundance of flowers untill reaching the campsite of Chikka.

 

Day 4 - Trek to Balu Ka Gera (3'600m) 6-7 hrs, O/N camp

Today leaving Chikka we follow the left banks of Hamta. Later we cross Hamta stream by bridge. Another wooden bridge at short distance. Around Chhika some fantastic view of Rocky Mountains. After crossing the second bridge we climb gently to Jwara for 2 hrs. walks. Where we will pass beneath the waterfall. The next adventure is going to be a stream crossing just before Jwara. With the help of Guide and if not, with the help of riding horse you may cross the stream. Now the trail gently climbs to Balu ka Gera campsite. From where we will have first view of our next day crossing of Hamta pass. It’s a beautiful campsite close to crystal clear water. Be aware of Bear in this area by early season trek and late season trek. The area itself is known for Bears Den. Keep exploring surrounding of you for a rare view of Bear.

 

Day 5 - Trek to Hamta pass (4'268m) - Shia Goru (3'900m) 7-8 hrs, O/N camp

A gradual climb begins after Bhalu ka gera (bears den). Balu ka Gera that is known for wild flowers, rocks and caves. A further 1: 30 hrs. Minutes trail takes you to Hamta pass. From Hamta pass fantastic view of Inderkila, Deo Tibba (6001m) and Indersan (6220m). Which is superb to see? After crossing the Hamta pass, one enters the Lahoul valley. Walk down to the campsite near by the stream. Overnight camp.

 

Day 6  - Trek to Chatru (3'100m) 5-6 hrs, O/N camp

Cross-stream near the camp and follow the right bank until it joins with the Chandra River. Again, cross the same stream by small wooden bridge. Now follow the left bank of Chandra River. 30 minutes later a motor able bridge to be cross to reach at the campsite of Chhatru.

 

Day 7 - Drive to Batal - Kunzum la (4551m) 2 hrs, Trek to Palhamo dhar (4650m) -  Chandratal (4270m) 5-6 hrs.

Leaving Chatru behind we continue along the right bank of Chandra River. Good view of Bara Shigri glacier on the left side. All above the glacier which is 12 km in length longest in Himachal, peaks of White Sail, Shigri Parbat, and Kullu Makalu where daring mountaineers touch the sky can widely be seen. Crossing bridge soon after Batal, we drive towards Kunzom la following small stream, which originated above pass. Arriving at pass has a glimpse of Spiti valley, which runs 170 kms towards south. We take a path, which goes to Lake 8 km; approach large meadows - a favorite area with a multitude of shepherd’s huts. Passing and crossing a long stretch of stony ground and small stream arrive at the lake. Across Chandra river most fascinating sight of Samudra Tapu glacier, North Dakka glacier, South Dakka glacier and Silver glacier. Above the glaciers towering mighty peaks of Moulkila and C.B. peaks. Leaving Kunzom we trek to Chandratal which is 8 kms long and has a wide panoramic view of Chandra Bhaga peaks all around. Camp after Chandratal.

 

Day 8 - Trek to Tokpo Yongma 4'400m 6-7 hrs, O/N camp

A long exhausted trek but well worth, because occasionally trekkers encounters patches of green pastureland. This stretch is about 14 to 16 km. The trail starts with a series of ups and downs through steep ravine and boulders - stream fields. As you progress, a flat grassy land, which slopes up to snow, clad ridge. Snow cock can be heard has heard and even sighted, if you are lucky. After 3 hrs the trail winds down a knoll, which has a steep precipice to the river far down to the left. Cross the stream if the water is low or find Snow Bridge up near the source. Or camp and cross next morning as earliest.

 

Day 9 - Trek to Tokpo Gongma (4'700m) 6-7 hrs, O/N camp

Trek through a narrow valley flanked on both sides by snow capped mountains. Star walk early as possible, since this stream to be cross, while the flow of the water is less early in the day. A short walk after crossing the river, here the valley opens out on a broad plateau where camp is set on a delightful grassy patch.

 

Day 10 - Trek to Baralacha la (4'890m) 4-5 hrs & drive to Keylong (3'100m) - Manali (1'940m) 8 hrs.

Today early departure from camp towards Baralacha la pass, which is 7 km long, gives the source of three rivers - Chandra through South, Bhaga through upper Lahoul and Yunam towards Zanskar. A splendid view of M-4, which is the highest in the Moulkila range, can be seen from the trail as well as of Keorang range of Great Himalayas. On the pass, join the main highway. We will be pick up by our vehicle here and drive to Manali

 

Day 11 - Manali - Chandigarh - Delhi. Volvo overnight buses to Delhi leaves at 4:30pm.

Day 12 - Arrive Delhi 6:00am,  fly home.

 

Previous Chandratal Lake Trek and reviews

 

“Potala Adventures had organized our Chandratal trek & we had an absolutely fantastic 7 days trek. Ravinder our guide needs special mention for taking care of all our needs and giving us a memorable trip. The food, tents, sleeping bags were all of very high standard. Tenzin & Prem were very good in organizing the trek. ”
Dr. N. Philip – COCHIN – 27 Aug. – 02 Sept. 2012

“Had a wonderful trek with Potala Adventures, the staff was very understanding? Ravinder is a great person to be a guide. The food provided was good. Overall experience was excellent. ”
Dr. B. Suneja – 27 Aug. – 02 Sept. 2012

To Potala Adventurers
“Thank you so much for an incredible experience in the Himalayas. As it was our first trekking trip, we were extremely grateful to have such a wonderful team guiding us every step of the way. Everybody was extremely helpful and welcoming. We will surely return soon for another amazing adventure. A special shout out to Ravinder, he was an incredible guide – we have been on several trips but have never been accompanied by such an exceptional guide. Thank you again. ”
Manisha B., Milind B., Tanvin B., Heena S., Kamlesh S., Mayur G., Madhavi G.– 13 Aug – 19 Aug 2012

 

“Days: 4 nights 5 days. Guide: Ravinder, very informative, helpful and friendly. Took good care and guided well. Cook: Prem, cooked very delicious food, very fast. Did not say no to anything we asked. Horseman: Megh Singh. Nice guy, friendly. Equipment: Excellent, all in good conditions.

About Potala: Overall I was a beautiful, memorable experience. Service offered by Potala was very good and highly satisfactory. We would definitely recommend Potala to our friends. Thanks to Mr. Tenzin and his team, for organizing wonderful trek”

Mr. Karishnamurthy & Mrs. Shruti H, BANGALORE- Karnataka. 19th Sep. - 23 Sep. 2011

 

1) “We loved the trip; it was very well organized by Tenzin and his team. Ravinder was our Guide, and he took great care of us through the entire trip. We loved POTALA Adventurers and will come back for more next year. We love Lakpa Ji, Prem ji and Chotu helped with excellent cooking.”

Shanti S - MUMBAIi - 20.7.11 – 24.7.11

 

2) “It was a fabulous, out of the world experience. It was very well organized by the Potala team, a special mention to our guide Ravinder, who turned out to our friend and philosopher. Our drive Mr. Lakpa Seth, and other Mr. Prem Ji and Chotu were also a great team. We completely enjoyed the whole trip and hope to keep coming back”.

Hema A - MUMBAI. 25.7.11

 

3) “An excellent, adventurous and beautiful trip. We had an excellent team with us. The guide Ravinder was the best person to accompany us, he help us all the way. The cook Prem made excellent food. Mr. Lakpa who drove us from Chandratal to Manali was one of the best and trusted guy to drive on this mountainous road. To sure it, we had a great trip. Thanks to Potala Adventurers”

Jayshree N – MUMBAI -20.7.11--24.7.11

 

4) “I totally agree with this, it was really super excellent adventurous trip”.

Bhagyashri - MUMBAI - 20.7.11 – 24.7.11.

 

"All in all we had a fantastic trek to Chandratal. The team was very helpful and the level of service was impressive. They did everything they could to make us feel comfortable, and they kept the enthusiasm through the hole trek. In particular we were impressed by the food that was served - some of the best we got in India :) Even though it was the monsoon period, we had great weather, only raining once for a few hours. Because of the clear weather we were able to enjoy the great landscapes surrounding us. After the trek KG took us for a day of sightseeing around Manali. This was a very nice gesture and we were really overwhelmed by his kindness and hospitality. Thank you very much for a great trek and a remarkable experience!! We have already recommended Potala Adventures to our friends. Send our best wishes to Tanzin, Gian, Neema, Nirmal, his younger brother and KG.” Kind regards-

Lars, Nashwan, Sachin and Soren. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK.

 

Dear Sir | Madam, "I am writing in recommendation of our guide Raj and our cook Lobsang who made our eight day trek from Manali to Losar via the Hamta pass and Chandratal thoroughly enjoyable. Plenty of superb quality food was provided at the regular intervals and was always piping hot, even when it was freezing outside. Our guide was very knowledgeable and showed us more than just the way ahead: pointing out the wildlife, facts of the region and the names of the mountains. He was very helpful, helping to carry my bag when I was tired and cheering me up when altitude made me feel sick. Both Raj and Lobsang spoke good English and provided useful insights into Hindu and Buddhist cultures respectively. They are both very friendly and I would consider them a wise choice for future trekking expeditions. ” Yours Sincerely –

Rebecca N, UNITED KINGDOM, 22.05.2000

 

“We came back from a trek to Chandra Tal and overall it exceeded our expectations. Our guide Yeshi Lama and cook, cooked us by far the BEST meals and was always there to assist us from river crossing to trench digging in the popping rain. We throughly enjoyed our time in the mountains and we recommend anyone to join a trek with Potala, Yeshi as a guide especially. ”

Lavinia & Kathy Mok, Ontario, CANADA - Peter & Santos, Berkel, NETHERLANDS.

 

“Dear Prem, First of all i would like to say that we had an amazing experience.

The trip was very well organised. Tenzin was very helpful. Me and my friend felt very well taken care of. As it was my first trek experience. It was a beautiful journey. We made some friends on our way. Chandratal is an awesome place. The changing landscapes blew our minds. We would like to do this every year.

The people who went with us, cook and the porter were very nice people (very motivating). You have a great team. Thanks a lot. Warm Regards“

Megha M. with her friend - NEW DELHI

Chandratal similar trips

HAMTA PASS & CHANDRATAL   5 days  

Chandra Tal meaning the Lake of Moon is situated at an altitude of 4270m in the Himalayan region of

Regions: Kullu, Lahoul, Best Season: June End to Mid-October,

Total days: 5 Manali to Manali. Trek days: 4,

Grade: Easy to Moderate, Max Altitude: 4650m Dhar Palhamo

It is 8 kms & takes only 4 hrs. walk from Kunzom to Chandratal Lake. There is no visible source of this Lake yet it takes all its source

Trip Length: 9 days Delhi to Delhi and 6 days Manali to Manali

Grade: Moderate to strenuous, Altitude: 4890m/16043ft

Best Season: June end to mid-October

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