Chandratal Lake also known as the Moon Lake is a beautiful lake in the Spiti Valley in Great Himalayan region. Chandra Tal derived its name for its crescent shape of Moon. The Lake is fed by glacial water. You will find peace, serenity and calmness everywhere. The crystal clear water of the lake, lush green area around it, the naked mountains, the snow covered mountains on a distance, the fast travelling clouds over those mountains, the blue sky, the fresh and cool breeze, which cools down your mind and nerves. The sun playing hide and seek with the clouds giving you a pleasant warmth…. this place has everything what a traveller wish. This experience cannot be described in the words. If you want to experience just pay a visit this summer.
How to reach Chandratal:
Chandratal is accessible in different ways. One can go from Manali via Rohtang La. You can also reach Chandratal from Kaza. You can hire taxi from either place. There are buses from Manali and Kaza which will drop you at Batal. There onward you can hire taxi or trek to Chandratal. The other option available is the trek over Hamta Pass. Roads to Spiti are not well maintained which can turn your ride into an adventurous one.
Hamta Pass Trek to Chandratal:
You can start this trek from Prini village. It is a 5-6 days long trip. The trek route is Prini->Jobra->Jwara->Balu Ka Ghera->Hamta Pass->Shea Goru->Chhatru. On reaching Chhatru take a ride for Chandratal via Batal.
Food and Accommodations:
Camps are the only option for accommodation in Chandratal. However, there are few Home-stays and a Rest House in Batal. Though there are a number of Camps providing accommodation there, you can also pitch your own tent, but only near campsite. Area around lake is prohibited for camping. You can also have delicious food in these camps. If you are looking for economical accommodation and food, you can opt to stay at Batal.
My first visit to Chandratal:
My first trip to Chandratal was with ‘Healing Himalayas Foundation’. Healing Himalayas Foundation is a Manali based NGO working on Cleaning and Healing the Himalayas. It was also my first trip in the majestic Spiti Valley. It was a cleaning campaign organized by the NGO in the month of September. We cleaned the lake’s surrounding area and the parking near lake, filled the sacks and returned back to campsite. We also had a very fruitful conversation with one of the camp owner. On our way back, collected the plastic junk at Chhatru too.
‘Beshak Veeran hai lekin khubsurat hai’ is the one sentence to describe Spiti Valley. It means, Although it is deserted but it is beautiful. Believe me it’s a different world out there and it’s amazing. And the Chandratal Lake is the crown of the Spiti Valley. The crystal Clear water of the lake, and the reflections of snowy mountain peaks in the water, can mesmerize anyone.
Picture says a lot, here are some pictures of Chandratal.
View of Glaciers
Reflection in Lake
The Grass Fields