The lake of the Moon – Chandrataal

Our trek to Hampta Pass formally ended with our arrival at Chattru on the fourth day. The day however was not over yet. What was coming up was much more exciting than what the past few hours until Chattru had been. Soon after a quick but to the heart’s content round of Maggi, I found myself inside a Sumo with five other equally excited people from my group. The Chandrataal lake located 14,100 feet ASL is one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing lakes in the region so the excitement on everyone’s face was obvious. More so because, the visit to Chandrataal was not something which had been decided for sure until the final day.

Road to Chandertaal Lake, Hampta Pass Trek

Road to Chandertaal Lake, Hampta Pass Trek

Given the kind of roads (read no roads in the real sense) it all depended on the weather. “A trip to Chandertaal would be possible only if there is no rain”, we were told long before the trek had started. Even though Spiti falls in what is called the rain-shadow area and hence, receives very less rainfall, when it does, it can be bad. Not that the roads need a lot of rain to go under knee-deep water anyway.

Water-streams on the road, Hampta Pass Trekking

Water-streams on the road, Hampta Pass Trekking

Thankfully there had been no rains for the past couple of days. At places where it was tough to decide whether the stream is on the road or the road is through the stream, the water was thankfully not more than half-a-feet deep. Something which the Sumo was able to manage without much fuss. So were its other siblings who were accompanying us to the moon lake.

Chattru-Chandertaal road, Hampta Pass Trekking

Chattru-Chandertaal road, Hampta Pass Trekking

Passing through big and small water-streams which came high up from the mountains, numerous beautiful waterfalls some of which were flowing right on the gravel-trail of a road that we were driving on and snow-capped peaks at some distance, we soon found ourselves driving right next to the muddy but gorgeous Chandra river.

Snow-capped peaks and the Chandra-river, Hampta Pass Trekking

Snow-capped peaks and the Chandra-river, Hampta Pass Trekking

By the time we reached the Batal bridge, even the non-tea-drinker that is me, badly needed to get a hot glass of tea (yes, not a cup but a full glass was what I needed) to regain some of the warmth. Equally was the need to stretch myself after the close to two-hour long bone-breaking journey. After one round of the much-needed and equally wonderful lemon tea at none other than the iconic Chandra dhaaba of chacha and chachi, we crossed the Batal bridge on our way to Chandertaal, just 14 odd kilometres from here.

Chandra Dhaaba, Batal - Hampta Pass Trekkingj

Chandra Dhaaba, Batal – Hampta Pass Trekking

Almost an hour more of the bumpy and dusty but extremely beautiful drive we finally reached the parking area. “Chandrataal is a fifteen-minute walk from here”, I came to know once there. Now if you have been following my last two posts (this and this) you would be knowing that my knee was screwed. So this another 15-minute walk was not something I was very pleased to hear about.

Chandertaal parking area, Hampta Pass Trekking

See the Parking area there? Chandertaal, Hampta Pass Trekking

By the time I made it to the point from where its one gradual descent to the lake, I was not able to take even a single step more. Or so I thought. For what I glimpsed at for a moment changed everything and in no time I found myself sitting next to the emerald waters of the Chandertaal.

The Chandertaal Lake, Spiti - Hampta Pass Trekking

The Chandertaal Lake, Spiti – Hampta Pass Trekking

Ruchi too joined in soon. Thankfully it was not all that crowded, the way I had expected it to be.

Prayer flags at Chandertaal lake, Hampta Pass Trekking

Prayer flags at Chandertaal lake, Hampta Pass Trekking

And all the tiredness and everything that was endured in the three-hour long journey through gravel and streams up-to here was gone suddenly. The satisfaction and joy which was very much visible on everyone’s face basking in the sun was proof.

Have you ever been to Chandertaal? Or any other lake which really had mesmerized you? Would you like to go visit the Chandertaal someday?

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10 thoughts on “The lake of the Moon – Chandrataal

  1. Wonderful post Rajiv. Looks like it was a sunny day. Roads are nearly non existent near Chatru , Batal etc.
    You rekindled my memories of Chandertaal. This lake has its own place in my heart. Unfortunately i could not spend much time here on my spiti trip. I would love to trek from Kunzum La to Chandertaal someday.

    • Thanks Ankur bhai. Yes we were lucky to be blessed with a bright and beautiful day. Chandertaal has it’s own charm, a magical one. No time is enough. The roads are non-existent and I hope they remain so for good.

      You know, there are no tent accommodation at Chandertal now? They have been pushed some two kilometres away from the lake. Another great step by the administration.

  2. You know there is a nice innocent spirit of your heart I can read in these soulful things, details are perfect like a easy story to read… I just like how excited you feel for Maggi along with the other 5 in your group … the lemon tea yummy yum in that Chacha/Chachi dhabha and the exhaustion that you cannot go to the lake and then when you went to the lake… also the gift that you were taken there. I don’t know how to express this… when your shut at home its like you find so many things wrong with the world… crimes, bad people, it’s not safe to travel and infinite limitations of your mind and body… also things that should happen may crash for small issues and well you can’t regret all that went by… travel na it moulds you… it did me, I like taking risks, accepting different types of people, taking initiative to do good or search for the good instead of assuming everything is rotten… it teaches you to accept things and grow and see beauty in every mundane thing in life…. so I feel… there is immense restlessness and energy wasted away at home and lots of struggle and scope around for all… I used to think it’s hard to camp out in tents, sleep on rocks, hard to travel at buses long journeys, hard to travel as women and I still do… but then things are encouraging na these days… there are so many good people you meet in travels who you bond only due to travel, even if they are not otherwise a big part of your lives… that that… there is die hard optimism and beauty in your blog for sure… I may be blabbering… still hard to believe while one part of the world is dark another part of the world is good….. I am glad people find the good and grow… we need lot more safe adventure and thrills to spice up life, lets face it living everyday safety can at times too get challenging…these things groom you for that.

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