Exploring Chandratal | Chattru to Battal

10

The Journey so far-

Chattru – Bada Dhara

As we moved from Chattru towards Bada Dhara the panaromic views were at the heights of breath taking views. The next set of pictures doesn’t have words for their descriptions they were simply superbly great thing to witness. I don’t know the names of the peaks in question but I never so much of snow before in my life. Don’t think the pictures does justice to the nature but certainly helps store image of something close to it.

Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara
Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara
Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara
Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara
Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara
Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara
Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara

Views between Chattru and Bada Dhara

Bada Dhara To Battal

Hmm…now we were approaching the base of the valley and it was like I am seeing a movie because none of us had ever been into the valley with river flowing by your side and you are surrounded by snow everywhere you point your eyes. Feeling was simply inexplicable. But, down the road after just crossing the bada dhara there was a JAM (although only 8 vehicles were there ;), but road was blocked) and the reason being a Bulldozer was down with some gear problem in the middle of the passerby of snow, while cutting through it. No way it could have moved, and the person who had to fix it need to go back to Losar to get the gear and come back and fix it. So, all firangis decided to move back and somehow in that thin passerby you have to provide space for the vehicles coming from kunzum side. The problem took a step further when firangis standing in forn of the queue with their 4X4 jeep decided to go back to chota dhara rest house. Now how to back? One kancha asked our drive to take the car on the edge but driver was afraid so he said in local “fatt rahi hai sale ki, and made a mockery of him!” but seeing the condition of the tyres I thought it was wise enough to make a safe call. But, somehow they managed to cut down the snow from the edges and got some inches to reverse their monsters. Here are few pictures where we got stuck.

Snow passerby…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

The JAM we got stuck into…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Some overwhelming views from the place we got stuck…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal
Views between Bada Dhara and Battal
Views between Bada Dhara and Battal
Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Trying to make their way…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal
Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

People reversing and heading back…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

The last leg….and road was clear backwards….

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

While the others backed up we didn’t have any choice rather than heading straight to battal by doing a trek which was initially expected to be from Chota dhara so certainly we had saved few kilometers for sure. We took out the luggage, got it packed on our backs and shoot ahead for the Battal. We were stuck there for more than an hour after which we decide to go ahead on foot.

Blockage to Battal

It was around 4.15 PM now and we left from the blockage. The road ahead was not ought to be easy, but with so much enthusiasm we were equally up to the task. Our driver decided to stay with the car itself and told us that he will reach battal as soon as the road gets open. We marched ahead, unknown to the facts what the nature might have in store for us. All of us saw so much snow for the first time and it was as if we were totally in a new world. Bulldozer down….

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

All geared up… one missing as he is clicking the photo 😀

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Walking on the snow for the first time…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Oops it was too much for my cousins…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Difficulty ahead…First walks on the snow slope….

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Walking on the river bed….

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Missing person found 😉 … my turn to click his photo :D…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

Me and the lonely valley… Great combo…

Views between Bada Dhara and Battal
Views between Bada Dhara and Battal
Views between Bada Dhara and Battal

On the way we found many more cars stuck across the river bed coming from tabo waiting for someone to arrive and let them know for any chances of way getting up and running. Unfortunately for them we were the devil’s messenger and letting them know about the probability being almost close to zero percent. Finally with our feet chilled like ice walking nearly for more than 2 hours, we reached battal around 6.30 to setup our base camps. Our guide went on to search a flowing stream of water for the supply and started to unfold the tents. This was the yet another first time for us to be in tents, although I went to shiv puri for 3 days but this was special because of the cold. We clicked few snaps from the base camp site and I think they better tell the story…

A TREAT TO WATCH

Views at Battal

Two shades of snow….

Views at Battal

Our camp, up and fastened

Views at Battal

Wish I stayed here forever with someone special… 😉 The best of the trip so far… the moon, the snow, the tint of orange cloud….

Views at Battal

Walking with so many loads was extremely tiring especially when your routine job is to stick you’re and watch a 15’’ or 17’’ color screen. Lack of stamina was written all over each of the 5 faces…. It was evening and cold was getting higher and higher and mercury dipping below close to zero, we needed fire. There was a big group who came across the kunzum that very day had also set-up the camp on the very location as well. They were 16 in number all in search of adventure. Feels very special to meet nerds like you on the way when your parents think you are alone in the madness, but see we have company and we are just rookies into it. One of them seemed to be very professional asked on the fire place where are you headed. We told them “chandratal”.

First thing he asked,” what do you do? “ We replied “Engineers”!! 😀 …. he said only engineers have the keeda of doing something different., so that’s why I understand why you want to die. Suddenly he went emotional and asked us “Don’t even attempt it.” Adding to it said “I am doing trekking for so much time and I was stuck in 4 feet of snow today 4-5 kms in there. Below the feet water was flowing like anything, you can be flown into the violent Chandra River anytime if it breaks or you slip. Adding to the assault snowfall was extremely heavy. I had to dig out myself and at that moment I had my balls in my mouth. And I don’t think you guys must be having any snow gear with you”. We replied very tamely “No”. 🙁 He added if you want adventure go to kaza tomorrow, you will see most exciting and adventurous things ever. This was all said in a very emotional manner and a chill went through our body hearing all the stuff.

Morale was down as we took it with sign of good omen and believed him. One of my cousins backed up that very day and said he will be staying there only. We had few drinks and our guide cooked some pulao over there. I was too tired and was also saying in drunken tone that we also must not go. We will stay here. It was a shock. But, back of my mind I was thinking let other also come tomorrow and we will ask them about their experience. With that I went to sleep and soon my cousins and frend followed. This sums up the day 2 of the journey which was quite long and we did click a lot of photos on the day. It had full of surprises and first time experiences. Today we slept with the curiosity and fear seeing the chandratal when no one did this year.

The Journey ahead-

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You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

10 Comments

  1. Pingback: Exploring Chandratal | Manali to Chattru - DeViL on WheeLs

  2. is rothang pass closed on tuesday oct 4 th 2011.Is it true only himachal pradesh tourism vechiles are allowed in the rothang pass lahul spiti valley.

    • Heyy Uday,

      Yes, Rohtang Pass is closed on Tuesdays for maintenance work but you can cross it if you really want in the wee hours of the day i.e. may be before 5 AM types. Yes, it is tru that only HP number cars are allowed to ply on Manali – Rohtang Pass road. You need to get the permits for your car (no permit required for bike) and detailed information can be read here: Non – HP Vehicles Need Permit on Manali – Rohtang Pass Road

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more doubts or queries.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  3. Pingback: Delhi to Chandratal Lake, Spiti Valley | Travel Guide | DeViL on WheeLs…

  4. Hello Jacob,
    Thanks for liking the write-up and the info. I hope it was useful for you. I am also hoping to see Spiti (Kaza and Tabo + Pin Valley ) this year.
    BTW, June is always bad I feel in terms of weather in that region. It is this June when people get starnded in the stretch of Chattru to Battal due to bad weather. We were extremely lucky to reach as close to it as possible, just failing due to lack of stamina. Perhaps being the first trip we were too complacent 🙂 … However, it was an amazing experience.
    There is also a Travel Guide on Chandratal in the Travel Guides section which I wrote after coming from Chandratal, if required you can also check that and add or comment some valuable information you have for the terrain. Good luck with your plan too.
    Regards,
    Dheeraj Sharma

  5. Jackson Jacob on

    I tried to reach Chandertal in june 2007 but could not make it due to extreme weather conditions and turned towards Kaza & Tabo…after reading about your adventure thinking of trying again hopefully this year….Nice write up & thanks for some very vital information on the trek….

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