Bhrigu Lake gains its fame from mythology, of course! Where else would this beautiful location in Dev Bhoomi Himachal Pradesh become known? Steeped deep in Hinduism – as far as the beginning of the way of life, Bhrigu Lake holds an ardent place in the hearts of believers.
However, I am here to tell you that this is not the only attraction of the Bhrigu Lake Trek. The ever-changing scenery and reflections in the lake add to its charm. Then the serenity of meadows during the trek itself adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Even for the experienced trekkers, it becomes magical. Bhrigu Lake trek will be the epitome of storytelling for a beginner trekker.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
The mythology of Bhrigu Lake
Maharishi Bhrigu, one of the seven sages of Hinduism, sat in deep meditation at this lake. The locals believe that the lake never freezes completely because of its spiritual connection, no matter how cold it gets.
The lake never freezes – legends have it that the regional Gods of the Kullu region visit this lake to take a dip in the sacred waters. Guru Vashisht travels to the lake every couple of years – this is announced by way of a “medium.” And during his visit, elaborate plans are made by devotees to accompany him on his bi-annual tour of the lake.
About the Bhrigu Lake Trek
Now if I know my audience well, I know you love that adrenaline rush and dream of climbing high mountains while conquering new, albeit off-beat, heights. This trek has enough meat to entice the experienced trekkers and enough substance to ensure the safety of beginner trekkers. Sitting pretty at an elevation of 4304 mt in Kullu valley, the lake comes as a true surprise after traveling through deep valleys and mountains.
This is a three-day trek to reach the high alpine glacial lake at an ambitious height of 14,000 ft. Lying super close to the junction of the mighty Pir Pinjal range and equally mesmerizing Dhauladhar range – one can feel the prominence of the valley. The lake is not difficult to reach, and the views are spectacular enough to keep you engrossed for the entirety of the duration. In fact, for most of this trek, you’ll be sailing along many meadows – oh what a delight!
Marvelous peaks like Deo Tibba and Seven Sisters can be seen from the trail of this trek, a great accompanying view that will leave you mesmerized! You have the option of ending this trek in the village of Vashisht. Vashisht is very popular in its hot sulfur spring. You have to head to the hot water springs where you can get relief from all your pain.
|Maximum Elevation||14000 Ft|
|Duration||3-4 Days (Manali to Manali)|
|Distance Covered||25 km|
How to reach Bhrigu Lake – Trek Starting Point
The trek will begin from Gulaba, Manali, approximately 8 KMs away from Rohtang. Manali is of course very well connected by road, given its importance in Himachali tourism. However, other forms of travel, while present, are more cumbersome and requires at least a leg to be covered by road.
There is no airport at Manali. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar which is 50 km away from Manali. There are cabs (shared/private) that are available near the Airport. Flights are limited as this is a small, hill-station airport. Thus, if looking to be on a budget, this option might not be viable/ you’ll need to plan.
A better-connected Airport is Chandigarh Airport, approximately 300 KMs away. This airport enjoys decent connectivity from major destinations in India. From here, one can rent a car, hire a cab, or head to ISBT, Chandigarh (Sector 43), to catch a bus.
No direct trains run to Manali. However, you can take Shatabdi till Chandigarh and hire a cab/ take a bus for the remainder of the journey.
You can either rent a self-drive car or drive on your own from Delhi to reach Manali and then trek to Bhrigu Lake from Manali. Assuming your starting point as Delhi, the route is as below:
Delhi – Sonepat – Panipat – Karnal – Ambala – Rajpura – Sirhind – Fatehgarh saheb – Roopar/Roopnagar – Kiratpur – Swarghat – Bilaspur – Sundarnagar – Mandi – Kullu – Manali
Overall, the above journey will take you around 12 hours of driving time. However, this is as unfeasible as it is silly. So, do take many stops along the way – plenty of dhabas on the Delhi – Chandigarh route and then plenty of views along the Himachali Pradesh part.
There are regular HPSRTC and HRTC buses that run from Kashmiri Gate, Delhi to Manali. You can catch any of these buses to reach Manali/other locations in Himachal Pradesh for your beginner level trek. Again, cabs/buses for your journey ahead will be available at the Bus Stand. HRTC and HP Govt. buses are the most comfortable, with Volvos available as well. Prices range from 530 to 1400/- for reaching Manali
I would urge you to consider using a public transport for this trip – you will definitely not be using your vehicle for your trekking portion – what’s the point of worrying about its safety/logistics?
Itinerary for Trek to Bhrigu Lake
The stunning views of snow-capped mountains, the beautiful lushness of the forest, the cobalt blue skies and of course, the meadows – this is what dreams are made of! Bhrigu Lake trek is gaining admiration due to the easy of accomplishment while simultaneously providing drool-worthy views.
I have to highlight the meadows for a second here – normally, to enter into Himalayan Meadows, we have to reach a height of at least 11,000 ft., as meadows exist above the tree line. Such trekking to 10000 feet would require a trek of two days easily. Not with Bhrigu Lake Trek. Here, the moment you start the trek, almost instantaneously you’ll be transported into a meadow.
The endless pastures of beautiful lush green are indescribable. You should see them with your own two eyes to believe it. Trust me; no picture can ever do justice. Oh, and also, this endless carpet of green is feeding beautiful horses and other animals. The wildflowers splattered around, add to the charm. I, for one, have often stopped – too enchanted to move – amazed by the beauty of mother nature.
Day 0 – Manali
Reach Manali by your preferred mode of travel. Spend the day! Also, ensure you have all the needed arrangements for the trek to Bhrigu Lake like – camping gear, guide, food, etc.
Day 1 – Gulaba to Rola Khuli
Let the adventure begin! You begin the day by driving to Gulaba, located around 22 km from Manali, taking an hour to reach. The drive will take you along the Rohtang-la road. So, this is where you’ll be greeted by lush mountains fully covered by pine forests.
This is your last contact with civilization for the next few days – ensure you’ve everything you need, including enough drinking water and that your tummy is full! A few make-shift shops are splattered across this once-sleepy-now-touristy hamlet.
Do not forget to check our detailed list of items to carry when going on a trek.
During your trek today, you’ll be reaching an altitude of 12,566 Ft. and alternating between walking in deep forests to strolling through beautiful meadows. About an hour into your trek, you’ll be reaching Jonkar Thatch.
Some people choose to camp the first night here. However, I would truly suggest keeping trudging on! The destination for Day 1 is your first campsite of Rola Kholi.
The second half of the day requiring strenuous activity
After Jonkar Thatch, the trail is steep and through deep forests. However, after 20 minutes of heavy cardio, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful open meadow where Hanuman Tibba will be visible over the background along with the seven sisters peak seated just below. The meadow again will lead you into deep forests to finally open up at Rola Khuli, which is a scenic and stunning grazing ground for the local shepherds.
Obviously, carry sufficient water in your bottle as there are only two water sources along the route – one stream crossing 15 minutes before Rola Khuli and the other 10 minutes before Rola Khuli (Chor Nallah and Kohli Nallah). Also, the duration of trekking today would be around 4-5 hours, covering around 6 KMs.
Camp underneath the stars in Solang Valley and be in awe of the sheer beauty of Himalayas- it will be a night to remember.
Day 2 – Rola Khuli to Bhrigu Lake to Pandu Ropa
The excitement today should be palpable in the air, folks – for today is the day you get to your goal! I must tell you to be up as early in the AM as possible for two reasons. Of course, one reason is to catch the might Himalayan sunrise, and the second reason is we have a tonne of the base to cover. So let’s get moving, you’ll.
Since we are covering 10 KMs today and reaching the mighty height of 14009 Ft, it is important to be mentally charged. The biggest game in any trekking activity is the sheer will and determination to do it. It is easy to be tired and remains tired –but pushing past that inclination is where champions are born. So, be prepared to work it!
You should always carry your water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
Workout to earn your views
A noteworthy thing to keep in mind while on this relatively easy trek is that there are two high altitude ridges between which the lake lies. You’ll have to climb the first ridge to reach the lake, and the trail has a snow cover till June. Once you reach the top of the ridge, you’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of the lake – for most; the fog engulfs the lake. In fact, till June, the route is mostly covered in snow.
One word of caution though – the trek today is tougher then yesterdays’. Total trekking time for today is about 7 hours (3.5 hours each way). The first two hours of your climb to reach the top of the ridge before you descend towards the lake is hardcore – especially for beginner trekkers. This portion is daunting and steep and will keep you on your toes. Take rest and do listen to your body – no need to unnecessarily challenging yourself. Also, do ensure you are drinking enough water.
On this particular day, water is not much of an issue, but do carry your water bottle. There are streams along the way, and of course, you have the lake at the epitome of it all. The Bhrigu lake is frozen most of the months and an amazing view to watch. However, peculiarly, the lake is never truly fully frozen, even in the harshest of winter months.
Sleeping near the lake isn’t considered auspicious as per the local traditions, it is advisable to move on from here. Also, nights are exceptionally chilly (even though, I assume, the night sky would be crazy beautiful). There is an option to pitch your tents further away from the lake.
However, carry sufficient woolens if you plan on doing so. Once you’ve had your heart’s fill of the views, it is time to start the next phase of your journey – moving to camp at Pandu Ropa. The descend will take you through alpine meadows, and you’ll enjoy the relaxed pace of your walk after the strenuous morning experience!
Pandu Ropa will provide you with insane views of the Kullu Valley. In the summer months, lots of flowers all around and shepherds with their sheep will mark the landscape – enjoy!
Day 3 – Head to Vashisht
Now comes the last day of Bhrigu Lake trek.
While most people choose to go back to Gulaba, I strongly urge you to make your way to Vashisht. Vashisht is a gorgeous hamlet perched in a scenic valley for you to explore as well.
On today’s trek – it is essential to be vigilant as the trek is mostly downhill and often slippery. Thus, it is difficult to maintain balance. Not only will you be crossing meadows and forests today, but you’ll also be moving through apple orchards and many little villages along the way!
The trek today will take almost 4 hours to reach Vashisht water springs. You can choose to spend a day (or more!) in Vashisht before heading back to Manali. Manali is approximately 1 hour from Vashisht; you can choose to walk or catch a ride from here!
Bhrigu Lake Trek is a Himachali Beginner Trek that will test your physical strength at a few points. But, what makes the journey worth it are the views of the meadows and the glacial lake as the epitomic climax!
No two trek durations end up at the same lake – for the lake morphs its identity based on its whims. Sometimes the lake is royal blue and often emerald green. Sometimes, in between, the Bhrigu lake will have chunks of floating ice. Hence, the lake often has re-visitors wanting to be mesmerized one more time, but, by completely different views.
Have you been to Bhrigu Lake before? If so, please share your experience and do mention in case I have forgotten an important point? Any other treks you want to do and need more info on – let us know! Happy travels!