How to make a budget trip to Chandratal Lake?

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Are you looking out to make a budget trip to Chandratal Lake in the upcoming season? Are you wondering if you can make a Chandratal Lake cheaply and have questions around it? If yes, then continue reading this article and plan a budget-friendly trip to Chandratal.

Chandratal Lake also called “The Moon Lake” in Spiti Valley is one of the most enchanting lakes in the Himalayas. And yeah, one of my top 5 favorites Lakes in the Himalayas too. A lot of adventure lovers tread a long, treacherous and yet adventurous path over Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Batal road every year to see this wonderful offering from nature. Many of them search for the answers about making a budget trip to Chandratal Lake.

Budget trip to Chandratal Lake
Budget trip to Chandratal Lake

As soon as the season begins by opening up of Rohtang Pass and road to Spiti Valley from Manali in June, the pathway to Chandratal Lake gets great attention by Himalayan lovers from all parts of the world. The majority of the people visit Spiti Valley first to see Chandratal Lake, and they ever get lost in the beauty offered by Spiti Valley itself.

What is special about the Chandratal trip?

Chandratal Lake is also quite famous for its majestic reflections of surrounding Himalayan peaks in its deep blue waters, which, once you witness, will never forget in your entire life. Well, it is only this adventure of Chandratal Lake that changed my life and made me fall in deep love with the Himalayas in 2009. It was the story that gave birth to this wonderful travel blog that we call “Devil On Wheels” now.

Having said all that, the biggest question is how do you reach Chandratal Lake? You can find most of the answers on making a successful trip to Chandratal Lake in my Travel Guide to Chandratal Lake but still, you have any, feel free to leave a comment or mail me.

Sunrise at Chandratal on a Spiti Valley Trip
Sunrise at Chandratal on a Spiti Valley Trip

Can I plan a budget trip to Chandratal?

A few years back, I came up with a comment from one of the readers of my blog who got a price quote as a pounding “INR 23000” for the drop to Spiti, and I was like in a shock. Even when I went almost ten years back, I think we paid about 9000-10000 for two days trip to Chandratal Lake by taxi.

This was a big setback for the travelers on budget travel to Chandratal Lake. Hence, I will try to enlist some tips which you can follow to make a trip to Chandratal Lake in the cheapest manner possible. This article will save a decent amount of money for you.

So, the short answer to the question is, “Yes, you can plan a budget trip to Chandratal Lake by following the tips mentioned in this article”.

If interested you can also check, how to make a budget trip to Spiti Valley.

Show some love to nature, don't camp at the Lake
Show some love to nature, don’t camp at the Lake

Two Cheapest Way To Travel to Chandratal Lake on Budget

When traveling to Chandratal or Spiti Valley on a budget, you have to keep aside the luxury of taxis or hotels. Instead, public transport is your friend for making any budget travel trip to the Himalayas.

So, how can you travel to Chandratal Lake by public transport? Well, continue reading to know more.

Manali to Chandratal / Kaza Bus

There are two HRTC buses that run between Manali and Kaza every morning as soon as the road to Spiti Valley via Manali gets open in the season, mostly in June.

These buses run from Kullu to Kaza via Manali and it reaches Manali around 4.45 AM and leaves at 5.00 AM. The ticket to Kaza will cost you only about INR 250 approximately per person. Now, you have two options to travel to Chandratal from Manali by bus or public transport.

Glaciers of Spiti as seen on Chandratal Trek
Glaciers of Spiti as seen on Chandratal Lake Trek

Option One | HRTC Bus – Hitchhiking

The first option is a bit tricky and an inconvenient one as well. But, when you want to plan a budget trip to Chandratal Lake, you need to improvise and adapt. It will surely be an adventure of one of its kind.

This option requires you to travel by daily HRTC bus running between Manali – Kaza and hitchhiking or taking lifts from other fellow travelers. Let us look at a step by step process on making a cheap budget trip to Chandratal Lake.

  • When the Manali to Kaza bus reaches Batal, you need to get down at Batal on the way to Kaza, which is just before the ascent to Kunzum Pass.
  • Before getting down, you need to make sure that you tie-up with the Conductor of the bus so that he picks you up the next morning from the same place. Maybe pay a little tip to the Conductor will help you ensure he does not forget you 🙂
  • At times, the PWD/GREF workers are working on Chandratal diversion road or doing clean-up or repair work on the road from Batal to Chandratal. You need to tie up with some PWD/GREF workers who might be going towards Chandratal Lake and get a hike from them in their jeep or dozer. You can find them at Batal Dhabhas, most likely.
  • You can pay or offer them about INR 150-200 as a tip for the lift as well. This tip might help to get the same ride back the next day.
  • Of course, you can do the Chandratal Lake trek from Batal and be back by evening or the next day/evening. However, it depends upon if your body is acclimatized to undertake this high altitude trek that early. I will personally not recommend you to take such a trek to Chandratal without proper acclimatization. It will help you avoid AMS.
  • Once you have reached, visit the Chandratal Lake and come back to Batal Dhabha for an overnight stay that will cost you about 150 – 200 per person at Chandra Dhabha at Batal. You should be able to get food and meals will also be very cheap at the dhabha.
  • There is also a PWD Rest House now at Batal, which will prove just too good if you can negotiate with the PWD caretaker or manage the booking for it. Read the article: How to Book HP PWD Rest Houses or FRHs. Again food or meals you can have at the Batal Chandra Dhabha. Please note that there is no electricity at Batal and PWD Rest House as well. So, carry your power bank or battery charger with you.
  • Next Morning, the same HRTC bus which reached last evening to Kaza will be going back from Kaza to Manali. Since you may have made the prior arrangements with the conductor, so he might keep the seat or space vacant for you on the bus.
  • It takes about 3.5-4 Hrs of Kaza to Manali bus to reach Batal from Kaza. So, if the bus starts from Kaza at 5 AM, then it will reach Batal at about 8-9 AM. You can hop onto this bus and get back to Manali from Chandratal / Batal.

Total Approximate Cost for Chandratal trip from Manali: 500 (Bus) + 400 (Food + Accommodation) + Rs 300 (Tip for Lift) = INR 1200 per person

Please do note down, using this option you are at a mercy of a lift or hitchhike from PWD/GREF workers or other travelers to reach Chandratal Lake from Batal. Otherwise, at worst a trek to Chandratal Lake from Batal and back on your own may be next evening and catch the Kaza to Manali bus a day after. So, play with this option if you are really game for it.

The Lake of Moon. Are you planning a trip to Spiti Valley from Manali?
The Lake of Moon. Are you planning a trip to Spiti Valley from Manali?

Option Two | HRTC Bus – Bike Rental Kaza / Losar

This option involves traveling to Losar or Kaza from Manali and then renting a bike from a local villager by paying him a tip. Given below are detailed steps to travel from Manali to Chandratal on budget.

This option also requires you to travel by public transport from Manali to Kaza. Hence, you will have to use the same HRTC bus for traveling between Kaza – Manali.

  • You should get down at Losar village after crossing Kunzum Pass on the way to Kaza which is about 57 km before Kaza. You can plan to travel to Kaza and rent bikes in Kaza.
  • Similar to option 1, before getting down, you need to make sure that you tie-up with the Conductor of the bus so that he picks you up the next morning from the same place. Maybe pay a little tip to the Conductor will help you ensure he does not forget you 🙂
  • Then lookout or tie-up with some local up there in Losar village who MAY rent (don’t rely on it though) their bikes for a trip to Chandratal Lake at a mere cost of about INR 600 – 700 (fuel extra). It can be possible but unreliable pretty much as sometimes people are afraid to give their bikes.
  • Make a day trip to Chandratal Lake on the bike over Kunzum Pass and come back to Losar. After coming back to Losar from Chandratal, you may return the bike and stay overnight at Losar.
  • You can stay with Samson Guest House (Costs about Rs 1000 – 1200 with meals), they might help you get a bike on rent as well OR PWD Rest House (costs about Rs 500-600 with meals) OR some homestay at Losar village (costs about Rs 400-500 with meals).
  • Next Morning, the same HRTC bus which reached last night to Kaza will be going back to Manali from Kaza. Since you have prior arrangements with the conductor, so he may keep the seat or space vacant for you.
  • The Kaza to Manali bus will take about 2-2.5 Hrs to reach Losar from Kaza. So, if the bus starts from Kaza at 5 AM, then it will reach Losar at about 7 AM.
  • You will travel back from Losar to Manali on the same bus.

Total Approximate Cost: 500 (Bus) + 1500 (Food + Accommodation) + Rs 900 (Bike Rent + Fuel) = INR 2900-3200 per person

First look of Chandratal Lake
The first look of Chandratal Lake

Other Tips on Excursion to Chandratal Lake

  • If you want to really make it convenient then you can also get a taxi from Losar village for a complete day excursion to Chandratal Lake for Rs 2000 – 2500 as well. Or you can call a taxi from Kaza to make such a trip. At Losar, there are the only couple of taxis available which might not be available on the day you arrive. So, try your luck before calling other taxi drivers from Kaza.
  • There is a (rarely taken) virgin trek to Chandratal Lake that starts from the yak grazing grounds of Takcha near Kunzum Pass. So, in case you are in for some trek, you can take some local from the Losar village and experience this virgin trek to this beautiful Lake. This option will certainly help you lower down the cost of a trip to Chandratal.

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 !! 🙂 🙂

If you are looking for an itinerary for Chandratal Lake trek, in general, I plan for such a trip to Chandratal Lake from Manali.

Chandratal Lake - Most Common Itinerary
Chandratal Lake – Most Common Itinerary

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this most common itinerary for Chandratal trip day by day plan infographic guide. If you like it and find it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.


Hence, you can see that even if you go with the convenient option, you will be saving a lot of money and plan a trip to Chandratal at a low cost appropriately. Of course, a dedicated private taxi from Manali to Chandratal Lake for two days trip will put a deep hole in your pocket.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comment on my YouTube videos.

You can save this money to have a comfortable stay either at Manali or save it for yourself or execute some DoW Causes or the next trip. I hope I can suggest or present some of the ideas/ways which can help you make a budget trip to this heavenly, Chandratal Lake, in the cheapest possible way.

If you have ever visited this Lake or have any suggestions which might help other fellow travelers too then please feel free to leave a comment below and share them with us too.

If you know your friends or family are planning a Chandratal Lake budget trip, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Spiti trip.

Are you looking for the CUSTOMIZED TOURS?? Get in touch with our our handpicked & trusted Destination Specialists from the Himalayas who offer SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES to all the readers/followers of the Devil On Wheels website.


About Author

Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Hello,
    I will be traveling to Manali around 26th October 2018 and want to visit Chandratal aswell as want to do camping….
    Will the roads be open!? Also if possible please suggest a possible itinerary!?
    Thanks in advance….

    • Well, the roads will be open during October end to Chandratal, however, it becomes very cold and risky. Doing camping is not suggested at all and you should just visit Chandratal only for a visit.

      How many days do you have in hand total from Manali?

      • I have a total of 5 days including manali…. please suggest an itinerary….!!? If not Chandratal then where else to visit around manali…!!
        Please Help…!! 🙂

        • You can plan like below

          Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
          Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
          Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
          Day 4 : Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal – Manali
          Day 5 : Manali – Delhi

          If you have one more day above then On Day 3 with OR do both circuits of Dhangkar – Tabo and Komik – Langza

      • Thank you soo much for the response…!! 🙂 Also, one last question…. What will be the approximate cost for a taxi to take us from manali to chandratal and back the same day!? We are 4 people…

  3. Neha Sinha on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 5 friends planning a trip to Chandratal and Kaza from 12th – 15th Aug,17. We are on a tight schedule. We will be reaching Manali on 12th Aug morning and does not plan to stay in Manali.
    Our initial plan is :

    12th Aug — Take a taxi the day we arrive and reach Losar on 12th evening. Overnight Stay at Losar (not sure how much will it take)
    13th Aug — Visit Chandrataal and be backto Losar and reach Kaza by the evening
    14th — Visit Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in Kaza and other places if time permits
    15th — Bid adieu to Kaza and reach Manali to take an overnight bus ti Delhi

    Please let me know what are the glitches here. Is it possible to cover Kaza or should we plan trek to Chandratal instead and leave Spiti for the next time where we have at least 10-15 days.
    Please suggest.


  4. shiladitya on

    Great piece of information. I have planned a trek to chandrataal via hampta pass. I have injured my ankle and still unsure if i can get fit on time. But still , as you mentioned, there are State transport bus option. Will look into it as well if i cant make for the trek. Some more info on the bus route from manali and kaza will be helpful. Thanx once again!

  5. Hi ,

    I am planning to travel to chandratal lake from 12-15 August from delhi. Is it good time to travel via manali from delhi.
    Also can anyone share any number of taxi which can take us from manali to chandratal and what is the approx cost for the same as we will coming back to manali next day.

    Also what is the cost of camping at chandratal.


    • Hello Sakshi,

      Me and my wife would also be there in Manali on 13th Aug, Sunday morning. We are also planning to go to Chandertaal Lake either on Sunday or Monday morning.
      Let me know if we can plan together to go to Chndertal lake. That would be cost effective and would have company as well.

  6. Akshay Saxena on

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning to visit Manali starting July 11th from Delhi. We are 4 people and we want to further visit Chandratal, Kaza, Dhankhar, Spiti valley, Tabo.

    Could you tell us how much time do we need in terms of days required and how much cost would it incurr. We have not taken any packages and planning to reach manali first and then start from there via any tourist taxi/cabs or locals.

    Any suggestions/advise highly appreciated.
    Akshay Saxena

    • Hi Akshay,

      You should spend at least 6-8 days in Spiti Valley to make some sense of the trip. Minimum you can read: How to make a trip to Spiti Valley in 6 days?

      You can get connected directly to some drivers in Himachal or Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of the pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3200-3500 per day depending on the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price. If you are 2-3 in the group, you can opt for sedan taxi cars as well which charges around Rs 2200 per day.

      Otherwise, taxis, in general, are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands. These drivers can help you with finding local stay options too.

      For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley.

      You can keep an average of 900-1200 per person per day for food and stay on the tour to Spiti Valley.

      • Akshay Saxena on

        Hi Dheeraj

        Thanks for your reply, forgot to ask, is it a good time of year to travel in month of July to Kaza ?

        Thanks in advance

  7. Deepak Khajuria on

    Hi Dheeraj bhai, I hv gone through all the above mentioned details, really intresting n informative for me. I am planning to go to Chadar Tal from Jammu to Manali and then Chandar Tal on almost June 15 to 20….We are two couples and I am also having a 4-yr-old Kid, we will go in our own vehicle (Tata Safari). It is ok to stay at Chandartal with kid or we can visit during day and then come down and stay at Batal. Is it safe or any other options….. Your kind advice will be value able to plan the trip
    deepak, journalist, Jammu

    • Hey Deepak,

      Battal will definitely be a much safer place to stay.It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 4 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

  8. hey ,

    I am planing to travel to chandra taal lake and spiti from may 18 onwards can you tell me if the way to both these places is open right now or still snowy ?

    • Kush, the roads to Chandratal and Spiti Valley from Manali side will not be open by that time. Spiti Valley route will be open from Shimla – Kinnaur side if you are interested but you will not be able to visit Chandratal anyhow.

  9. Hi,Dheeraj
    we’d like to go Chandartal lake from chatru after completing our Hampta Pass trek. How we could get there from Chatru?can we get any Taxi from Chatru?or bus or any other vehicles?how much it costs?we are a team of 10 members.

    • Tanvir, there will not be any taxi unless it is pre-arranged and waiting for you folks. Next option is to wait for the bus or hitch hike in a pickup/truck or with tourists

  10. Liton pal on

    Hi , starting for Spiti by tomorrow , 6th of may from Shimla by bike. Please suggest me a schedule , I have 7days . And also heard chandratal is now snowy , if I want to go there I have to do a snow trek . Please share any suggestions about that. If I do chandratal trek , then I’ll add two more days on my schedule. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • You cannot do Chandratal at this time any how. With just 7 days in hand, you can try something like below:

      Day 1: Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
      Day 2: Shimla / Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
      Day 4: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Hikkim
      Day 6: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Kalpa – Rampur/Jeori (very long day)
      Day 7: Rampur/Jeori – Delhi (again a long day)

  11. Hi. Two of us will be travelling to Spiti from 6th to 19th may. Is it possible to start from shimla on 6th or 7th, do the spiti circuit till chandratal and be back in delhi by 19th evening ? It’s my first time in spiti so no idea about which stopovers to chose and for how many days. The local bus transport is reliable in May right?

    • The road to Chandratal opens up around mid/late June and Manali to Kaza road opens by mid or second week of June. So, in May it will not be possible to visit Chandratal and also you cannot travel the whole circuit. Hence, you have to take the road from Shimla – Kinnaur and come back the same route.

  12. Hey Dheeraj,

    This july We are planning for trip to manali, spiti and chandrataal lake . All things are sorted out except one i.e we want to stay in camp for 2 nights nearby chandrataal lake . We heard a lot about batal chacha chachi and their son tensing who provide camp nearby lake. do you have any contact of any one of them we try to call on (8991722020) but that is wrong number . Do you have any alt no. of them. Or else any contact who provide camp services nearby lake at a reasonable rate.

    • No Raj, I do not have any number except the satellite phone number given above. It will work when Dorje uncle will open the dhabha as he takes care of that phone at Battal.

  13. Mayur Gijam on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Can you please share the details around how to book the Manali to Kaza? And if we can book the return ticket from Kaza[ Just in case if spiti holds me back 🙂 ]

    Also I am little less adventurous 🙂 so can you just suggest what should be the ideal cost of Kaza to Chandrataal and Chandrataal to Kaza if we book a car or taxi at Kaza? Also what’s the availability 🙂

    What I am thinking to plan is one day to go to Kaza, then book taxi from Kaza to Chandrataal, book a night and camp around, next day same taxi to come back, leave to Manali from bus as the time permits 🙂 how’s it

    • Taxi should be around 14K for 2 days trip to Chandratal from Manali. You may be charged about 5K for Kaza – Chandratal – Kaza taxi.

  14. Ameek Kahlon on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    I was planning a trip to Chandratal, Lahaul and Spiti
    Can you please tell me route from Manali to Chandratal
    and Lahual n Spiti
    Visiting there in the first half of June will be good or not?
    How about the road conditions?

      • Ameek Kahlon on

        *I’ll be having 5 to 6 days starting from Manali. So can you please provide me a plan for Chandratal, Lahaul and Spiti for 5 to 6 days. I would love to stay overnight at Chandratal camping site, hopefully you’ll include this in the itinerary too.
        *And how much rent I shall expect to pay at chandratal camping site?(The rents will be on per head basis?)
        (I’ll be driving a Mahindra Bolero and I am planning to leave from Manali on 10th June)
        *How about the road conditions? Bolero will do good on these roads or not?
        *As I’ve read in your blog and comments that first half of june is not appropriate time to go up there
        What should be the common obstacles that I may face?
        *And please tell me about those naalaahs..! Please tell me those naalahs won’t be harsh on us during the first half of june
        (Aur kisi cheez ka darr nahi lagta photos aur videos dekh kr except those naalaahs)

        • Hey Ameek,

          You can follow any of the plan below

          Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
          Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
          Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
          Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Ki – Rangrik – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal/Batal
          Day 5 : Chandratal/Batal – Manali
          Day 6 : Manali – Delhi

          Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
          Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
          Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza
          Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
          Day 5 : Kaza – Chandratal – Manali
          Day 6 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali (do adventure sports in day time at Solang Valley)

          The tents wil be around 1500-2000 at Chandratal. You may face road closure, water crossings or even the road may not be cleared for Chandratal. Water crossings will surely gonna be there in June.

  15. Ravi Singh on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Can you tell me that is it okay to go on this trip on a bike?
    and what should i carry in my bag?


  16. Sandipan Banerjee on

    Hi Dheeraj!
    Can you please provide the contact no. Of samson guest house or other budget homestays in losar

  17. Indranil Bhattacharjee on

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning to cover Chandratal in our Himachal trip this September/October. We intend to reach Losar on 28th September and visit Chandratal the next day. Please let me know

    1. Is it possible to reach Chandratal on our Innova ? If not, can it be arranged by Nomad’s Cottage ?

    2. Is it possible to reach Tabo from Losar without any stopover ?

    3. Also, if we start early from Mandi, is it possible to reach Losar by late afternoon ?


    • Below are the answers:

      1. YEs completely possible. Use your innova
      2. Why are you coming back to Tabo? Are you planning to stay at Losar at start while coming to Spiti from Manali and then go back to Chandratal? Something looks off here to me. If you plan to come from Manali, you can visit Chandratal and reach Losar/Kaza. There is no need to go back to Chandratal route, those 50 KMs (to-fro) will be tiring and bumpy to traverse back again. Otherwise, stay at Batal which is much lower in altitude than Losar and Chandratal and next day visit Chandratal and reach Kaza.
      3. If you are starting from Mandi, best is to stay at Batal and then next morning do Batal – Chandratal – Kaza / Tabo

      • Indranil Bhattacharjee on

        Thanks Dheeraj!

        I can understand your confusion. We will be starting from Chandigarh airport, and plan to cover both Spiti and Kinnaur valley before ending the trip at Chandigarh on 7th October.

        I have mentioned Mandi as the starting point because we may not have enough time to reach Manali from Chandigarh on the first day. In that case, would you recommend Batal as the preferred spot for the second night? If yes, could you also suggest some decent accommodation there ? I had opted for two nights at Losar to visit Chandratal because it has decent accommodation.

        Also, instead of Kaza, we prefer Tabo as our next destination. Hope it would not be a concern to reach Tabo from Batal or Losar.


        • Hello Indranil,

          Well, Batal has a PWD rest house and Dorje uncle Dhabha. I am not sure what type of accommodation you will be looking forward too and since it will be late in the season it will be quite cold. PWD rest house does not have any light or food facility. You need to eat at Dorje uncle dhabha any way. It can just protect you from cold. Else, losar is the only place next to have accommodation but as I said, not sure if you would be interested to back track road to Chandratal next day and again take the same painful route to reach Kaza. It looks like you plan to visit Chandratal only. Better option will be to stretch a bit to Manali and next day leave Manali, do Chandratal and sleep at Losar so that you don’t have to backtrack same painful route on two days. This will save an unnecessary day as well for you and solve the problem for decent accommodation. I am saying from experience of making this same mistake 🙂 🙂

          If you plan to stay at Tabo, then are you just planning to visit Chandratal and rush through the roads in Spiti? Kaza is a central place from where you can visit beautiful places of Spiti like Ki, Kibber, Langza, Hikkim, Komic. Then Kaza to Tabo you should at least cover Pin Valley and Dhangkar.

        • Indranil Bhattacharjee on

          Thanks Dheraaj!

          Thanks a lot for your valuable inputs. Regarding Chandratal, I was also considering spending the night at Parasol Camp. What is your take on that ?

        • Well, Chandratal will be too cold to spend a night during that time of year. If I were you, I will give it a pass and that too while coming from Manali side will be big NO for sure.

  18. Hi, Dheeraj
    I m planning for smiti valley n chandra tal lake from 22nd my to 27th may 2017. With my husband and 2 kids (4 and 8 years ). Please suggest me some what cost effective travelling route for the same

    • Purnima, Chandratal lake is not accessible in the month of May and it is an adventure destination not a family trip. In case you have not been to such rough places, I will not recommend going over there with a 4 yr old kid.

  19. Hi, thanks for posting so much details about this route and trek. Can you comment if camping permits are needed for camping near Chandrataal if one has own camping gear?

    • Divs, camping near Chandratal lake is banned as it comes under Ramsar wetland resever site. Hence, you will have to camp only at the allotted camping ground away from the lake.

  20. Kuntal Mukhopadhyay on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Good Morning!
    Planning to visit Spiti Valley next year 2nd half of June (24th onwards).
    Question: Is late June a good time to visit Spiti Valley, including Chandratal Lake?
    Thanks in advance,
    Best Regards,

    • Yes Kuntal, late June is a really nice time to visit Spiti Valley and Chandratal, especially when you want to see snow as well.

  21. I have 5 days time. Next friday, i.e.., on 9th of September, I’ll be starting from Delhi. I have 10,11,12,13 and 14. 14th evening i have to be in Manali to board the bus. What are the places that i can cover in those four days. I am planning to visit Chandratal, Pin valley and Kaza. Is that time sufficient?
    We are two people. Which is the best means to travel? Bike or any other means of transportation.
    If i travel by bike, how much will be the budget from manali?

    • You can choose any of the three plans:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley
      Day 2 | Solang – Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal
      Day 3 | Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal – Chandratal
      Day 4 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali – Delhi

      Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Ki – Rangrik – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal/Batal
      Day 5 : Chandratal/Batal – Manali
      Day 6 : Manali – Delhi

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 5 : Kaza – Chandratal – Manali
      Day 6 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali (do adventure sports in day time at Solang Valley)

  22. Hi dheeraj,

    Can we do chandertal on 8-11 oct this year.
    Day 1 Delhi – Manali for acclimatization
    Day 2 manali – chandertal stay.
    Day 3 chandertal- kunzum- batal stay.
    Day 4 batal – chandigarh.
    What would be the estimate temprature range?
    Do we need to carry any oxygen?
    Is it possible, we get snow after chota dara or batal to chandertal trail?
    Is possibility of rains there?
    We will be approx 8 people travelling by a scorpio and Tata safari. Will it be ok considering the conditions with respect to availibility of food and stay arrangements?
    Do you advise own tents and food arrangements?


  23. Hi Dheeraj,
    Need some info. on bus timings. the bus which passes through Manali at 5:00am towards Kaza on every morning, how much time it will take to reach Batal..?? considering time with out the traffic jam on Rohtang climb.
    As it mentioned there’re two buses daily departures to Kaza from Manali. What is the timings of the second bus?

    Thanks 🙂

  24. Koushiki Halder on

    Hey Dheeraj, I wanted to enquire if the second half of October will be a very bad time to visit chandrataal. Cold is not the kind of problem I’m talking about. I just wanted to make sure the roads and public transport will be open. We were hoping to leave around 20th October. Also, approximately how much would a cab take for manali-kaza-chandratal-manali?

    • Beyond mid of October, I see traveling on Manali – Kaza road as a very risky affair. Though you might come back fine without any trouble but then there is always this “might” factor that late in the season. Personally, if you will ask me to travel in that region, especially Chandratal, that late in the season then I will say NO without second thoughts.

  25. Hey Dheeraj
    we are planning to visit spiti valley and chandratal lake from manali
    we are travelling from chandigarh on 21 july..
    would you please tell me that can we go there by i20 elite(diesel) because we only have 2 options vento and i20 and we dont want to hire any taxi..
    We were planning to leh but as we have not any suv thats why m asking can we go to spiti valley in i20 or vento

  26. Hi Dheeraj,
    I’m planning a backpacking trip to Spiti in late September with a friend, ex Delhi. We have 10 days for the trip and want to visit Shimla, Chitkul, Chandrataal, and Manali apart from the usual suspects (Kaza, Tabo, Nako, Kalpa). Could you please suggest a suitable iternerary? I have gone there before but it was on motorcycle 3 years ago, so I’m not very familiar with how the local transport works. Any pointers will be appreciated for transport and stay. Our budget is approximately 15k per person. TIA.

    • You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Spiti Valley followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 10-11 days: Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley.

      PS: Do pay a visit to our DoW Spiti Library in Kaza. Who knows you short walk there may help it remain active for the kids up there for much longer time 🙂 :)…

      • Hi, can you help us by giving us some information about the batal-chandrataal road.
        We are planning to take a self innova from Mumbai and planning to hire a Myles innova from delhi. will innova be able to do that route. if no, we are planning to take a scorpion from myles.


        • Yes Innova shall be able to do the route and mostly run on the route. However, Scorpio will perform much better. Please note that the route from Battal to Chandratal road diversion is very narrow and a dirt track. Kindly, drive with caution and care as this year already three accidents have occurred with cars slipping down the gorge.

  27. Mehak Miglani on

    Hi . Thanks a lot for the information . Me and My friends were planning a trip starting from Delhi in which we want to cover Spiti valley , chandratal camping ( 1 night ) and karol . we have around 5-6 days . Can you suggest the possible route and the public transport available ? Thanks 🙂

    • Mehak, at best you can do following:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Kaza / Losar
      Day 5 : Kaza / Losar – Chandratal – Manali (will not recommend stay at Chandratal)
      Day 6 : Manali – Delhi

    • Hey Mehak, did you do your trip ?? I am planning a solo in August and if you can give me some information related to the public transport if you followed the below mentioned travel itinerary.

      Dheeraj- are there any backpackers Inn at solang and also if could tell that how easy it is to find Public transport on this route.

      • Sure, have already mentioned the details of bus running between Kaza and Manali which you can take to travel to Kaza and how to get to Chandratal using the same bus. Regarding backpackers t Solang, there aren’t much cheap stays in Solang but you will get options in Vashishth and Kothi.

  28. Ananya Chakraborty on

    NEED HELP! Hi Dhiraj , I am planning for a chandratal trip 9 th jun will reach manali, just spoke with a person (the petrol pump number you provider in your blog post) he says that he sets camp in chandratal … And it will cost 2000 per person including food . is it justified to pay this amount of money for one night camping? I am thinking of starting it from batal side, I have 3 days. Please suggest me a cost effective proper plan.

    • Ananya, I will suggest that you land up there and then look for options. Pre-booking at Chandratal will always cost you higher. Hence, I will suggest that you find it on the spot. You will get it around 1000-1200 per person.

  29. hello dheeraj… :):)
    i am following your most common itinerary for spitivalley. 0n 10th of june i will start from delhi… hopefully kunzum pass will open as i will cross it on 18th of june… i wann spend one night at chandratal lake camp site.. give me some more detail regarding camps at chandrataal lake.. ?

    one more thing on 10th of june i wann start my journy at 7:00 PM in evening… wann to reach sarahan by 8:00-9:00 am in the morning…. so is it safe to drive shimla to sarahan in the night .. we are total 7 in XUV .. out of 3 can drive properly….
    thank you

  30. Simantika Roy on

    hi team,

    I am planning to visit chandratalake in june. I have asthama.

    Ii would like to know if that is a showstopper to visit this place.

    Please advice.

    • Well, it depends how you are planning to visit it. If your doctor says that with acclimatized body it is not much of a concern then of course you should travel from Shimla – Kinnaur side to visit it. In any case you should avoid going from Manali side as your body is never acclimatized to such an altitude.

  31. Hi Dheeraj,
    I really appreciate the web page for helping the visitors.
    I have few queries regarding the trip from Manali to Chandratal.
    1. I want to know that how much it will cost to hire a cab (sumo or innova) from manali to visit chandratala. I want to know the estimate so that I can get an idea for budget.
    2. If we want to stay there for night then how much it will cost for the accommodation.

  32. Niraj Sharma on

    Hello Dheeraj Sir
    Sir we are planning for a trekking in the month of July last week or Aug 1st week from betal to tokpo yongma.
    Sir I want to know how we reach there from Delhi . Nd how much is the money we have to cost for this trip..
    Sir please suggest the cheapest way to reach there from delhi nd all the information

    Thanking you

    • Niraj, you should hire a guide for this trip from Manali or any other may be take someone from Chandratal or batal with you. Do not attempt alone

      • Niraj Sharma on

        Sir I have my friends wid me we can’t figure how much money we have to arrange for this trek.that’s why I contact u for some details for the trekking nd also for the knowledge of bus services at that place

  33. Debasis Ray on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    In the month of September this year I want to visit Chandratal with some senior citizen by hires Tata
    sumo from Kaza, Now my question, is it possible to reach Chandratal by car and my second question , is there any fair accommodation at Batal or nearby places


    • Yes and No. Yes, because you can reach almost up to Chandratal parking lot by car from where you need to trek the last 800 Mtrs to reach Chandratal. Not sure what you mean by fair but yes there is a PWD rest house at Batal where you can stay. There will be no electricity and food will be available at Dorje uncle dhabha outside it.

  34. Jignasu Shah on

    hello sir
    Just last year after taking tips from you i had a wonderful adventurous trip of 19 days with my wife and two daughters from Ambala doing the Lahaul-Spiti valley Narkanda-KAlpa -nako lake-dhankar-ki-kibber-tabo-kaza-jispa-sarchu-tso moriri to Leh -pangong-nubra velley alchi-lamayuru and retuning from Jammu to surat.the only thing left out was Chandra taal which we are planning to do this year.Planning to go to Manali from there we go to Batal by state transport bus and from there we would like to trek to the lake. Here we would like to spend a how is this possible we would like to know -tents -food -climate- human resources and anything not in my knowledge.also if it is safe to stay there and to return the day after
    jignasu shah

    • This is what I will suggest bhai

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley
      Day 2 | Solang – Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal
      Day 3 | Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal – Chandratal
      Day 4 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali – Delhi

      • Parameter Singh Verma on

        Any updates on when the road to Chandratal from Manali side is opening

  35. Hello dheeraj.Thankyou for helping people out with some place which is so discrete.
    I have some major doubts.Planning to go spiti valley for 5 days this may ,
    1) How much will a taxi ideally cost from kaza and how long will it take for me to reach (chandratal lake)
    2) If that is not an option, the method you suggested, how difficult would be the trek and how long will it tak for me to reach the same venue?
    3) I personally dont have a tent, so will be able to hire a tent near the chandratala lake area away from the reserved sector ofcourse.
    4) Could you also list down some places to visi at any cost at spiti valley, including some beautiful monastries?
    It would help me alot if you answered my query.
    Thanks a ton!

  36. Hi, we r going to manali on 15th April so wana knw if the route to chandrataal wl b open at this time. & if not, when do the route (bus services) opens up? Or can we take a bike from Manali & if we do is there any safe parking facility?
    & also is there any camp or something to rent in chandratal itslf & wat wl n the aprx cost?
    Thanks in advance, too mch questions! 🙂

  37. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am visiting Spiti Valley in June this year. My dates are from 11th June to 25th June. I am taking the Shimla Kinnaur route and going all the way up to Kaza. My question is, will I get a chance to visit Chandratal lake from the entry point at Kaza? Or do I have to necessarily take the route from Manali only?

    Thanks in advance


    • Hi Aditya,
      Once you reach Kaza, you can continue your sightseeing and come back from Manali completing the whole circuit. While going to Manali from Kunzum Pass, once you descend from Kunzum Pass, you will reach a point 3 KMs Batal where the diversion to Chandratal starts. It is about 13 KMs of motorable road/dirt track and rest you need to follow on your foot.

  38. Superb idea….
    Even cheaper than hiring bike…
    One can also explore up to Kaza on same bus 🙂
    Is it possible to pitch my own tent across bank of lake ???

    • Camping on the bank of Chandratal Lake is illegal as it is under Ramsar site of wetland reserve, so you cannot camp at that lake side. You can only campat the designated camping sites near the lake, about 1-1.5 KM before it.

  39. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks as always . Please advise must see sights in Manali. Also we have a 1 day stay in Dharamshala after Manali
    . Do you recommend that or Do we continue our stay at Manali before we move on to Dalhousie.


    • Hmm, well with just one day in Dharamshala you might not get anything out of it rather just a diversion that needs to be taken and resting in hotel after a long journey. Better spend time in Manali. For sightseeing in MAnali, Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting), Hike the woods around Old Manali, Jogni Falls, Bijli Mahadev near Kullu etc. Naggar Castle is also a very nice place to spend sometime and have lunch overlooking the beautiful valley below from the terrace restaurant.

  40. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thats a lot of helpful information there. But i have few questions.
    I will be traveling with 4 other guys to chandratal from manli on 1st June. Hopefully the rothang pass route is open.

    1) Can we hire bullet from manali for 2 days and go on bike ride to chandratal and stay at tent. How much does the bullet cost for 2 days ride.
    2) If we go by bus any idea what time the bus would reach battal ? we are planning to walk to chandratal lake and stay a for night and trek back the next day to battal. can this be done.

    Ravikumar N

    • Hello Ravi,

      1. Rohtang Pass will be open but I doubt on the road to Chandratal. You will have to trek much more during those days.
      2. Yes you can hire bike from Manali for 2 days. They generally are in range of 1200-1500 depending on condition, model and make of the bike.
      3. Staying at Chandratal that early will not be a viable option and hence I am curious if you will be able to make it or not. Camping sites may not be up and running by that time. I will advice either to wait for the updates to be posted here in DoW Community about happening on road clearance OR shift the plan by mid of June or Late june to make it like that.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        OK i will wait for more updates. As mentioned by you in other columns the snow fall is less this year so was wondering if chandratal lake route will also be open early and camp sites may come up. Any idea whom to contact to get to know or book for tents at camp site in chandratal lake.

        Thanks a lot for all the info .. your DoW community is gold for travelers. Appreciated sir !!!!

  41. Hi Dheeraj,
    This summer I am travelling with elderly people as well as kids to Himachal. I am reaching Manali on 30th May and will stay there for 3 days,. I was wondering if I can vist Chandra taal druing this process and if so how shud I plan my trip. IS it possible to do it with elderly people and kids.


    • Not really SM, Chandratal usually opens up in mid of June types now a days, it may open early June this year BUT you will have a very tight schedule and with kids I will not recommend that early in the season. Better enjoy Manali and around.

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