How to make a budget trip to Chandratal Lake?

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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.

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. In fact, the majority of the people visit Spiti Valley first to see Chandratal Lake and then they ever get lost in the beauty offered by Spiti Valley itself 🙂 …

What is special about 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 what 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 was quoted a pounding “INR 23000” for the drop to Spiti and I was like in a shock. Even when I went almost 10 years back, I think we paid about 9000-10000 for 2 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 as 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 Chandratal lake
Show some love to nature, don’t camp at Chandratal 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 which run between Manali and Kaza every morning as soon as the road to Spiti Valley via Manali get 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 ascend to Kunzum Pass.
  • Before getting down, you need to make sure that you tie up with Conductor of the bus so that he picks you up next morning from the same place. Maybe pay a little tip to 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 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 you are properly 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.
  • 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 journey. 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.

Chandratal, The Lake of Moon. Are you planning a trip to Spiti Valley from Manali?
Chandratal, 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 KMs before Kaza. You can plan to travel all the way to Kaza and rent bikes in Kaza.
  • Similar to option 1, before getting down, you need to make sure that you tie up with Conductor of the bus so that he picks you up the next morning from the same place. Maybe pay a little tip to conductor will help you ensure he does not forget you 🙂
  • Then look out or tie up with some local up there in Losar village who MAY rent (don’t rely though) their own 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 own 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
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 will certainly help us lower down the cost of a trip to Chandratal.

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.

Conclusion

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.

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 am able to 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.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

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.

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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.

278 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Hello Dheeraj

    Thank you for writing such a detailed information.

    however i would like to know few things

    1) i am planning to ride from manali to chandratal late. how long you thing it will take for me to reach the lake ??

    2) Can i directly come to the camp site and rent out a tent for the night ?? or is it better to stay in the nearby
    Losar??

    3) i tried to use google to see a route from losar to the lake and i dont seem to find any. Is it easily understandable once am there ?

    Hope to see your comments soon

    regards
    Amit

    • Hello Amit,

      1. It will take about 8-9 Hrs to reach to Chandratal Lake from Manali due to bad roads between Rohtang Pass to Chandratal.
      2, Yes, it shall be fine to stay in tents/camps at Chandratal directly. No need to go to Losar, better either stay in camps OR stay at Battal
      3. Like said, there is no need to go to Losar. When you start from Batal towards Kunzum Pass, you will get a cut to Chandratal on left after riding for about 3 KMs, that road will take you to Chandratal Camps about 12.5 KMs from where lake is about 1.5 KM

  3. Bikash Jyoti Pathak on

    Hello Dhiraj,

    First of all a big shout out to you for your in depth and detailed description of the entire Spiti & Kinnaur Valley articles of yours. Like you, I too am an avid Mountain Guy. Though, I have mostly done my fair share of trekking & hiking in Arunachal. (I am from North East so I have done my trips to basically Tawang, Pang Sau Pass,Myodia Pass, Anini, Miao, Namdapha, Mechuka, Dong, Ziro, Teju, Pasighat, Bomdilla, Bhalukpong etc). So the Himachal Tribal Circuit is basically new to Me.
    I have some tricky question to ask and I am deep need of your counsel. So let me shoot them and hope you can suppress my inhibitions:-

    1. Is it possible to drive right upto Chandratal Lake (I mean up to a certain marked safe zone)???!!! We shall have our own hired vehicle, so no issues regarding Bus timings and all.

    2. We shall be driving from Pin valley to Losar and shall reach Losar by afternoon. In case vehicle entry to Chandratal Zone is prohibited, we have no issues trekking to Chandratal from Losar. So my question is: IS IT DOABLE??? THE TREK FROM LOSAR TO CHANDRATAL CONSIDERING WE SHALL BE STARTING LATE AFTERNOON. (PS:- A few ladies are their in the group, basically first timers. Also, we shall camp at Chandratal Lake in pre booked camps. So reaching late is not an issue unless it is too arduous a trek for first timers & time consuming.)

    3. Is it better to start from Losar or Batal for the trek in case vehicles are not allowed up to Chandratal???(Please take into account the limitations of time & first timers I mentioned in the previous question)

    • Hello Bikash,

      So good to connect with a traveller like you 🙂 🙂

      1. You can only drive up to 800-1000 Mtrs before the lake where parking site is created ahead of camping site. Beyond it there is no road and you have to walk only to the lake. This road opens only in June end or July types.

      2. There is no reason to stay at Losar, better stay at Kaza, Kibber or Batal or in fact Chandratal camping site itself. You can take the car all the way to parking site or camping site. So, kick out Losar from the plan and focus on staying either of above to make most of it. The closer you stay the more chances of getting the lovely reflections in the lake.

      3. Like I said, all depend upon the time you planning the trip. In case it is June end or July, no point stay at Losar, move to Battal where there is a PWD Guest House but with no light (i hope you dont mind it ;)) and then move to Chandratal or stay in camps at Chandratal itself.

      Also, since you are an avid traveller then request you to JOIN DoW – Himalayan Travel Community and share your Himalayan knowledge and experiences with other like minded travellers too and help us materialize the vision to help a Himalayan life & help travelers travel with a difference in various parts of Himalayas

      Best wishes for the trip and if in case you happen to be happy to spread smiles, please execute our initiatives of DoW Causes on your own when you travel there, in order to help the local community up there in remote Himalayas. You can check more details about them at: DoW – Causes | A Step Towards Responsible Travel and can execute them on your own.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  4. sanjay kumar maurya on

    Mr. Dheeraj,

    you just tell me , ” Is it possible to camping at chandratal without prior booking for camping.”

  5. Lakshit Jain on

    Hi

    We will we reaching Manali on 17th October afternoon and plan to take the early morning bus to Kaza on the 18th.
    If we follow your plan to do Chandartal, will it be advisable to trek in mid October in case we don’t find a hitchhike. Also can you tell us more about the tent facility at the lake for overnight stay.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Lakshit, I really doubt that buses to Kaza will be in service from Manali that late in the season owing to the high risk of getting stuck in no mans land. It is a very very high risky affair to travel to Chandratal during that period, somthing I will not recommend at least knwoing and understanding the risks of it. It is a period when things can go smooth for you but that chance of getting stuck can never be neglected during that point of the year, hence, I cannot advice getting yourself stuck where people are even afraid of getting stuck in season time too.

      • Lakshit Jain on

        Okay. In that case we can go via the Shimla route and cover this when we come again.

        For the Shimla route is it advisable to take the direct Delhi – Peo ordinary bus which reaches Peo at around 4:30?
        Or breaking the journey at Shimla is preferable? We don’t want to do it for two reasons – a. Cost and b. The direct bus will help us save a day as we plan to leave for Kaza the next day?

        What are your thoughts?

        • Yes Lakshit, you can take that bus. Also there is a semi deluxe bus in evening from Chandigarh to Peo as well which reaches in morning. Good fit. Yes, you can travel from Peo to Kaza in next morning bus. However, I will suggest that you get down at Tabo to acclimatize a bit more before going to Kaza.

    • Anupam Jain on

      Last Day of Bus Service between Manali- Kaza is 15th of Oct this year. I inquired today for a friend.

  6. Hey Dheeraj,

    We are 7 people planning to go to shimla in the first week of October in a Terrano amd Honda City.
    1. How long will it take from Shimla to Chandratal ?
    2. Is it advisable to go from Shimla to Chandrtal? I mean the road conditions and all.
    3. First week of October, is it a good time? To visit Chandratal?
    4. If not Chandratal, then where can we go from Shimla at this time of year?

    Waiting for reply.

    • Hi Jiten,

      Honda City will struggle on that road, please be sure you do not love that car much

      1. It will take at least 3 days to reach Chandratal from Shimla
      2. Yes, you will be more acclimatized BUT then snowfall has started on high passes and Chandratal will be damn cold to spend a night. Better stay at Batal to beat at least some cold
      3. Things get quite cold.
      4. You can go but I will prefer to keep it as a day trip from Kaza which will be last warm place in Spiti Valley during that time.

  7. TOM FABIAN on

    HELLO
    I RED YOUR ARTICLE WHICH IS VERY HELPFUL BUT STILL I HAVE SOME DOUBTS,
    1)I AM PLANNING TO VISIT KAZA THIS SEPT FROM MANALI AND FROM THERE TO SHIMLA IS IT POSSIBLE??(MANALI-KAZA-SHIMLA)
    2)I WANT TO VISIT CHANDRATAL LAKE IN BETWEEN SO IS IT BETTER TO STAY IN BATAL OR LOZAR. WHICH IS THE NEAREST ONE??
    3) CAN I SURVIVE IN A SLEEPING BAG THERE IN CHANDRATAL
    I WONT BE ABLE TO AFFORD TAXIS
    I HOPE YOU WILL HELP ME

    • Hello Tom,

      1. Yes it is possible to do Manali to Kaza and then Kaza to Shimla. The route is connected by daily HRTC buses.
      2. Batal is much near and will be more suited not losar. You can hitch hike as mentioned in the article above with others going up there.
      3. You will get a tent at Chandratal for sleeping else come back to Batal and sleep at Batal dhabha with dorje uncle with your sleeping bag.

      • TOM FABIAN on

        THANK YOU VERY MUCH..:)
        I GOT ONE MORE DOUBT
        1)IS THERE ANY OTHER WAYS TO TRAVEL BETWEEN THESE VILLAGES(OTHER THAN THE DAILY BUSES AND TAXIS)
        THANKS IN ADVANCE

        • No Tom, there is no other way to travel in these villages apart from private taxi or shared jeeps or hrtc buses. You can may be hire or rent a motorcycle in Manali but beware and check the condition first before renting it.

  8. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning to visit Spiti in the first week of October. Since you have been there, just wanted to ask is if it possible to go to chandratal from manali on activa ?

  9. Hello Dheeraj,

    I think I may be able to get some time off in September and I am longing to visit Pangi Valley. However, another friend of mine is also visiting Spiti around that time. I was thinking for latter part of my journey, maybe I could meet them and join them towards Chandratal at Batal/Kunzum. I know this is too much of a hassle and de-route but I don’t mind.

    The thing is that I will be mostly traveling via public transport. and I am finding some difficulty in info on HRTC bus timings of Killar – Kullu/Manali bus. Can you help me if you know?

    Just it becomes clearer, this is my rough itinerary:
    [Mumbai – Chamba via train and bus]
    Chamba – Killar via Saach Pass by Bus
    3-4 days in Killar and around
    Killar to Keylong bus?
    Ideally, I’d like to reach Khoksar on this evening so that I can get transport towards Kunzum next morning from Gramphoo.

    Also, do you have any idea where does Manali – Kaza bus usually stop for lunch?

    So what can you suggest for reaching Kokhsar on the same day?

    As far as I remember, There is a Killar – Keylong – Manali/Kullu bus but I am not too sure if it traverses Keylong-Manali stretch on the same day.

    Any help will be appreciated Dheeraj 🙂

    Thanks much.

    • Hello Noor,

      I am just back from PAngi Valley – Sach Pass trip only though we did not explore interiors of Pangi Valley this time. There is a bus, yes for sure which we saw doing Killar to Keylong and then there is another bus that is for sure there between Keylong and Kaza. So, you will get buses to reach Batal – Kunzum Pass for sure.

      • Thanks Dheeraj. That does clear some confusion for me 🙂

        And wow. I really envy you that you went to Pangi. My plan is still 50-50. But I see glass to be half full 😉 so fingers crossed that I can go this time.

        That info was valuable Dheeraj. Thanks a lot again. Can I inquire anywhere about the bus timings of HRTC? There is a guy who runs an (unofficial) but very informative HRTC page on Facebook. I have asked there but no reply.

        • Dheeraj, are you sure there is a bus between keylong and Kaza? as far as I know, the buses running between Spiti Valley and elsewhere are indeed from Keylong depot but I am not sure if buses run between keylong and Kaza. Sorry if I made it confusing and being troublesome.

        • Noor, so far I knew that there is a bus that runs between Kaza and Keylong. Get in touch with Tsering at 09418208987, he is more than a friend to me and can refer my name to get updated state on it.

        • Yeah Noor there is that page which is run by a guy though not official. I have provided Tsering bhai number, you can call him and get the details. He must be knowing it.

        • Thanks bro. I will save that number up and in case, my plan goes more concrete will drop a call to Tsering Bhai. It seems like Tsering bhai runs Sakya Abode? I have heard very good things about Sakya Abode. Next time, I will make sure to stay there if I go to Kaza 🙂 It just looks very lovely.

          Know of another guy I came across BCMTouring, Mr. Jamaica. He too seems like a wonderful person and runs a few hotels in Spiti Valley. Asked him about bus from Keylong and he says “maybe” there is a bus between Keylong and Kaza.

  10. Hi Dheeraj

    I’m planning a trek to chandratal and will be reaching manali on 1st august. Can you please suggest a brief itenerary for the same and how will be the weather at that time??

    Thanks

      • Well I’m having 6 days in hand in total. I will be coming from delhi. I want to trek coz i overheard about this place from many people and your experience on the same.

        Thanks

        • Alright, you can try below plan:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley
          Day 2 | Solang – Khoksar/Sissu
          Day 3 | Khoksar/Sissu – Batal
          Day 4 | Batal – Chandratal – Manali
          Day 5 | Chandratal – Manali
          Day 6 | Manali – Delhi

  11. Rio Indrawan on

    Hi Dheraj,

    i have some question regarding my trips in 2 weeks time

    1. How is the road condition of Shimla-Rekong Peo-Kaza strecth and Kaza-Kunzum La-Manali strecth this time, any update Vistet ?

    2. Is it possible to hire taxi from Kaza to ChandraTal ? how much is the estimation rate ? How about if the route is Kaza-Chandra Tal (sleep 1 night ) and next day go to Manali

    3.During July month , can we stay at tent accomodation in Chandratal lake ?

    Thanks,

    Rio

    • Hi Rio,

      1. Road are OK and bad in patches at place. Please read the updates under respective threads of these roads under DoW Community: Road Status & Conditions Forum
      2. Yes, you can get a taxi from Kaza to Chandratal and drop at Manali. It will cost around 10-12K.
      3. Yes, you can stay at Chandratal as camps are up and running at chandratal

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Rio Indrawan on

        Hi Dheeraj thanks for your reply

        so do you think it is feasible to do like this
        – early morning take bus from Kaza to Manali stop at Kunzum La, trek Descend to ChandraTal , sleep at tent campsite at lake
        – next morning trek (around 14-16 km) from Chandratal to Batal to reach Batal by 10.00 AM ( i dont think if i start after sunrise will make it though); is there any other bus to Manali afternoon ? or worst case is there any place in Batal to sleep in case we cant catch bus to Manali ?

        • Hello Rio,

          1. You need not go to Kunzum Pass, the diversion road to Chandratal starts about 2-3 KMs from Batal towards left. If you want to trek then get down there and either wait for lift or trek. You can ask people at Batal too if someone can give you lift upto Chandratal or campsite.

          2. It will take about 4 Hrs to do the trek to Batal. Again you can ask for lift of hitch hike. Batal does have PWD guest house and Dorje uncle dhabha to sleep in worst case.

        • Rio Indrawan on

          Thanks Dheeraj,

          I read there are 2 ways to go to Chandratal, 1 from Batal diversion and 1 from Kunzum La. Since i come from Kaza, i will reach Kunzum La first before diversion Batal.
          Is the trek from Kunzum La is easier and more scenic ? i read it is descend all the way

        • Kunzum Pass trek will need you to have a local guide with you as the path is not marked, so you need to know the trek. Better get down at diversion to Chandratal while going to Batal and then follow the road to Chandratal.

  12. Hi Dheeraj
    I need your advise on a trip to Chandratal lake.
    I am reaching Manali at 31st Auguest through tarvel gruop.

    I am thinking to cover solo Chandratal lake on Sep1st and come back to Manali as this route is not cover in group travel.
    I got to know by your reply that Chandratal lake is possible in one day.

    I do not mind going by bus to Battal but form there geting a lift would be a big quetsion? I dont knwo how easy it would be.
    I have only one difficult question which would be better way for a solo female traveller to reach Chandratal lake and come back to Manali same or next day?

    Hope I find some gruop in Manali and join them but this is something I will get to know only tat day but cannot plan in advance.

    Thanks
    Geeta

      • Thanks Dheeraj for the reply.
        Your blogs are very helpful.
        I read in one of you blog is July-Aug is monsoon time. I would be on Jispa on 30th Aug and reaching to Manali next day via Rohtang Pas.I am still not giving up on leaving the dream of visiting Chandrataal :p . However if its a monsoon I would drop the plan.
        What your experience says about Aug month end?

        Thanks again
        Geeta

        • Geeta, the main problem of monsoons are there in lower hills after Rohtang Pass towards Manali. The road to Chanratal and Chandratal itself come under rain shadow region where there is just little rains.

  13. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank for you for all these great information, it is very helpful !
    We would like to visit Chandratal Lake coming from Kaza on the 26th of August with the local bus and leaving the bus on the 27th in the morning to Manali. So our stay there will be quite short. Is it doable? We were wondering what was the best option to go to Chandratal Lake (walking, taking a lift or by bike?) and where was the best location to sleep in order to take the bus the next morning at 8am?
    Thank you again for your help !
    Florie

    • Hi Florie,

      One whole day will be enough for Chandratal to admire the beauty of it. Best will be either walking OR taking the lift on the trail to Chandratal. You can sleep either near Chandratal at camping sites in case you are able to make arrangement for next day drop to Batal early morning else it will be wise to get lift in the evening from some group going back to Kaza or Batal in the evening.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for this quick reply !
        Should we book a room in Batal in advance for the evening? Do you think it will also be possible to leave our bags in a guest house before walking to Chandratal?

        Regards,
        Florie

        • Florie, you wont be required to book a room in Batal as there is no service of phone there, so there are couple of dhabhas and one PWD rest house where you will get the room to stay on the spot too.

  14. Will the roads to Chandratal (Battal) be open in first week of April?

  15. Hi Dheeraj ,
    Would like to know the route for chandratal lake as m planning to make a round trip frm srinagar -leh-manali

  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my wife are planning to go to Chandratal lake during June 1st week. We are from Mumbai. We would like to spend a night at Chandratal lake campsite. Also I would like to know if the roads will be open during the 1st week of June. There are 02 ways we can go to Chandratal Lake. One is to hire a bike from Manali and other is to use the public transport mentioned by you above. We are adventures people and don’t mind the bus travel. DO you have any contact details of the camp site so that we can get in touch with them well in advance.

    Thanks
    Bhavmit

    • Bhavmit, by June first week road to Chandratal might not be open so you may need to trek all the way from Batal or Kunzum Pass to Chandratal Lake. Also, the road from Manali to Kunzum Pass is opening in third week of June for the last few years, so going from Manali to Chandratal in first week of June will always be uncertain. Regarding stay options at Chandratal, you can refer the detailed guide: Delhi to Chandratal Lake Spiti Valley – Travel Guide

  17. Hi..m.planning to go to manali on this sat I.e 08th nov, will stay in manali and on Sunday early morning will leave for chandratal.. Please suggest as to how should I plan..will I be able to come back on the same day to manali or is there any accommodation available near chandratal at this point of time..
    Thanks

  18. I am planning to visit Chandratal in first week of October(2-5oct). I am from chandigarh. I will take bus from chandigarh to manali. We will stay there. We will hire Bullets from manali. Next day, by early morning, we will leave for chandratal. We will stay there. by next morning we will come back to manali. I have few questions..
    1. How are the road conditions there. speacially manali to chandratal.?
    2. We are not carrying the tents. So where should we stay near chandratal. I heard that now there are no tents available to stay near chandratal. so is there any other good place to stay near chandratal(30-40km) where we can also enjoy the nature’s beauty.?
    3.In first week of oct. Can we reach direct to the chandratal at the last point, from where, we have to trek just 1-2 kms.?
    4.Does it rain there during this time(October first week).?
    5.We are 4 friend and we all are going there first time. I have visited spiti on Bullets 4 months ago from Shimla, Sarahan, Chitkul, Nako till Kaza and then we had to return back as the road was closed ahead. So this is my second trip. Being new, what cautions should I take..? I am sorry if I asked many questions but I really need some guidance. I am very new to this route.

    Thanks in Advance
    Daman

    • Hi Daman,

      I am just back from Spiti Valley Mega Meet of DoW which included Chandratal as well. My replies are below:

      1. They are best they can be when compared to entire season. Water in watercrossing is quite less, couple of the water crossings are now piped below but some still are tricky if you get late in the day.
      2. You can stay at the camping sites available couple of KMs before Chandratal. Ask for Bishan, Parsol Camps and you can refer my name or DoW to him. I am sure he will be happy to discount it for you. Else get down to Batal and stay at Chandra Dhabha, or huts in front of it or PWD Rest House.
      3. Yes, you can take your bike upto the wall from where Chandratal is just 15 minutes hike.
      4. Not really but weather is always unpredictable.
      5. You need to go prepared with heavy woolens. It will be very very cold up there and since you are sleeping second night at Chandratal, it will be fair chance of AMS too.

      Regards
      dheeraj

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your valuable reply. Is it recommended to take tents & sleeping bags from manali on rent and stay at the bank of the river. Is there any Dhaba or any Tea shop near Lake.?

        • Daman, camping at the lakeside is banned as it is wetland reserve. You can pitch your tents at Campsites about 2 KMs before the lake or stay at those camps. Else come down and stay at Batal Dhabha.

      • hi sir, i have alto k10 and have good hands on rough road driving,it would be possible by k10 or 4×4 is good option.
        plz reply planning to go on 25 oct 2014

  19. I understand there is road where car can travel until about 1-2km before Chandratal lake. May I know if the road start from Batal or Kunzum pass?

    I am planning to take a bus from Manali and hoping to hitch hike a car on the way to the lake if possible. In that case, should I alight at Batal or Kunzum pass?

    • Greg, sorry for the late reply. Once you cross Batal and move towards Kunzum Pass, there comes a diversion after about 2-2.5 KMs from Batal. That takes you to almost 13 KMs close to Chandratal. After that you need to just walk the remaining 800-900 Mtrs.

    • Best is you get down at Batal and look for options there first and then if nothing happens for sometime, then get a lift from someone to drop at diversion point and walk from there, may be someone doing that route should help you out there.

  20. ajay verma on

    hie dheeeraj bhaii..hows u brother..yar bhai m planning to go chandrtal on 30 sep..ma queris are:
    1)how many days it wil reqiure m planning to go via manali…
    2)i will start on 30th sep early morning 5 a.m from shimla.

    • Hello Ajay,

      1. Minimum of 5-6 days you need to visit Chandratal and that time is not really good. It will be quite cold up there during first week of OCtober.
      2. Shimla it will take more time, better do it from Manali side.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  21. Hello Dheeraj,

    Thanks for this informative post, have plans to do this trek in the last week of sept’14. But I had few queries :
    1. Reading this post, felt like the Batal to Chandratal trek can be done in a days time but however, I had read Batal to Chandratal is a 12km strech. So is it possible to complete the entire trek and come back the same day to Batal for night stay at Dhaba?
    2. Do we need to do any advance booking to stay at Dhaba or are there many options in Batal?(any contact number would be helpful).
    3. At what time one reaches Batal from Kaza if one takes the morning bus from Kaza?
    4. I do not have any camping equipment’s with me, how much does it cost for hiring a camping equipment for two and can we get that at Batal?

    • Hi Suddu,

      1. It will be very very difficult but if you can walk doable. Battal to Chandratal is about 15-16 KMs not 12. But, there is no need as camps will be there and why to trek when road is open?
      2. There are no signals up there.
      3. It is around 3-3.5 Hrs of journey.
      4. You will get camps running up there, so no worries on that front.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Dear Dheeraj,
        is it possible to drive the stretch from Battal to Chandratal, I have a Xylo car and am a somewhat good at driving in the hills. Please revert with specifics , as i am very passionate about undertaking this journey, Regards Vishal

        • Yes, Vishal if you are a careful driver and knows on to drive such dirt track roads, you can drive your Xylo with cautions and care from Batal to Chandratal too.

    • Dear Suddu

      I read your question and Dheeraj bhai’s reply and I still haven’t made up my mind whether I want to fly kites today or not so I thought I would just jump right in and post an answer (it has been extremely long since I last did so).

      The following answer is more from personal experience so please bear with me:
      We did manage to do the 32 km roundtrip trek in a single day. We started at 6 in the morning from the Batal dhaba (a lifesaver) and were back by 5 in the evening (to experience a sumtuous rajma-chawal meal). So, it’s certainly doable but mind you very painful. I have done quite a bit of traveling in the hills but I was still hit with AMS. So, please guard against it or at the very least be prepared. Make sure you plan well and are punctual. Leave early from Batal and make sure you don’t overstay at the lake because the return journey isn’t easy and you wouldn’t want the sun to go down whilst you’re coming back. I went in the first week of July and there were plenty of icy-cold water streams running that had be crossed barefoot but Dheeraj bhai would know more if there’d be such streams or maybe even snow when you go there in September last week.
      I am planning a trip to Spiti in the first week of October too and have been planning to reach out to Dheeraj for guidance anyway :)! Will post my questions on the Devil’s forum soon.

        • Oh wow, that’s some trek you have done Vijay(Ainvehi=Vijay I am assuming :D)!. A 32km trek in a day is no joke, kudos to you!
          Thanks for details both Dheeraj and Vijay, I was thinking about trekking the strech from Batal to Chandratal because I am traveling by bus and it drops u till Batal, so incase I don’t get any lift from Batal to Chandratal, I will have to walk it, hence the question.
          Getting a lift is an easy task? Or is it like a difficult one?

        • Suddu, as Rimzim has also explained there is no need to trek from Battal. Bus will cross the diversion point of Chandratal on Batal – Kunzum Pass road, hence you can ask the conductor to stop there. From there it is 14 KMs. The lift will be on your luck but majority of times you will get the lift as people are ready to help mostly. It has to be your unlucky day not to get any lift from any taxi or travelers or bikers riding there.

        • Pankaj Sharma on

          Dear Saddu,

          Yesterday only i came from Chandratal.

          I saw a Spnish waiting for lift at Batal to Chandratal and he reached after we reached in a Tempo which was carrying tents/Camping material.

          So if you are lucky then u might get something.

        • Good Pankaj, yes of course, the hitch hike does involve a bit of risk but in that remote terrain, people are mostly ready to help you out offering a lift to the persons in need. So, majority of the times you will get the lift.

    • Hi Suddu,

      If you’re coming from Kaza, you can get down at Kunzum La. To the right of the stupas there is a well-defined trail that’ll take you all the way to Chandrataal. It is about 12 kms, mostly level or downhill and easily doable in 3-4 hours. We did it in July 2014. No guide needed because after 90 minutes of walking you’ll see the deep blue waters of Chandrataal. You can’t get a better landmark than that to keep you from getting lost. I’m not sure what time the Kaza-Battal bus crosses Kunzum La but if it is anytime before 1pm then you should be able to make it to Chandratal before sundown. You don’t need to start the trek from Battal. The trail gets you right where the Chandertal tent sites are so you could spend the night there instead of the Battal dhabhas. Next morning, catch a Sumo heading down from Chandratal to Battal. One night at Chandertal ranges from Rs 700 to Rs 2000 depending on how hard you can bargain.

      • Thanks Rimzim, Pankaj & Dheeraj! You guys are ausum.. Thanks for all the information. 🙂

  22. ashutosh kalia on

    hello dheeraj. i have a query we are planning to kaza via shimla. we r planning to start our journey on 19th june. we would like to visit chandratal lake also and we r planning to come back via manali. iwhat are the conditions of road at this time? is road between manali and kaza open?.

      • ashutosh kalia on

        Thanx for reply dheeraj, i am little bit confused about the way to kaza manali to kaza or shimla to kaza .

        • At present the road conditions through Kinnaur route are fine except some minor blocks at Pangi Nalla and a diversion at Urni. Rest all good to go !!

  23. Hi Dheeraj, I stumbled upon this page while planning for my Hampta Pass Trek starting 12th August. I will be doing this trek on my own with a partner and expect to reach Chhatru on 15th August. Will you have any suggestions on how to reach Batal from Chhatru? We won’t have our own vehicle so totally relying on public transport or our own feet 🙂

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    • Karan, in that case you have to rely upon the buses that run between Kaza and Keylong Or Kaza and Manali. Also, there will be only options of hitch hiking or taking lifts from other fellow travelers. Shared Taxis most likely will be coming full from Keylong or Manali I believe.

  24. Hi Dheeraj,
    If somebody is doing Kinnaur Kailash Shivlingam Parikrama then could you suggest a way to reach to Chandrataal? Kinnaur Kailash yatra starts from Tangling village (Kalpa).

      • My mode of transport is Sumo/some other SUV which we are going to hire there itself. I am not sure about how many days we have after yatra but we can make time for Chandrataal. 🙂

        • Okies, then you need to follow an itinerary like below:

          Assuming the Yatra ends at Kalpa or Sangla, you can move to Tabo on day 1. Day 2 go and stay at Kaza for couple of days after visiting Tabo monastery and Dhangkar Monastery on the way. If you do not wish to stay at Kaza then from Tabo or Kaza you can start the journey to Chandratal and stay overnight. Next day start from Chandratal and reach Manali. From Manali, take back volvo to Delhi.

  25. Hii Dheeraj ,we r planning to go spiti valley via shimla.we will reach shimla on 21st june want to stay nxt day also .23rd onwards we want to go reckong peo,nako ,tabo n kaza.thn chandrataal lake.does taxi will go direct from shimla?? Hw mch dey will charge???is this month can we c.lake by taxi??? People tld me that u hv to trek fr reaching c.lake is it so?? Please answer all my doubts m very confused..pls tell me if i hv left any destination and distance between two places.pls tell me good budget trip as my parents are going wth me so that they wud also feel comfrtable n enjy properly.waiting fr ur good suggestions.thx

  26. hi i have a question we will be in manali with kids at the end of june for 4 days and this lake is high on our agenda…we have a toyota fortune.. can you tell us how to get there and if we can stay anywhere there or what are our options pls and thank you

    • Supreet, 4 days with kids to Chandratal lake is not at all enough. Better plan some other time I will say. September is best time to under take this journey.

  27. hlw Dheeraj…. ur Writting is awsome and much iinformative. i have a quary. I’m from Bangladesh. we have a plan to summit mount kanamo via manali-kaza-kiber path. but after going through ur blog i have a wish to visit chandratal lake. now my questions are

    1. can u plz suggest me an itenary?
    2. battal or losar which’ll be best option to trek Chandratal in one day then back to battal/losar and leave for kaza on the next morning?
    3. what’ll be my transportation option from battal/losar? as we are going for one way to kaza so we dont have any option to manage the bus supervisr.

    • Abir, please tell how many days do you have in hand, which month are you traveling. Best is to reach Chandratal and stay there only, why to go to Battal or Losar. Next day if you want to go to Kaza, go directly from Chandratal only after seeing the magical reflections in the morning.

  28. Avishek Dey on

    Deer Dheeraj,

    We are planning to go Chandratal via shimla by sangla, kalpa, tabo, kaza etc. We will reach Shimla by 15th August night, 2014 and we have flight on 24th August evening from Delhi. So, We want to reach Manali by 22nd/23rd August.
    a. Considering the Chandratal on priority can u suggest me the plan & its cost. We will go four.
    b. One travel agent says at mid August it is not good to travel those areas. There is problem to go Kaza to Tabo via bridge. Is it true? Please advise.
    c. Should we start from Manali and end at Shimla??

    • Here are my replies:

      a. You have 8 days to Shimla to Manali and can follow the plan like below:
      Day 1 | Shimla – Narkanda – Sangla/Chitkul
      Day 2 | Sangla/Chitkul – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mudh Village)
      Day 5 | Pin Valley – Kaza Local Sightseeing 
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
      — Sakya abode or snow lion are two best options at Kaza. Get in touch with Tsering at 09418208987, he is more than a friend to me. Will offer you best price. Both are run by him only. He has home stays too.
      Day 6 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Koumik) 
      — Hikkim, Kaumik, Langza circuit 
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali

      b. One travel agent says at mid August it is not good to travel those areas. There is problem to go Kaza to Tabo via bridge. Is it true? Please advise.
      To an extent yes but the major problem is in Kinnaur since it will be monsoon and kinnaur is not a good place to be in monsoons.

      c. Should we start from Manali and end at Shimla??
      You need to decide. Going by direction if you really want to do circuit then I will suggest you do it from Shimla side only. But, since you are attempting it in monsoons, I will suggest to avoid Kinnaur side. Go from Manali and come from Manali only.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  29. i have a query dheeraj. we are planning to to to kaza via shimla. we r planning to start our journey on 9th june. we would like to visit chandratal lake also and we r planning to come back via manali. iwhat are the conditions of road at this time? is road between manali and kaza open?

    • Arvind, Chandratal that early in the season is not that much suggested. Also the road from Manali to Kaza – Spiti is expected to open only during 20th of June.

  30. vinayak kaistha on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for such an informative post on reducing the travel of cost. It is indeed quite helpful while planning the trip.

    Can you guide me about which place should I visit keylong(only for surajtal lake & Jispa
    ) or kaza? Below are few of the queries

    1) Is there any bus service to keylong?
    2)I have 5 days with me and will start from manali. So which all places should be in the top of my list to visit?

    Kindly reply to the above queries and also provide what ever additional info you feel will help me. Thanks in advance as the info will be quite helpful in deciding my itinerary.

    • Hello Vinayak,

      Can you guide me about which place should I visit keylong(only for surajtal lake & Jispa) or kaza? Below are few of the queries

      1) Yes, there ar bus services to Keylong from Manali.
      2) Well, 5 days will be tight to cover both Spiti and Lahaul. Are these ex. Manali? or from Delhi? If from Delhi I will suggest you beter go to Keylong/Lahaul

      Which month are you planning the trip?

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • vinayak kaistha on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I will be traveling from manali. I am planning to visit at july end or aug first week.
        Does it rain during that time at spiti?

        Regards,
        Vinayak.

        • Spiti Valley is in general rain shadow region and gets very little rains. However, there will be rains in around Manali in any case.

  31. Hi Dheeraj,

    Lots of invaluable information on your site! One of the best resources I’ve found for my upcoming Lahaul-Spiti trip (Jul 15 onward).

    We plan to enter the valley from the Shimla side and exit from Manali. One thought we’re seriously considering is to do as much as we can by public transport.

    Here’s what my itinerary is looking like:

    Day 1: Shimla to Kalpa
    Day 2: Kalpa to Nako
    Day 3: Nako to Tabo
    Day 4: Tabo to Mudh
    Day 5: Mudh (buffer day)
    Day 6: Mudh to Dhankar
    Day 7: Dhankar Lake trek and back
    Day 8: Dhankar to Kaza
    Day 9: Kaza – Ki- Kibber – Kaza (taxi)
    Day 10: Kaza – Komic – Losar
    Day 11: Losar to Chandertal & back (taxi)
    Day 12: Losar to Keylong
    Day 13: Keylong to Manali
    Day 14: Manali to Chandigarh

    1. Does it look doable?
    2. For Day 9, is it easy to get taxi’s from Kaza to cover Ki and Kibber? How much do they charge?
    3. For Day 11, how long would a Losar-Chandertal roundtrip hike take? Is this route better or at least the same as the one from Battal?
    4. Are taxis easily available in Losar? If we take a taxi from Losar, how close would it get us to the lake?

    You counsel is much appreciated.

    • Hi Rimzim,

      Thanks alot, glad DoW was useful in planning your Spiti Valley trip. I have few concerns in the itinerary though it is very very well though off.

      1. Doing Dhangkar Lake and back and the staying at Dhangkar is not a good option. While coming from Mudh, you can trek to Dhangkar lake, visit the monastery and return to Kaza the same day. This saves you one entire day. You can use this day to visit Lalung in between may be instead of going to Kaza, stay at Lalung to explore the beauty and warmth of Rama – Lingti Valley.

      2. Then, next day head to Kaza, do Ki – Kibber villages in the evening and rest in Kaza. Next day go to Langza and rest overnight, then trek to Komik and back to Kaza through Hikkim for night stay. Do not miss, Langza and Komik.

      3. Next day head to Chandratal directly as there will be camping options available there at Chandratal itself OR get back to Battal in case you using public transport. No point taking the painful journey back to Losar form Chandratal and staying there as you will miss out on reflections in Chandratal.

      4. Again don’t need to go to Keylong from Chandratal/Batal rather go to Sissu or Khoksar if you want to break the journey only. Then next day reach Manali.

      Regarding queries,
      2. Yes, very easy they charge about 1200 for the trip.
      3+4. NA as per suggestions above. Take from Kaza and reach Chandratal directly.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Thanks, Dheeraj! Based on your inputs I’ve made some changes to the plans. Also, I’ve added the Hampta Pass Trek which starts and ends in Manali and will also cover Chandertal Lake. Again, I plan to rely on public transport as much as possible.

        23 Jul Shimla to Keylong
        24 Jul Keylong
        25 Jul Keylong to Manali
        26 Jul Hampta Pass Trek
        27 Jul Hampta Pass Trek
        28 Jul Hampta Pass Trek
        29 Jul Hampta Pass Trek
        30 Jul Hampta Pass Trek
        31 Jul Manali to Kaza
        01 Aug Kaza-Ki-Kibber-Kaza
        02 Aug Kaza-Komik-Langza-Kaza
        03 Aug Kaza-Dhankar-Lallung
        04 Aug Lallung
        05 Aug Lallung-Mud
        06 Aug Mud (spare)
        07 Aug Mud-Tabo
        08 Aug Tabo-Nako
        09 Aug Nako-Kalpa
        10 Aug Kalpa
        11 Aug Kalpa-Shimla

        How does it look now? Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

        • Rimzim, I guess there is some gap. How many days do you have for Hamta Pass trek. Also, you cannot reach Keylong from Shimla in a day. Also, Manali comes before Keylong which going from Shimla to Keylong. So, there is some gap here. Have you talked to some treking group for Hamta Pass trek? AFAIK, it will take you into Lahaul valley from Manali and then from Chatru you can continue to Kaza without coming back to Manali. This should be organized by some agency. Have you had a word with any?

  32. Hello Dheeraj,

    Your artical about cheapest way to chandratal lake is so much helpful for us. Firslty heartly thanks for this.
    We four friends planning to trek chandratal lake on first week of july 2014 . Our tour plan is

    manali > kunzum pass(by bus) > trek to chandratal > batal > manali
    Please provide clarification regarding chandratal lake -:

    1. Presently bus is available for manali to kaza to manali as you mention in your article earlier.

    2. Is it possible to trek chandratal lake from kunaum pass (if yes then provide conditions, time, do and don’s).

    3. A big confusion about camping at chandratal lake.
    a) Is it possible to reserve camp on the spot.

    b) charges about camping+food.

    4. accomodation at kunzum pass.

    Please rever ASAP.

    Regards

    SANJAY

    1.

    • Hi Sanjay,

      1. Yes, as suggested in the article, as soon as the road will open the HRTC bus will run over Manali to Kaza route.
      2. It is possible but you will need a guide for it. It is best to follow the trek which starts couple of KMs ahead of Battal that leads you directly at Chandratal. Better use that trek only.
      3. You should be able to get the camp on the spot, don’t worry much. Charges could be like 800-1000 per person, may be on the spot a bit less.
      4. There is no shelter at Kunzum Pass. You have to sleep either at Battal OR Losar OR Chandratal only in that area.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  33. Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, must thank you for this very informative post on Chandratal Lake.

    We are planning to visit Kaza (and Dhankar, Kibber, Kunzam pass, Chandratal lake, Pin Valley, Tabo) in late May/early June.

    Should we take the Shimla route or the Manali one? And what are the chances of covering the places I have mentioned?

    Cheers
    Arinjay

    • Arinjay, Kunzum Pass or Manali to Kaza route, will highly like be not open in late May as it generally opens in second week of June types. So, you will be left with the option of making it from Kinnaur side as well. Also regarding Chandratal, it will only be possible if you trek else not as road will not open to it that early in the season.
      You can also check below two articles: 5 Reasons to Travel Spiti Valley from Manali Route AND 5 Reasons to Travel Spiti Valley from Shimla – Kinnaur Route

      These will help you more with your decision making.

      • Thanks for the prompt reply, Dheeraj!

        Few more questions.
        – How easy or difficult would be the trek to Chandratal.

        – Any idea on the distance and how much time it would take to trek?

        – would the trek be open during our time of visit? I mean, is the opening of trek also depends on snowfall/landslides, like in the case of roads?

  34. Anil Padmani on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Here is anil padmani
    i want to plan for manali from 14th to 22nd.
    so please guide me the route for the same.

  35. Hey !! I am a regular reader, but this is my first post. Great work. Could you please help me with the accommodation at Chander Tal lake. We are planning to stay there for a night on 13th of September. Had a word with one of the CAMP guys and have been told that they will leave before that, also its too expensive. Can you suggest me any alternative?? We want to spend one night at the lake

    • Aman, better that you stay at Losar because in September it gets cold as suggested by Camp guys because they also start leaving by mid September. In case you need camps better go over there and get one which is running that time of the year. This will save you the money as well, otherwise in worst case if they are running full, you can always go back to Losar for night stay.

  36. MANU GANDHI on

    Hi Guys.
    i have gone through with the thread, and i really appreciate you guys for the Kind of support you are providing for the Novice riders and adventure Lovers.

    I am also a fun loving guy , and have no experience of High altitude yet.

    But this year i am planning to explore the Spiti valley via Manali. I am planning my trip on third week of September this year. I will have Bullets and i have some queries in my mind and would appreciate if someone please answer these:–

    1) We are planning to this expedite with a group of 4 , will it be sufficient.

    2) Is this the right time to explore this heavenly Beauty in last week of september and what are the challenges i will face at this time.

    3) Is there any list of some unexplored places which i can explore apart from usual list of places in this trip.

    4) what are the challenges for exploring Chandratal Lake at this time

    I will be very thankful if someone can please write and answer my queries.

    • Hello Manu,

      Thanks alot for your warm words of appreciation.

      1. Yes, group number is fine but carry least luggage so that there is some comfort.
      2. One of the best time to explore Spiti Valley. You will have to face water crossing enroute, so best possible thing is leave early, sleep early 😀
      3. Depends upon number of days you have in hand, 1 month is even short to explore Spiti Valley properly.
      4. No much, cold conditions and may be some snowfall, which might want you to wait for a day or two to melt. Apart from that High altitude is the biggest challenge, so better be acclimatized before reaching the lake, best way is to spend couple of days in Lahaul Valley and explore, Deepak Tal and Suraj Tall too before going to Chandratal 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  37. Jitesh Udwani on

    Is is possible to go upto chandratal on my bike? Also, how much is the distance from Batal to chandratal? and What time it may take ?

  38. JATDEVTA SANDEEP on

    3 अगस्त को किन्नौर कैलाश का कार्यक्रम बन चुका है उसके साथ इसे भी करना है।

    • Sandeep bhai, shayad Kinnaur se road na khulle Spiti jaane ka. abhi tak Nako tak open hua hai bas. I will update accordingly brother.

  39. Ashish Mankotia on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    I am planning to start this trip on mid august.
    Kindly tell me will it be good at this time to plan a trip to Chandratal lake & as i will do this trip on my bike; so plz tell me the conditions of the roads from Kaza

    • Aashish, roads from Kinnaur side are closed for Kaza. You have to go from Manali side only and you will face some hassles of rains/monsoons upto the time you enter Spiti. Even in Spiti now, there are rains though not that much heavy. So, it shall be fine. Road from Grapmhu to Battal to Chandratal is a dirt track and almost a river bed, so keep your mindeset like it 🙂

      • Ashish Mankotia on

        Hey Dheeraj, i will start this trip on bike from Mandi can you tell me how to proceed forward to Chandratal lake.

        I will tell u how i have planned this trip:

        DAY 1: Gurgaon – Mandi
        Day 2: Mandi – Kaza
        Day 3: Kaza – KI Monastry
        Day 4: KI Monastry – Chandratal Lake
        Day 5: Back to Mandi

        Please tell me how can i plan my trip better ………..

        • Do you have just 5 days form Mandi? If yes, then best proposition will be

          Day 2 | Mandi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Khoksar
          Day 3 | Khoksar – Chandratal, stay at Camps or visit Chandratal and then go to Losar for stay at some homestay/guest house
          Day 4 | Chandratal/Losar – Ki- Kibber – Komik – Kaza/Losar
          Day 5 | Kaza/Losar – Manali

  40. Hi Dheeraj,

    Whats the status of road from Chandigarh to Narkanda/ Kalpa? Is it closed?

    • hi Sonali,

      Upto Narkanda or even Rampur or Bhawanagar roads are fine. Though the roads have opened upto Reckong Peo BUT conditions are bad still. Sangla Valley is still closed.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  41. Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m leaving for Chandratal Lake on the 14th of June, hoping to get ther by 16th max.
    Will the roads be open? And should i rent a bike from manali or losar? Haven’t ridden for a while so i kinda don’t wanna make it a life or death situation.

    • Apoorv, road might not open by that time. You can track the exact status of Manali – Kunzum Pass – Kaza road at the thread in the DoW – Community linked: Manali – Kunzum Pass – Spiti Valley Road Status 2013

  42. Robin Singh on

    sir,
    would u please tell us about the expected time when Manali-Losar road would be open this year.
    thanks in advance…..

    • Robin Singh on

      also tell me something about bus service from manali to kaza and when will it begin

    • Robin please find the updates and stay tuned at the thread of DoW – Himalayan Travel Community for Road status of Manali to Spiti Valley at the link here

      • Robin Singh on

        sir could you please tell us something about the bus service from Manali to Kaza.
        please tell me their timings and will they start as soon as roads are open…

        • Robin, yes bus service will start as soon as the road opens and stabilizes. These buses run from Kullu to Kaza via Manali and it reaches Manali around 4.45 AM and leaves at 5.00 AM. Ticket to Kaza will cost you only about INR 250 approximately per person. Stay tuned at the link I shared in earlier reply.

  43. Pankaj Sharma on

    Hi Deeraj,

    I spent my whole yesterday (Office Time :)) and browsed your blog and found it very interesting and helpful for the people who are planning trip to Ladakh or Sipiti Valley. Great Job you are doing and also nice to know you are also a Software Engineer who is Passionate about travel and photography.

    Last year i went to Ladhak covering all major checkpoints and this year i am planning to explore Spiti Valley on Bullet. I have couple of questions regarding Chandratal. Hope you have answers to these:

    1. I am planning to take Manali Route and wants to know which one out of Batal or Losar is the best trek to Chandratal?

    2. I am also planning to stay at the camps near the Lake. Are they affordable or should i stay in Batal/Losar?

    3. Is it recommended to take a guide along (and if yes from where i can get one) or we can make it alone?

    4. The Time i am planning it First/Second week of July. Is it Fine?

    5. I also read the Article where there is New Traffic rule Implemented while crossing Roatang Pass. Is it in Place now and hows effective it is?

    6. It will also be helpful if you would like to recommend some do and Dont’s.

    Thanks a Lot in Advance.

    • Thanks alot Pankaj and sorry for the delay in reply 🙁

      1. You are planning in July, so road from Manali side will be open by that time and since you are on a Bullet so you can ride all the way upto Parking point which is 2.5 KMS away from the lake. No need of trek.

      2. If you wanna cover or see reflections in Chandratal, then you have to stay at camps. They are fine charges about 1000-1200 per person with meals when you make a deal on the spot. Else, come back and stay at Losar or Battal dhabha

      3. No need for the guide brother.

      4. Yes.

      5. There are couple of rules. One with timings and other with permits. Bikes are spared however.

      6. Not much brother apart from the ones mentioned in Delhi to Chandratal Lake, Spiti Valley | Travel Guide. Rest first day somewhere near Solang or Vashishth NOT Manali for acclimatization. Second day may be rest at Khoksar and then make a third day visit to Chandratal with better acclimatized body.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Pankaj Sharma on

        Thanks a Lot Dheeraj Bro!!!

        I will surely keep this in mind and if let u know if there is any query i come across.

        Regards,
        Pankaj Sharma

  44. Hi dheeraj i will leave delhi for manali on 31st may’13 will reach solang vally (hotel iceland) on 1st june with my wife and two sons (8 year and 4 year) want to ask you will manali to leh (or chandrtal) doable with them. I have time so i will rest in solang for acclimatization

    • Ajay, Manali – Leh might or might not open by that time but surely road to Chandratal will not open as I am back from Spiti Valley last night only. They have not even corssed Kunzum Pass and seeing the progress it will take about a month or more to open Manali – Kaza road

      • Dear Dheeraj, wonder if you are travelling now. I plan to drive down to Chandratal lake, journey to planned for 18 June fron NOIDA and back. I have a XYLO car, would be very indebted if you could give an overview of the road and weather conditions that would prevail then. Also would appreciate your inputs on which route to be used- via shimla or Manali and what permissions to be taken if any. Suggestions on duration of visit, bases for putting up overnight, Diesel refilling points etc, any other valuable inputs if any would be helpful. Also if you could apprise me of the road opening status for this expedition. Hope its not a foolhardy idea. :p

        • Hi vishal,

          there are no permits required for this route if you go via Shimla side and come from Manali side. I will suggest you read the article to get the basic idea of route and how it can be done: Spiti Valley | Most Common Itinerary

          This will also allow the chances of road to be open by that time of the year.

          Regards
          dheeraj Sharma

  45. Want to go chadertal lake on 24 may 2013 is this possible to go that date by own car and pls do tell me what I have to do to take mg car to chandertal pls give ur suggestions
    Thanx

    • Sunny, right now I am in Kaza, road is not open and I doubt it will open by end of may. I am going there tomorrow and will update more things soon.

    • Sunny, I just returned last night from Spiti Valley. Went upto where roads are being cleared. It does not look like that road will open by second of june to Chandratal from Kunzum/Kaza side and from Manali side it will not open by late of June.

  46. Hey, I’m planning for Lahual-Spiti trip this August, wondering if 6-7 days are good enough to cover the places around this lake?

    • Vishal, you can follow the below plan for your trip to Lahaul and Spiti:

      Day 1 | Reach manali and take rest
      Day 2 | Manali – Keylong/Jispa
      Day 3 | Jispa and around. Either visit Surajtal or visit Udaipur from Jispa
      Day 4 | Jispa – Losar
      Day 5 | Losar – Chandratal/Losar
      Day 6 | Losar – Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Delhi

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  47. dheeraj bhai agar main srinagar wale route se aauga tau kaise main Chandratal Lake pahuch sakta hoon kaha se muje turn lena hoga plz tell me ……..

      • main srinagar se entry or leh ledakh and manali se exit ho jauga ….tau plz bata do raste main kaha se u turn lu main …

        • Deepak, jab tum Keylong paar karloge Manali – Leh Highway to thode bht villages aayenge. Un sabhi ko paar lena aur Rohtang Pass ki chaddhayee se just pehle ek place atta hai “Gramphu” naam se. Wahan se left lena hoga. Vo rooad Kunzum Pass ki taraf jata hai. ek jagah aayegi Battal, jaise hi use paar karoge Kunzum Pass ka raasta shuru ho jayega, thoda updar jaane ke baad ek left lena hoga jahan Chandratal ka board laga hai, vo road Chandratal le jayega.

  48. OK. Thats done. Am going to Spiti as soon as possible and will keep printouts of your blog to see me through 🙂

    • Hey Puru,

      Great to see you here, overwhelmed 🙂 … Well, yeah, it is good time to visit Spiti Valley too before the monsoon creeps into Kinnaur. I am heading there next month 4th of May to recollect all these memories for the thrid time 😀 … Do let me know in case you have any queries or need any inputs on it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  49. Vijay Mendiratta on

    Brilliant post Dheeraj – the options you list will prove to be very helpful for everyone going there.
    But I have a question – When I went there last in July 2011, there was a building coming up next to the Batal dhaba. Would you know if that is a new lodging facility one can avail? Otherwise, being able to find a place to stay the night in the Batal dhaba is very tricky.

    • Hello Vijay,

      Thanks alot. Not sure about that building, may be some post or shed for them as now the area is under GREF not PWD, I think. However, I am going there this May, I will check that out and post the updated status and belonging of that building. Yes, finding it is a bit inconvenient to stay at Battal Dhabha but since we all were 5 nerds there only, so did not have any issue at all 😀 … It is better to stay at Losar in that case.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Vijay Mendiratta on

        Thanks Dheeraj. Will wait for your update.
        I still don’t understand how does your office grant you so many days-off in an year 😀

        • Vijay bhai, my office only give me two 5-5 days of holidays in an year. I try to keep others at bay and rarely take any other leave unless really required.

        • Vijay Mendiratta on

          Lol! Well, you do a great job managing your time-off brother!!! Wish you the best!

        • Thanks bhai, well soon will be starting a new initiative as Himalayan Travel Community where people will be able to find travel partners, share their travel tales read about new things, almost everything related to The Himalayas 🙂 … Would be great, if you can share your expertise there as well!!

        • Vijay Mendiratta on

          Absolutely brother – I won’t call myself an expert but I would love to share whatever experiences I have had. Best of luck for the new initiative!

        • Hey Vijay, none of us are experts here and that too for Himalayas, but collectively we all passionate lovers of Himalayas can form a community to make easy as well as economic to travelers seeking inputs to this region. And the end goal is to benefit the actual people (like guides, porters, home stays, local goods) of the Himalayas along with travelers on budget and provide them a source to reap complete benefits out of our collective knowledge and efforts.

  50. JATDEVTA SANDEEP on

    ठीक है भाई, हम तो अपनी बाइक पर ही जाना पसन्द करेंगे। वो रिकांगपियों वाले रूट से।


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