How to plan a trip to Chandratal Lake – Spiti Valley?

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Chandratal Lake in Spiti Valley is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Himachal Pradesh. A trip to Chandratal would mean a mix of adventure and raw, desolate nature. You can reach this pristine Lake by traversing through the most treacherous roads and climbing the high glaciers between Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. Otherwise, you can always club this trip and travel the road to Spiti Valley through Kinnaur to reach Chandratal Lake.

Chandratal Lake - An Ultimate Travel Guide
Chandratal Lake – An Ultimate Travel Guide

But, once you reach Chandratal Lake, the first sight takes away all the pain of the arduous journey. In this article today, let me share with you a comprehensive travel guide for planning a memorable trip to Chandratal Lake.

About Chandratal Lake – Spiti Valley

At an altitude of 4270 Meters, Chandratal Lake in Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh lies between a low ridge and the main Kunzum range. Mostly surrounded by snow in winters, this deep blue-water Lake has a circumference of 2.5 km.

Some people also call it “The Moon Lake” and is also one of the sources of the violent Chandra River. Moulkila and Chandrabhaga mountain range have snow-capped peaks and snow slopes around the valley measure from 3000 Meters to 6500 Meters approximately. Locales there, believe that Chandertal is this point from where Yudhishtra (Eldest among Pandava of Mahabharata epic) was taken to heaven in his mortal form.

Setting all the legend and folklore asides, Chandratal Lake in itself is a very luring place. It must be on top of your bucket list if you love the Himalayas.

Chandratal Lake – Spiti Valley

Location

Located in Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, Manali to Chandratal Lake distance is 125 km. You can either travel from Delhi to Chandratal Lake via Manali. Or, you can also plan to take the longer route from Delhi to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur and further to Chandratal.

A lot of people also travel from Mandi to Chandratal Lake, which about 250 km of a journey by road. It will take about 12 hrs to reach Chandratal from Mandi.

The motorable road to the Lake exists only up to 12.5 km. After the road ends, a remaining distance of 1.5 km is what you need to trek from parking points to the Moon Lake.

Altitude

The altitude of Chandratal Lake is 4270 Meters or 14220 Feet (approximately). Hence, you can see that this Lake lies at a very high altitude which means that you must plan your trip to Chandratal with a proper acclimatization schedule.

Chandratal Lake Weather

Weather at Chandratal remains mostly cold to very cold throughout the year. During winter, the Chandratal Lake temperature Lake may drop well below even – 20 degrees Celsius. Although cold during summer, snowfall can happen any time of the year here in this part of Spiti Valley. Already in the last few years, I have seen heavy snowfall happening in June, August, September months as well.

Do not forget to take heavy woolens at any time of the year you are going. You can always refer to what clothes to carry for Chandratal or Spiti trip.

So, when making a trip to Chandratal Lake, make sure you are well prepared for any emergency even in the summer months. Winter months are not at all recommended for traveling to Chandratal Lake.

When should I visit

As you can see that the months to visit Chandratal are pretty much limited to summer months. However, the definition of summer months can be different in a high altitude terrain like Spiti Valley. Let’s look at, which is the best month to visit Chandratal Lake.

Pre-requisite: Any one of the mountain passes, Rohtang La (Rohtang Pass) or Kunzum La (Kunzum Pass) are open for traffic to make a road trip to Chandratal.

Chandratal in January to April

It is impossible to travel to Chandratal Lake in January to April as the heaps of snow blocks all the road beyond Losar. Manali to Kaza road remains closed in winter from November to May period. From the Kaza side, the road to Losar even closes in February – March – April.

During these winter months, the glaciers are piled up between Gramphu – Chatru – Batal road and Kunzum Pass – Chandratal diversion road.

So, even when you plan a trip to Spiti Valley in March, you cannot reach Chandratal Lake.

Chandratal in May to June

The snow finally starts to clear up in May, and snow clearance operations are in full swing. The road from Kaza to Losar opens, but beyond Losar towards Kunzum Pass, the snow clearance will still be going on. Hence, in May it is again not possible to visit Chandratal Lake.

It is in June first week or second week, people will be able to reach Chandratal either by trekking the 14 km diversion road from Batal or when the Batal to Chandratal road clears up by mid-June to late June period.

So after the middle of June to the remaining season up to September, you can take your car or bike at the parking site and continue the Chandratal Lake trek of about 2 km to reach this beautiful Lake.

Still, thinking of planning late May or early June?

Well, you may try your luck first week June onward, but it’s highly likely that trek from Batal onward will be tough due to the presence of snow and for sure not motorable till the very end. You may reach Batal and then need to do the Chandratal Lake trek in the presence of snow, which makes it all very tough. I went on a trip from Delhi to Chandratal via Manali in the first week of June 2009, and it was a near-death experience for me.

A Lake on the way to Chandratal Lake
A Lake on the way to Chandratal Lake

Chandratal in July to September

July to mid-September is one of the better times to visit Chandratal Lake as the roads are open, the operators set up their camps at camping sites, and the weather is pleasant and favorable mostly. The roads are not in good shape, especially Manali to Kaza, with lots of notorious water crossings, but you do not have a choice.

In August, you will need to face the monsoon hassles in lower hills that can cause some nightmarish situations. The parts of Kinnaur Valley and Delhi to Manali route will be facing the music of rains. But, once you cross Rohtang Pass from Manali side and Nako from Kinnaur side, it is very much OK to reach Chandratal.

Come September, the rains go away, and it becomes one of the best times to visit Chandratal Lake. The water crossings are pretty tamed on Gramphu to Batal road and further Batal to Chandratal. However, as the days pass in September, the cold sets in the Himalayas. The nights and morning get cold and afternoons get cooler.

Chandratal in October to December

October is when most campsites at Chandratal pack up, and it becomes freezing to spend the night up there in Spiti, especially camping. I will not recommend planning a night stay near Chandratal Lake in October and beyond up to next season that starts in June.

November and December are said to be the winter months in Spiti Valley. Here, you should note that the roads to Chandratal will close down anytime in October. Hence, in November and December, it is not possible to make a road trip to Chandratal, in general, unless you want to take the risk of your life.

The roads to Spiti Valley from Manali close with the heavy snowfall around the middle of November or December. Although the roads from Kalpa to Kaza remains open almost all around the year, the roads further ahead of Kaza to Chandratal can close anytime in November – December.

What is the Best time to visit Chandratal?

Looking at these details month by month, the best time to visit Chandratal Lake is September month, or you can also make a trip from the middle of June to July month as well. In September, the road conditions are best in shape with tamed water crossings. So, making a Chandratal road trip is very favorable in this period.

You should also read my article on the best time to visit Spiti Valley for more details.

Standing high and handsome on snow trek to Chandratal
Standing high and handsome on snow trek to Chandratal

How to reach Chandratal

There are two possible routes from Delhi to Chandratal by road. One goes from Delhi to Manali, and the other goes from Delhi to Shimla to Kinnaur to Spiti Valley. Both routes have their advantages and disadvantages.

The route from Shimla – Kinnaur – Kaza

You can travel on this route starting from Delhi to Shimla or Narkanda. Then, from Narkanda move to Kalpa and further to Nako and Kaza. After exploring Spiti Valley, you can visit Chandratal from Kaza. The entire route is as follows:

Delhi » Shimla » Narkanda » Karcham » Powari » Puh » Nako » Tabo » Kaza » Losar » Kunzum La (4551 Meters) » Chandratal

I will strongly suggest that for visiting Chandratal Lake, you should travel from Shimla to Kinnaur and then visit Spiti Valley. Finally, when exiting Spiti Valley from Manali side, you should visit Chandratal Lake.

This route from Kinnaur provides a gradual ascend and helps you acclimatize to the high altitude of Chandratal Lake. Better acclimatization will help you fight the AMS and better enjoy your trip. Acclimatization is the key to success for any high altitude trip, and this one is no different. So, please take it seriously.

The route from Mandi – Manali – Rohtang Pass

The shortest route from Delhi to Chandratal Lake is from Manali side. It takes just one night to stop at Manali from Delhi to reach this Lake. The entire route is as follows:

Delhi » Mandi » Kullu » Manali » Rohtang La (3978 Meters) » Gramphoo » Chattru » Battal » Chandratal

Although the route from Mandi – Manali is the shortest route to Chandratal, it is a dangerous one too because it does not provide any acclimatization to your body. You sleep directly from less than 8000 feet to 14000 feet. By no means, you can acclimatize your body for such a huge difference in altitude between two nights. Hence, the majority of people traveling to Chandratal Lake from Manali does get hit with Acute Mountain Sickness symptoms.

This is the reason I always recommend to travel to Chandratal via Kinnaur side. If that is not possible and you only have the option to travel from Mandi to Chandratal Lake, better sleep at Solang Valley and Batal before planning to sleep at campsites of Chandratal Lake.

By Air

Bhuntar Airport near Manali is approximately 180 km from Chandratal Lake and is the nearest airport too. The other one being in Shimla is 375 km away. However, due to their small size, these airports have limited capacity and connectivity. The next major airport is Chandigarh Airport which 300 km from Manali and 112 km from Shimla.

Hence, Chandigarh is the best place to start the journey to Chandratal if you are flying from any other part of India than Delhi or other Northern states.

By Railways

Joginder Nagar railway station near Mandi is the nearest railway station from Chandratal about 290 km away. However, this would also have limited connectivity. My suggestion would be to have your endpoint of the railway journey as Chandigarh, which is well connected throughout.

The glaciers from Batal to Gramphu road
The glaciers from Batal to Gramphu road

By Public Transport

You can think, of course, plan a trip to Chandratal Lake by public transport. However, there isn’t any direct bus though you can still work it out if you like an adventure.

Manali to Chandratal by Bus

There are two HRTC buses that run between Manali and Kaza every morning, as soon as the road to Spiti Valley from Manali gets open in the season, mostly in June. You can hop on to any of these buses.

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. You will need to get down at Chandratal diversion point after bus crosses Batal and either hike or hitch-hike for the remaining 14 km to the Lake.

Pro Travel Tip: You can read my article in detail on how to plan a Chandratal Lake budget trip.

Shimla to Chandratal by Bus

There is an AC bus from Chandigarh, which reaches Shimla around 11 AM and then further connects to Reckong Peo. Also, there are two non-AC buses from Shimla till Reckong Peo. Then you can take the 7 AM daily HRTC bus to reach Kaza.

After reaching Kaza, you can follow the same Kaza to Manali bus and get down at Chandratal Lake diversion point after Kunzum Pass to hitchhike further remaining distance as explained above.

By Self drive Car

If you are driving your car, the choice shall be SUVs/MUVs for sure (Safari/Sumo/Xylo/Scorpio/Jeep, etc.). A 4×4 vehicle is not required, but it’s an added advantage anyway for such terrain, especially when tacking water crossings between Gramphu to Batal stretch.

Travel Tip: If you are driving yourself to Chandratal or Spiti Valley, then do not forget to check the 40 must-have things to carry on a self-drive trip to remote Himalayas.

Manali to Chandratal by Bike

When you plan a trip from Manali to Chandratal by bike you should note that you will be riding on one of the toughest roads in the world perhaps.

If you are riding Motorcycles, Mountain Bicycles be very careful at some of the stretches between Gramphu to Chatru to Batal to Chandratal, are you will have to cross and tackle numerous notorious water crossings. Well, human feet are almost always required to trek some part in this journey so be ready to use them anyway 😉

Guide Road Map for Chandratal

A guide map for Chandratal Lake Road Trip
A guide map for Chandratal Lake Road Trip (Old Source: Internet)

Road Conditions

Road conditions to Chandratal are not so good once you take the diversion off the Manali – Leh highway i.e. when you take a right turn from Gramphoo towards Batal – Kaza (Spiti Valley).

Manali – Chandratal Road Status & Condition

The road from Gramphu to Batal to Kunzum Pass is basically nothing but a dirt track with many water crossings all the way till Chandratal.

Kaza – Chandratal Road Status & Condition

If you are coming from Kaza towards Chandratal, you will find similar bad road conditions after crossing the Rangrik just ahead of Kaza. Well, the roads from Losar to Kunzum La and move towards Chandratal, the road condition further deteriorates. At this crossing taking a right will take you to Chandratal and left will lead you to Batal – Gamphoo – Manali (Left) / Leh (Right).

Batal - Chandratal Road Route Information
Batal – Chandratal Road Route Information

Main Troublesome Spots / Sections

From Batal to Chandratal from Manali side or Losar – Kunzum La crossing board to Chandratal from Kunzum side, it gets even worse due to the presence of boulders/rocks throughout the stretch, and you need higher ground clearance vehicles at many places.

You shall have to be extremely lucky negotiating with this stretch with lower ground clearance vehicles. It’s almost a kind of off-road driving experience. The presence of snow may make it more difficult. Many cars get damaged between Gramphu to Chandratal road.

Road to Chandratal
Road to Chandratal Lake

You will also have to clear 2/3 water crossings during this stretch of Batal / Kunzum La Crossing to Chandratal, and the current depends upon the time of the year. When I was there the latter one (near the Lake) was very violent.

Water crossings on the way to Chandratal
Water crossings on the way to Chandratal

Things to Carry

Another common question I keep getting is what things to carry for a trip to Chandratal Lake?

If you are traveling in a pleasant time window, i.e., mid-June to mid-September, you don’t need any special thing apart from your basic travel kit and regular medicines. But, if you are traveling in a dicey time window to terrain like Chandratal Lake then better prepared with the following must-have –

  • Snow/Waterproof trekking shoes, preferably comfortable, lightweight (as you need to trek a lot) with powerful grip in Snow or slippery surface.
  • Strong easy to grip wooden stick for holding gripping snow while trekking
  • Snow/Waterproof clothing i.e. Jackets and Lower
  • Heavy Woolens and Inner Thermals
  • Medicines
  • Torchlight
  • Woolen socks [carry 2 extra pairs in case one any gets wet]in your backpack. Wet socks won’t let you walk with all strength
  • A small towel in your backpack to keep yourself dry as much as you can
  • A water bottle for your backpack
  • Camping gear if you need to set up your own camps at the camping site

Apart from the above list you can check my list of things to carry on a trip at the link List of things to carry when you go on a trip

Where to Stay at Chandratal

There isn’t anything to stay at Chandratal Lake because camping is banned and illegal. The region comes Chandratal Lake wetland reserve, which is a Ramsar site protected under wildlife act. Hence, one cannot pitch camps near Chandratal Lake. There is a dedicated camping site about 2 km before it where you can pitch your camps. It is also the parking site where vehicles are parked, and people trek further to the Lake.

Water crossings on the way to Chandratal
Water crossings on the way to Chandratal

Parsol Camps Chandratal

Apart from self-camping at the camping site, there are temporary camps set up by local Bishan Thakur – Parasol Camps & Retreats at Chandratal and few others. You can contact Bishan of Parasol Camps at 09418845817, 09459910098, Nawang: 09459073908, 01906-200204. You can write to them at [email protected], [email protected] as well. The camps are more spacious and comfortable. They also have mattresses and quilts. Bishan does have a dining area and covered washrooms if required.

You can refer DoW or my name to Bishan and he will surely offer whatever best in his capacity. We did stay with him at DoW Mega Meet and everything was managed very well by Bishan.

Chandra Dhabha Batal

Well, there is this all famous Batal Chandra Dhabha of Dorje Uncle, which has room for 7-8 people on one side and the other side they may allow you to stay if there is space available. Workers and the Dhaba family itself occupy most of the space in the dhabha, so if you are lucky, you may get space to sleep there as well. They charge Rs 150 per person for a night stay and provide quilts as well. You can take as many quilts as available with them and if not in use by anyone.

There are many stories of Chacha Chachi bravery and they have been given gallantry awards too for saving lives of numerous people up there in this remote region of Chandratal Lake.

Batal PWD Rest House

There is an HP PWD Rest House as well now at Batal, and you can take rooms there and eat at Chandra Dhabha with Dorje Chacha and Chachi. 08991722020 is the contact number of satellite phones at Batal, and you can inquire from him if Dorje uncle can book a PWD Rest House room for you or a couple of igloo type huts just in front of Batal dhabha that can save you from cold winds in the evening or night.

Tenzin Camps

Dorje Uncle’s son Tenzin now also set up camps at Chandratal, you can reach him at Tenzing Camp – +91-8991722020. Else call up the satellite phone and ask Dorje uncle to do the bookings for his son’s camps.

As far as accommodation at the bank of Chandratal Lake is concerned, it has been banned by the GOVT. lately. So, you need to pitch tents alongside the parking site which is about 2 km from the Chandratal. After this point, you need to hike th remaining distance. Please respect the rules and nature else one day it will punish in its own way.

Other accommodation options

One more possibility is you come back on Manali – Leh highway and rest at Khoskar (right from Gramphoo towards Leh side) in HP PWD Guest House. You can travel further towards Keylong and reach Sissu which has many decent options of stay as well 20 minutes ahead of Khoksar. I have stayed at Hotel Triveni at Sissu myself many times on my Ladakh and Chandratal trip.

Self Camping

As mentioned above, you cannot pitch your own camps at the banks of Chandratal Lake but you can camp at the dedicated camping site.

There is always an option of taking your camping stuff or getting a tour package with a guide or a porter. You can either hire camps from Manali or Delhi or buy your own if you are planning to camp many a time in the future and serious about it. In case you are interested in camping then you will need tents, sleeping bags (-5 to -10 rated) and mattresses.

Helping hand at Chandratal trek
Helping hand at Chandratal trek

Attractions Around Chandertal

  • Kunzum Pass At an altitude of 4551 m, is the main access to Spiti Valley from Lahaul Valley.
  • Bara Shigri Glacier The largest glacier in Himachal Pradesh is located in the Chandra valley of Lahaul and it feeds the river Chenab. This glacier, 25 km long and about 3 km wide, lies on the middle slopes of the main Himalayan range.
  • Sissu At an altitude of 3170 m, this place is famous because of a magnificent waterfall.
  • Darcha At an altitude of 3360 m, Darcha is an ideal place for trekkers. You can start off trekking from here to Padum, Zanskar Valley passing through Shingola as well as Baralacha/Phirtsela. Darcha is around 24 km from Keylong and offers facilities for camping. A road to Shingo La has been built now and hence, you can plan a trip up there too.
  • Baralacha La This pass which is crossroads on the summit is 75 km from Keylong. Baralacha La is on Manali – Leh road. It is also the watershed for the Chandra Bhaga and Yunam Rivers.
  • Suraj Tal, you can trek from Chandratal to Suraj Tal and Baralacha La, however, that is a 2-3 days trek
Glaciers of Spiti as seen on Chandratal Trek
Glaciers of Spiti as seen on Chandratal Trek

Common Itinerary

Let us look at the common day by day trip plan for Chandratal Lake. Well, as mentioned above you can plan your trip either from the Manali side or from the Shimla side. It will take more days or time to reach when you come from Shimla – Kaza route as compared to the Manali route. However, traveling to Chandratal from Manali route will cause you AMS hassles.

Hence, you need to maintain a balance somewhere and my suggestion will be to club Chandratal trip with Spiti Valley in most cases. But if you do not have that many days at hand, you can refer my detailed itinerary of Chandratal trip in 4-5 days.

A basic plan for a trip to Chandratal is mentioned below as well but for detailed, refer to the article I linked in the last paragraph.

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

I hope this will help you plan a trip to Chandratal in an eased out manner.

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.

Nearby Utilities

  • ATM: The nearest ATM available is in Kaza and the next one in Manali. Hence, make sure you carry enough cash on your Chandratal trip.
  • Petrol Pump: The nearest petrol pump to Chandratal is Kaza, next you will get fuel at the Tandi petrol pump on Manali Leh Highway. You should tank up at Manali as well.
  • Medical Help: Losar has a medical dispensary which will be the nearest to get any basic medical help. The next best option to get any medical help on your trip to Chandratal is Kaza or Keylong.
  • Mobile Connectivity: The moment you cross Gramphu and take the road to Chatru – Batal – Chandratal, there will not be any mobile connectivity with you. Hence, it is best to stick to my tips on mobile connectivity in Spiti Valley.
  • Mechanics: The nearest mechanic you might get for any basic need is Losar and Gramphu. Anything major with your car or bike will need to be taken care of in Kaza.

Other Tips for Chandratal Trip

  • You do not need any permit for Chandratal. However, if you come from Manali side, you will need to get the Rohtang Pass permit.
  • Never cross the water nallas in a way that might get your clothes or socks wet. It will lead you to big trouble if you have wet clothes in such freezing conditions as chilly winds bite your bones. Try to protect your clothes as much as you can from getting wet. So, while crossing Nallas, fold your lowers up to the knee and remove shoes and socks before jumping in to cross it.
  • Use your towel from the backpack if you get wet to dry yourself as soon as possible.
  • No Alcohol shall be consumed while trekking or hiking in the high Himalayas.
  • Since Chandratal Lake is at an altitude of about 14000 feet; it is not a good idea to go there without any acclimatization to stay overnight. The best way to plan a trip to Chandratal is that you come from the Shimla side as the ascent is very gradual as compared to the Manali side, of course, it takes more time to reach Chandratal from Shimla side.
  • Do not forget to read my tips on acute mountain sickness and the importance of acclimatization.
Crossing the glaciers of Spiti Valley
Crossing the glaciers of Spiti Valley

Conclusion

No matter where you have traveled in the Himalayas, if you have not been on a trip to Chandratal Lake, you have surely missed something. The magical morning reflections in the Lake are something that can cure any mental or emotional turmoil raging within anyone.

A trip to Chandratal is one thing in life, I always appreciate and why not !! It gave birth to this wonderful travel blog that we call Devil On Wheels 🙂 …

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 comments on my YouTube videos.

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

385 Comments

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

  2. Tariq Kamal on

    Hi, In the map you have shown a way from Pulga to Mud to Dhankar. Is it a road that we can take on 15 -Aug – 2015 to reach kaza 🙂 on our Motorcycles. Though Google maps says we will end up in a Glacier but you might give us happy news, else please remove the “Raasta”

  3. Mohit singla on

    Hi,
    I am planning to visit Chandar taal between 10 to 15 August 2015 pax of 5 ppl
    By Etios liva diseal
    Which is most convient for travel via Shimla or via Manali…which is convient path for us and for car as well

    • Mohit, in just 6 days in hand and that too right up in monsoons, I can only suggest following if you really want to attempt it:

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

      Etios will really struggle over the roads during monsoons.

    • Rakesh Thakur on

      Hi everyone, I am Rakesh thakur, have completed Delhi-sarahan- Kalpa-Tabo- Dhankar- Kaza- Manali-Delhi on my wagonr during jun 20- 28 ,2015 .Though it’s ok till losar from Kaza side but won’t recommend any other vehicle other than SUVs not even muv beyond that. I consider myself lucky to have made through specially from batal to gramphoo specially on a rainy day on a late afternoon. Regards

      • Rakesh Thakur on

        Of course road conditions from gramphu to Bataan might be bad due to the fact that Kunzum pass got opened only 2 days back wen we passed through it.

      • We are planning to go chandratal on 24 th july through manani , the same way you had traveled. What will be weather forcast during that time…any guess

    • Hello,

      I m planning in august with this route

      Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda – Karcham – Powari – Puh – Nako – Tabo – Kaza – Losar – Kunzum La (4551 Meters) – Chandratal

      Please suggest the best return route plan as well as some great stops b/w puh and Chandrataal and some accommodations information..

      Thank

  4. HI Dheeraj,

    Hope you are doing really well…..
    i am back to u again for a query 🙂

    Dheeraj i enquired at parasol camps about charges for staying and they told me around 3000 per head which is far more costly than i thought. Can you provide me with some budget options to stay at or near chandertaal with some contact information if available with you?

    Thanks,
    PIyush Rawat

    • Piyush there are only couple of camps run up there and one is Parsol and the other one I do not have the contact info. On the spot booking would be much less costly for Parsol or else go with PWD rest house at Batal.

      • thanks Dheeraj, i contacted another camp (Northface camps) but they will be setting up their camps in second week of July. they told me that chandertaal is closed till than. i am planning to reach chandertaal on 01-JULY-2015. will the road be closed or open?

        also as per your above blog, Dorje uncle can book PWD guesthouse. is that so? can we just call him and ask him to book it for us?

        • Piyush, yes Dorje uncle can help you on that front. If you looking for economic option then it is better that you go either with on the spot booking OR stay with PWD Rest House. Road will be open or close will depend if it has been cleared of any blocks. Snow wont remain by then but sometimes rocks are present on the road. Majority of 12 KMs will be open rest you can trek otherwise.

      • HI dheeraj,

        Can you let me know the location of Mud village? which is the nearest place to it??and whats so cool about it?i mean if its a must see place or not?

        TIA 🙂

        • Hello Piyush, please check: Spiti Valley Sprint | A Scenic Drive from Mud Village to Kaza

          This will give you idea what it offers. Mud Village lies in last end of Pin Valley where in general the road ends though road goes towards Baba Pass about 12-15 KMs ahead too. When you go from Tabo towards Kaza, first comes diversion to Dhangkar on the right side and then after crossing/by passing it there comes a Pin River – Spiti river confluence on the left. Just ahead of it there is Pin Valley bridge on the left which you can take to go towards Pin Valley all the way up to Mud Village on that road.

  5. Hello Dheeraj,
    I am from Bangladesh. Would like to explore Ladakh. AS this is difficult to get RAP, i would like to explore around Leh & leh srinagar high way & the places adjecent to leh- srinagar highway. In addition i would like to come/ leave Leh to/ from Delhi. moreover, pls advise tips which will be helpful.

    • Rayhan, how many days do you have in hand. You can fly to Srinagar and come back to Manali this way will cover Srinagar – Leh and then Leh to Manali for which you do not need any permits AFAIK.

      • Dear Dheeraj,
        I want to fly from Delhi to Leh on 17 july morning & leave from srinagar to Delhi on 25 july morning flight. I do not want to explore Leh- manali route this time . My plan is to explore Leh local sights & all the interesting sights between Leh to srinagar ( if it needs 3 days taxi rent for leh to srinagar, it is ok too). First i wanted to start from srinagar & finish at Leh, but, Leh to delhi air tickets is scarce. Please advise me.

        Thanks
        Rayhan

        • Rayhan, a bbetter way is to do from Srinagar to Leh only because it helps you in acclimatization and saving the days as well. Otherwise, you will be using first two days only to rest in Leh for acclimatization and three days will be to travel to srinagar. So, it leaves not much with you only 3 days within Ladakh to explore. While if you travel from Srinagar side, then first three days you do acclimatization and exploring Srinagar to Leh as well. This saves you two days of sightseeing in Ladakh 🙂

      • Hello Dheeraj, yes, i wanted to start from srinagar & end at Leh. But, Leh to Delhi air ticket is not available. I will be greatful if you advise the sights i can visit & advise initiary. Thanks. Rayhan

        • Rayhan, you can follow something as below:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
          — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
          — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
          — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
          — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
          — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
          — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
          — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
           
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Acclimatization
          — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
          — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
          — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          — Overnight at Leh
           
          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
           
          Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
          — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

          Day 6 | Pangong Tso Lake – Leh – Sham Valley and stay at Alchi
          — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          — Cover either of Thicksey or Shey on return to Leh and then move further to Sham Valley
          — Overnight at Alchi

          Day 7 | Alchi – Lamayuru – Kargil
          — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          — Overnight at Kargil

          Day 8 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
          — Enjoy the vistas enroute
          — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
          — Overnight at Srinagar

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  6. Dear Dheeraj,
    thanks for the valuable inputs to all of us here .
    I had dream to travel chandertal lake all way from delhi on bike (avenger) with my gf, and i am going to make it happen any way. I need your valuable suggestions for the same. I have few constraints ..
    a) Time period – Mid june to Mid july.
    b) No. of days- 8
    c) i hd gone to kalpa, hw far( in terms f km nd hrs. Will it take to reach chandertal base from kalpa)
    d) Is it reliable to go via manali bcoz i hv the time constraint and my girlfriend too ,
    e) plz. Streamline the journey in terms of each day target destination beginning from delhi to chandertal via both ( kalpa puh) and manali route….
    f) Plz. Mark the servicebility points where bike can be reserviced if required and last petrol pump on either route…
    g) is it customary to go via manali and come back via kalpa to have a beautiful glimpse of kalpa….
    h) which route would you prefer overall keeping in mind, a girl all along the journey and comfortable stays in night is desirable.
    I) i had a bad expierence via manali route, as i was travelling in aug-2013 and all f the road was flushed away 35 kms. ahead of diversion from manali leh road. And i was left with no option, but to travel to leh totally unplanned , so i dont feel like handy via manali to save time, if such situation occurs, which marely happens via kalpa route,,, kindly suggest✌

    Plz. Help me with answer to ques. e) very specific!!!

    Thanks,
    Tarun (IIT-Roorkee)
    m.no.9560701444

    • Dear Tarun,

      Though much is answered in the article itself but still find my replies below

      a) Better make it happen in July second week in this window.
      b) 8 days are a bit less not sure if you plan to do full circuit better not do it and do just Spiti from Manali side only covering Chandratal.
      c) It takes two days to reach Chandratal from Kalpa. But, like I said better go from Manali only.
      d) Yes
      e) Please refer below plan
      f) Only Manali and you can get mechanic in Kaza. Again fuel will be in Kaza and Manali only.
      g) Other way round is recommended but you do not have sufficient days to do it on ease.
      h) With just 8 days in hand, Manali route onle
      I) Kinnaur is not that much reliable too. In case you that much apprehensive, then add couple of days to do it in circuit.

      Here is the plan:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley
      Day 5 : Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 6 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza and then move to stay at Chandratal
      Day 7 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 8 : Reach Delhi from Manali

      Regards
      Dheeraj

    • HI Tarun,

      i am also planning a trip to chandertaal in End june and would be doing solo…How big is your group? i need fellow riders along.. if interested kindly let me know.

  7. Rahul Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning to drive all the way to spiti valley (Including chandrataal) in the 1st week of Jun’15 along with my wife..
    I was planning to go from shimla-kinnaur side. Few queries to ask from u:

    1. which route is good. From Manali or Shimla?
    2. can we take our car till 2 kms distance from chandratal?
    3. can we camp near chandratal and if then do we have to rent it from manali/shimla or we can get it their. what will be the cost of camp or tent?

    plz suggest
    thanks
    Rahul

    • Hi Rahul,

      Road from Manali to Kaza, Spiti Valley in general opens by mid of June only and hence you cannot take that route. Even the 14 KM road to Chandratal after Kunzum Pass will not be open and it may be required you need to trek there almost all the way of 14 KM. You cannot camp near Chandratal as it comes under Ramsar site and camping is banned on the lakes of Chandratal. Even if you get an opportunity, it is an humble request to not camp there and be a Responsible Traveler to protect this gem of nature as camping besides such sites destroys the pristine world around it.

      If you plan to trek to Chandratal, in that case it will be better to get connected with someone in Kaza who can arrange it for you. Refer Parsol camps contact of Bishan in the article above.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  8. Ankit Jain on

    Hi Dheeraj

    Thanks for such an helpful post. I am planning to visit Chandertal Lake in 2nd week of July. I am planning a 2 weeks tour from Manali – Leh – Srinagar. Before Proceeding to Leh I want to squeeze in a day or two for Chandertal Lake. But I am a little confused about a few details

    Day 1 – travel from Delhi to Manali
    Day 2 – Manali stay

    Day 3 – Would it be advisable to proceed directly to chandlertal lake from Manali or take a stop somewhere in between for proper acclimatization?

    Day 4 – Is it worth to spend an entire day in Chandertal Lake or proceed back to Keylong for onward journey?

    Day 5 – Reach Keylong for onward journey to Leh

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hi Ankit,

      To answer the question, well you will not acclimatized to sleep anywhere between Manali and Chandratal to get properly acclimatized. A lot more wise decision will be to make the journey in oppostire direction which will provide you many more benefits. I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      Lastly you will be able to visit Manali – Leh easily and accommodate Chandratal too in it without much worry of AMS.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  9. sikander Singh Sindhu on

    Hello Mr.Dheeraj,
    Read your post of spiti valley .sir Needed your help…for the tour. am planing to do this tour with family .
    in first week of june not more then 6 days. Am the only driver will drive my innova, plz suggest the places for fooding and loadging.
    kindly keep in mind that having three children age of 7,10and12 yrs old,all of them carring the attitude of metro city mall in them self need to keep them near the nature.
    thanks.

    • Sikander, 6 days are too less for a trip to Spiti Valley and that too with a family with kids. I will not recommend it. Also, Spiti Valley from Manali side will be closed during this time of the year. Hence, I will suggest add couple of more days and postpone the trip towards last week of June when roads will open.

  10. We are planning a tour to spiti valley via Manali. Please let me know is it is ok to visit April last/May 1st week?
    thank you.

    • Chetna, May first week will be a bit cold in Spiti Valley though not that much. Also, the road from Manali will not open in May as it gets open in mid of June. Hence, you need to travel from Shimla – Kinnaur side only and come back the same route.

  11. Hi deepak,

    read your blog and indeed its very helpful to plan for a trip. But could you clarify the following queries?

    1. what are the charges to stay at parasol camps in chandertaal?
    2. How far is batal from kaza and batal from chandertaal?
    3. is prior booking necessary for staying at kalpa, Nako, Kaza and chandertaal?or we can easily get accommodation there?

    i m planning to visit in mid june for a week trip on bike.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Piyush,

      1. It is about 1200-1500 per person
      2. Batal from Chandratal is about 16-17 KMs, Kaza – Batal is around 85 KMs.
      3. Not really if you are open to look for some places and does not have a single place in mind.

      Mid June, road to Chandratal will not be open.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Thanks dheeraj.

        will contact further in case i needs any help. thanks a lot

  12. is april month (1st week) safe for chandratal and spiti valley ? is it good time for photoshoot the valley?

    • Ashish, Chandratal is not accessible before mid of June. You can at max go up to Kaza in Spiti Valley from Kinnaur Valley route and come back the same route. However, there are cold conditions and most hotels remain closed. Also, snow slides and land slides are common in March – April as snow melts during this time taking debris with it.

  13. Hi Dheeraj, What is the best way to connect back to Bangalore from Chandratal?

  14. hardik mehta on

    We are reaching chandratal on 10 june 2015 on our bullet from shimla . can we take our bike till chandratal or we have to park at battal ?
    is it safe to park bike at battal and go to chandratal ?
    or if we stay at battal , how far is chandratal from batal ? can we go and come in a same day ?
    can we get stay option at battal ?

    please replay because i dont have any information about this.

    thank you.

    • HArdik, you can take the bike all the way upto 1 KM before Chadratal where the parking is made. There you can park the bikes and carry on further by foot to Chandratal. Since, you are planning in June then all will depend upon if to road from Chandratal to Batal is open or not due to snow. If it is closed you can take the bikes to the farthest point possible and then park them at a safe point else leave them at Batal only. There is Dorje Uncle Dhabha at Batal, then there is PWD rest house as well. Please check the article above.

  15. Mihir Gajjar on

    Hello, I had been to Leh from Manali on bike in 2013 (End of Jun), and I would like to hit chandertal next year on bike. Can you please guide me which is the best route I should take ? and if there are any other precautions tips for it. Thank you.

    • Mihir, the above travel guide explains about both the routes that can be followed and all other required tips, stay options and all. All depen upon how many days do you have in hand for Chandratal from Delhi and which month are you planning to undertake this ride to Chandratal.

  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    Will the roads to Chandratal be open in end November (around 20th)?

    • No, the roads to Chandratal will soon be closed and at this stage as well it is not advisable to travel in that remote place with chances of road closure anyday now.

  17. shashant shekhar on

    hello dheeraj, i have been following you since long on this page! You are doing a great job out there.. 🙂
    I had a few queries, I am planning to leave for a solo ride to chandratal and spiti valley on 7th of october. Can you please guide me through the exact route from manali (step by step would be helpful) ?
    I am going on a Thunderbird, so please tell me according to that. And please mention the things needed to taken care of!

    Thank You

    Cheers! 🙂

  18. hardik mehta on

    hay dhiraj,
    i am hardik mehta. we are palnning to visit spiti vally in next may-june. please guide us about way from manali. we are planning to go by 8 bullate and one car. total 12person.following are the question we have.
    1) which is best time to visit around may-june so that we can get all road open and we can enjoy weather.
    2) What is the rought for spiti valley.
    3) places to be visited in spiti valley.
    4) we want to include chandra tall in this trip , can we go till chandra tall on our vehical ?
    5) place to stay in spiti valley and chandra tall.
    6) can we directally go to suraj tall from chandra tall in our vehicle. if yes what is the rought ?
    7) how many days required for this trip from manali to manali.
    8) how safe is this area for ladies
    9) if any more information you want to share.

    please replay because our trip depand on your replay,

    thank you

    hardik mehta

    • Hello Dheeraj,Please share your view on the feasibility/tightness of the following itinerary ..

      Oct 1 Leave from Delhi in evening

      Oct 2 Reach Manali and stay overnight

      Oct 3 Leave early morning for Losar or Kaza and stay overnight (which would be preferable between the two ? )

      October 4 Leave early morning for Chandratal and leave for Manali in evening . Overnight at Manali (Is rohtang opened at late evening to make this possible ?)

      October 5 Leave Manali for Delhi

      • Vishesh, if you are interested in Chandratal then there is no point of going to Kaza or Losar. Stay at Batal the night before. Early morning go and visit Chandratal and leave back to Manali by 11 AM for sure. Night travel from Batal to Gramphu is not advisable at all.

        PS: The tour will be quite quite hectic and will be pain at some stage. AMS is bound to happen and you might not be able to sleep well at Batal.

    • 1) Late June will be the best time to plan the trip as Kunzum Pass opens by 2-3 week of June only. Hence, from Manali side you can travel to Spiti Valley in late of June only.
      2 + 3) 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.

      4) Will depend on your luck. Trek route will open but not sure if route by road will be clear or not by that time.
      5) Refer: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley
      6) It will take two days to reach Surajtal from Chandratal with night halt at Keylong or Jispa and then next day visit to Surajtal and back.
      7) Refer 2+3
      8) Completely safe but it is a tiring terrain and harsh with basic facilities.

  19. Dear Dheeraj,

    Please provide your inputs on the following questions I have regarding trek to Chandratal on 1-5th Oct.

    1) Time to reach Batal from Manali by road ? Condition of road ?

    2) Time to trek from Batal to Chandratal ?

    3) Tentative temperature at Chandratal at that time ? Will camps/tents be available at Chandratal ?

    4) Time by road from Batal to Kunzum pass ?

    Thanks !

    • Hi Vishesh,

      I am just back from the Mega Meet of Spiti Valley which included Chandratal as well.

      1. Batal – Manali with present road conditions will take about 5 Hrs, road is in best shape it can be when compared to whole season.
      2. There is no need to trek, roads are open upto 800 Mtrs before Chandratal.
      3. Will be very very very cold, had very tough time sleeping at Chandratal Camps this time on 19th September. Many of us could not sleep properly.
      4. Batal to Kunzum Pass roughly, 45 Minutes.

      Regards
      dheeraj

      • Very Thanks for the prompt reply Dheeraj. Further adding to my questions:

        1) Would you recommend a rented bike trip from Manali to Chandratal ?

        2) Is there snow around ? How scenic is the lake itself at this time of the year ?

        3) Would you recommend camping at Chandratal given the low temperature that you mentioned ? How cold does it get ? Can I rather camp at Batal to offset this ?

        • Vishish, here are my replies:

          1. Yes, you can provided the conditions of the bikes is good and you know some basic fix up.
          2. Lake is always scenic and has colors in day after 11 and 8-11 it reflects the surrounding peaks if you are lucky for no winds.
          3. Batal will be much wiser choice I will suggest in the PWD Rest House or structures in front of Chandra Dhabha.

  20. please let me know the days required to trek chandertal.
    is there any shortcut to visit from manali. ???

    • Rasel, from Manali, you can check the below Itinerary for Chandratal

      A common itinerary is below:
      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley
      Day 2 | Solang – Khoksar/Sissu
      Day 3 | Khoksar/Sissu – Chandratal
      Day 4 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali – Delhi

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  21. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am looking forward to solo trip to Chadratal and Spiti.

    I will be leaving on
    25 Manali – Chadratal
    26 Trek Chadartal
    27 Chadratal – Kaza
    28 Tour Kaza
    29 Kaza – Reckong Peo
    30 Rekong Peo – Shimla

    Is is possible to do it in given time frame or should I add extra days?

    Is it really difficult to solo trek Chadartal?

    Will it be easy to get bus to and from Chadra tal?

    • Hello OM,

      Why do you want to travel extra journey through treacherous roads of Kinnaur when you will not be doing sightseeing in buses. You can actually do something like below:

      25 Manali – Kaza
      26 Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      27 Tabo – Pin Valley – Kaza, second half do Ki – Kibber or Langza – Komik
      28 Kaza – Chandratal
      29 Chandratal – Manali
      30 Manali – Shimla/Delhi

      How to go about Kaza – Chandratal or Chandratal to Manali, please read: Chandratal Lake | Cheapest Ways To Travel There

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj

        We are a group of 3-4 friends and planning to go Leh during 10-25 Sept. also looking towrads to cover Chandratal route. so is it possible to camp in our own tents at Chandratal. also how cold it may be during late Sept in this area and recommended clothing and tent quality. how frequently the PWD guest houses are available. Your inputs would be of great help to us.

  22. Hi, I am planning to visit chandratal early october (1 to 5th october). Would it be appropriate time to travel. Please provide inputs. Also suggest the better route via manali or shimla?

    • Alka, it will be great if you can follow below plan:

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

  23. Pankaj Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are 4 person and planning trip to Chandratal on 12-17 Aug and i have few questions:

    1. We are Planning to Start Very early from Manali (4AM). As far as i remember there were few rules (Timings) to cross Rohtang Pass, Is that still applicable?

    2. I am planning to do it on Bullet which i plan to take on rent from Manali, So it is safe to drive on bullet as i have heard there are few water front (Nallah) in between Gramphoo and Batal.

    3. Road Conditions: Are they good to drive during that time (Aug Mid).

    4. The Jamacian Tent which there at chandratal, how can we book them in advance ?

    5. Mobile Network: Till which point we can get network?

    6. We have 6 days (12-17) in total, Is it worth going till kaza and how are the Road condition between Kunzum pass and kaza?

    Thanks,
    Pankaj Sharma

    • Hi Pankaj,

      1. No there will not be rules now. You can leave early, you will get the permits at Gulaba camp to cross Rohtang Pass.
      2. If you are OK to travel and have riden in such terrain before, then you should go else not.
      3. Will be surely challenging.
      4. There are no signals at Chandratal, so not sure how can you book. You can walking and you should get there I believe. You can refer DoW to him.
      5. Till Gramphu, it will work and then no signal.
      6. Kunzum Pass to Kaza in majority is fine.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  24. SANJIB BASAK on

    Thanks Dheeraj for ur informations.
    Hi, is it possible to take a round along the circumference of chandra tal in one day? Is it safe to stay in a tent at Chandra tal overnight? Pls tell me whether there is any mentionable point to take a very memorable snap of Chandra tal.Thanking you.

    • Sanjib, tents are pitched about 1 KM before the lake and Jamaica is the guys whose tent will be the closest. Regarding taking a round, I am not really sure if it is feasible to cover the entire circumference of the lake because some shores are at the base of the adjoining hills but if you can climb them, you can cover them. However, taking the low level shots might not be feasible at some parts of the lake. The reflections last about 10 AM in the morning only and then fades away as ripples are formed with blowing wind, so be sure to be there at early morning to take such pictures.

  25. Just came back from this trip last Friday. The road conditions aren’t good at all. The dirt track after the right turn from Gramphoo was doable. But the water crossings were very dangerous even for my 4×4 Fotuner. Got stuck at 2 waterfalls for 4 hrs after some Tavera taxis blew out their tires and broke down due to other reasons. One water crossing we faced at 9 pm after Chhota Dhara was so bad that 5 cars and other buses spent the night in their vehicles on the mountain and returned to Manali the next morning, including us. So, I’d recommend 4×4 SUVs or taxis. You’d be lucky to cross this way in anything else.

    • Thank you Nikhil for the update. Seems like quite an adventure you went through. If possible, try and share your Himalayan experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as Photo Tale or Travel Tale Or your reviews of the hotels/guest houses where you stayed or dhabhas/restaurants you ate food on your trip… All this might help others planning the similar trip too 🙂 🙂

  26. Hi,

    First of all a big thanks to DOW. There is no information about chandratal which is not here. You guys are the Google for backpackers 🙂

    Just one question:
    We are planning to go on Sunday-27July(via manali route), stay in camps of chndratal on Monday and drive back on Tuesday. Is this possible? as I have heard Rohtang pass is closed on Tuesdays?

    • Rishab, Very difficult but if you can sustain the penalty of High Altitude and the AMS, if it occurs, then the plan is possible. Such restrictions mostly are for Rohtang Pass for tourists and not the traffic outbound of it, that is coming from Leh, Spiti, Lahaul in general. Though you may face some stoppages. Plan is very rushed up and quick. You need to judge your fatigue levels in anycase.

  27. Sanjib Basak on

    Firstly, a big thank you for keeping us upto date through ur website.
    I’m planning to go to Lahaul Spiti on september 1st week with total of 6 members via Shimla-Sangla-Kalpa-Tabo-Pin Valley-Kaza-Chandra tal-Jispa-Suraj Tal & Baralacha La & back to Keylong-Manali.My queries are:
    1.availability of electricty for camera charging,
    2.Where to book tent for Chandra tal(on sept.9,full moon)in advance,any contact person,
    3.is it possible to cover Mud village,Ki,Kibber,Langza,Komik & overnight at Kaza in same day,
    4.is it possible to cover Suraj tal & Baralacha La & back to keylong in same day.

    • Hi Sanjib,

      Below are my replies to queries:

      1. Should be available at most of the places except Chandratal.
      2. Do it on the spot. There are options there, no need to book in advance.
      3. It will be very difficult and long but if started early can be doable though in a rushed manner.
      4. Yes, you can make a day trip to Baralacha La easily from Keylong and cover Deepak Tal and Suraj Tal too.

  28. Charanjeet on

    Hi sir
    Can u guide me through this

    Me my wife are planning to go to chandratal late july. Delhi-manali.
    Nitestay at manali
    Manali to patalsu for trek. (Acclimitsation)
    Patalsu to battal
    Battal to chandratal
    2 nites at chandratal
    Back to manali via rohtang la

    All set and done.
    But the question i want to ask is. Can i take my 2.5 year old kid with me??

    • 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 physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… 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 2+ year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness he/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 High Altitude with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

  29. Hi Dheeraj, first of all cheers for the great things you are doing for the travelers. you are doing a great job 🙂
    Dheeraj me and my friends are planning for lahul and Spiti valley trip around july 18th 2014 in my Car Polo. can you please guide us the best and unforgettable route. This is not the first trip for your knowledge. We have done lots of mountains trip earlier. Kindly reply soon.

    Keep travelling

    • Ritesh, I am not sure how many days you have. 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.

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  30. Hi Dheeraj Sir,
    We will be reaching Manali from Delhi on the morning of 26th July by overnight bus.
    Following is the tentative plan we wish to follow :
    26th : Reach Manali in the morning and spend the day in Manali to get acclimatized to the altitude.
    27th : Leave for Chandratal on a taxi or motorbikes – depends upon the weather. Spend the day in travelling and halting at places. Reach the lake in evening and spend the night at the lake or maybe at chhatru or batal, whichever is suitable.
    28th : Leave for manali and reach by evening to catch the overnight bus back to Delhi.
    Or, if above is not feasible, we can add one more day during our ascend to the lake for which we have to stay somewhere mid of Manali and Chandrataal lake. Please suggest where we can put up for this night. This way, we will reach Manali on 29th evening and leave for Delhi.
    Please suggest where we can get bikes for rent in Manali and other equipment for camping and is it possible if we can get a local guide who travels with us ?

    • Manali does not help in acclimatization, so better stay either at Solang Valley or Vashisht. Your plan logically is very much feasible, just that remember the AMS thing and rest should be fine. If you can add a day may be for a stay at Sissu or Khoksar for acclimatization, it could be better else take a chance.

      There are mnay options of rent in Manali and there is no need of renting the camps from Manali. You will find various options at Chandratal lake now including the camps run by Jamaica. He knows DoW and me well, so no worries on that front.

      • Thanks for the reply!
        Just for getting a cost estimate for our trip, how much will be the taxi or bike rent from Manali ?
        Also, can you give a rough estimate for the accomodation expenses for stay at solang valley and khoksar (just basic low cost accomodation) ?

        • Harpreet, bikes are rented from Rs 800-1500 per day depending on the model and make. Taxi will charge about 9K for the drop I think.

        • Khoksar just have a PWD rest house, so 480 types you can pay, if staying at Sissu then Hotel Triveni charges about Rs 500-600 for one room. Solang the hotels are costly a bit. You need to pay about 1500-2000 there. Hotel Iceland is good place to stay in Solang Valley.

    • Hi Harpreet,

      We are 3 guys also planning Chandratal on the same dates, i guess we can share the taxi if ok. Please let me know your thoughts. My contact: 09213222792

  31. Hi Deeraj Ji,
    We two frnds planning to go to Chadratal.kindly let me know that zis there any local transport or Bus or share jeeps that can take us to Batal from Manali Chandratal?

    Regards

  32. Pingback: Charisma of Chandratal Lake in Spiti | Ladakh Mega Meet - DeViL on WheeLs

  33. Hi Dheeraj,
    This year again we are driving from chennai to do the leh circuit once more but from the manali side as opposed to the srinagar side which we did last year. Nowhere is my doubt.., Is there a road that takes us through chandrataal to sarchu from manali.
    Thanks.

    • When you go from Manali, there will come a place called Gramphu after crossing Rohtang Pass. There you take the cut to Chandratal that goes from Chatru – Chota Dhara – Batal – Chandratal. Same route you need to come back and meet at Gramphu to carry on journey to Sarchu. There is no other route by road.

  34. So there’s no driving route? Unfortunately we don’t have time to do the trek. We have a total of ten days and we are pretty much following ur itinerary. Delhi-narkanda-kalpa-tabo-kibber via dhankhar-kaza-chandratal-manali-chandigarh-delhi. We are doing this on the last week of June/first week July. Trust that’s a good enough time for roads etc?

    • Indra, there is driving route but currently Manali to Kaza road is being cleared only and once it gets open, the dozer will go over the Chandratal route, clean it before finally returning back to Losar or rest site for the season. So, if the route is open then you can drive over it else there would be some portion which will need to be trekked to reach Chandratal. If any blockade if in the early section of the road, then it is sheer luck or I shall say bad luck for you 🙂

  35. Hi dheeraj,
    we are driving up to spiti via the Hindustan-Tibet highway in the last week of June. Delhi-narkanda-Kalpa-tabo-kaza. we would like to camp out at chandratal lake and come back down to Chandigarh via pin valley, then onto kasol/khirganga instead of the regular manali way. Could you please suggest the best route in order to do that?
    Thanks, super blog!

    • Indra, Pin Valley to Kasol Kheerganga via Pin Parvati Pass is a trek route. Are you planning to do the trek there? Also, how many days do you have in hand?

      • Also we our carrying our own camping equipment. Besides chandratal, which I believe is quite commercial now are there any other interesting campsites around tabo and kaza?

        • Indra there are many camping sites you will find around Tabo and Kaza. Phaldar Grounds are there, lot of villages from Rangrik to Phaldar ground too. Rangrik itself is nice place to pitch camps and so is Tabo / Poh village. Pin Valley too have many spots where you can camp. You can camp on the other side of Pin river in some villages too if you are open for it.

  36. Jeevan Mithyantha on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Chandratal is in my list this time. I am planning to visit this place in 2nd week of July. I am carrying my own tent as well. Can I put tent near the lake? One more question. I am travelling on my 2 wheeler.Do you have any idea where can I park my vehicle. How far should I walk to reach Chadratal. Please suggest. Thanks in advance.

    • Jeevan, you can visit Chandratal in second week of July. But, you cannot put your tents near the lake as it is banned because this lake comes under Wetland reserve. You need to pitch your camps away from the lake. The camp site is about 700-800 Mtrs away and you will park your vehicles there only.

  37. Aman Agarwal on

    Buddy
    I am going on a photography trip to leh via manali. On 27th July 14.
    Route:
    1. Delhi – manali – night stay at manali
    2. Manali – jispa – night stay
    3. Jispa – tso kar – night stay
    4. Tso kar – leh – night stay
    5. Leh – night stay
    6. Leh – pangong – night stay
    7. Pangong – Nubra – hunder – night stay
    8. Hunder – night stay
    9. Hunder – leh – night stay
    10. Leh – sarchu – night stay
    11. Sarchu – manali
    12. Manali – Delhi

    Needed to know can I include chandratal lake in the itenary?
    Also what more is there to visit in spiti other then chandratal?

    • I will seriously advice you to reconsider like below:

      1. Delhi – manali – night stay at manali
      2. Manali – jispa – night stay
      3. Jispa – Leh – night stay
      4. leh – night stay
      5. Leh – Nubra – night stay
      6. Nubra – Leh – night stay
      7. Leh – Pangong Tso – night stay
      8. Pangong Tso – Leh – night stay
      9. Leh – Tso Moriri / Tso Kar – night stay
      10. Tso Moriri / Tso Kar – sarchu – night stay
      11. Sarchu – manali
      12. Manali – Delhi

      This will be much easy, practical and will help you with photography and spend enough time for it.

      • Hey dheeraj
        I’ll talk to my sir regarding your itenary,
        Also needed to know if I come to manali 2 days earlier, can I visit chandratal lake on my own or will I need more days to visit?
        Also if I can visit, then do let me know the route acc. Thanx

        • Aman, if you can reach two days early then from Jispa you need to go to Chandratal directly, long drive and then from Chandratal you go back to Manali next day. This way your two days will be utilized.

  38. Vishal Tanwar on

    can i go to chandratal lake on bike from manali? please suggest the cheapest way and guide the routes.

  39. Rohit Gupta on

    hi dheeraj,
    Thanks for sharing the information, would like to know what can be the shortest time tour from delhi to chandra tal and back.

  40. HI Dheeraj,
    Thanks for sharing this information in such detail, Needed your feedback on my travel plan to Spiti valley, can you suggest if this is ok or we should change it, please recommend must see places enroute, also do you suggest we stay at Narkanda instead of shimla on 1st nt.

    • Day 1 – 31st May – Delhi – Shimla – 1 Night stay @ Shimla
    • Day 2 – 1st June – Shimla Kalpa 2 Night stay @ Kalpa
    • Day 4 – 3rd June – Kalpa – Kaza 2 nt stay at Kaza
    • Day 6 – 5th June – Kaza – Manali – Leave at 4 am Visit Chandratal on the way reach manali by 7 pm ( is this achievable ) , 2 nt stay at Manali
    • Day 8 – 7th June Manali delhi – leave at 4 am and reach Delhi by 7 pm

    • Yes, you can stay at NArkanda to avoid less travel next day. Chandratal will not be accessible during that period by road and in fact you cannot come from Manali side as the road from Manali to Kaza will only open by mid of June only. You have to come back from same route, Kinnaur.

  41. Hi Dheeraj.Hope you’re doing crazy good.Your website has been of great help for me and my friend to plan our delhi to chandratal trip. We just spoke to cottage.Thanks for your recommendation. We have around 7 to 8 days on us dheeraj. Can you recommend a tentative itinerary within the given time frame. We are planning to go to spiti via shimla and return to delhi via manali as suggestd by you. We have approxminately 8 days and we are keen on camping and trekking. The guy at the cottage offered to help:)Thanks a tonne. peace!

        • Second week of June, Manali to Kaza might not be open. So, you have to go from Shimla route which will mean you need at least 8-9 days to enjoy the trip else it will be like living on the road kind of trip.

        • Thanks dheeraj.We are going via shimla now and decided to stay the night at rekong peo before heading towards kaza. Can you recommend a place to stay at rekong? We have made a 10 day itinerary now so we don’t have to rush through the trip. Thanks a tonne for your help again.

        • Why not stay at Kalpa if you have 10 days. Reckong Peo, I do not recall much stays because Kalpa is just 30 minutes away from there. So, mostly I sat at Kalpa only. 10 days should be good fun. Keep it open and take it as it comes with public transport. There are buses from reckong Peo to Kaza, use that to hop onto to Places from Peo.

        • Ya, a friend suggested we stay at the aucktong hotel in kalpa.Will take a bus or a shared taxi to kaza the morning after. Thanks dheeraj. Best!

  42. Ajay Sharma on

    Hi Mr. Deeraj,

    Can we reach Kaza from Rampur in one day. I’m planning my trip in 1st week of June. Actuall I want to travel Delhi to Rampur to Kaza , Manali & back to Delhi. We will not go to Chandral this year. Is it possible to finish this route in 7 days on Bike.

    • Ajay it will be very tough considering the conditions of roads in Kinnaur. Plus you will not enjoy any bit of journey apart from being just on road for almost all days. All your days will 12+ hours of ride with only few stoppages for clicking pics or seeing anything. You will be able to rest for a day or two then but if you are OK with that kind of a journey it should be fine enough….

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  44. Dheeraj, excuse me for late reply. Many many thanks for your promt response. These informations will be extremely helpful for us.

  45. Dheeraj,

    Nice blog. we have planned bhawa pass trek in 1st week of July, 2014. we will go from manali to mud via chandratal. I have some questions:
    1) Is it possible to go manali to kaza in one day via chandra taal lake?
    2) how much will be the hired Tata Sumo / jeep fare from one way journey from manali to kaza via chandratal. If possible can you name some good driver and contact no.?
    3) Is there vehicle available from kaza to mud?
    4) Can we hire trekking and camping equipments at kaza / mud? can you name any good guide at kaza / mud?
    Best wishes?

    • Hello Joyasish,

      1. Well, it will be very longish journey along with covering Chandratal I will say. Otherwise, you can do Manali – Kaza in one day in about 10-11 Hrs. Adding Chandratal means at least 2.5-3 Hrs in it.

      2. Though I have never used their services but you can get in touch with Tashi Tandup from Kaza – 09418501644, Chering Tashi – 09418840616. The taxi might cost you about 8-10K. Kaza is connected by HRTC buses too going from Kullu – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza

      3. You can hire local taxi and AFAIK, shared jeeps run too upto Pin Valley from Kaza.

      4. Yes, you can hire camping gears in Kaza and guess shall be available in Mud too. Tara Guest House in Mud Village shall be able to help you with it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  46. PLEASE SUGGEST as we are planning for spiti tour via manali from delhi…duration 4 days on i20 car..4 ppl ..please suggest on this we are planning on 16th of oct 2013…please help on urgent basis as we have to plan the tour based on your suggestion

    • Sandeep, it takes minium of 2 days to reach Spiti Valley from Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass route which is very arduous journey. With i20 I will say ONLY and ONLY if you have very good experience of riding on VERY bad roads then only make such a thing. 4 days will be very less for a Spiti Valley trip and it is really not recommended to make a trip at this time of the year now when both Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass has started getting snowfall and are on theverge of closure.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  47. Hi Dheeraj
    My wife and I are planning to travel to Spiti Valley for 7 days in Oct last week.
    Firstly, is it advisable to travel during this time? Any risks? Should we defer our trip by a week or so? We unfortunately cannot prepone/advance our dates at all.

    • Anuraag, it will be very cold out there brother plus the chances of getting from Manali to Spiti Valley will be very very risky and not recommended. Now, you will be left with Kinnaur route which is not recommended as the roads are getting open/close again and again after the June flash floods. I will better suggest, go with some other plan.

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  50. I am not sure , but still we are planning to visit Spiti Valley. Our Journey will start on 11th august .
    IS IT A GOOD TIME TO BE THERE ..

    • Surendra, you can plan it but go from Manali side only as the roads from Kinnaur are still not open. Keep in mind that you need go with some hassles of monsoons for sure but once you reach Spiti Valley, it shall be OK as it falls under rain shadow.

  51. Dear Dheeraj

    I am planning a 7-day trip from Gurgaon to Spiti/ Lahaul in Aug-Sep. My travel group consists of 5 pax.

    Kindly advise the most convenient way to reach Lahaul / Spiti. Are there any cabs available from Delhi or Gurgaon and what would be the tentative cost of a return journey. And if it is humanly possible to cover both the places in 7 days?

    Thanks

    Puneet

    • Puneet, yes it is possible but it will be monsoons and roads from Kinnaur are closed. even if they open, not advised to go via Kinnaur. You can go via manali side. Also, 7 days a re a bit less for both Lahaul & spiti Valley. If you choose Lahaul then you may end up with only couple of days in Spiti with which at max. you might cover Chandratal.

      • SUMIT GHOSH on

        We want go following area from Delhi ( Sangla – Kalpa – Chitkul-Recongpeo (Kinnaur) – Tabo – Kaza Ki Monastery.- Rohtang Pass- Kunzum La pass-Manali . We will back to Delhi . We will start our journey on Saturday Night and want to back on next Saturday day/night with 8 members in the month of April end . we dont want go to shimla .Pls guide us how we can plan the trip . Which area we should consider which not .
        Thanks
        Sumit

        • Sumit, if you are planning to do entire circuit then road from Manali to Kaza opens only in June thrid week type. Hence, it will only be possible to do it form Kinnaur side. Is it fine for you?


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