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 comment 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. Hi,
    I am planning a trip to chandtrataal from delhi from june 1 st till june 4th or 5th , will that work ?

  3. Hi,

    Im planning a backpacking trip to Shimla -Spiti – Manali circuit during the 2nd Week of October,2017.Here’s my itinerary :

    Delhi :14th October

    Shimla : 15th October

    Kalpa/Reckong Peo : 16th Oct

    Nako  & Tabo: 17th Oct & 18th Oct

    Kaza  : 19th Oct & 20th Oct

    Chandratal & Kunzum Pass – 21st Oct

    Rohtang Pass & Manali :  22nd Oct

    Delhi : 23rd Oct

    Suggest me if there is any changes are necessary in the above itinerary. Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank You for sharing the information. It’s very helpful.

    I have some doubts please clarify if you can –
    1. Will leave delhi on 11th august by volvo and reach manali by 12th early morning 7-8Am will stay there and look for some rented bullet and visit manikaran and around by places. As we want to travel by bike from manali to chandratal then how feasible the roads are and how much rent it would cost to us. If you know any rented bike service please provide the details.

    2. After on 13 early morning we are planning to leave by 4-4:30 am to avoid traffic and reach early may be max by 11-12pm. So tents availability (hygiene with attached washroom) and Prices for it booking. What would be more fun staying at chandratal or Kaza?

    3. how much time will it take to chandratal to Kaza?

    4. If not bike then what are the other cheaper ways to reach there.

    5. Most importantly, we have only 12,13,14,15 august so please suggest accordingly we all want back by 16 early morning

    Thanking you in advance !

    Awaiting for your views 🙂

    • Hi Alka,

      1. That’s fine but I will suggest taking rest instead of doing rides. For road conditions check some latest posts/videos on our Facebook page.

      2, 3. So, 13th you will reach Chandratal. For accommodation, refer the article stay options section above. Avoid going to Kaza, it will be tiring with days you have in hand. It is a 4-5 hr bumpy, hard ride back to Kaza and then coming back again. Once, you will look at the posts or videos on our facebook page, you will understand the perils of Manali – Chandratal road. So, keep energy to enjoy

      4. You can read: Chandratal Lake | Cheapest Ways To Travel There

      5. I will suggest resting on 13 at Battal and leaving after breakfast easily from Manali so that you get a bit more acclimatized before sleeping near Chandratal. On 14, go over and sleep near Chandratal and enjoy the rest day. On 15 leave early morning start back for Manali and catch the last overnight volvo back to Delhi.

      • Thank You so Much for your early response.

        I am still thinking either drive or trek via hampta pass & chandratal.

        Thanks for your suggestions ! indeed helpful !

  5. Abhishek Bhattacharya on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am Planning for a chandrataal trip from Oct 19 and Oct 20th via Rohtang Pass ,will the same be accessible that time period .Following is my itinerary

    Day 1 (Oct 17th) : HRTC bus from Delhi to Manali
    Day 2 (Oct 18th ): Stay at manali or solang valley (Could you suggest some cheap hotels or homestays in Solang Valley).
    Day 3 (Oct 19th) : Meet Up with Friend (Will be coming from IIT Mandi) and leave for Chandrataal as soon as possible and Reach Chandrataal the same day .
    DAY 4 (Oct 20th ): Leave for manali /or stay another day visit surrounding area.
    Day 5 (Oct 21st ): If we leave for manali on 20th of October then visit Prashar Lake or else stay at Manali
    Day 6 (Oct 22nd): if we visit Parshar Lake then leave from mandi for delhi .

    Kindly update me on the same.

    Warm Regards
    Abhishek

    • Abhishek, late October is not at all recommended to travel to Chandratal lake. I will not advise going to Chandratal lake beyond first week of October.

      • Abhishek Bhattacharya on

        I just wanted to visit a lake which where we can tent and stay for the night gaze upon the milky way galaxy 🙂 could you suggest any is Parshar Lake an option we can explore .

        Warm Regards
        Abhishek

  6. Hi,
    Nice article, lots of information. Just need one quick suggestion, is it safe to visit in August (12-22 Aug). What are the weather situation at this time??

  7. Hello Dheeraj,

    We plan to be in Chandrataal in the last week of June, going from Shimla side by four wheeler. We understand that the final approach has to by foot. Is waterproof footwear required for the final trek? What other accessories are must haves?

    Thanks

    Aanand

  8. Hello Dheeraj,

    I need your advice on chandratal lake visit on my way to Spiti.

    My itinerary is to visit Spiti from Manali side from 26th June so I am planning to visit chandratal while going from manali to Kaza in transport Innova and I have following questions –

    1. Can I take Innova till chandratal lake? Or How far is the motorable road? As I want minimum trekking.

    2. Is it possible to finish in one day and return to kaza by late evening?
    I mean if I start very early morning from manali and reach chandratal by 11-11:30 and return directly to kaza by eve without stay near chandratal?

    Thanks in advance.

    Awaiting your advice.

    Thanks,
    Jugal

    • 1. Yes innova is capable enough vehicles to reach parking site of Chandratal lake. Last about 800 Mtrs you have to walk down to reach Chandratal.
      2. If you leave Manali early morning and reach Chandratal by like 11 AM, you can reach Kaza by late evening.

  9. Dheeraj,

    Your travel guide is awesome. I have never seen so elaborated guide anywhere on internet not even on makemytrip. I appreciate your efforts and once I come across your travel guide. I stop my research right there and read whole article and your replies to the questions. Three cheers to your work!

  10. Hi dheeraj we 4 of us thinking to visit chandratal 15 June is it the right time and also tell us is it ok if we travel by our swift car.and do we require any permit from shimla side also.

    • No permit is required if you traveling from Shimla side. Chandratal road may not be open by 15th June, so better that you plan the trip up to Kaza in your car and then take a taxi beyond Kunzum Pass and trek to Chandratal and be back in that taxi.

  11. Hi Dheeraj, I have planned for a trip for chandratal lake via the manali route from 29th of April to 5th of may. Is it a good tym, will take a innova. What are the suggested medicine to take? What are the washroom options? Anything special to be taken care of?

    • Hi Suman,

      Chandratal is not possible in the month of April. The roads to Chandratal is accessible only in the month of June to mid October. Even in early June, you will have to trek some distance. So, in April you cannot make a trip to Chandratal.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  12. Ankush Raman Sharma on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    We are planning for the Trip to Spiti Valley from 24 Sep to 01 Oct.

    Mode of Transport: (2 Duster 110 PS AWD and 1 XUV 500 W10 AWD)

    3 family’s trip with
    6 Adults and 5 Children (Aged: 6 Yrs.’ to 8 months) — Will be safe for Children’s specially of 8 months

    A itinerary is below:
    Day 1 | Dehradun – Narkanda
    Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa- Sangla
    Day 3 | Sangla – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo- Kaza
    Day 4 | Kaza Local Sightseeing — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
    Day 5 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Koumik)— Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit
    Day 6 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
    Day 7 | Chandratal – Manali
    Day 8 | Manali – Dehradun

    Total Fuel consumption is around 8K
    Hotel booking Done with : 16K
    All check list made for the items required for travelling

    Is alcohol consumption while night stay will fine.
    Medicine taken along with Dimox (AMS).

    Any body there to come with us — Should have their own vehicles.
    Feel free to call at 9816644145

    Regards,

    • Narender Dahiya on

      Dear Ankush

      Plan 2nd day stay at Rakchcham or Sangla and 3rd at Kalpa. In this itinerary you are missing Dhankar . Alcohol consumption is not an issue but intake should be less. If u stay at Tabo then u can visit Dhankar thereafter reaching Kaza u can go to Ke and Kibber, rest u can visit next day.

  13. vikram tandan on

    Hello, its a great article. I am planning to visit from shimla side. Please can you tell me what all places can we set up our own tents.

  14. Amit Naskar on

    Hi.DHEERAJ
    we are planning bike trip to visit kinnaur and spiti region in april frist week 2016.
    will the route to chandrataal and kunzum la
    be open during this period??
    thanks

  15. Hi Dheeraj,

    We 2 friends are planning to visit Kinnur and Spiti in October 2016. We will be leaving Delhi on 7th October and we will be spending 8 nights on the trip. We will go to Recong Peo,NAko,KAza,Kunzum Pass,Chandratal and Manali

    Will Kunzum pass open at that time and we can complete the circuit.
    Can we visit Chandratal at that time
    Where we can get snow during this time
    How will be weather conditions at that time

    Can we complete this tour in my Ford Figo, Last year I have been there in Chitkul and weather was quite pleasant and we did not encounter any issue.

    Please suggest.

    • Kapil, the snowfall has been started in higher hills of Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti. Though October is not the time when the Manali – Kaza road closes in general but with turn in weather there could be possibilities and you should be aware of weather conditions before heading from Kaza to Manali. If the road is open you can try it and yes Chandratal road will be open too.

      The early in October you make the trip, the better it will be. I will not recommend anything beyond 15th October.

  16. aman sharma on

    Hi , Kindly suggest would it be okay to be at chandertal lake on 17 th september 2016. I am planning a 3 night and 4 days trip from chandigarh. i wish to see it on the full moon night. Please guide eagerly waiting for your response also suggest what precautions to to be taken if we travel on those dates. Kindly reply

    • Aman, september 17 shall be fine to visit Chandratal. The roads will be open, just carry woollen jackets for the nights as that wil be cold.

  17. Hi Dheeraj,
    I have picked up the most common Itinerary from DOW for Spiti visit.
    Cramped up the first 2 days in 1 day…
    Let me knowe ur thoughts…
    Also since we got limited days what do u think we can drop from this Itinerary.

    Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda -Sangla Start FRidayn night- Reach saturday evening
    Day 2 | Sangla / Chitkul (Kinnaur Valley) – Kalpa -SUNDAY
    Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo – MONDAY
    Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mud Village) – TUESDAY
    Day 5 | Pin Valley – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza – WEDnesday
    Day 6 | Kaza – Hikkim – Komik – Langza – Kaza / Losar – THURSDAY
    Day 7 | Kaza / Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal / Battal – Friday
    Day 8 | Battal / Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali – SAT
    Day 9 | Manali – Delhi – SUN

    Second question is about accommodation, do we have option of homestays (similar to Ladakh region)in the region or it would be better to book hotels prior to the trip.
    I have looked at the recommended accommodation link on DOW but could not find much recommendations for home stays…
    Also what do u think reasonable amount would be for a couple to spend on accommodation as per above itinerary.

    Above plan is to travel from 7th Oct onwards.

    Any other advice would be most appreciated.
    Thanks in advance…:)

    • Hi Sunil,

      1. Well, you must be aware how you can drive, so you are the best judge if you can make the 16-17 Hrs drive to Sangla by saturday or not. Rest looks OK.
      2. You have plenty of home stays available all round Spiti Valley, since most do not have contact info. so not posted.
      3. Take about 800-1000 per day for food + stay per person at max on an average.

    • Thanks for your responce Dheeraj…..
      We got 3 people who would be sharing the load of driving so hopefullywe should be able to manage that part.

      In any case if we get delayed which place we should plan to skip in below schedule so as to get back delhi on time.

      Also if we decide not to spend night at Chandratal…how far is Batal and would accomodation options be available in oct second week.Any other option to spend night around Chandratal.
      Basically i am little nervous aboutsub zero temp. around Chandratal, especially at night.

      Lastly is it possible to spend night in Tabo monestry…we would like to observe the routine of monks from 1000 year old monestry.

      Thanks again for your help….

      • 1. Batal is about 17 KMs from Chandratal and about 15 KMs from where the cars are parked at Chandratal. It may take time as the speed of vehicle will be slow due to very narrow track. Apart from camps there is no option at Chandratal. You should be nervous because late in the season winds make it freezing at night 🙂 … Yeah, Tabo monastery has a guest house where you can stay and live the day with monks. The rooms are basic but then this is what about experiencing the local life.

  18. Hi dheeraj,

    we are a group of 8-10 people. we are planning to visit chandertal on 9,10,11,12 oct 2016. we will be travelling by a scorpio and a tata safari.
    Itenary as follows:
    Day 1- delhi to manali. stay overnight
    Day 2- manali to chandertal (camp at chandertal)
    Day 3- chandertal – kunzum-batal.(camp at batal)
    Day 4- batal – chandigarh/stay at manali and back.

    following queries regarding above.
    1. what will be the tentative temperature day/night?
    2. do we need to carry any oxygen supply?
    3. will the tents be available or we should carry our own supplies.
    4. any possibility of snow in entire circuit?
    5. is it safe to do the trip?

    • Hi Dheeraj,

      1. It will be subzero or at times below zero in October. Winds will make the real feel all together different in night and evenings.
      2. If you carry, it will be better and provide you with comfort in case someone is stuck with AMS
      3. There may be a camp available but cannot be 100% certain that late in the season
      4. It usually starts to snow around end of September early October, so, yes.
      5. There is definitely a risk that you will be taking, I wil not say it entirely safe. That late in the season, the biggest problem is less people frequent that place and in case of any issue, there could be trouble. The only saviour up there is Dorje uncle at Batal dhabha

      • Dheeraj Bambroo on

        Thanks for ur advise dheeraj! I did chandertal on 15 oct. We did it same day up down from mandi- chandertal– mandi. We started 4:30 am and got back 11:30 pm night on 15 th. It was a wonderful experience.
        Can u pls help me with itenary/ route map for following tour.
        I want to cover marsmik la, waree la, kaksang la primarily. Secondary khardung la, chang la, tanglang la.

        Kindly help with route map and days to be provision.

        Tx once again
        Dheeraj

  19. Varun Goel on

    Hi

    We are planning for a trip to Chandratal and hope to do camping there for a night.
    9th Sep – 11 AM Leave from Manali for Chandratal. Night at Chandratal Camping.
    10th Sep Return to Manali.

    We are hoping to commute on a bike.

    Is it doable or should we take up a spare day ?

    Please help with contacts for camping at chandratal.

  20. Hi Dheeraj

    I’m planning to do Delhi – Manali- Chandratal- Kaza- Tabo- Nako- Kalpa-Sangla-Narkanda-Delhi in the last week of september, i have about 12-13 days at my disposal so please suggest a good itinerary, please include an extra day at Manali.
    Thanks

  21. Nishant Gavali (Mumbai) on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 12 people, planning to visit Lahul and Spiti valley in the month of September.
    Vehicle: Traveller
    Month : September 2016
    Tour Plan is as below, request you to please check and suggest change if any.
    16 Mumbai to Kalka
    17 Kalka to Fagu
    18 Fagu-Narkanda-Rampur-Sarahan
    19 Sarahan-Kalpa
    20 Kalpa-reckong peo-Nako
    21 Nako-Tabo-Kaza
    22 Kaza Local sightseeing
    23 Kaza-Losar_Kunzum-Chandrataal
    24 Chandrataal-Manali
    25 Extra Day
    26 Manali to Kalka
    27 Kalka to Mumbai

    Br,
    Nishant

    • I will suggest that you do it like below:

      16 Mumbai to Kalka
      17 Kalka to Narkanda/Fagu
      18 Narkanda/Fagu – Sangla
      19 Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa
      20 Kalpa – reckong peo – Nako – Tabo
      21 Tabo – Dhangkar – Pin Valley – Kaza
      22 Kaza Local sightseeing – Langza, Hikkim, Komik
      23 Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Losar – Kunzum – Chandrataal
      24 Chandrataal – Manali
      25 Extra Day – Better spend in Spiti Valley
      26 Manali to Kalka
      27 Kalka to Mumbai

  22. Hello Dhiraj,

    Nice to see the work you are doing. i.e. Helping the travellers. 🙂

    We are planning to travel Chandratal on 1st October nd we will be carrying the camping tents with us.
    I just wanted to know that as we are going to stay for 2 nights at camp Are there any facilities of toilets available near lake?

    else it would be difficult for us to control the natures call for 2 days. 🙂

    Thanks in Advance. 🙂

    • Ravi, please not that camping at Chandratal lake is not allowed as it comes under Ramsar site. You have to camp it at the camping location. So, please respect that and avoid any trouble with the locals. You can pitch the camps at the dedicated camping sites. There are no toilets, you will be at the mercy of cold and harsh nature up there. Do go prepared with woollens as it will be windy and cold during that time at Chandratal

  23. Hi,

    Thanks for the useful information here. I want to do the trip to Lahaul – Spiti including Chandratal, from Delhi in the first or second week of September this year. I will be driving a crossover with my wife.
    I want to know the weather conditions in September for a road trip or shall we do it in August?
    We want to do the circuit from Kinnaur and come back from Rohtang la or other way round. Please suggest suitable time or any other important thing that you want to. Thanks for the help.

    Manan

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        Last Year completed Spiti Valley Trip with your advice but had to leave Chandratal due to bad weather condition in the 3rd week of September. Now I want to enquire weather Chandratal is open from manali side, as I plan to visit during 6-10 July. Since I plan to travel by Bus, information on Kullu-Kaza bus is also solicited.
        thanks

        • Pallav, the bus is operational now from Kullu – Manali to Kaza. You need to get down at the diversion and then either hitch hike or take lift or trek to Chandratal from the point.

  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    I m planning a solo trek to Spiti valley, exploring chandertal also and Dhankar village, Nako, Tabo and Kaza. Might also want to trek to a peak. Never been to Spiti. My trip plan is from 25 June- 2 July
    My queries are:- 1. Is it safe to travel altogether solo in whole trek ? Or is there chance of getting lose the way?
    2. Can I explore all the above mentioned places of Spiti in 7-8 days?
    3. How much estimated budget would be incurred including local travels if ever needed. ? Kindly guide me on itenary also.
    Thanks in advance.
    Bindiya

    • Hello Bindya,

      1. Yes, mostly safe you can loose the track.
      2. It will be hectic but possible
      3. Take about 1200-1500 per day for food + stay and rest will be all transport/commute

    • You can try

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mudh Village) – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza Local Sightseeing 
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
      Day 6 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Koumik) 
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit 
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

      • Oh So nice of You Dheeraj for quickest reply and for itenary.
        I will sure take up this and explore Spiti my way.
        Thanks a tonn

      • Dear Dheeraj,
        I just spoke to one of the driver listed by you. I told him his my plan and itenary as prepared by you.
        later he called me up and told his itenary prepared for me and charges as under:-
        Shimla- Srahan (stay at Srahan) day 1
        Sarahan- kalpa- chitkul (stay at kalpa) day 2
        Kalpa- Nako- geyu- tabo- kaza (stay at Kaza) day 3
        kaza- local sight seeing , ki monastry- Dhankar- Lohsar (stay at Lohsar) day 4
        lohsar – chandertal (stay at Chadertal) Day 5
        Chandertal – Rampur (stay at Rampur) Day 6
        he will drop me at Rampur saying volvo are available for Delhi from there.
        Total charges- His car- 15000
        Stay and accomodation as said by u earlier 7-8000/-
        Total= 23000/-
        Plz correct the itenary for me. And guide me some more. So that I can communicate
        Are his charges genuine?

        Plz reply Dheeraj

        • Well, 15000 for 6 days seems good deal BUT the plan is very hectic since you have less time on hand. You will be on road only for long hours.

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          I had a fabulous trip to spiti and Kinnaur. Your guidance helped me a lot and boosted my morale for solo trip. This just life time experience esp the Itenary as guided by you and the driver I got from ur reference. he was just hardworking and honest person. Kept motivated even in difficult most of terrain and through deep nullahs though his was a small car (Maruti alto).
          I would like to share final itenary I followed at with u as this might help other travellers too to plan accordingly in the limited time period.
          Itenary:

          Day 1: Shimla- Srahan (stay at Sarahan)
          Day 2: Sarahan- Raksham- chitkul (stay at Chitkul)
          Day 3: Chitkul- Reckong Peo- Kalpa- Nako- geyu- (stay at Geyu)
          Day 4: Geyu- Tabo-Dhankar- Trek to Dhankar lake- Kaza (Stay at kaza)
          Day 5- Kaza- Langza. Hikkim, kaumik vilages, Sakya monastery, local market (stay at kaza)
          Day 6- Kaza- lohsar- Kunzhumpass- Chandertal- Kaza (stay at kaza)
          Day 7- Kaza- ki monastry- Kibber- Back journey- Tabo- Nako- RPeo (stay at kalpa)
          Day 8- Kalpa- Rpeo- Narkanda- Shimla- Back to Chandigarh by evening

          Total charges of car were @2500/day. He tried arrange stay at good and reasonable guest houses and home stays. luckily we got all good stays.
          The best part of this plan was that, i could stay at Geyu (The most unexplored one). The home stay there was one fabulous experience as family was just homely and in the night the sky appeared so starry full of large sized stars..we just njoyed early morning stroll through Geyu village, yellow flower beds, bful snow capped mountain top views, deep valley, and what not. Geyu must stay guys. There is only one home stay there. I wanted to post pics here but am unable to.
          another good decision was avoid stay at Chandertal. Since stay near lake is not allowed, and we had reached there early morning and could spent ample time roaming around.
          Stay at Chitkul too was awesome as this village offers not only bful Baspa river view, but also of Kinnar kailash on east and mountain ranges of Tibet on West side. A fresh water nullah through flowing just thru middle of village , and its energy is tapped by many water chakkis is just a sight to watch.

          I want to share the name of driver as he was just motivated to drive through difficult terrain also and was safe. His name is Rajkumar and number- 08894320524

          Thanks once again Dheeraj.

    • Hi Dheeraj,

      I am planning a trip to spiti via manali coming down from sangla back to Chandigarh. I have never visited spiti valley and intend to drive my self on this trip. Below are my questions..
      You think it is alright to drive yourself during your first visit to this place?
      Is it fine to drive a hatch back or sedan?
      We are a couple travelling all alone.. Is it safe and will we get decent places to stay over during nights?

      • Hello Yash,

        1. If you have a SUV and a good driver, it should be OK
        2. Please refer plan below

        Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
        Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Chandratal – Kaza. Leave early morning from Manali to see Chandratal too.
        Day 3 : Kaza – Rest Day. Evening pay a visit to Ki, Kibber
        Day 4 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza – Tabo
        Day 5 : Tabo – Geyu Mummy – Nako – Kalpa
        Day 6 : Kalpa – Sangla / Chitkul – Sarahan / Rampur
        Day 7 : Sarahan / Rampur – Delhi, long drive back

  25. Hey Dheeraj,
    I am planning a trip to Chandratal Lake from 17th to 24th June 2016. Just wanted to know if it is possible to complete this trip if we make the complete circuit i.e. go via Shimla route and come back via Manali route ? Secondly, could you suggest as to how we should go from Shimla to Chandratal Lake. Preferably we want to hire a taxi or we are ok with sharing it with fellow passengers as well. Some local contacts etc would be great.

    Cheers 🙂

    • Hi Sachin,

      You can follow:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mudh Village) – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza Local Sightseeing 
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
      Day 6 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Koumik) 
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit 
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

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

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3000-3500 per day depending upon the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price.

      Otherwise, taxis in general are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands

      • Hey Dheeraj. I had to cut down my itinerary down to about 5 days i.e. 18th June to 22nd June. We will reach Manali on 18th in the morning and then we have to plan the journey forward. It would be great if you could take out the time to answer the questions below.

        1. We asked a driver mentioned in the list you provided. (Arun Negi). He referred one of his friends. He said he would be charging Rs 19,000 for 3 days i.e. starting on 19th and finishing by 21st. He would bring us back to Manali by 22nd. Innova car and we are 3 guys.
        He would take us to Chandratal and would also take on a tour of Spiti, the important places like Key, Kibbar etc and whatever else if feasible.
        Is this price ok or should we inquire for drivers once we reach Manali ?

        2. Secondly, could you please suggest a suitable itinerary for us for a period of 3 days. We definitely want to visit Chndratal. Apart from this what all can we cover in Spiti Valley. I mean what all is feasible. We don’t want to over exert ourselves. :p

        Thanks in advance Dheeraj 🙂 🙂

  26. I had been following your blog since last 3 years…and i love it. You are doing a great job compiling all the information when it comes to ladakh and spiti. I must say this is one of the most detailed and exhaustive blog.

    I felt i should share this piece of information about the myth associated with pandavas reaching heaven. I visited har ki doon long back where locals there told me about the myth that yudishthir reached heaven through Swargarohini peak. I cross checked it in wiki.
    “Swargarohini derives it names from the Legends associated with that it peaks forms the path to heaven that was followed by Pandavas,But only One Pandava [Yudhishthira] & A Dog had reached to Heaven.According to Legends it is believed that is the only way one can go to heaven with the human body itself.”

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit Manali- Rohtan- Kunzum-Kaza and may be Chandrataal Lake, if possible.
    We are 6 people coming from Delhi. Dates are decided, i.e., 28june to 2nd july.
    Please help in making the itinerary and Taxi or rented bike and places to stay. Also please give phone no of those who can help us make this trip the best.

    Thank you for creating such an amazing page. You inspire to to travel more often.

    Cheers. Power to you!

  28. Hi there, I am planning for a short trip to spiti with 3 of my friends. Taking public transport to reach there. Could you please help me in knowing whether manali route is open now? i will reach Delhi on 28th evening and have to depart from delhi 4th morning. will it make sense in going spiti for such a short span?

  29. Hi Dheeraj,
    I’ve to say that you & the whole DOW team is doing a tremendous job of helping all. After doing lot of search on the internet for weeks & this is the best site for travelling to Leh/Spiti.

    I’m doing a Road trip along with a friend from Mumbai in Duster 4X2 from 25th July (Mumbai-Jaipur-Mashobra) I plan cover Spiti & Leh starting from Shimla as we are staying at Mashobra for 3 days(27th to 30th july). I’ve 20 to 22 days for this whole trip.

    I need bit help & suggestion on few things.
    1. As i am starting from Shimla, I am still not sure which places i must see, where to halt for night on route? I prefer home stay if possible. Can you please plan a itinerary for me to follow. We are also carrying camping gear in the car.
    2.How is the weather? Lot of rain? I was told mostly its rain shadow region.
    3. Are 20 days enough for this entire trip. I doubt it. I plan to exit from Srinagar.

    • You can check the below plan and fit in Mashorba in place of Sarahan.

      Day 1 | Chandigarh/Ambala – Narkanda – Sarahan
      Day 2 | Sarahan – Rakcham/Sangla/Chitkul
      Day 3 | Rakcham/Sangla/Chitkul – Nako – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza Rest and Local Sightseeing
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
      Day 6 | Kaza – Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit – Kaza
      Day 7 | Kaza – Sissu / Keylong, leave early in the day
      Day 8 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
      — Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 10 | 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 11 | 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 12 | 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 13 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 14 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
       
      Day 15 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      — Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 16 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 17 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 18 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 19 | Srinagar – Jammu
      — Overnight at Jammu

      Day 20 | Jammu – Ambala – Delhi
      — Back Home

  30. Hi – Too ambitious – I am at Manali from 22 May till 27 May – I don’t want to miss this place – Let me know if by any chance the road will be Open – I am on my XUV. (I have a 3 year kid as well) – is it worth trying.

    Either a day trip or one night + (2 people to drive)

  31. I am planning to go the Chandra tal on 8th June. a couple of questions

    1. Will we be able to take our car up to chandratal? We are planning to take a Duster 110PS.
    2. Can we stay overnight there? Is there any accommodation available at that time. We will also be carrying our own tents. Can we use them in that temperature?

    • 1. I think so, this year, it might be possible for you, if not to the last parking point then at least to some extend from Battal to dirt track of Chandratal
      2. Yes tented accommodations will be available up there and inc ase the road is not open then you will have to stay at Battal dhabha or PWD Rest house

  32. Hi, your articles are just awesome and so inspirational and helpful.
    Thanks for these articles.
    I will be travelling from Shimla to Spiti Valley and surrounding areas like Chandratal, etc and then back to Delhi via Manali.
    I have 2 questions –
    Is it ok to start this trip on 15th May?
    I will be going with 2 ladies so will it be safe?
    What is the toilet situation for women on the road? Men can stop the vehicle anywhere and answer nature’s call but it’s hard for women.

    Appreciate your answer.

    • Thanks Bobby, glad to know that you loved the articles on DoW.

      1. Hmm, road from Kaza to Manali is notorious and may not open by that time of the year. Chandratal is more dicey to travel.
      2. Safety from humans are no worries there in Himalayas at all unless your time is really really bad 🙂
      3. There will not be any toilets on the road, you have to ensure you take opportunity in the morning, in monasteries, in restaurants where ever you stop for sightseeing.

  33. dr.tejas chauhan on

    hello.dheeraj
    we are planning to visit kinnaur and spiti region in may last week 2016.
    will the route to chandrataal be open during this period??
    thanks

    • Hello Dr. Tejas,

      Well, this year snowfall is very less in Himalayas and I am hoping by the time you reach Chandratal that is around first week of June, it shall be open this year.

  34. Debajyoti Bhattacharya on

    Dear Dheeraj Ji,
    We, the three families have planned to visit HP during Durga Puja vacation this year. We will arrive Manali on 10.10.2016. Whether we may visit Chandratal on 11.10.2016 or next morning from Losar and proceed Kaza there after?
    We need your opinion pl.
    Warm regards.
    Debajyoti

    • Well, it will be damn cold during that time in Spiti Valley. This is the only option you have to visit Chandratal on the way to Manali from Kaza. Best is that you leave Manali or Solang Valley very early in the day. Then you visit Chandratal on the way to Kaza only. Do no stay there. Also check the weather in case of any snowfall predictions.

  35. Shilpa Chandolikar on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Your posts have been really informative and I feel so proud to connect with someone who values nature and acts with a sense of responsibility towards others well. I have explored some parts of the north east this year and next year I surely want to visit Spiti. Will need your advice and guidance… PS: u r doing a great job , way to go…

  36. Sanjay khandelwal on

    I will reach Sangla on 11 th noon and have to reach back on 15 th oct to Delhi.kindly suggest what best area can be covered.

    • Hi Sanjay,

      11 – Sangla, rest and sit besides river or walk in village
      12 – Go over to Chitkul and explore
      13 – Visit Kalpa and stay there
      14 – Kalpa – Narkanda
      15 – Narkanda – Delhi

      • Sanjay khandelwal on

        Thanx a lot…is it possible to do 11th Kalpa..12th kaza..13th
        Manali..14th Delhi …can risk be taken coz of weather n road conditions especially thru Kaza…kindly advise.

  37. Hi,

    The travelogue is extremely informative. We have planned to visit chandratal lake this week on 3rd Oct, saturday. We are leaving Delhi on thursday night and plan to reach Manali by Friday afternoon. I have a few queries-

    1. Is the road from manali to batal accessible presently?

    2. We plan to trek to chandratal, is it feasible going by the present conditions?

    3. What are the accommodation options if we plan to stay? Is staying there really a good option?

    4. Is the PWD gueat house readily available or is there a point of contact?

    Awaiting your response…

    • Hi Saurav,

      1. Yes, it is accessible but cold is quite getting harsh day by day in nights
      2. No need to trek, the road goes all the way to parking spot about 700-800 Mtrs before the lake
      3. It is better that you stay at Batal and next day leave for Chandratal early morning spend there up to 11 AM and then come back. Spending night at Chandratal camps will be quite tough and uncomforting at this time
      4. There is no contact, may be call the sattelite phone info. given in article above for Dorje uncle who can book it for you.

  38. Dheeraj sir,
    We guys are planning a trip to manali-lahul-spiti-dehradun … Sir we will be reaching Chandigarh on 8th by 10pm… Can u please help us plan our trip… We are really confused about how to travel and how many days should we stay in these places… Especially lahul nd spiti… Can u please make a trip plan day wise… We want to complete the whole journey from manali to dehradun by 16th… We will be reaching manali early in d morning around 7am on 9th… Sir please help us… 🙂

    • Post first week of October, it becomes quite a risky affair to travel on Manali – Kaza road especially when snowfall starts getting up there. Snowfall has started on all high passes in trans Himalayas and that road is a no mans land and in case of any help required it will be quite difficult. I always suggest that one know this kind of risk of getting stuck in no mans land in quite cold conditions at night without much food or stay option and then take a decision of go/no-go to travel on these roads.

      If you really want to do Spiti Valley during that time of the year, then go ahead and do it from Shimla – Kinnaur side only and come back from the same route. In case you are OK with such a risk of being stuck in case weather turns up its head, then try to do Manali – Kaza as soon as possible in the season now.

      Let me know from where you want to make a trip

      • Sir we would prefer manali kaza route… Nd sir wat abt lahul… Is it worth going? Which one do u think is better lahul or spiti given u dont have much time to stay…? Pls suggest ! Nd do help us to plan our trip!! 🙂

        • Abhishek, it is really not wise to be stuck in the middle of no where in harsh conditions. That place is unforgiving, remember. One unnecessary risk can take an ugly turn at any moment. But, last call will be to you only 🙂 ..

          Regarding Lahaul, it is good but Spiti is Spiti at any given day 🙂

  39. CHANDERTAL 15-18OCT.
    KUNZUM TAKK LE BUS YA BATAL TAK.ACCOMODATIONS KA KYA SCENE KARNA CHAIYE AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS REQUIRED(TENTS,WATER FOOD,CLOTHES,GET IN GET OUT ETC)

  40. Amit Agarwal on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am looking for a short trip to Spiti Valley, I will be having 6.5 days from Delhi to Delhi, could to please suggest the places to visit and Stay.
    Can I drive myself (I have Verna).
    Also please let me know if I can travel with my 5.5 years old son.

    Regards
    Amit

    • Hi Amit,

      In third week of October it will not be wise to travel from Manali to Kaza road as the risk of that no mans land after season end is a lot higher of being stuck without any help. From Kinnaur – Shimla side, it will take just 3 days to reach Spiti Valley and 3 days to come back, hence, there will be no enjoyment considering you will be with family. It is better that you stick to Kinnaur Valley only this time and plan a trip to Spiti Valley when you have more time on hands.

      Regards
      dheeraj

      • Amit Agarwal on

        Thanks Dheeraj, My ohter 2 questions.
        IS it ok to drive myself (I have Verna).
        Also, I will be travelling with my 5.5 Years old son, is it ok?

        Regards
        Amit

        • Driving is fine but verna is going to struggle a bit on that section for sure. Gramphu to Batal is like a hell. Age does not matter as long as he can take the fatigue. Do keep him wrapped in woolens and especially protect from the wind at chest, head and neck. Applies to all in the group.

        • Amit Agarwal on

          Thanks Dheeraj, my last question (probably)
          1st day we should go to Narkanda or Thanedaar, which is better?
          Sangla is same distance from both the places, right?

          Regards
          Amit

        • Amit, I will suggest that you choose any of them based on pricing of stay options may be you get. Narkanda is on the road itself while Thanedar is a bit off road from NH-22 so more peace. However you will not go wrong with any of them, IMHO.

    • H amit,
      , I am.also planning to2 go spiti valley.pls suggest if we can go together.we are 2 boys leaving from delhi to manali then to kaza.
      Date 2 oct to 5 oct .

  41. Hi Dheeraj

    Thanks again for the great article and references !!!! chandratal lake

    I am planning to visit Chandratal lake in first week of October on bike with my friend. Please let me know the problems related to environment, route and accommodation. As I know chandra dhaba most popular there in providing food and accomodation and challenges related to bike ride and AMS , as we reach manali and next day morning we start on trip to chanratal lake.. Please advise boss!!! OCT FIRST WEEK WHETHER AND ROAD CONDITION 🙁 🙂 …..

    • Sandeep, it will be bone freezing cold during that time and chances of snowfall also raises during that period. Stay at Chandratal will not be suggested rather plan to stay at Batal dhabha if at all.Road condition will not be a challenge but sleeping at night can surely be. Reach Batal and stay overnight at Batal only on second day. Then next day go for Chandratal in morning (8-10 AM reflection time) and come back to stay either at Khoksar or if time allows continue back to Manali which will be quite long I feel.

  42. Our team went to CHANDRATAL last week, and our over all experience could be better if Dorje Uncle’s son Tenzin treated nice with us. He was so rude and abusive and charged over from us. # travelers who are planning to visit the place, and most importantly if you want yourself to be treated well so never ever take TENZIN accommodation, will add bitterness into your trip
    Also i wants to appreciate JAMAICA’s hospitality, they are another camping service provider in CHANDRATAL. Well behaved, educated, professional, fine scene of business.

    • Thanks Nitin for the feedback but why did you mark your name as John here? So, you guys first took Tenzin and then went to Jamaica? I am just questioning here to dump out any bogus review in favour of any party especially when you have actually put up some other name of yours which has raised a question in my mind. I know Jamaica very well and one of the core member of DoW infact has developed his website but on the other hand I do not want any bogus review be personally directed to other parties.

  43. Mohammed Chhipa on

    Hello Every One

    We are planing to go Leh Ladak from Ahmadabad, We decide to take at route of shimla to shrinagar, kargil, to ladak , We need more information about to travel like what should we carry with us ? And where can we get the good food, petrol pump and all if any one can give me full information than please give me miss call at 7698068863 or whatts app me on this number so i will call to you
    Awaiting for reply soon

    Thanks ans regards

    Mohammed Chhipa

  44. Dear Dheeraj je,
    WE are going to chandratal on dated 21th of September 2015.will we be able to do Sourtal by trekking as we hear that Sourtal is much near & close to chandrtal?is ther near route from to Sourtal from chandartal?
    waiting for your reply.
    Thankew
    rahul

    • Rahul are you talking about Surajtal? If yes, then it takes about 3-4 days of trek to reach Surajtal from Chandratal and the trek is not that easy and is of moderate difficulty.

  45. Pingback: Adventures of Gramphu - Batal Road - DoW Mega Meet 2014

  46. Hey Dheeraj,

    i just want to let u know that your blogs are awesome and of great help for travellers. I had a wonderful adventurous trip to Spiti. It was more a punctureful trip though 🙂 but every bit was woth memorizing. your responses were really useful to me. i read about your DOW causes and its great what you guys are doing. is there are any possibility that i can join you guys for such causes? any membership?anything? i would love to tag with you people for such events.

    Thanks,
    PR

    • Piyush, that is purely awesome !! Glad to know that you had wonderful time up there. Well, there is no membership bhai, you can join us on any Mega Meet trip we hold every year annually. This is starting in next 7 days now 🙂 🙂 … 4th to 14th September where almost 55 people from all over India are joining us for the travel for causes trip on their own. Any such event next time, feel free to join in. Or stay tuned in FB Page events. Meet is held once a year only to promote travel for cause and responsible travel in Himalayas

      • ok bhai.. thanks a lott.. i am already a member on your FB page.. will look forward for it..:)

  47. Pingback: Kaza - Kunzum Pass - Chandratal - DoW Mega Meet 2014

  48. Hi Dheeraj…… I am planning to visit chandratal in Mid of August. I’ll start my journey from 16th Aug night, travel throughtout the night to cover as much distance as i can…… My trip starts from 16th Aug & ends at 22Aug Sat, ym journey will start from Delhi & ends at delhi…. What you suggest, will it be a good decision to visit chandratal in this time span…… or should I go for my PLAN B & i.e. visit to DALHOSIE……. Ur suggestions awaited……
    Thanks

    • Gaurav, one day you must rest in Manali or Solanag and then next day preferential is to stay at Khoksar or Batal at least before staying at Chandratal. A common itinerary is below:
      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley
      Day 2 | Solang – Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal
      Day 3 | Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal – Chandratal
      Day 4 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali – Delhi

      • Thanks a lot Dheeraj………. It’s an appreciable job done by you….. thanks a lot for your valuable guidance…… GOD Bless……….
        Regards
        Gaurav

  49. Paramita Pal on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning trip to kinnor,Spiti ,Chandler taal from 12the September to 19th September Delhi to Delhi . can we cover the whole area in such short time,my travel plan as follows Delhi -manali-chandratal-kaza-tabo-kalpa-shimla-delhi.

  50. Hi Dheeraj,

    I really appreciate the way you are helping travelers.
    We are traveling from Delhi to Chandratal via Manali. We will be reaching Manali on Aug 3 and will leave for Chandratal on Aug 4. I am from Shimla and would be driving my own car. We are planning to halt at PWD guest house Khogsar on Aug 4 and leave for Chandratal early morning.

    Next we want to go to Kee Gompa on Aug 5 and want to return from Manali to Shimla on Aug 7.

    I want to know the following:
    1. Is PWD guest house at khogsar is the nearest and best place for a halt? I spoke to someone from Lahaul, he said that Khogsar is nearest. But you are mentioning Gramphoo guest house. Please tell me which will be the best option.
    2. Where can we halt next for Kee Gompa?
    3. It will be raining..I am taking my Alto K10 and have driven through Chanshal valley. What precautions I must take?
    4. Do you feel the plan is alright..or do we need to make any major/minor changes?

    Thanks for help in advance. You are going a great job! 😀

    • Hi Siddharth,

      1. Yes, I will say so though not nearest. There is one at Batal too with no lights and that is the nearest 🙂 There is one at Chatru as well from Gramphu to Batal road. I mentioned Gramphu guest house? where? If at all must be type, I recommend Sissu or Batal or Khoksar only
      2. If you sleep well at Chandratal, you can sleep at Kibber OR stay at Rangrik/Kaza anywhere
      3. There will be loads of water crossings violent ones too near Chota Dhara and then Dorni Nallah from Gramphu to Batal road. This will be quite touch to tackle so leave as early as possible in the day
      4. Plan is OK given the days in hand


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