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Exploring Chandratal – Manali to Chattru

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The Journey so far-

Day 2 – June 04, 2009 | Manali to Battal

Well this was the day when we were supposed to reach chattru or chota dhara and then expected to trek till battal…we woke up at 3 AM, got ourselves ready by 4 AM only to hear the ringing tones of the person in contact…. meanwhile we got the chance to have some non-desi Breakfastat one of the food shops in old manali…. My friend ordered some unusual cakes and omelet with some unusual bread and again it was served with glass full of TEA :)… we enjoyed the breakfast and got some time to click some flowers…. Wondered I had someone to gift these beautiful colors called life

Views in Manali
Views in Manali
Calming a girl, you require remedy like this… 100% tested….
Views in Manali
Nevertheless, may be one day wish would be fulfilled again ;)… AIM for the heights…

Views in Manali

Manali to Marhi

Tour operator got late in the night due to work and finally around 5 AM he picked the phone and by 6.30 AM he reached the cottage with all things packed up and we left from there….i knew the JAM at Rohtang would be waiting to kiss us…on the way to Rohtang there are lots of beautiful sceneries to capture and we did just that as we knew on the way back it won’t be possible due to our rotten physical conditions :grin:…. Starting from the base on “MANALI VALLEY”

Views in Manali
Views in Manali
Wish I can get to TOP and be a “superman” LOL… 😀
Views in Manali
Getting higher and higher…
Views in Manali
Views in Manali
When the Water turns into White…
Views in Manali

First stop was planned to be Marhi, to get bottle of rum for the heat in such freezing temperature….although we had my choice called vodka, but all insisted to get the RUM as well

Marhi to Chattru

This was the stretch which would take us into the first time place after crossing Mirhi, none of us visited any place beyond that and even the height or altitude as well. We reached mirhi at around 8.30 AM and believe me wind was blowing with such force as if to take you away with it and it was extremely cold as well. At one of the Dhaba we had Tea, Maggi and bought some chocolates for the rest of the days. Then it was the main purpose of getting the bottle of RUM, which we got from one liquor shop over there. Meanwhile we again got some chance to click some photographs

Road to Home @ Heaven
Views at Marhi
Views at Marhi

For me reading so much about the famous Rohtang Jam the anxiety level was getting higher as we wanted to cross it as soon as possible. And it did stick us. There was a big JAM as we approached the Rohtang Pass.

Long Line getting even longer downhill….
Views enroute Rohtang Pass

Finally after struggling for an hour we reached the near the Rohtang Pass point and you can see so many cars parked over there right in between the road. It is nothing but invitation to trouble only. To my surprise, as initially I thought JAM would be because of so many people trying to pass the Rohtang and enter the other part of the side but uff…it’s because of parking system. Anyone who don’t find the place to park, leaves his car where he is and get out and go for enjoyment, doesn’t even bothering to give side at least to passerby vehicles, seeing this was disgusting. There were so many trucks coming at that time and each one had to give pass after putting the entire traffic on hold :(. Most importantly, ever sung Rohataang didn’t live up to the expectations we had for it, maybe it’s because of mine austere nature or it’s the wrong time of the year we visited all praised brand of Travel Destinations. It was as if am visitng trade fair, but I feel this where people get to find snow so it becomes like that.

Views at Rohtang Pass
Views enroute Rohtang Pass

Anyways, we finally crossed the complete stretch of Rohtang Pass and it took us around 3 hours in doing so. The road on the other side was in a little bad shape.

Views after crossing Rohtang Pass towards Gramphu
Views after crossing Rohtang Pass towards Gramphu

But, yes the other side of the Rohtang was ever beautiful. Now, I can feel why it was praised so much. Morale is not to visit in holidays 😉 we kept running as we were now way behind the schedule because of JAM and leaving manali late, so didn’t click any pics till our next stop. We entered the road towards Chattru by taking the right turn at Gramphu and as soon as we entered the road disappeared. It was complete kacchi sadak. Now, I was praising that I took the right decision of not getting the Santro here. Waters were gushing on the road from the hills as if to take your car with it into the more violent Chandra River. The river is the most violent I have ever scene; it was way more violent than the Beas. Iwould have taken four lives with me if I would have attempted this road on my car. For the entire stretch I only saw pebbles and stones on the path which was drivable and that even the Sumo was also having such trouble negotiating it, but it was running and I can see easily now “SKILLS DOES MATTER HERE” :D. It was not an easy piece of cake which we would have had in our santro. I have the pics on the way back. So we reached Chattru and wanted to have our tummies filled at the dhaba over there.

Views at Chattru

There were few people camped there as well and all of them were on the way back from battal. We asked the dhaba wala about the chandratal and there was the first warning :D. He laughed and mocked that no one has visited there till now, there is a lot of snow. You guys won’t be able to make it. Try the kunzum, it’s open since yesterday and whosoever is coming from there, are happy to say its great fun right now. So, one good news is that we didn’t have to trek today, so we can tank up the energy for the motive of trip but bad news was no one made it till now, so how come we amateurs can 🙂 Anyways, we had some lunch with the Rajma he served and rice. We had our puris packed from home, so we checked them and were in good condition so tried to get them over with rajma. Then, we clicked some photos around the place.

Trekking route from Hamta pass, as told by our guide
Views at Chattru
Most common face in hills…
Views at Chattru
The Great Chattru Bridge 😉 over Chandra River
Views at Chattru
Beauty getting Better and Better
Views at Chattru
One of the best so far
Views at Chattru
It was around 1.30 PM and we left for Battal in search of so much snow that none had made it to chandratal yet.

The Journey ahead-

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About Author

You can call me an avid traveler, a day-night dreamer and a passionate lover of the Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in the Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan travel experiences with the other fellow travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...


  1. Hi Dheraj,
    Thanks for this awesome blog. I want to explore this area, but from Chandigarh we’ve only 3-4 days! 2 days will be gone only to go to Manali and coming back. So I’m thinking to go to Batal from Manali and coming back (either stay one night there or come back same day). I’m hoping I’ll be able to experience the same landscape available in that region. Just wanted to check with you if that should be ok or if you have any recommendation? Starting on May 31st. Thanks again for your help!

    • If you have just 4 days then better not under take this trip. like you said 2 days will be for Manali to CHD and back. You are left with 2 days which can be used for to – fro from Battal or even Chandratal if you making it at right time. However, all this is easy to say than to experience unless you are used to such hectic, long and bumpy ride. Also, AMS factor will also come into play and you can suffer from it at Chandratal or Battal due to lack of acclimatization.

  2. Pingback: Exploring Chandratal | Delhi to Manali - DeViL on WheeLs


    Is it possible to drive to Kaza in first week of March? I have a 4×4 Scorpio and would be greatful for some cold start guidelines.

  4. is it possible to go to battal from manali and return to manali in the same day that is on 5 Oct 2011 provided we start early at 5 am

    • Uday, 5th October is not an ideal time to go to Battal. You may get stuck due to snowfall at Rohtang Pass and Kunzam Pass if the weather changes suddenly which in October are high chances.
      Now during that time Durga Puja holidays will be ON and there will be lot of tourist rush in around Manali. You will certainly face traffic jam at Rohtang Pass due to that which will further create delay in your path. If you still want to go then it is possible provided that you leave early, take less number of stops, ready to arrive late in the evening at Manali and ready to take the risk of weather conditions. I might be in Spiti at that time but again I have no plans to cross Kunzam Pass in October reason being getting stuck due to snowfall.

      I hope this helps.

      dheeraj Sharma

  5. Pingback: Delhi to Chandratal Lake, Spiti Valley | Travel Guide | DeViL on WheeLs…

  6. Pingback: Exploring Chandratal | Battal to Chandratal to Battal Trek | DeViL on WheeLs…

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