Planet Way Round

Chander Tal Trek

This 4-days trek in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh leads us to the large high altitude Chandra Tal Lake (‘Lake of the Moon’ in the local dialect). The landscape and the scenery change like a chameleon, with each sighting bettering the one before. This is till you reach the lake! The whole world here comes to a halt as you stare at the turquoise crescent of water surrounded by the Chandrabhaga & Mulkila Massifs. The trek ends at the Baralacha Pass on the Manali-Leh road. It is a very popular trek out of Manali and can be extended with another trek or a Jeep Safari to Ladakh.

Route: Delhi – Manali – Batal – Chandra Tal – Tokpo – Baralacha – Manali – Delhi

  • Itinerary

    Day01: Manali – Rohtang Pass – Dadrapul

    For a high altitude trek like the Chandertal trek, one day acclimatization is not sufficient, so we drive over the Rohtang pass. As we cross over the Rohtang pass (3980 m) we start following the origin of the Chandra River and finally settle at the base of the Kunzum la pass (4551 m).

    Day02: Dadrapul – Chander Tal, (18 km)

    Today we will trek 18 km to reach Chandratal (4200 m) and it will take us about 5-6 hrs. While on this trek we will get a nice view of the Lahaul range, peaks like Minar (6172 m), Talagiri (6279 m), Tara Pahar (6227 m) and Mulkila (6517 m). Spend rest of the day at the lake to explore the lake and to acclimatize.

    Day03: Chander Tal – Tokpo Gongma, (10km)

    After breakfast get ready for trekking to Tokpo Gongma. Intense trekking begins from Chandra Tal to the bank of the Tokpo Yongma (4350 m). The trek rises and falls over slopes till the camp site. It is usually quite cold here and one would require necessary warm clothing. You have to walk for almost an hour on the never-ending grassland of the Chandertal Lake. Here we can have our packed lunch en route. Then we follow the Chander river along a moraine trail to Tokpo Gongma.

    Day04: Tokpo Gongma – Tokpo Yongma, (10km)

    After breakfast trek along a lesser trail to Tokpo Yongma (4630m). These trails are maintained by the shepherds who bring their flocks to graze in this area during the summer months. These shepherds are from a tribe called the ‘Gaddi’ and travel all the way from their homes in Western Himachal to these grazing grounds every summer. They are invaluable to trekkers, especially early in the season. Without them, trekking in the area would be impossible. It is advised to start early so as to cross the river early in the morning, as it swells later in the day. From here 2 hours of trek to river Tokpo Yongma which has to be crossed before 1100hrs. In both rivers the current is very fast and are 2-3 feet deep in the ebb. Packed lunch en route.

    Day05: Tokpo Yongma – Baralachla, (7km)

    After breakfast, we shall trek to Baralacha La. Here we shall follow a clear trail to the top of the Pass through lush green high altitude pastures. It is a double pass. It marks the divide between the Himalayan and Lahaul Ranges and also between the Himalayan and the Baralacha Range extending to the North. We camp at Surajtal which is just below the Baralacha la.

    Day06: Baralachla – Manali

    After an early morning breakfast, drive to Manali (6 hrs) to board the overnight bus to Delhi.

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