Chandratal Lake

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Time Required: 2-3 hrs

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Chandratal Lake, Spiti Valley Overview

A camper and trekker's paradise, Chandratal Lake is often referred to as one of the most beautiful lakes located at an altitude of about 4300 m in the mighty Himalayas. The stunning lake is situated on the Samudra Tapu plateau which overlooks the Chandra River. The name "Chandra Taal" (Lake of the Moon) comes from its crescent shape. This lake is also one of two high-altitude wetlands of India that have been designated as Ramsar sites. Once a tentative residence for Tibetan traders traveling to Spiti and the Kullu valley, it attracts thousands of adventure enthusiasts from all over the world.

Legend has that the Chandratal Lake lies in the vicinity of a place from where God Indra's chariot picked up Yudhishthira, the eldest of Pandava brothers in Mahabharata. This fact renders the lake sacred and thus, is flocked by a lot of Hindu devotees. The colour of water of this holy lake keeps changing from reddish to orange to blue to emerald green as the day ends. Vast stretches of green meadows house the best camping sites and an array of different wildflowers during springtime. The trek from Batal to Chandratal can be quite a tedious trail, but the captivating views and charm of the place will be worth it. The sun's light reflecting on the surface of the astounding Chandratal Lake makes it seem crystal clear.

More on Chandratal Lake


The Chandratal Baralacha Trek is a fun and adventure filled experience amidst one of the most picturesque views of the spell bounding mountains and majestic blue waters. The trek goes through vast landscapes, rocky mountain passes and lush green meadows while overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the lake; and the adventure is multiplied with occasional sightings of exotic wildlife that is endemic to the region! All these factors undoubtedly make it one of the best treks in the entire region.

The Chandratal Lake trek goes through a scenic route with a panoramic view of the Lahaul range with snow clad peaks of Minar, Talagiri, Tara Pahar and Mulkila, all of which are over 6000 meters high in the sky. The trek eventually takes you to the point that is 5000 meters up in the air. What a thrill! It does not require you to be a pro at it, and the difficulty level is quite moderate. However, high fitness levels and good stamina are a must when you're walking at such a high altitude. The only times the trek becomes a little challenging is during river crossings but that can be managed.

The trek to Chandratal Lake is organized June and October, both inclusive. However, it is best to avoid going in the monsoon as the water levels of the rivers and lake are unusually high which may create restrictions on your movements.

Chandratal lake
Stunning Chandratal Lake
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Things to carry on the trek
1. Snow and waterproof shoes with a good grip that allows you to walk on slippery surfaces and rocky landscapes.
2. A wooden stick or walking stick gives you support you during the trek and a good grip in the snow.
3. Jackets, thermal wear, sweaters, snow caps, gloves, heavy woollens.
4. Flashlight
5. Heavy woollen socks and 2 extra pairs, you don't want to keep on socks that may have become wet from the river crossing or the snow- it can lead to frostbites and contraction of hypothermia.
6. A small towel. Always make sure each part of your body is dry.
7. Water, snacks, medicines- your basic travel kit.

Chandratal Lake is an official camping site where one can lay in nature's cradle all night long and admire the spectacle that it is. Laying by the lake as the stars twinkle in the night sky, feeling the soft warmth of the bonfire cuddling your skin as the cool breeze gently tingles your senses; the moon smiling at you as you gaze towards the sky making you feel protected under the nurture of the beautiful nature; a night by the Chandratal Lake is definitely an enriching experience for the mind and body both.

Chandratal Lake is named after the moon not only because of its shape but also because of the way it reflects the moon. In fact, tourists from all over the country visit the lake to witness its unparalleled beauty in the night. The pristine lake appears deep aquatic blue in the morning, turns greenish as the evening starts approaching, and looks like a vast pit of pitch black metal as the darkness of the night sets it. 

Chadratal lake at dawn
Chandratal Lake at dawn
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The best time to visit Chandra Taal is between July and August. The water levels of the lake are high and the roads are cleaned off of the snow till the very end making it easier to walk to the lake and breathe in the beauty of the surroundings as they cleanse and rejuvenate you from within.

The nearest motorable road to Chandratal is the Kunzum Pass, which is accessible by road up to the parking lot about 2 kms away from the lake. Earlier the route from Kunzum Pass to Chandratal Lake was traversible only by foot, but can now be travelled on a motorbike or car in about 2 hours. Chandra Taal is also accessible from Batal on foot, and from Suraj Tal which is around 30 kms away.

Alternatively, cars can be hired from Manali to Chandratal. However, this will be expensive. Another option is to take a bus to Kaza in Spiti Valley and get down at Batal. From Batal, Chandratal lake is a 14 km trek. Those who are not willing to trek can hitch-hike.

1. Be very careful if you choose to hitch-hike.
2. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the spectacular night view of the lake.

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Chandratal Lake Reviews

4 months ago by Jai Meena

You can combine Chandratal visit with Hampta Pass or Spiti Tour that is the best way to see this real gem hidden in the barren area of Lahaul and Spiti.

8 months ago by Veronica Sahoo

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