The Chandratal Lake Trek is beautiful in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 4,300m. It is also called the “Lake of the Moon” because of its crescent shape and is the origin of the Chandra River. In ancient times, this path was used as a trade route; traders from Tibet and Ladakh arrived in the Spiti and Kullu valley Lake. 

Chandratal Lake Summer
Chandratal Lake (Photo Credit: Arjun Patel)

Chandratal is easily accessible from Kunzum Pass which stands at an average of 4,590 metres. Kunzum Pass is one of the most famous high altitude passes in Himachal Pradesh.It is a hub for many hikers and adventurers. From Kunzum Pass you will see the magnificent Chandrabhaga mountain range and the Bara Shigri Glacier which is considered the second largest. 

The ChandraTal Lake Trek is an absolute bliss for amateur hikers and the best time to hike the trails is from mid-June to mid-October. From Manali, the journey takes approximately 78 days. 

History of Chandratal Lake Trek

Considered one of the sacred lakes of the Hindus, the lake attracts hordes of Hindu devotees to its sacred waters. It is the origin of the Himalayan Chandra River, one of the tributaries of the Chenab River. 

The most famous folklore revolves around the two lovebirds named Chandra, the loving daughter of the Moon God, and Bhaga, the luminous son of the Sun God. Both were madly in love but, as fate would have it, their parents did not approve of their Alliance. They decided to escape from Baralacha La, the pass where they first met. Somehow they couldn’t meet there, but they did meet somewhere else where they had a heavenly wedding. 

You can see the effervescent Chandrabhaga River at this location which is a testament to their heavenly alliance. The individually created Suraj Tal and Chandratal lakes still resonate with the mystery of their love story. 

Chandratal Lake Nightscape
Nightcape (Photo Credit: Ameya Phansalkar)

The famous lake of ChandraTal also finds its mention in Hindu mythology. It is widely believed that the chariot of Lord Indra (the revered rain god) brought Yudhishthir to his heavenly abode in this very place. 

Another story goes that a shepherd from Hansa village in the Spiti valley fell in love with a mermaid who resided in the glacial lake. Their love blossomed under the icy waters of Lake Angelic. Mythology believes that even today shepherds stop here to look for their lost friend. 

AREALahul and Spiti District 
BEST SEASON Mid-June to Mid October
ALTITUDE4551 mts
Keypoints of Chandratal Lake Trek

Highlights of Chandratal Lake Trek

  • Heavenly campsites nestled in the knees of Himalayan giants
  • The characteristic rugged landscape of the hermetic valley of Spiti is surrounded by the vast grassy land that was once a glacier.
  • A superb combination of wonders and therefore of adventurers in an equivalent time which makes it a top-level and an exceptional trekking site.

Location of Chandratal Lake Trek

Chandra Tal (“the lake of the moon”) is located at an elevation of 4270 meters in the Himalayas, below the Spiti region of Lahaul and the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. ChandraTal is a popular trekking and camping destination, attracting several travelers each year. It is within the walking distance of Batal and Kunzum La Pass. 

Chandratal Lake Crystal
Chandratal Lake

The best season to visit the Chandratal Trek is from mid-June to mid-October There is a 16 km motorable road from Batal which is accessible after mid-July, as road conditions can be dangerous before this time. Even after taking this road, you have to walk 2 km from the start of the road. 

Best Time of Visit Chandratal Lake Trek

 The road to the lake is open from the third week of June to the first week of November. The lake can be visited from mid-June to July and from September to mid-October. The region is still covered with snow in June and July. There are possibilities for roadblocks, especially from Batal to Chandratal, on the Manali side. From LosarKunzum Pass to Chandratal, the road is known for its famous water crossings on the Kunzum side.

The month of August brings showers to the region. You can face difficult situations in the lower regions of the course. When you venture into the upper lands of Rohtang Pass on the Manali side and Kaza on the Kinnaur side, the weather is very under control. September is the perfect time to hit the Chandratal Gita on the lake. You are entitled to the most breathtaking views, nothing less than a slice of paradise. 

Chandratal Lake Trek River
Photo Credit: Susmita Mukherjee

The beauty of the lake, surrounded by scree and cirque on both sides, and overlooking a carpet of flaming autumn leaves, is simply incomparable. Temperatures start to drop from October. It begins to snow in October and temperatures fluctuate between zero during the day and below zero at night. The lake road may be closed in October depending on the amount of snow and the intensity of the cold

How to Reach Chandratal Lake Trek

By Air –

You can reach the lake by plane from Bhuntar Airport (near Manali), Simla Airport, or Chandigarh Airport. Bhuntar Airport, 180 km from Chandratal, is the closest airport to the lake.

By Train –

Chandigarh is the best-connected railway line in Chandratal as it has good connectivity with all parts of India. However, the nearest station to the lake is Joginder Nagar. At a distance of 290 km from Chandratal, it is located near Mandi.

By Road –

You can easily reach Manali from Delhi or Chandigarh by public transport buses, AC / NonAC, or luxury buses. Each season, the route between Spiti Valley and Manali opens in June. Board the public transport buses operated by Himachal Pradesh (HRTC), departing from Kullu and reaching Batal via Manali. Once the bus has passed through Batal, get off at the Chandratal diversion point.

Read more: Panchachuli Base Camp Trek

Itinerary of Chandratal Lake Trek

Day 01: Delhi – Manali

Trips to Manali. Night travel.

Day 02: Manali

Arrival in Manali in the morning. On arrival transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Hadimba Devi temple. Evening is free to explore the mall street. Night at the hotel.

Day 03: Manali to Preeni Setan

Head to the village of Preeni from where you will travel towards the picturesque village of Setan. Stay in a tent outside the village.

Day 04: Setan Chikka

Start early and after crossing a few streams continue on a stone-strewn path to our next campsite. You can camp on a large lawn.

Day 05: Chikka Balu Ka Ghera

Today the hike is steep and can be strenuous as you make way to the base of Hampta Pass and reach the campsite on a strip of sand next to a stream of mountains. You will stay at the camp for the night.

Day 06: Beyond Hampta Pass (4270 meters) Chatru

The hike to the pass is steep again and once over Hampta Pass, you can see the fabulous views of the northern ridges of Lahaul and Spiti. In the evening reach the small camp along the road to Chatru.

Day 07: Chatru – Chota Dara

Today the trail runs along the Spiti highway.  The next stop on the trip is another accommodation on the Chota Dara side of the road. There is a former retirement home and a seasonal tea room here. Close the field.

Day 08: Chota Dara – Batal

Today , you will continue the road trip and walk along the Chandra river to reach the next small modest village and a temporary tea and Dhaba stall in Batal. 

Day 09: Batal – Chandratal

Just before the tea stand, there is a rugged path that leads north. As the highway heads towards Kunzum Pass and Spiti, this main road leads to the beautiful mountain lake. Much further down you can see the silver Chandra River meandering towards Lahaul. In the early evening, reach the lake. The course is located on the shore of this pretty lake.

Day 10: Chandratal Lake

Rest day in Chandratal because the body needs to recover. All around this magnificent crystal clear body of water, have a magnificent view of the high deserted mountains. The campsite is located near the shores of the lake.

Day 11: Chandratal Lake – Manali

In the morning, after breakfast, depart for Manali via 2 high passes Kunzum La and Rohtang La. Upon arrival in Manali, check-in at the hotel. 

Day 12: Manali and Delhi

In the morning, explore the surroundings and some other places in Manali. Drive to Delhi.

Day 13: Back to Delhi

Arrival at Delhi  in the morning 

In conclusion, the Chandratal Lake Trek is a must-visit destination for all nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The trek offers a unique combination of natural beauty, stunning landscapes, and challenging terrain that makes it an unforgettable experience. The trek is suitable for all skill levels and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. The crystal-clear waters of the Chandratal Lake and the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains are sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit. Overall, the Chandratal Lake Trek is a must-do adventure that should not be missed by anyone traveling to the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for Chandratal Lake Trek

Where is Chandra Tal Trek located?

ChandraTal is a lake in the Lahaul part of the Lahaul & Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.

When is the best time to visit Chandratal Trek?

The best months for trekking are May,June and between August and October.

How will the temperatures be during the Chandratal Trek?

The average daytime temperature will be between 12 ° C and 18 ° C and at night it will vary between 0 ° C and 4 ° C.

In which season is there snow on the Chandratal Trek?

While in August and September it will not snow, but more streams to cross and the landscape will be green and flowered in August and September. Meanwhile, hikers can enjoy the unobstructed view of the snow-capped mountains.

Can a beginner do the Chandratal Trek?

ChandraTal Trek is very popular with trekkers to start their trekking efforts. Chandratal Trek is one of the most thrilling trekking routes in India, yet extremely convenient to start your trekking goals. The trek has no high cliffs to climb or steep slopes to walk on and maintain a gradual incline through

What is the highest altitude of the Chandra Tal trek? 

At the end of the valley, standing at a majestic 4,280 meters, is the Hamta pass.