In search of the ‘Chandrataal’- The Moon Lake in Spiti Valley – Part 1

The mysterious lake, the ‘Chandrataal’, lies among the majestic mountains of Spiti valley, along the Indo-Tibetan border. The solo journey during August 2017 took me through trekking, hiking, biking , river crossings, homestay , camping all around the Spiti valley. The search for the mysterious Chandrataal lake took me through everything a traveller could ask for..

‘Once you are in the mountain..The mountain will call you back’– finished reading the lines from the book ‘The Himalaya’ by Ruskin Bond..I knew I had to visit the mountains soon. I visited Manali with family in year 2016 for a short stay of 2-3 days. Coming back and seeing the pictures of the grand mountains, I knew they would call me back again and I had to hike in those terrains again.

Excerpt from Note on 18th May 2017 

‘Reading Ruskin Bond and visualising the mountains, rivers and the foggy streets, I was already amongst them. Came across an article about the mysterious ‘Chandrataal’ lake and the legend about this mystic place, the seed to travel started and looked for ways of reaching there.’

Came across Indiahikes site while browsing and with some more search, planned of doing the Hampta Pass trek which would end in Chandrataal Lake on the last day of the 6-day trekking camp. Seeing the reviews, I have made up my mind to register with them and now looked into the holidays and a good time when to go. I got the available window from 02-15 Aug 2017 and planned the trip during this time.

With Indiahikes, 2 dates were available: 

  • 5-10 Aug 2017
  • Sunday 6 Aug- Friday 11 Aug 2017

and I went with the 06-11 Aug registration with them and sketched a plan

  1. Wednesday 2 Aug evening : Hyd to Del
  2. Reach Del 2 Aug
  3. Stay in del – 3 Aug Thu
  4. Stay in del – 4 Aug Fri
  5. Stay in del – 5 aug Sat, Evening – start for manali by bus
  6. 6 Aug Sun – Reach Manali in the morning
  7. Meet the trekking team on 6th Aug in Manali – Sunday
  8. Sun 6th – Fri 11th – Hampta Pass Trek
  9. Reach Manali on 11th Aug Friday
  10. Stay / Rest in Manali – 11 Aug
  11. Stay / Rest in Manali – 12 Aug – Saturday
  12. 13 Aug Sunday – Evening start from Manali to Delhi
  13. 14 Aug Monday morning – Reach Delhi
  14. Stay in Delhi – 14 August Monday
  15. 15 August – Attend Independence Day Parade in Delhi (Optional)
  16. 15 August Tuesday – Start for Hyderabad

So this was the plan..but as they say, nature makes its own plan.


To be continued…

The Moon Lake – Chandrataal. Shot in iPhone 7 Plus, August 2017

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