This serene beauty had left a non healing scratch in my heart as well as brain since last I have visited this place.
Chandratal or Chandra -Tal is situated at a height of 14,100 square feet, in Lahaul and Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh (India). The name, Chandratal, is derived from two Hindi Words Chandra meaning moon and Tal meaning lake. That is why this place is also known as Lake of the Moon.
The Lake has a circumference of 2.5 kilometers and is surrounded by arid mountains Moulikla and Chandrabagha. The deep blue color of the lake attracts tourists and is believed to be a source of Chandra River.
This lake is believed to be found by shepherds. There are certain stories linked to this lake which I could gather from Tenzin Bodh:
- God Indra landed in his Chariot at Chandratal to take Yudhishtra, (in mortal state), to heaven.
- One shepherd used to come, sit and talk to Lake Everyday for hours. One day while sitting he saw a fairy. She wished to marry him and in return will fulfill his dreams. He denied and said he is already married. Fairy gave him solution that he can stay with his wife; marry her too without disclosing it to anyone. He was happy and didn’t tell anyone about this happening. One night when he was drunk, had fought with his wife and during arguments he disclosed, that not only you but fairies also want to marry him. Its believed that after that day fairies could never be seen.
Trekking & Camping
This place is famous among both national and international tourists for trekking, and camping. Camping is not allowed near the lake. There are several camps for accommodation at base, around 2-3 kilometers from the lake.
Weather & Clothes
Days are warm, evenings are windy, breezy and nights are very cold (temperature is below zero). So, guys never roam and go without woolens. You need good woolens and windcheaters.
Food & Drinks
At Camps in the morning and evening they give you aromatic altitude drink some what like you will get simple Dal, Chawal, Sabji for vegetarians and meat for non vegetarians. Water takes almost half an hour to boil. Tent owners are kind enough to serve you drinks too.
Best Seasons to Travel
The best time to travel is between May – September. You will get awesome views of snow-clad glaciers, arid mountains, green hills, river and lake.
Roads are bumpy, stony or its better to say there are no built roads. They are motorable. But for last 2-3 kilometers towards lake, you need to traverse mountain slopes, with 360 degree views. No where else you will get such amgnificent views.
P.S. – Guys if traveling by your own vehicle, be equipped with spares as you will not find any person and workshop for miles. Also there are no phone connections, no light at night.