Chandratal, often spelled Chandra Taal, is a high-altitude lake that may be found in Himachal Pradesh, India, in the Spiti Valley. It is renowned for its scenic beauty and crystal clear waters and is located at an elevation of around 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) above sea level.
Its crescent shape gave it the name “Chandra Taal” (Chandra means moon and Taal means lake in Hindi). The lake has no apparent water source; it is nourished by runoff from the nearby mountains. Since it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, adventure seekers frequently trek there.
The elder of the Pandava brothers, Yudhishthira, is thought to have been scooped up and transported to heaven at Chandratal, which the locals likewise revere as a sacred location. The lake is open to visitors from May to October, but June to September is the greatest time to go because the temperature is milder and the lake is easier to access because the snow has gone.
Why famous Chandra Tal
For its magnificent natural beauty and picturesque surroundings, Chandratal is renowned. The lake’s remoteness and relative accessibility add to its appeal as a vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. A photographer’s dream, the lake’s crystal-clear waters reflect the nearby snow-capped hills and beautiful skies.
Among the locals, Chandratal is renowned for its spiritual significance. The lake is revered and is thought to be the location where Yudhishthira was taken to heaven by Lord Indra’s chariot. Many visitors find the lake to be more appealing because of this spiritual link.
Additionally, Chandratal is a well-liked hiking location and is included in several Spiti Valley trekking routes. It takes three to four days to finish the moderately difficult to extremely arduous journey to Chandratal. The walk is a unique opportunity for adventure lovers and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan scenery.
How to reach Chandratal
Due to its remoteness and elevation, getting to Chandratal Lake can be a little difficult. The following are the most typical ways to contact Chandratal:
By Road: Manali, the town that is closest to Chandratal, has good road connections to important cities like Chandigarh and Delhi. To go to Batal, which is located about 115 kilometers from Manali, one can take a taxi or rent a private vehicle from Manali. Chandratal can be reached by hiking for 14 kilometers from Batal.
Trekking is the most common method of getting to Chandratal. The walk begins in Batal and lasts for roughly 4-5 hours. The walk is doable by both expert and inexperienced hikers because of its modest difficulty. The walk is a memorable one thanks to the trail’s breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
By Bike: Only 4-wheel drive vehicles are permitted to use the poorly maintained road leading to Chandratal. However, some thrill seekers like riding a bike to get to Chandratal. From Manali, one can rent a bike and travel to Batal. One can leave their bike at Batal and hike to Chandratal.
It’s crucial to remember that the route to Chandratal is only open from May to September, subject to weather. Additionally, the high altitude has the potential to produce altitude sickness, so it is advised to thoroughly acclimate before hiking to Chandratal.
Best time to visit Chandratal
The summer months of June to September are ideal for visiting Chandratal because the weather is generally pleasant, the snow has melted, and the lake is now accessible.
During this time, the daytime highs vary from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius, and the lows are around 5 degrees Celsius. This time of year is ideal for visiting Chandratal because of the brilliant blue skies and the lush vegetation.
There may be sporadic rain and landslides during the monsoon season (July to September), which could interfere with travel plans. As a result, it is wise to check the weather before making travel arrangements for Chandratal.
It’s vital to keep in mind that Chandratal is located at a high altitude, where the weather can change quickly—even in the middle of summer.
Therefore, even if you intend to travel there in the summer, it is still advisable to bring warm clothing, rain gear, and appropriate trekking gear. Before hiking to Chandratal, it’s also a good idea to properly acclimatize, especially if you’re not used to being at high elevations.
The nearest place is Chandra Tal
The distant and thinly inhabited Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, is where Chandratal is situated. You can travel to these adjacent locations with Chandratal:
Kunzum Pass: Situated at an altitude of roughly 4,590 meters (15,060 feet) above sea level, Kunzum Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass. The panoramic splendor and vistas of the snow-capped mountains are what make this location, which is roughly 15 kilometers from Chandratal, so popular.
A well-known Buddhist monastery called Key Monastery is about 65 kilometers away from Chandratal. One of the biggest monasteries in the Spiti Valley, it is located at a height of roughly 4,166 meters (13,668 feet) above sea level.
Small town Kaza: Kaza is around 75 kilometers away from Chandratal. The Spiti Valley’s administrative center, it is renowned for its historic monasteries, picturesque landscape, and trekking options.
Tabo: About 100 kilometers from Chandratal is the little town of Tabo. It is well-known for its historic Tabo Monastery, one of the world’s oldest continuously operating Buddhist monasteries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chandratal can be combined with any of these locations for a comprehensive exploration of the Spiti Valley, each of which offers a distinctive cultural and environmental experience.
There aren’t many places to stay in Chandratal because of its distant location. Travelers who want to stay close to Chandratal do have a few options, though:
Campgrounds: There are a number of campgrounds close to Chandratal that provide tents and other simple necessities like food, drink, and restrooms. Typically, these campgrounds are only open from June through September during the summer.
Homestays: A few homestays that provide simple lodging and food are located in the surrounding villages of Batal and Kunzum. Travelers who wish to get a taste of the culture and way of life in the area can consider staying at a homestay.
Guesthouses: About 75 kilometers from Chandratal, in the nearby town of Kaza, there are a few guesthouses. Travelers who want to explore the Spiti Valley region may find these guesthouses to be an excellent alternative as they provide simple lodging and meals.
It’s crucial to remember that there aren’t many places to stay close to Chandratal, so planning ahead is recommended, especially during the busiest time of year. Additionally, due to the area’s high altitude and variable weather, it’s important to pack warm clothing and the appropriate trekking gear.
What is Chandratal?
Chandratal, also known as the Moon Lake, is a high-altitude lake located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It’s situated at an altitude of about 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) above sea level and is known for its scenic beauty and crystal-clear blue waters.
How do I reach Chandratal?
Chandratal is located in a remote location, and reaching it can be a bit challenging. The nearest town to Chandratal is Manali, which is well-connected by road to major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. From Manali, one can take a taxi or hire a private vehicle to reach Batal, which is about 115 kilometers away from Manali. From Batal, one can trek for about 14 kilometers to reach Chandratal.
What is the best time to visit Chandratal?
The best time to visit Chandratal is during the summer months from June to September when the weather is relatively mild, and the snow has melted, making the lake accessible. The clear blue skies and the lush greenery make this period the perfect time to visit Chandratal.
Is it safe to trek to Chandratal?
Trekking to Chandratal is safe, but it’s essential to acclimatize oneself properly before trekking to Chandratal, especially if you’re not used to high altitudes. Additionally, it’s advisable to carry warm clothing, rain gear, and proper trekking equipment, even if you plan to visit during the summer months.
What are some nearby places to visit along with Chandratal?
Some nearby places that you can visit along with Chandratal are Kunzum Pass, Key Monastery, Kaza, and Tabo. All of these places offer a unique cultural and natural experience and can be visited to explore the Spiti Valley region.
What are the accommodation options near Chandratal?
Accommodation options near Chandratal are limited, and there are a few campsites, homestays, and guesthouses available. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.