The Chandratal is a lake surrounded by pretty snow capped mountain peaks. It situated at an altitude of some 4300m in Lahual & Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Like Pangong Tso, this one has its own charm. The lake is accessible through Batal by road which is 14kms away from the camp site. We planned to trek from Kunzum la to Chandratal but as a friend had an AMS while climbing Kanamo peak, we changed our mind. So we caught HRTC to Manali and had decided to try hitch hike from Batal. When we reached Kunzum la, we heard two locals talking about lake so we asked them. They were going to the lake from there. And in a moment, we decided to join them. We had a chai and filled up the bottles. We started after 12:30pm. There is a signboard for trekking trail. The trek is not the hardest one, but will surely demand the fitness and good amount of energy. The first stretch of about 40 minutes was kind of uphill only. We had a rucksack with filled with trekking gears. And the sun was up so felt tiredsome at some points. But whenever I looked around,I had actually feel that I was in
the middle of the no-where! We didn’t meet a single soul throughout the trek. There were only four of us. One of them was a shepherd and the other person was having a camp site at the lake.
At moment you will be greeted with the glaciers views all aound and the trail was changing its color to red.
The shepherd man helped me to carry my rucksack. After an hour, we had a break of few minutes. From there, CB13 and CB14 peak (Dhaka glacier) were clearly seen. They showed us and told the story of a plane crash that happened 40 years ago. We shared our snacks with them and had many conversations about both the states. The Chandrabhaga river was streaming on the left side down the hill. Again we started to trek, the trail was downhill from there. Also we met an herder and the shepherd bhaiya showed us his skills! He just whistled in such a way all the sheeps and the horses left their herder and came behind him. I was awestruck! The campsite was visible but it looked still so far. Then these man got us through the shortcut and that was totally steep till the site!
They were just running over it easily but we got so conscious that it took a time to get down. Later, shepherd bhaiya taught me how to run on that slope! And then, I ran down the stretch by myself! And shepherd was-“Ab aao koi bi pahaad chad skte ho yaha! Aap to pahadi ban gaye!” But the friend was struggling through that loose gravel slope. He was just taking each step too carefully. I kept on looking at the steepness then. Never had I ever run like that in my life and so was still in a muse. Around 3:30pm, we reached the campsite and we pitched the tent and had a maggi. And then we started to walk towards the lake. It was cold and getting windy. The lake was still like 5kms away as we pitched our tent in front area only. We tried to take a lift but a failed attempt. I just went to the lake alone as Keyur was too tired to walk 4kms uphill. So I walked alone.
And as the sun was setting up, all the glacier peaks were shining amazing. And I felt like I was seeing every rainbow colors in those mountains. How they looked different by the time! It was just so calm, I couldn’t tell. Peace had replaced the tiredness when I had the first look of the lake.
Tranquil moments I had in Spiti. Visited the lake and sat there without zero thoughts going on in my mind. The sun had set and then I returned to the campsite back. It took half and hour due to descend and I was trying running thing that shepherd man had taught me. I was glad that I trekked from Kunzum rather going from Batal. The trek was more picturesque than I had imagined. I was numb with the happiness in the cold. The sunsets are generally windy and sunrises has the calm weather. So, that’s how our trek cum trip to Spiti got an end! With so many memories that we made with the heartwarming people of Spiti.