My first ever Camping Experience was at the incredibly beautiful Chandratal Lake in Spiti Valley, a Desert Valley, which is the middle land between India and Tibet.
To pitch a tent amidst the magnificent Himalayas in the summer & to sleep under the star lit sky at freezing temperatures is amazing enough, but the campsite at this remote and not so easily accessible Moon Lake guarantees you a trip of a lifetime!
The Chandratal Lake, a sweet water Glacial Lake & the source of the Chandra River is also a designated wetland of international importance, according to the RAMSAR Convention. The Snow Leopard & the Himalayan Fox are believed to be found in the catchment area of the lake, though I wasn’t fortunate enough to catch a glimpse..
You enter Spiti via Kunzum La & it is in June that the Kunzum Pass opens and Spiti Valley becomes accessible by road. Around 7kms from this Mountain Pass is Chandratal. It is customary to pay your respects to the Kunzum Maata on your way, as it is believed that this goddess protects travelers on this tricky terrain.
The Chandratal Lake in all its glory.
This is the first glimpse you get of the lake, at the end of your hike from the campsite.
The walk leading up to it.
And then you reach the lake.
The Chandratal Lake reflects the colour of the sky. This was shot at sunrise, when the lake appears blue.
And, this image here captures the splendid reflections cast on the lake.
As the sun sets, it turns green.
From the minute you get to the lake, an all-consuming sense of peace washes over. Adding to the serenity of the lake are the Buddhist Prayer Flags fluttering in the breeze.
My life changed when I lay eyes for the first time ever on the mighty Himalayas. Their sheer magnificence is humbling. So, it is but natural that the experience of spending time at this pristine lake among the mountain ranges totally transports you to another time and place.
Manali > Rohtang La > Gramphoo > Batal > Kunzum La > Chandratal.
We left from Manali early morning & it was by evening that we reached Chandratal. After a slight delay at a roadblock on the Rohtang Pass due to a landslide, we made quick stops for breakfast & lunch at Gramphoo and Batal. Then the mandatory stop at the Temple on Kunzum Pass & we were at Chandratal, just in time for the setting sun.