Road tip to Chandratal Lake in Lahauul Spiti Valley of High Himalaya

Chandratal Lake: Stunning Natural Beauty In High Himalayas

Awesome and beautiful Chandratal Lake!

Awesome & beautiful Chandratal Lake!

Serendipity is an awesome word in Dictionary and it has a lot many metaphors.  For an explorer it’s the dream word which gives “kick” and such happenstance defines the purpose of traveling. But for me, after completing Spiti Valley via Shimla Kaza, Serendipity came alive in the form of  Chandratal Lake in Lahaul Devision of Himachal Pradesh.

Why I say so because when I was planning for Spiti Trip, Lahaul was not in my original plan as I finalized for Delhi Kaza to & fro via Shimla due to low ground clearance of my car. But as we were moving closure to the Kaza, people we met en route encouraged us to do full circuit and thus we crossed mighty Kunzum Pass and landed at Chandratal base station at the fag-end of our Spiti circuit. But story doest become a case for serendipity here as even after reaching this place which was only 4 KM from the Chandratal lake I was not willing to trek down to Chandratal Lake from base station because of two reasons, first as I was already a day late so wanted to leave early next day so that I could reach Delhi in time which was some 750 KM from Chandrataal Campsite and second I wasn’t willing to do this natural beauty in a hush-hush manner. But then again, many people at Base Station suggested, forced & encouraged us to do this and their vivid description of the lake made us finally to do it. And thus next day after spending a night at -6 degree we woke up at 6 AM and we did it as we were destined to do it. So, you would agree, I could witness this beauty only with serendipity at my side.

Chandratal which literally means moon shaped lake (Chandra means moon & tal means lake in Hindi) is situated at a height of 4270 meters and 8 KMs away from the Kunzum Pass in Spiti & Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh, India and lies between a low himalyan ridge and the main Kunzum range. Boasting of a circumference of about 3 KMs, the crystal clear water of Chandra Tal Lake is one of the source of the violent Chandra river.

After 6 days of road tripping from Delhi to Spiti Valley, we reached the base station of Chandratal after crossing over Kunzum Pass. 12 KM detour to Chandratal from Kunzum-Manali main road was literally the deadliest road that i covered in last 6 days. This so called “the road” is actaully a walking treck that has been widened to make it somehow motorable. On the wheels, i was literally sitting straight and manoeuvering between all-pervasive boluders/rocks & crumbly edges. I was really lucky to have done this steep inclines successfully with My Ford Figo driving at around 13000  ft. It’s almost like an off driving experience that too in high Himalayas.

Chandratal, ROad Trip, Spiti, Lahaul, Himachal

Road to Chandratal

We stayed with Parasol Camping which is located 4 KM from Chandratal Lake and undoubtedly its the best campsite near Chandratal with all the amenities and run by awesome team of Mr. Bishen Thakur.

Near Chandratal, we camped at -6 degree temperature!

Near Chandratal, we camped at -6 degree temperature!

An evening at Parasol Camps: Best ever campfire

An evening at Parasol Camps: Best ever campfire

Chandtratal, Spiti, Lahaul, Roadtrip, Kunzum

View from Campsite

After a lot of self cajoling, we finally decided to go to Chandratal next morning with a strict timeline of 2 hours for the lake. After spending my first ever night in sub-zero temperature at the base camp, we had to struggle a lot to get up and move out of layers of quilt and blanket.

It’s a 2 KM drive up to Parking area and then a 20 min trek to the lake site. The first glimpse of this Lake was serendipitously beautiful for me. I found a romantic aura around it which simply and lovingly took me into its embrace and the warmth of this embrace changed every minute.

First look of Chandratal as we trekking down to this place

First look of Chandratal as we trekking down to this place

We reached their 20 mins prior to sunrise and was stunned with the reflection of snow-capped mountain on the water. But the real beauty and the expanse of this beauty was before us only when sun peeped out and thus the riot of the color were out making this lake an immense and nonpareil beauty. Every minute with rising sun throwing its rays on the large canvas of this lake, the reflections on the water changes color, hue and vibrancy.

Chnadratal right before Sun rise

Chandratal right before Sun rise

This magnificent lake, truly, celebrates the surprises and uniqueness that natures carved for a traveler. to offer to travelers. Being a Picean, water in any form attracts me ocean always enthrall me with its mighty vastness but when I sit next to any lake it imparts a distinct calmness and stillness in me which lasts longer compelling me never to get up.

Enchantingly engrossing beauty that exudes from this lake makes you not to leave this place ever and live there forever. I literally wanted to spend a complete day here so that I could capture every hue and color of this lake and the reflections it creats, but had to part ways from this stunning place with a promise to come back soon.

Golden Hour Photographs of Chandratal Lake

Make up your mind to get astonished, amused and overwhelmed by few incredible photographs of the Chandratal Lake that would take your breath away:


IMG_4907IMG_4906 IMG_4909 IMG_4926Chandratal Lake, Laha

And today, when I am back and going through photographs, I feel Chandratal is the ultimate reward bestowed by Mother Nature on me for the efforts I put in to complete the Spiti Circuit. Yes indeed, after covering 1100 KM in rugged and tough Himalayan Roads, I could not have asked for more. Getting photographed next to Chandratal is the trophy that vouches for my efforts and spirit full of madness and adventure.



How to Reach Chandratal Lake

Road tripping is the only way to reach and there are two possible routes by road:

Route 1: Delhi-Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur-Powari-Nako-Tabo-Kaza-Losar-Kunzum-Chandratal

Route 2: Delhi-Chandigarh-Manali-Rohtang Top-Gramphu-Batal-Chandratal


Where to Stay near Chandratal Lake:

Parasol Camps & Retreat run by Mr. Bishen Thakur. He and his team were the most efficient campsite managers. Bishen’s all-embracing behaviour was really heart touching. He can be reached at +91 94188 45817, +91  94599 10098, +91 1906 200204 or

WithMr. Bishen Thakur

With Mr. Bishen Thakur of Parasol Camps


Related Posts

30 Black & White Images Of Spiti Valley

Quick View: Self Drive Road Trip to Spiti Valley, Himachal, India


If you feel motivated, please share this blog post with your loved ones so that they can break the mundane cycle of everyday life and explore the world.



64 thoughts on “Chandratal Lake: Stunning Natural Beauty In High Himalayas

  1. Sreejith Nair says:

    Such a nice read … and no words to describe the beauty of these images 🙂

    I think, this is one place, no image could do justice, something to be experienced by being there, right?

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post 🙂

    • Himanshu says:

      Thanks for dropping by.
      Ha ha… so true. But i had to pass many ordeal on my Ford Figo before i could c this heavenly beauty. 🙂
      But i went thru your blog and loved the stunning pics of chandratal and spiti. Its always beautiful.

  2. Revati Victor says:

    I’ve always written off Chandratal as one of those usual India travel list items that literally anyone and everyone has been to. But now I can see and understand the reason for its popularity! Looks like a wonderful place!

  3. Andapo says:

    In the end there is bit of small typo mistakes but otherwise strong spirits here on how awesome and “Serendipity” feeling the lake was for you… I imagined that drive you took to reach it on the mud road and before that you going away to Kaza and Dehli but chance had it fellow travellers suggested you to check out this lake… well lovely… It’s simple joy to know that pureless and goodness and virgin beauty exites in this world where most lovely natural things have lost their aura and charm and it’s a blessing you got to check all that out, somethng you should cherish lifetime(: … I will come back to read abot this road trip for sure… goodday

    • Himanshu says:

      Thanks for dropping by and your feedback. You are so true.. i would certainly cherish every bit of this trip forever. Look forward to c u again and soon.

  4. Megan Claire (@mappingmegan) says:

    Your photos are, as always, spectacular. I’ve long since given myself over to the fact that the world often has a bigger plan for what we’ll end up doing or seeing. It’s funny how often some of the best laid plans don’t always go according to plan, and often the last minute additions to an itinerary or spur of the moment decisions end up being the highlight of a trip!

    • Himanshu says:

      Wooohoo… i feel great when a senior blogger like you appreciates. Thaks alot.
      Indeed, and for this reason i love self drive road trip so that i hv freedom.

  5. carrieemann says:

    Wow this sounds like an amazing adventure! Your photos are stunning. I just can’t imagine camping at -6 degrees. Sounds like it was worth it (and looks like you had a lot of blankets), but still — so cold!

  6. Linda de Beer says:

    To me, mountains and lakes equals serendipity. Your entire trip to Chandratal Lake looks awesome. I really hope I will be able to travel there myself one day. The camping with Parasol Camps is a great accommodation option that fits into the environment.

  7. Chris Bloomfield says:

    Sometimes you gotta take the advice of other travelers and locals. I am glad you did because the pictures are amazing and you enjoyed it so much. -6 degrees sound so cold! The camp looks awesome though and well worth the cold nights.

  8. Efthimis Kragaris says:

    I would definitely camp and hike (something I am not used to do) to get there and enjoy this breathtaking view. The reflections on the water of lake Chandratal make your photographs truly stunning.

  9. Rhonda Albom says:

    You captured some awesome views. With scenery like that, you must be happy that you listened to everyone that told you to trek to Chandrataal Lake. The cold sunrise must have been awesome

  10. Ash says:

    Great camping adventure you had there. Even at -6 deg. I’m sure you had a wonderful time being surrounded by nature. I love the lakes providing perfect mirror images of the mountains. The place even with the absence of trees looks gorgeous.

  11. Meg Jerrard says:

    Definitely sounds like a serendipitous moment! Chandra Tal Lake truly is magnificent – it sounds like cold camping to experience it – but so worth it! The reflections are seriously stunning – good decision to get out there for the sunrise photography!

  12. Vicky and Buddy says:

    Ah, serendipity is one of my favorite words! And what an amazing trip you had. Your photos are incredible. The universe definitely wanted you to see that beautiful lake!

Leave a Reply