Chandra Tal, which means moon lake is located at an altitude of 4300 m above sea level in Spiti Valley, just 6 km towards west of Kunjam Pass. Chandratal lake is 2.5 km wide in circumference and takes about 4 hours to cover the entire distance. One very mysterious thing about this lake is that there is no visible source of water in this lake, however it is possible that water to this lake comes from underground. This freshwater lake is very popular with the tourists and campers coming to this place from all across the world. The shape of the lake is crescent in the shape of a moon and thus the name.
How to reach Chandertal Lake
Chandertal is situated at a distance of 123 km from Manali, District Kullu. One can either hire a taxi or travel on the HRTC bus. There are two ways to reach the lake. If you are travelling on the HRTC bus, you can get down either at Batal or Kunzum Pass. From Batal one can trek up to the lake covering a distance of 14 km; whereas from Kunzom pass the trek is slightly arduous covering a distance of 8 km. You can also reach the lake directly in a hired jeep/taxi. About 2 kms from Batal bridge there is a narrow road that goes to the left and goes directly to Chandertal which is 14 km from there. I feel this road has spoiled the charm of the beautiful lake.
Chandra Taal is also a favorite halting-place for the shepherds who come from far away places like Chamba/Bharmour regions. Alpine vegetation and rich grass grow during the summer and the shepherds come to graze their flock of sheep and goats in these meadows.
chandertal lake in himachal pradesh
Chandratal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. The vast flowerbed meadows on the banks of the lake are the camping sites. From Chandertal one can trek to Baralacha la and onward to Suraj Tal and further onward to Ladakh and Zanskar. The Chandra Tal to Bara Lacha trek can be done in 3 days. On the first day you trek from Chandra Taal to Tokpo Gongma covering a distance of approx 15 km in 8 hours. The second day trek from Tokpo Gongma to Tokpo Yongma takes 6 to 7 hours covering a total distance of 10 to 12 km. The third day trek is from Tokpo Yongma to Bara Lacha and takes 5 hours. Once, you reach the Manali-Leh highway, you can further trek 5 km and reach Sarchu. After a hot meal, you can decide either to return back to Manali or to further proceed towards Ladakh or Zanskar.
How to reach Chandratal Lake
The Chandra Taal lake can only be reached road. There are two routes for coming to Chandratal Lake, the Delhi-Manali route or the Simla-Kinnaur-Spiti Valley route.
Delhi to Manali route to reach Chandratal Lake
There is frequent bus service from Delhi to Manali. One can easily reach Manali from Delhi or from Chandigarh. There are innumerable buses run by HRTC, Punjab Roadways and even Haryana Roadways as well as private buses. Bookings can be done online. After resting a day or two in Manali, one can take and HRTC bus from Manali or a taxi for Chandertal and get down either at Batal or Kunzum Pass. From Batal one can trek up to the lake covering a distance of 14 km; whereas from Kunzom pass the trek is slightly arduous covering a distance of 8 km.
Simla-Kinnaur-Spiti Valley route to Chandratal Lake
In this route, one can take bus from Delhi or Chandigarh, and reach reach Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. From Simla/Narkanda there are buses for Reckong Peo, the headquarters of Kinnaur district. From Reckong Peo, you take a bus for Kaza and get down at Kunzum Pass from where Chandratal lake is about 9 km trek.
How to reach Manali by air
The nearest airport is located at Bhuntar, which is about 55 kms from Manali. Cabs and taxis are easily available from the airport for Manali.
How to reach Manali by train
Chandigarh and Ambala are the nearest cities connected by train. From there one can take bus or taxi to reach Manali.
During winters the weather in Chandertal can be extremely cold. The chandertal temperatures can plummet upto minus 20 degrees and the place is cut off for tourists. Summers can however be pleasant with lush green meadows and flowers. This is the right tome to come to this beautiful place.
Best Time to visit Chandratal Lake
During summers, June onwards, Chandertal is a place out of this world with lush green meadows, wild flowers growing everywhere, streams and breathtaking views all around. This is the right to come to this beautiful place.