Chandra Tal - Lake Trip FAQs

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Chandra Tal, Spiti Valley, Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, 175140
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Listing ID: 20159088
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Chandra Tal is a high-altitude lake located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is also famous for its other names, Chandra Lake or Moon Lake, derived from the lake's crescent-like moon shape. The lake is situated at a height of about 4300 meters, above sea level, turning it into one of the highest lakes in the region. Chandra Tal is considered one of the most beautiful lakes to exist, surrounded with the breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and desert and later with vast meadows, and flowers during spring. The lake offers a crystal clear reflection of the landscape around it and changes color parallel to the sky. Attracting numerous photographers, adventure lovers, and nature admirers the lake is a marvelous gift of mother earth bestowed in the laps of the Himalayas. The lake, for most of the year, continues to be frozen due to its high altitude. Crossing rugged roads and mountains with a zeal for the sight of the lake, the journey to Chandra Tal is an adventure in itself with the final destination of the majestic lake, which is worth the thrill.

Apart from being a visual delight, Chandra Tal also holds major cultural and religious significance among the local inhabitants. It is counted as the place where Lord Indra descended on his chariot to take Yudhisthir, the eldest Pandav, to heaven in his mortal form, making it a sacred region. The folklore famous here also revolves around the love story of Chandra the Moon God's daughter and Bhaga the Sun God's son, not able to reunite because of the disapproval of their parents, and decided to elope and meet at the Baralacha La where they first met. Chandra reached a bit earlier than Bhaga and upon not seeing him returned and passed the Kunzum La, while heading back she met Bhaga at Tandi and their marriage took place at the holy Chandrabhaga river which is believed to be named after them.

Another tale famous is about a shepherd who used to play flute near the lake and was mesmerized by the melodious tune, a fairy emerged from the lake and met him, and after several meetings both fell in love eventually. Later the shepherd proposed to the fairy for marriage, despite him already being married. The fairy agreed to the marriage with a condition, that the shepherd cannot reveal their marriage to anyone, if he does so, the fairy will disappear leaving him. They both got married and the condition was fulfilled by the shepherd, until many years later when he had an argument with his first wife, in a fit of rage he revealed his marriage with the fairy, breaking the promise. The then-pregnant fairy gave birth to a child and after the promise got broken, as mentioned she disappeared and never returned, with the child being raised by the shepherd. This story is the fuel to the belief of the locals, of fairies visiting the lake at night.

What is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit is from June to September, the rest of the year there is intensely cold and freezing weather with snowfall all over.

How to reach Chandra Tal?

By Road - Once reaching Manali, one can hire a taxi or a private vehicle from any local vendor.

The other way is to board an HRTC bus from Manali to Kaza, and from there hire a taxi to visit the Chandra Tal Lake.

How to checklist the journey to Chandra Tal?

You can reach the lake either by trekking from Batal, Kaza a distance of 14 km, or trekking to the lake, starting from the nearest parking lot of Chandra Tal.

Is there any permit required?

 You need to obtain an e-pass through online to enter the District of Lahaul and Spiti Valley per vehicle. There will also be a requirement of the Rohtang Pass permit per vehicle, if you are coming to Chandra Tal via Manali from Rohtang Pass, for foreigners and Indians both. Do carry a passport for foreigners, ID proof, passport-size photographs, and a xerox of the permit, in case needed.

Who should visit Chandra Tal?

  • Adventure enthusiasts
  • Photographers
  • Nature lovers
  • Looking for a camping or picnic trip away from the noise and pollution of the cities.
  • People who like cold weather or winter
  • Travel buffs/ Solo travelers/ Backpackers

Who should not visit the Chandra Tal?

  • People who can't walk much
  • Children below the age of 12 and old citizens
  • Have respiratory sickness or aquaphobia
  • Intolerant to cold temperatures
  • Luxury seekers 
  • Looking for a vibrant nightlife

What to do at Chandra Tal?

  • Trekking / Camping
  • Enjoy with your friends and family under the view of a starry night.
  • Enjoy the sparkling view of the lake with clear reflections.
  • Record and capture cinematic shots and videos.
  • Catch the sight of the Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass and also the glaciers between them.
  • Have an adventurous road trip nearby the lake for the thrill junkies.
  • Witness the picturesque snow-capped peaks and desert.

What is the climate there?

Chandra Tal experiences a cold atmosphere throughout the year varying in temperature. In summer it can range from 12°C to 5°C, in monsoon from 10°C to 3°C and in winter from 10°C to as low as  -20°C. In summer it's a pleasant delight with a clear sky above and a crystal view of the lake, in monsoon, the area around can suffer landslide or can become slippery and snowy. In winter the only thing seen will be snow all around covering the mountain peaks and the desert while leaving the lake frozen. 

What kind of mobile network is available?

There won't be any network available.

What should I carry with me while visiting?

  • Carry your medicines, water, food, essentials, warm clothes, and comfortable shoes. 
  • You can also carry your tent if you want to have a camp.
  • Bring gadgets like drones and DSLRs to capture cinematic and panoramic pictures and videos.
  • Keep cash with yourself as there are no ATMs available.
  • Carry the necessary documents such as ID proof, passport-size photographs, etc.

Where to stay?

There are some designated camps available for a stay, and if you want, you can have and pitch your own tent.

What to eat at Chandra Tal?

There are no restaurants or hotels situated at Chandra Tal so carry your eatables with you just in case you need anything to eat.

How much cash should I carry?

You can carry 1000 Rs - 1500 Rs, which will be sufficient. If you plan on booking a tent then the charges can vary.

How to drive and the condition of the road?

You need to drive with caution such as wearing seat belts or helmets if riding a bike, with less speed, as the roads are unfavorable with off-road conditions, rocky formations, rough patches, bumps, and uneven passages.  

Where to park the vehicle?

You can park your vehicle at Batal, Camping Site, and commence a trek of 14 km to the lake, or at the nearest Chandra Tal parking lot available at the lake itself.

What are the problems tourists may face?

  • Altitude sickness
  • Unavailability of petrol pumps and ATMs
  • Less to negligible amount of contact with people
  • Extremely cold or freezing weather
  • Respiration problems
  • Unavailability of water and food

What are the safety measures to be taken?

  • There are no facilities available so keep your medicines, water, edibles, and all the necessary essentials handy.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Wear and carry warm clothes due to the cold temperatures.
  • Have all your important documents, contacts, and information stored accessibly or either on your phones offline.
  • Don’t necessarily rely on google maps and routes as the actual journey can take more time than mentioned, so plan your itinerary accordingly.
  • Find a place to stay or intact your tent before dusk.

What not to do at Chandra Tal?

  • Don't pollute or litter the environment of and around the lake.
  • Don't run or walk too fast on the roads, it can cause injury as the roads are uneven.
  • Don't smoke or consume alcohol, it can affect your breathing at higher altitude regions.
  • The lake is only for sightseeing and not to dip or have a bath.
  • Don't disrespect the values and beliefs of the natives.
  • Don’t overexert yourself, as it can cause health problems.
  • Don't try crossing the protected area as it's strictly prohibited by the forest department.
How many days will be enough for sightseeing?

One day is enough for sightseeing at Chandra Tal Lake.

What is the best way for sightseeing?

Walking is the best way for exploring this beautiful lake, and the mountains and desert that adjoin it. You must visit the lake during the morning or daylight as in the night the weather temperature goes down making it extremely cold and freezing. Camping is prohibited by the government, so if you want to have a camping experience make sure to pitch your tent almost 3-5 km away from the shores of the lake.

Where is the Tourist Information Office? 

Himachal Tourist Information Center, Manu Market, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175101

Which are the nearest Hospitals?

There are no hospital amenities available at this destination, hence it's advisable to have your medical kit with you in case of any emergency. One of the first hospitals you will come through after an almost distance of 125km is - BTC Kullu Valley Hospital, Baragran, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175129

Which is the nearest police station?

This destination is a raw and rugged, tourist and trekking attraction to visit, therefore the available police station is also nearly 90 km far.

  • Police Station, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh 172114

Who to contact if you are in trouble?

You can contact the police station in Kaza, the local people, or the tourist department in Manali.

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