Visited date during Lahaul & Spiti valley trip: 18th July 2013
About the place:
- Kunzum Pass: Kunzum Pass (Tibetan: Kunzum La, (el. 4,590 m or 15,060 ft), is a high mountain pass on the eastern Kunzum Range of the Himalayas some 122 km (76 mi) from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley and Lahul Valley with the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is on the route to kaza the subdivisional headquarters of spiti valley. There is also a 14 km trek to the moon lake of the Chandratal from the kunzum pass.
- Chandertal Lake: ChandraTaal (meaning the Lake of the Moon), or Chandra Tal, is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) in the Himalayas. Mountains of scree overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. The name of the lake originates from its crescent shape. Situated in the Spiti part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh (India), Chandra Taal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. The lake is accessible on foot from Batal as well as from Kunzum Pass from late May to early October. There is also a motorable road from Batal which is 16 km (9.9 mi) away from Chandra Taal, but before August, its condition can be bad. The road from Kunzum Pass is accessible only on foot, and it is about 8 km (5.0 mi) from Chandra Taal.
Day in brief:
It was time to explore Lahaul valley of Lahaul & Spiti district. Kunzum pass & Chandertal lake come under Lahaul valley and we can cover these places on the way to Manali.
All of us wake up early and freshen up. Our driver Sachin with his Tata sumo came at our guest house at 6:15 AM. 5 of us along with guide Prem Dorji and driver sachin started towards Manali at 6:30 AM from Kaza. We all started early, it will give us opportunity to cover Kunzum Pass, Chendertal Lake and Rohtang Pass on the way.
After nearly 3 hours of journey, reached Kunzum pass around 9:30 AM. On the way, had our breakfast at Losar. It was amazing drive through the Spiti valley with breathtaking views and crossing handful number of villages of Lahaul & Spiti district.
After spending 1 hour at Kunzum pass, we all moved towards Chandertal lake. It was 14 Kms. of distance but roads are very narrow. A experienced Himalayan driver can drive on these roads without any issue. It was jeep trail which took us to Chandertal lake.
Note: Once we go down from Kunzum pass, after 5 Kms. we will get board mentioning directions for Batal (Left) and Chandertal Lake(Right). From this point, Chandertal lake will be 14 Kms. (Jeepable distance is 12.5 Kms. rest we have to walk till the lake).
Around 11:30 AM, All of us reached Chandertal lake. It was breathtaking view all the way and lake is full of water.
Lake is very huge in size and moon shaped. No words enough to describe beauty of the lake. Absolutely Magnificent!!! We walked by the lake and it was nearly 4 Kms. of trek for us. Captured beauty of the lake with backdrop of Himalayan range of hills in our cameras. Took plenty of photos. After spending nearly 2 hours at lake with unforgettable memories, all of us left for Batal.
Had our lunch at Batal in small dhaba and moved towards Manali at 3:30 PM.
Note: Batal is small village with 2 dhabas and 1 guest house otherwise nothing else in this place.
According Dhaba owner, they will move to Manali during winter when place is covered with snow (From November to mid April, this place is fully covered with snow and no one lives here).
Drama at Kaza – Manali highway:
It was 5:00 PM and everything going right for us as per plan. Suddenly all of us encountered with one new problem on the road. It was only incident which we faced during our Himachal Pradesh exploration.
On these roads, we can witness plenty of streams with water falling from the top. These water will come on roads and flow towards Chandra river. 2 such huge streams will be witnessed during the journey and crossing these streams is mammoth job for the driver. In one of the stream, a tourist vehicle(Toyota Innova) carrying american citizens was stuck and couldn’t come up. All of us worried but GOD is great!!! After lot of circus with help of localides, vehicle has been put to side and road was cleared at 6:30 PM. A 90 minutes wasted that gave us Rohtang pass a miss. Our plan is to reach Manali by 9:00 PM, due to drama at Kaza – Manali highway that also got delayed 🙁
Few pictures of the drama:
Reached Manali by 11:00 PM and had our dinner. Pratap already called Uttam and booked 2 rooms for us at Mamta guest house. Reached guest house at 12:00 AM and slept.
Distance from Kaza to Manali: 201 Kms.
Distance from Kunzum pass to Manali: 172 Kms.
Main attractions during the day:
- Breathtaking views
- Spiti and Chandra river
- Spiti villages such as Rangarika, Sumaling, Losar, Hamsa, Batal etc.
- We can visit Kunzum Pass, Chandertal Lake and Rohtang Pass.
- N numbers of streams passing on the road for most of the journey.