A sheep jam, picture taken from the bus to Kunzum Pass, 2014

Chandrataal Lake Spiti Valley

Chandrataal Lake Spiti Valley
The moon lake of fairies

On your list of places not to miss, should be the little known Chandrataal Lake, or lake of fairies en-route Kaaza in Spiti Valley. The lake changes colour according to the time of the day and position of the sun, and legend says that all who look upon it are hypnotised by its mystical beauty.

A sheep jam, picture taken from the bus to Kunzum Pass, 2014
A sheep jam, picture taken from the bus to Kunzum Pass, 2014
Where is the lake of fairies?

Altitude: 4,300 m or 14,100 ft

Chandrataal Lake is 6 km from the Kunzum Pass in Spiti and Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh, India.

The narrow road to Kunzum Pass
The narrow road to Kunzum Pass
Route to lake chandrataal
There are two routes to Chandra Taal.
1 From Batal (14 km) Jeep/foot
2 Kunzum Pass (8 km) foot

We will take the second route. Take the government bus (from Manali) to Kunzum Pass. Inform the conductor that you are trekking to Chandra Taal, he will drop you at the closest crossroad. At the crossroad, eat the scrumptious (home food style) lunch of rice, chutney (sauce) and pulses at the only Dhaba (local restaurant) at the pass.

Trek or drive?
Drive: 25 minutes
Walk: 2 hours
With the construction in the mountains improving each year (simultaneously destroying the ecology) you can now drive all the way to Chandra Taal. But where’s the fun in that, eh! If you are on an experimental journey, I strongly recommend that you walk. Yes. Through the endless, freezing, bone numbing wind. I think you should walk. Through the arid plane, where each step takes it out of you. Because, after THIS walk, the tent at the end of your journey awaiting you feels like a five star hotel. Plus, the trek is better to acclimatise for your body, mind and soul.
Best time to visit
June to October. But check for latest updates when you plan your trip.
Kunzum Pass, Spiti Valley
Kunzum Pass, Spiti Valley
More notes
Chandra Taal literally translates as Moon – Lake. 30 km ahead of Chandra Taal lies, Suraj Taal which literally means Sun Lake. You can trek to Suraj Taal from Chandra Taal. The twin lakes are popular among those passionate about trekking, and massive meadows on the banks of Suraj Taal serve as camping sites. At the time of spring, these meadows become lush with a variety of wild flowers.

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