June 2012
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Baralacha-Chandratal Trek – It starts from Manali and ends at Chandratal lake.

The trek to Chandratal, the “Moon Lake” is almost like going to the moon. Baralacha-Chandratal Trek — starts from Manali, ends at Chandratal Lake (“Moon” Lake). The landscape and the scenery change ever so quickly. This turquoise crescent of water is surrounded by the Chandrabhaga & Mulkila Massifs. This moderately difficult trek provides one with an opportunity to get to as high of 4800 m.

One of the most fascinating of these is the Lahoul Valley. This valley is drained by two mighty rivers, the Chandra and the Bhaga. Both start on a 16,000 ft (4,890 m) pass – the Baralacha la – in opposite directions and later join each other. They meet to form the Chenab, which is one of the biggest tributaries of the Indus.
This trek explores the upper reaches of the Chandra river and goes up to its source on the Baralacha la. Here it joins the Manali/Leh highway. The highlight of the trek is Chandra Tal or Moon Lake. This lake lies among the towering peaks and barren beauty of Lahoul.
Highlights of your trek starts from Manali onwards and end up in Manali.

Some Important Information
• Area: Himachal
• Duration: 3 days
• Altitude: 4950 mts / 14300 ft
• Grade: Moderate to Challenging
• Season: July to mid Oct
• Duration :- 2 or 3-day drive, 6 day trek
• Destination :- Manali – Batal – Chandra Tal

What are Trek Highlights?

• This is a moderate four day trek in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
• This leads to the large high altitude Chandra Tal Lake.
• The trek ends at the Baralacha Pass on the Manali-Leh road.
• It is a very popular trek out of Manali.
• It can be extended with another trek or a Jeep Safari to Ladakh.

General Itinerary for this trek is as follows:

1. Manali to Batal (Drive)
• The trip starts from Manali, located at the head of the lush green Kulu valley.
• The road slowly winds its way up the Rohtang Jot (13,124 ft/3,978 m) and enters Lahoul.
• This place is a stark contrast of rugged mountains and fast flowing rivers.
• The road follows the Chandra river upto Batal, a small town located at a crossroads.
• From here, one could continue into the Spiti Valley, an area still closed for trekking.
• Camp is set near the road.

2. Trek Batal to Chandra Tal
• The trek starts on the left bank of the Chandra River.
• After a couple of hours of gentle walking, a large meadow is approached.
• This is a favourite grazing area with a multitude of shepherd’s huts.
• These shepherds come from the Kangra valley.
• It takes them months of travelling with their flocks to get there.
• Two ravines are then crossed, followed by a long stretch of stony ground, crossing a tiny stream.
• This goes up a grassy slope and on to Chandra Tal, where camp is set.

3. At Chandra Tal
• Spend the day exploring the Samundari glacier and the lake’s environs.
• Beyond the lake, rocky crags rose to a height of 2,000 feet and from all sides which are snow-covered peaks.
• The lake itself is a marvel of loveliness.
• It is three-quarters of a mile long and three furlongs in breadth.
• Its colour varies between deep green and greenish blue.

Other Treks of Himachal

• Bhabha Pass Trek
• Bir Bhangal Trek
• Darcha Lamayuru Trek
• Darcha Padum Trek
• Deo Tibba Expedition
• Friendship Peak Expedition
• Hampta Pass
• Indrahar Pass

Trekking routes in Himachal

• Hamta Trek
• Malana History Trek
• Chander Trail in Kullu Valley
• Wild Trek in Kullu Valley
• Dharamsala Chhota Bhangal over sari Pass Kullu
• Morchella trek
• Manali Hamya Herbal Trek
• Kinner Kailash Parikrama
• Hamirpur Deotsidh Sri Naina Devi Trek
• Maidi to Nadaun
• Bharmaur Kugti Udaipur Manali trek

Places of interest in Manali

• Vashishta Temple, Manali
• Hadimba Temple (1 km)
• Manu Temple (2 km)
• Vashishta Temple (3 km)
• Monasteries
• Jagatsukh (6 km)
• Solang Valley (14 km)
• Rohtang Pass
• Jagat sukh
• Arjun Gufa
• Rahala water falls
• Solang valley
• Nehru kund
• Vashist hot water springs and temples
• Mountaineering Institute, Manali
• Tibetan monasteries
• Club house
• Hadimba temple
• Kothi
• Great Himalayan National Park
• Manali sanctury

The sport’s most commonly offered are:
• Fun park near Hidimba temple
• River rafting
• Skiing
• Zorbing
• Trekking
• Snow scootering
• River crossing
• Paragliding
• Rock climbing
• Trekking
• Canyoning
• White water rafting
• Paragliding
• Skiing & snowboarding

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate in Manali is predominantly cold during winters, and moderately cool during summers.
• The temperatures range from 4 °C (39 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) over the year.
• The average temperature during summer is between 14 °C (57 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F), and between ?7 °C (19 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) in the winter.
• Monthly precipitation varies between 31 mm (1.2 in) in November to 217 mm (8.5 in) in July.
• In average, some 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation is received during winter and spring months.
• The average total annual precipitation is 1,363 mm (53.7 in).
• Snowfall in the region, takes place in the month of December.
• It has been delayed over the last fifteen years to January or early February.
• The trek is best in seasons July to mid Oct or Mid July to Mid September.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By Air
• The nearest airport (IATA code KUU) is at Bhuntar town.
• It is situated on NH21 about 50 km (31 mi) south of Manali and 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Kullu town.
• The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport and has more than a kilometre long runway.
• Indian Airlines and some private airlines have regular flights to the airport.
• Chandigarh airport is the nearest large airport.

2. By Road
• Manali can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Chandigarh.
• From there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Kullu towns.
• The road distance from Delhi to Chandigarh is 248 km and from Chandigarh to Manali is 273 km.
• The total distance from Delhi to Manali thus is 521 km (324 mi).

3. By Rail
• Manali is not easily approachable by rail.
• The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Chandigarh (275 km (171 mi)), Pathankot (325 km (202 mi)) and Kalka (310 km (193 mi)).
• The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (135 kilometres (84 mi)).

Some travel books from Amazon about Baralacha-Chandratal Trek

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: India Lonely Planet Indian Himalaya Lonely Planet Trekking in the Indian Himalaya

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at birresorthotel.com
Hotels at holidayiq.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org

Blogs/Sites about Baralacha-Chandratal Trek

Blogs and reviews at tourismhimalaya.com
Blogs at himalayanadventure.com
Blogs and reviews at gourmetindia.com

Images and photos of Baralacha-Chandratal Trek

Images at google.com
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at wikipedia.org

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