Chandratal

Chandratal is a spectacular sweet water lake, located in the midst of dry arid landscape of Spiti. The lake is in the shape of a half moon and aptly called as Chandratal (Moon Lake). The water is crystal clear, and boasts of different shades of blue as the day progresses. Chandratal is the source of Chandra river, which later confluences with Bhaga to form Chandra-Bhaga and is later on called the Chenab as it continues its journey into Pakistan.

Chandra-Tal:

Even thought Chandratal is situated at an altitude of about 4200 mts, one can leisurely walk around the entire lake, whose circumference of about 3 kms, in about 2-3 hours. The main camp sites, which are located about 2 kms away from the lake were crowded and one definitely gets the feeling that this spectacular landscape is slowly getting commercialised. When we visited the lake in the late afternoon / evening, we saw such huge crowds and were wondering about the impact of so many humans on this fragile eco system.

Drive to Chandratal from Batal is about 14 kms and is one of the most narrowest on the entire journey. It is a spectacular drive along the Chandra river, with Chandrabagha range on once side of the river and the road on which we were traveling on the other side. The road from the campsite to the actual lake was even more hair-raising.

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The tallest snow covered peak behind the Chandratal is Chandrabhaga-14. I guess they could not come up with a name, but named the peak sequentially along with the name of the valley.

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We stayed in tents that night and it was one of the coldest nights of the entire trip. Could not sleep the entire night, because of the cold and the altitude. But the sheer beauty of Chandratal and its surroundings more than made up for the loss of a nights sleep.

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Due to the high altitude and lack of sleep, many from our group were reluctant to go to the lake the next day morning. But for the few of us who did venture out, we were welcomed by sheer blue waters that stood still like a mirror. This was the most stunning setup one can get to shoot reflections.

Chandrabagha-14 and surrounding mountains and moon reflecting on Chandratal:

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Just the reflections on the lake:

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CB14 reflections on Chandratal:

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Image gallery from Chandratal:

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