Travelling in Himachal in June – 2007
Shimla >> Manali >> Rohtang >> Chandratal >> Ki/Kibber/Tabo >> Kalpa >> Shimla
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The night in the dhaba at Batal was comfortable. I was expecting it to get cold in those altitudes, but it was not bad at all. We did feel a little cold with the blowing wind outside but hardly anything of Himalayan scale. The days were in fact warm to hot and the temperature seemed to go beyond thirty degrees. I woke up early in the morning taking advantage of the fair weather. Sun was still invisible and beyond the mountains, but the first rays of the day were already on the distant mountain peaks that raised much above us, even we were still in shadow. Standing on the bank of Chandra River, I spent an hour photographing those sunlit mountain peaks scurrying from place to place and re-adjusting the tripod, lest I miss those beautiful moments before the sun rises high. But at the end of it, I felt a loss – a loss of not witnessing those pristine moments quietly sitting next to the river.
Chandra river flows in its valley
Early morning at Batal
We had a quick breakfast of greasy but delicious Aloo Parathas and made our way towards Chandratal. It took us more than an hour’s drive to get there and it was the most dangerous road we drove through in the entire journey. The road was sometime narrow just enough to let our jeep pass, and any error in judgment would simply mean a plunge into the river. Some U turns were steep enough to require us to do a few iterations of forward-reverse to pass through. But arriving at the Chandratal, we could see all that effort was worth it. It is a long, turquoise colored water body with cold and clear water. Its surface was calm and reflected the snow-capped mountains and clear blue skies. We spent a few hours walking on the lake shore and enjoying the dramatic setup of the lake amidst the mountains.
On the way to Chandratal
Continued at Kunzim La, Kaza, Ki Monastery and Kibber