Some say I belonged to mountains. Some say I am crazy. I say, I am an explorer. My passion for photography takes me to the unexplored / less explored areas. Visiting well known destinations during off season gives you a different prospective. My recent trip to Chandratal “ Lake of the Moon” !! This year I was the last visitor to visit the gorgeous natural wonder of the universe.
The drive of 142 KM from Manali takes around 5 hours which itself speaks about the condition of the roads. One can find every element of adventurous road journey might have the rugged mountain passes and azure water of Chandratal. But it is rightly said, difficult roads often takes to a beautiful destination. Chandra Tal situated at 4300 meters above sea level and one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever visited. This crystal clear blue water lake lies in a wide grassy plain, which in ancient times was believed to be a glacier is for camping. Moulkila and Chandrabhaga mountain ranges having snow capped peaks and snow slopes around the valley measures from 3000 Meters to 6300 Meters approximately. According to legend, this lake is the location from where god Indra’s chariot picked up Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers. As a result, this lake is a revered one and draws a large number of devotees.
The month of October is the end of the season and not advisable to plan a trip to Chandratal, particularly when we knew we will not get any place to stay and the temperature in the night goes down substantially. But “I am a Crazy Explorer” this fact itself gave me the zeal to travel the Lake of the Moon.
I have traveled to many lakes. Some are huge like Pangong Tso and some are as small like Suraj Tal. But when I saw Chandratal for the first time, it was the feel of the beauty and mystifying landscapes which is beyond words. In the middle of nowhere the lake is surrounded by huge barren mountains, which just let me speechless. As the day progresses the water changes its color from dark blue to sea green to blue again. And its just not water even mountain changes their appearance during the day. Snow clad mountains, clear blue sky and white clouds make a mirror like reflection as the dancing shadow of the lake, simply a “Spectacular Feel”.
Our initial plan was to stay for a few days and photograph in different times of the day. Unfortunately, there was a weather forecast of snowfall and we had to evacuate that place only after spending one night.
This trip to the lake gives photographers at all levels to enhance their photography skill in a way you never thought possible.
On the way back, I was thinking how beautiful it must be in a full moon night. The beautiful lake, tiny in size but a giant in beauty. Imagining the reflection of moon, stars, and also milky way would be a treat to my eyes. These thoughts, with different compositions of the lake will not let me be in peace. I say to the Lake of the Moon, “I will be back again, to have my peace of mind, peace and serenity !!!”