5 Days Shimla To Manali Road Trip With Camping at Chandra Taal

BySoul Mountain Expeditions

5 Days Shimla To Manali Road Trip With Camping at Chandra Taal

INTRODUCTION Chandrataal lake hike

Chandra Taal Lake is a popular destination in Spiti region for tourists interested in trekking, camping, hiking and other adventure activities. It’s situated at an altitude of 4300 meters and is among the highest wetlands anywhere in the world. The lake is within a day or 2 days trek River Chandra which later on becomes Chenab has it’s origin in Samudri Tapu just a day or two days hike from the lake depending upon the route taken. Chandra Taal is a holy place for people of Lahaul Spiti region and is believed to be a place where many myths and folktales of the region were born. A variety of rare birds and animals live in vicinity or stay nearby at different seasons.
There are also some large grasslands near the lake which are are an important feeding grounds for herds of local Gaddi shepherds as well as some wild animals like yaks, ibex and a few other rare animals. Camping or any other human activity like construction is not allowed within 3 kms of the lake to protect the sensitive ecology. For the last stretch, our guests can either trek to the campsite via a trekking route starting from Kunzum La or stay in car.
BEST FOR: This trip is best for enjoying the beauty of major attractions of Spiti region in 5-7 days.


Day 1: Shimla to Sarhan (6 hours)
Day 2: Sarhan To Kalpa ( 3 hours)
Day 3: Kalpa to Kaza (4+ hours)
Day 4: Kaza to Chandra Taal lake via Kunzum La (5 hours)
Day 5: Chandra Taal to Manali via Rohtang Pass. ( 8 hours)
DURATION: 5 days, 4 nights.
BEST SEASON: May to October
MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 4590 m at Kunzum La.
WEATHER: Afternoons can be a bit warm during summer. Cold otherwise with strong winds.
EQUIPMENT: Hiking shoes and stick if hiking option chosen


Day 1: Early morning pickup from Shimla with final stop at Sarahan. It’s a drive of about 6 hours with on some of the most difficult roads on the planet. Visit to historic Bhim Kali temple and bird sanctuary in the evening if time permits.
Day 2: From Sarahan, we will drive towards Kalpa which is famous for it’s fruit orchards. Enjoy some time in the village, orchards and with local farmers.
Day 3: Drive from Kalpa to Kaza takes about 4 to 5 hours, so we start early in the morning. We will have rest stops for refreshments, rest and sightseeing at Dhankar, Tabo and a couple of other places depending upon route taken. Kaza is the biggest town in region and has the only petrol pump in the region. See the new Buddhist monastery and take a walk in the bazaar.
Day 4: Drive towards Chandra Taal lake via Kunzum La. You can either take the 9 kms hiking route or stay in the car. Visit lake in late afternoon or evening. Night in campsite.
Day 5: Early morning visit to Chandra Taal lake and then drive to Manali via Rohtang Pass with stops at Chatru, Chota Darra and Rohtang Pass. Drop at bus stand or nearby hotel.


  • Small backpack to hold the day walk necessities.
  • Luggage in rucksack/soft bags suitable to be carried by self or porters.
  • Warm clothes, wind-cheater, scarf, hat, sun-glasses, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes.
  • Personal medical kit, water bottle, snacks.
  • Toilet paper, wet wipes.
  • A bag to collect own trash.

  • Travel itineraries in the mountains  don not necessarily run exactly as scheduled. Keep a buffer for delays due to weather, road conditions etc.
  • Any additional expenses caused by delays, medical condition, road blocks and other causes will be borne by the guests.
  • We recommend a comprehensive  travel insurance and a medical checkup before the visit.
  • This tour covers some remote destinations in Spiti which have very limited phone coverage, unpredictable weather and high altitude.


  • Pickup from Shimla and drop at Manali in a private or shared taxi.
    Accommodation in Chandrataal campsite and hotels in all stops mentioned.
    Meals, tea and non-bottled water in campsite, Bottled water available for purchase. Breakfast and dinner in hotels.


  • Transport till Shimla or after Manali.
  • Hotel stay and meals at Shimla and Manali before and after the trip.
  • Personal expenses, refreshments during road journey, alcohol.
  • Anything not mentioned explicitly in the above program.

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