Life Under Adam’s Ale: A Tale Of Chandratal

Looking at the snow-peaked golden mountains and the texture of solid rocks and greens. Isn’t it a treat to the eyes? As if they have some stories to share every moment they pass by. These spectacular views have always won my heart and compelled me to explore the hidden paradise.

Located in the laps of the Himalayas in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh, Chandratal is the best place to visit for gallivants. The serenity of its ambiance is so calming that you will relax to see it at the very first sight. It, somehow, conveys the message of not losing hope even in the moments of ultimate despair.

Road trip to Chandratal via Rohtang Pass

Manali is the fastest way to reach the destination but the journey is quite challenging. The road is well dressed till Rohtang Pass and later, you ought to forget the smooth ride.A gentle reminder: Never forget to take your permit and the necessary items like a first aid kit and possibly an oxygen kit along with you as oxygen levels may get degraded at some locations. Keep yourself hydrated so you can endure this journey.

The welcoming site

When you reach your destination, the scenic beauty greets you with both arms. The grand site simply takes away your fatigue. The best time to visit the lake is from 6 am – 6 pm so one can discover its changing rainbow colors. The lake paints itself with the bountiful colors of nature. The crystal clear turquoise blue water is so pure that one can even taste it. This mystic lake of valley glorifies the aura. Dusky flurries of the cold wind and waves whisper in your ears so smoothly that you are in love with the surroundings. You will be enthralled by its crescent shape. The contrast of hues and saturated colors changes by the intervals of the day. The lake is framed in the barren golden mountains. The whole blue sky reflects its colors widely as if the mirror for its world to seek the beauty of itself. The water at the banks is so crystal clear that the layers of soft stones in the base of the lake is visible.

Clockwise circumambulation

One must not miss the parikrama walk around it. The prophecy is different from all the sides of its edge, as on one side it is a bit bumpy forming a lake and river bank and on the other, it seems as if it’s a beach. From every site, the color shades also transition from turquoise blue to emerald green, and then to shady grey as the reflection of clouds changes its direction and water shades change along with them. Moving around it, you will also come across the piles of stones said as “ovoos”. Travelers put a stone on top of it to add a mark of their blessed journey.

The thrilling Bara Shigri glacier covered with mist is so mesmerizing to look at. I assure you cannot capture these landscapes from your camera lens as it will not match the site that you will see lively.

Legend tales of Chandratal

While having your meal on the dining, locals will surely share the tales of the chandratal. There’s very famous folklore from Mahabharata as it believed that Yudhisthira the elder brother of Pandavas was the only one to reach here and he was taken to heaven by Lord Indra in a chariot. Maybe, it is the reason why the water seems to be holy.

The famous fairy tale of the chandratal

Locals believe that the fairies do visit this lake by night time. Discussing this chapter, the famous story of shepherd Gangrup arose.

A shepherd named “ Gangrup” lived an indigent life in a village. Depressed by the nagging of his wife, his life was a tragedy. On a very fine day while roaming around mountains and grazing his cattle he came across Chandratal lake. So charmed to see this marvelous niche, he could not stop himself to play with his beloved flute. Listening to his melodic tune an admirable fairy rose from the lake. Gangrup could not believe his eyes that a beautiful lady was standing right in front of him, it seemed as if a Greek Goddess had landed on the Earth for him.

The fairy confessed that she had fallen for him and wanted to marry him. She wowed to keep him happy in her kingdom under the water. The fairy asked for the one promise to keep “Their secret of relationship”. Despite having a family, Gangrup agreed to marry her and promised her to keep the secret.

As a loving couple, they settled their life under the water and lived merrily. It was difficult for Gangrup to survive in the harsh winters. The fairy requested Ganrup to stay with his family during the winters and return to her in the summers while reminding him of the promise to keep. This was deterring for both of them to stay away from each other for an extended duration. This went on for a couple of years. Gangrup was again in grief listening to the complaints of his wife.

One strident evening he gulped in excess leading to an argument with his wife he disclosed his relationship with the fairy. Regretting that he had broken the promise. The left days of the winters were spent in misery. As soon as the springs arose he went to ChandraTal with a heavy heart and fearing he had lost his love. In honor to please the fairy, he played the tune to call her, but there was no mark of her existence. Regretting and fuming at his stupidity the fairy came for the last time completely changed she lost her beauty.

This was the result of the broken promise and how bitterly she was hurt. This time she was not alone. She had a sick baby in her arms who was born out of their love. Gangrup was shocked to see the fairy in this condition. She handed over the baby to Gangrup and told him to take care of him and disappeared. Gangrup could not stop weeping; he apologized several times but could not make out to reunite with her. He took the baby and hugged him tightly, he was the only mark of their love.

Due to the ailment, he could not survive, meeting this incident Gangrup was shattered. He performed the rituals and buried the child. Since that time Gangrup and his family have become rich and their life miseries have come to an end. They all lived happily ever after. The love of chandratal fairy existed in the heart of Gangrup forever. This love story is still alive in the air of the chandratal.


The night stay

Camping in Chandratal is the best means to rest. The minus degree temperature is hard to bear at night but gazing at stars is one of the many tranquilizing experiences you’ll come across.They seem to be hanging lanterns all over the sky.

Mysteries of the lake

The lake is mysterious and leads to every traveler scratching their heads. Firstly, there is no visible water source of the lake and secondly, the depth of the lake is not measurable. Both mysteries astonish the visitors and lead them to think to solve these mysteries.

Bidding adieu to chandratal is hard

It has a magnetic force that pulls you back to see its dignity again and again. This is the most lavish place that one must explore once in a lifetime. I guarantee that you will never regret your tour to Chandratal.


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Author: Jaspriya

There is 1 comment

  1. The write up is very well drafted. Congratulations Jaspriya. The scenic beauty, optimum time to visit, road accessibility is described in applicability mode and would be fruitful who is planning a road trip to chandrataal (including me). As a student of history, legends and fairy tale does not relate to my fascination, reason being, the same story can be heard at other location. For example yudhishthir wala episode I have heard more than 20 locations across the length and breadth of india. In toto it was a nice write up. Keep writing. Tks.

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