Chandrabhaga river originates from Samudri Taapu near Chandrataal Lake and is one of the least explored places not only in Himachal Pradesh but also in India. We have already written about possible camping and trekking activities near Chandra taal lake in this article earlier and this one will explain the short hiking trip that one can do to the origins of the river. Although this hike can be completed in 1 day via a short route and 2-3 days via a longer route, the altitude of 4200 meters and very rough terrain make it quite a difficult one.
This area has attained a bit of mystic legend over the last few years due to a large number of UFO sightings, including one by a group of ISRO scientists. Different witnesses have claimed to have seen humanoid UFOs to luminous objects floating in between mountains at different occasions. The only road to the area ends about a kilometer before Chandrataal lake and there are only temporary seasonal trails to the area. Even the road itself stays closed for 6-8 months every year due to heavy snowfall and land slides. Nevertheless, it has not stopped the hardy Himalayan shepherds or adventure junkies from visiting the place for their livelihood and thrill.
For this trek, one can begin from either Batal or Kunzum La or Chandrataal Lake according to available time,stamina, weather etc. From Batal, one can walk on road or take a few shortcuts to Chandratal for the first rest stop which is about 16 kms away. From Kunzum La, a hike to Chandrataal takes about 4-6 hours. From Chandrataal, there are two route to Samudri Tapu. One involves crossing Chandrabhaaga river via a steel ropeway. Local shepherds along with some help from authorities have constructed this ropeway which they use to cross the river. First they make themselves as comfortable as possible by tying themselves to a steel loop and then drag themselves forward by hand. A very tough job which shouldn’t be attempted by newbies. It becomes more difficult during bad weather and there is always a risk of river water washing away the supporting structure of the ropeway on river bank.But once you cross the river, it’s only a easy hike of about 3-5 hours to Samudri Taapu.
Other easier but longer route takes a more circuitous path, but is more rewarding as the hikers can see origins of both tributaries of the river. A trek through this route normally takes 2-3 days and considering the amount of trekking gear and supplies that one has to carry, is a preferred option for solo trekkers and hikers. This trek can be done solo too but can be dangerous due to unstable terrain and lack of fresh water sources on the way. Water from river and streams on both routes is undrinkable due to slit and Chandrataal lake is one of very few sources of drinkable water on the way.
Keep this in mind, train well and send us your photos and stories if this article inspired you in anyway.