3 days. 45 kms. 14500 to 16500 feet. Moderately difficult.
Chandratal is a glacial lake at 14500 feet located between the Rohtang and Kunzam passes. It is a full day's drive to the lake from Manali. Bring one's own gear and provisions from Manali as there is no habitation along the way. Camp the first night on the shores of the lake which is much bigger (4 km. circumference), and deeper than it looks. The Chandra, river flows next to the lake. First day's trek is of 20 kms, following the river upstream, past the huge riverine island known as Samudra Tapu which becomes one massive block of ice in the winters. Night camp at Topkogongma, next to a stream. Second day begins by fording the ice-cold stream at 7.00 AM. Must reach the next, much bigger stream (Topkoyongma) by noon as after that it is too swollen with glacial melt to cross. Camp on bluff overlooking river, height 15500 feet. Third day's trek much more enjoyable and gentle, over pastures, past the unbelievable majestic Baralacha glacier on your left( west) which is the source of the Chandra river, finally reaching Baralacha pass (16500 feet) after six hours. This is on the Manali - Leh road and one can get a vehicle from here back to Manali. Wildlife sightings: marmot, pica, birds( horned lark, lammergier vulture, wagtails, black red start, sandlark, snow pigeons, choughs).