Manali, the most loved and cherished place of all the travelers and tourists. It is not just another hill station; it is actually a treasure box that has kept its gems secured. I am talking about the treks that are possible from and around Manali that above divine and are well-kept secrets of Manali (well, not anymore). I will be talking about the best five treks around Manali in detail below:
1. Hampta Pass
Hampta Pass is a very terrific trek and is full of surprises. From the lush green valleys of Kullu to the cold desert oasis of the Lahaul Valley. You would have never seen such a dramatic and sudden change. The pass gives a marvelous panoramic view of the Lahaul Valley. The trek is of moderate intensity.
The best thing about this trek is that every phase that it takes you along is equally amazing and views throughout are scenic. Not only this but, each campsite has its incomparable beauty. Chika lies at the edge of a forest, the river delta camp of Balu Ka Ghera, the desert oasis of Sher Goru and many more. Every day brings out a new paradise, a new picturesque terrain.
Route of the trek
You will have to drive from Manali to Vashishta village which will be a two-hour drive and from Vashisht village we will start our trek to Chhika and stay overnight at Chikha enjoying the amazing view. Next day, after waking up in the paradise-like location, you will have to start your trek from Chhika to Balu Ghera, walking through the magnificent views of waterfalls, crossing the Rani nallah and beautiful flora. It is said that Balu Ghera or bear’s camp is the place where the brown bears hibernate during winters. The campsite would be near or along the river delta giving you major camping goals. You will have to move towards Sia Goru via Hampta Pass. This can be a bit tricky as there will be few inclinations but the view after the pass is going to leave you in awe, from the riverbed with colorful flowers, now you would be looking at the cold desert of Lahaul. Keep moving towards Chhatru, enjoying the scenic view and after crossing the Chandra river, you get connected by road from where you can take a ride back to Manali.
2. Beas kund
Manali remains crowded all around the year but there are loopholes in every situation and the same goes for this too. You can opt for an amazing yet easy trek that gives views of Manali’s biggest Mountains. This unbelievable trek gives the most stunning view of the place and brings you closer to nature, away from the hustle and bustle of Manali.
The trek is located in the Solang valley, from where many other blissful and thrilling treks originate. Below, these huge mountains of Manali are big grassland which looks picturesque as if it is a photograph. In the lush green grassland is nested the gem of the location-Beas Kund lake. Well, this lake is from where the Beas Kund lake itself, which has a story to narrate too. It is said that Rishi Vyas used to take his bath in this river (the one who wrote Mahabharta) and hence it is called Beas Kund (vyas: the sage and kund: a lake).
How to reach
Take a bus from Manali to Solang valley which is 12 km away. The drive is as engaging as the trek would be and in no time you will be at Solang. The trek starts from Solang and you will have to hike through the pine trees watching the scenic mountains and enjoying the pleasant weather. You will have to pass through the Beas river and reach Dhundhi. From Dhundhi, you will have to accent towards Lohali which will be a steep ascent throughout and you will get another stream to cross and later cross a log bridge which is a connection to the other side of the valley, after moving a bit you will see a stream flowing by and after crossing that, you will be at Lohali. After having trekked a bit more to the last leg, you will have to descend back to Solang which will take you 5 to 6 hours. The distance of the trek is around 32km and it will take at least 2 to 3 days for you to reach. It is a stunning trek as compared to the intensity of it. It is fit for a beginner too.
3. Bhrigu lake
Bhrigu lake trek is another absolutely stunning trek that takes you along the meadows to the magical lake that Bhrigu lake is itself. It is said that this lake changes its shape and color very frequently. So, this in itself is quite an interesting topic. Just imagine heading to a place that is as magical and surprising as this one. The meadows which you have to trek through are either lush green or covered with snow. You will be able to catch glimpse of humungous mountains around you with sheep and horses grazing around you. It gives major Switzerland feels which people talk about all the time even when they have one in their own country.
You will have to reach Gulaba first which is 24 km away towards the Rohtang pass road and then from there, you can start your trek towards Jonker thatch through the grasslands where the view is stunning. From Jonker thatch, you will have to move towards Rola khuli. This part of the trek is around 5km which will take you 3 to 4 hours as the ascent is steep. Enjoying the view of pine forests, cedar and oak trees you will reach Rola khuli and the next stop would be the majestic lake itself. The distance between Rola khuli and Bhrigu lake is almost 10km so, you will have to leave for it early in the morning. You will soon be by your destination where you can enjoy the astounding lake view with the backdrop of mountains.
4. Chandratal lake
The name itself speaks for itself. The lake gets its name due to the moon-like shape. The lake is said to be one of the most beautiful lakes and is filled with vibrant wildflowers between August to November and the rest of the time it is covered in snow. The Chandra Taal lake is nestled in the Lahaul and Spiti part of Himachal, you can also reach it from Manali. The campsite of this trek is situated 3km away from the lake and it is not allowed to camp at the lake.
5. Jogini Waterfall Trek
The The above 4 treks are stunning without any doubt but those treks are a bit if you are looking for a short trek and a quick hideout from the crowd of Mussoorie then this might be what you are searching for. For reaching the Jogini falls you will have to reach the Vashisht temple is 2 km from the main market area of Manali, where you can reach by a vehicle at ease and then from there, you will have to start your trek towards the waterfall which is almost 3 km trek. The trek takes you through apple orchards and pine trees finally leaving you at the base of the waterfall. Trekking to this beauty you will get wonderful views of Beas river and snow-clad peaks on your way.
Written by – Zoha Khan (visit website)