Chandra Tal translates from Sanskrit as ‘The Lake of The Moon’ which refers to its crescent shape. It is located on a desert plateau at 4,270m and is surrounded on all sides by dramatic Himalayan summits which peak at 6,400m and are topped with glaciers and year-round snow. Glacier, ice-field and snow melt contributes to the volume of the lake during the summer and during these months, outflow from the lake forms the head water of the Chandra River. The Chandra flows through the Spiti Valley before becoming the Indus River and flowing through Pakistan to meet the Indian Ocean near Karachi.
My time spent in Spiti and Ladakh (an area further north in Jammu and Kashmir) was without a doubt the highlight of a fantastic trip. The grandeur and stark beauty of this high-altitude desert region coupled with such open, friendly local people and a strong and interesting culture has made it a place where I quickly want to retrace my footsteps.