A Trek Story in the Himalayas
Hello, I am Subhamay Fouzder and I’ve been with Metrohm since 2010. I coordinate the sales and service activities of the demanding Pharma, Food and institutional customers located in the region of Metrohm India’s Chandigarh branch. Chandigarh is located in North India and is the common capital of the States of Punjab and Haryana. I’m a sports enthusiast and love playing football, cricket, badminton and swimming. Needless to say, I relish going to the mountains. My interest in trekking took me to Chandra Taal and Hampta Pass in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal Pradesh has beautiful, pristine, snow-clad mountains, which are a major tourist attraction. Tourists from all over the world come to this glorious, unpolluted, and serene place to nurture their mind and soul and cherish the unfathomable beauty of nature. The word Hima means snow in Sanskrit; the name Himachal Pradesh means «in the lap of snowy Himalayas». The mountains of the state are famed for many adventure sports.
My Trek Journey to Chandra Taal and Hampta Pass
Chandra Taal, which can be translated to «Lake of the Moon», is situated in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The name of the lake originates from its crescent shape. It is situated at an altitude of about 4300 meters (14’100 ft) in the Himalayas. Mountains overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque, an amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion, presents a view on the other. Chandra Taal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. Vast meadows on the banks of the lake are the camping sites. Chandra Taal offers a magnificent view at night (after sunset). While temperature drops below Zero degree celsius during pre-winter, the sky is filled countless stars and offers a spectacular view of the Milky Way.
My trek to Chandra Taal was a monsoon trek and we faced rain many times on the way. Every day, we woke up early and trekked for several kilometers. On our way, we passed little lakes and crossed flowing rivers with bare feet where we could feel the cold water. We set up our camps near rivers every night so we could enjoy the sound of flowing water and night skies full of bright-shining stars.
It took us three days to reach Hampta Pass. Approaching the pass by a steep climb, we all felt breathing difficulties due to the high altitude. Hampta Pass lies at about 4270 meters (14’035 ft) and is a rather unusual and strange pass. It climbs out of the valleys of Kullu, which are full of greenery, to a perpendicular overhang up in the mountains. It affords a ringside view to a different world below: the Mountain deserts of Lahaul and Spiti. From the pass, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Lahaul valley in one wide panoramic sweep. It is one the most dramatic twists in landscape there is.
The next day, we hiked downhill to the village of Chhatru at abour 3220 meters (10’900 ft) from where an SUV took us toward Chandra Taal.The bumpy offroad ride took us 3 hours—for only 40 kilometers. We trekked the last kilometer to Chandra Taal. I had forgotten my water bottle in the car, so I was thirsty and the altitude made breathing difficult. But when we reached Chandra Taal, the sight was mesmerizing. I drank the crystal clear blue water directly out of the lake and we stayed to enjoy the beauty for an hour before we started our descent.
For a few days, we were completely off the grid: we had no electricity, no mobile phone reception, etc. We could focus on feeling and enjoying the beauty of pristine nature. Needless to say, this year too, I am looking forward to another expedition to get closer to nature’s heart, climb a mountain and spend a few days in the woods. It helps me to unwind and clean my spirit!