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Trekking in Himachal Pradesh - A Beginner's Guide to Chandrakhani Pass Trek

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High up in the Himalayas at 3,660 metres above sea level, Chandrakhani Pass is a serene mountain pass located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. The region, aptly known as ‘Valley of the Gods’ , lures trekkers with its beautiful yet challenging landscapes. The best part about Chandrakhani Pass trek is that it does not require a lot of experience.

Did you think that all you need for a trek is a backpack and a pair of trekking boots?

Well, if you are a beginner, then Chandrakhani Pass trek is the right place to introduce yourself to the captivating world of trekking. Just learn the basics required for the Chandrakhani Pass trek and you’re all set!

The pre-requisites for a Successful Chandrakhani Pass Trek

A Beginner’s Guide to Chandrakhani Pass Trek
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How to Reach

Chandrakhani Pass trek usually starts at Naggar, a small town 15 km from Manali , that often serves as the base camp for the trek.

You have the option to reach Naggar either by road, rail or flight.

  • By road: Naggar is connected to Delhi by road, via National Highways NH1 (up to Ambala), NH22 (up to Chandigarh) and NH21 (up to Kullu). If you are not traveling by your own vehicle, the best option would be to take an overnight Delhi-Manali bus, followed by a taxi ride to Naggar.
  • By rail: Major railway stations near Naggar are Chandigarh (275 km), Pathankot (352) and Kalka (310 km). All the three railways stations are well-connected to the rest of the country and there are direct buses to Manali on a regular basis.
  • By air: Kullu–Manali Airport (Bhuntar) is the nearest airport that is served by commercial and charter flights from Delhi and Chandigarh. However, as the airport is located in a daunting terrain in a deep valley, your flight might be interrupted due to bad weather conditions.

When to Visit

Chandrakhani Pass trek can be undertaken during any season. However, if you are a beginner, the best time to go for Chandrakhani Pass trek is from June to September, when the weather is at its finest. Remember that the region does receive rainfall during this time; it can get quite cold and there are chances of snowfall. So, pack appropriately for the trek to save yourself from the weather woes.

What to Carry

For any journey, a checklist of things to carry is of paramount importance. Make sure that you pack only essential items so that you do not end up overloading your backpack or running out of stock in case of an emergency.

A Beginner’s Guide to Chandrakhani Pass Trek
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As the trek is in a remote area, carry the following items with you: –

  • Water bottles, energy drinks, and snacks: To maintain your energy levels and keep yourself hydrated, food and water are The trek is 21-km long and requires a lot of stamina.
  • Warm clothes, and a waterproof jacket: Protect yourself from the harsh weather of the Kullu Valley by carrying along a few warm clothes. The weather in high altitudes can be quite unpredictable, so make sure that you pack a waterproof jacket/windcheater.
  • Trekking shoes: Good quality trekking shoes can make a lot of difference by freeing you from the woes of accidentally slipping or twisting your ankle. They provide a good amount of support and are ideal for climbing high slopes.
    Also, know about how to choose the correct trekking shoes !
  • Personal electronic equipment: Today, electronic devices have become an extension of ourselves. Cameras, smartphones, and laptops help us stay connected and capture the world around us in a better way. So, pack the essential devices, chargers, and batteries. Carrying spare batteries and a power bank would be a good idea.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, cap/hat: To protect your skin and eyes from the harsh UV rays at high altitudes, carry a pair of UV sunglasses, hat and a bottle of sunscreen (SPF 40+). Without these, you will expose yourself to the risk of sunburn and snow blindness.
  • Toiletries and medicines: While trekking in remote areas, it is unlikely that you will find shops selling daily essentials. Hence, carry along a few extra items, along with prescribed medications (if any). If you are prone to altitude sickness, consult your doctor beforehand.
  • Torch with spare batteries: When treading along dark and daunting paths, a torch will be your only saviour. Pack a couple of spare batteries too and make your trip an adventurous yet safe experience.

What to See

Apart from the thirst for adventure, the best reason to go for a trek is the chance to come across amazing sites and mesmerizing views!

With each step, you will find discover something new and unusual.

Start your journey with Naggar, a small town in Kullu valley which was the capital of the Kullu kingdom a long time ago and is home to old castles and temples. This quaint town sets the tone for the 21-km journey ahead. En route, you will pass Rumsu, an ancient village famous for a temple dedicated to Jamlu Devta, a local deity.

A Beginner’s Guide to Chandrakhani Pass Trek
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A few kilometres away lies Naya Tapru, a camp site from where the real adventure starts . The trail to Chandrakhani Pass from Naya Tapru will pass through breathtaking alpine meadows and conifer forests. You also get picturesque views of the Pir Panjal range, Parvati valley, and Deo Tibba peak. From here, you can either choose to explore the nearby villages of Malana and Jari or start your descent back to the base camp.

If you are a beginner and new into trekking then check the list of common mistakes that most beginners make . This will help to avoid the mistakes and be prepared with things that can go wrong!

Trekking is not just an adventure, it is also a test of physical strength and resilience. Once you get acquainted with the weather, terrain and essentials of the trek, being an amateur or beginner won’t stop you from enjoying your time at Chandrakhani Pass to the fullest.