Mysterious Chandratal – Middle Himalayas, Spiti

वो पहली मुलाकात

सुना तो था मैंने तेरे बारे में बहुत, और देखा भी था तेरी तस्वीरों को,

मुलाकात लेकिन जब हुई, तो होंठ सिल से गये, जुबान लड़खड़ा गई और आंखों ने तो जैसे पलकों से रिश्ते ही तोड़ दिए थे उस दिन,

छुआ तुझे तो होंठ के नीचे पहने उस गहने ने भी छलांग मार दी, जैसे मैं तो सिर्फ बहाना था, उसे तो तुझ मैं ही समाना था,

ठंड भी दो टुकड़ों में बंट गई थी उस दिन, इक जिस्म से गया लिपट, तो दूजे ने दिल को छू लिया,

तेरी लहरें और मेरे जेहन के ख्याल, दोनों उमड़ पड़े थे उस दिन, जुगलबंदी सी हो गई थीं हमारी तुम्हारी,

कुछ ऐसा लगा के तुम पास आना चाहती हो, आके मेरे कान मैं कुछ गुनगुनाना चाहती हो,

हल्का सा इक यकीन हुआ था उस दिन, के जितना इश्क तुझसे है मुझे, उतना ही मुझे भी तुम चाहती हो,

अब बस कर दूँ, ये किस्सा यहीं अधूरा छोड़ दूं, दिल कह रहा है, इस कहानी को फिर किसी दिन कोई और ही मोड़ दूँ,

ये तेरी मेरी मोहब्बत का छोटा सा फसाना है, तुझसे इश्क निभाने, अभी कई बार आना है।

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What you just read is by my wonderful friend Sunil 🙂

Day before yesterday he randomly asked “what was the highlight of your first solo Spiti trip?” without a second thought my answer was “Chandratal”. I didn’t stop there; for next 20 minutes I was talking about every feeling, every emotion I experienced when I first saw the Chandratal Lake. And after 3 hours he sent me this saying “look how your Love for Chandratal reads”. How beautiful!

General Instructions/More Information on Chandratal
General Instructions/More Information on Chandratal

It is a place where you can constantly hear your heartbeats, one after another…

Chandratal is called the lake of moon because of its crescent shape and is surrounded by the Chandrabhaga and Kunzum ranges.

This is exactly how LOVE looks :)
This is exactly how LOVE looks 🙂

What got me excited were the stories locals narrated. I was told fairies dance on the lake on full moon nights or if you play some musical instrument. But the one I am sharing made me lose sleep (may not be true but was narrated by the locals)

The prayer flags
The prayer flags

More than 100 years ago, there was a man who lived in Rangrik village. He was lazy, unemployed and was a burden on his family. One day he decided to go to Chandratal to escape his family and their constant nagging. He trekked for a few days, crossed a lot of mountains and passes and after about 20 days he caught sight of this lake. Mesmerized he started playing his flute and soon got lost in his music.

When he opened his eyes, he saw a beautiful fairy standing in front of him. In less than a minute she declared her love for his music and invited him to stay with her in her kingdom. He happily accepted the offer and spent the whole summer with her underwater. When winter came the fairy asked him to go back only to return next summer. Her only condition was – to keep this affair a secret or else he will have to pay for it.

spiti 175

He sadly started walking back home. His family was happy to see him but he was missing the fairy. Somehow he managed to pass his time. However, one day he got drunk and revealed the Chandratal fairy secret to his nagging wife.

Next morning he realized his mistake but didn’t talk to or answer any questions on the fairy or their love story. He passed the rest of the days in mad grief and as soon as the summer set he left for the lake.

spiti 139

He reached and started playing the flute and the fairy emerged. She was heartbroken and came to say goodbye to him. He cried, begged on his knees but she left. A while later she emerged with a bundle. She said “this is our daughter and you will have to take her with you”. He took her and the fairy left.

He was shocked. The kid was the ugliest thing he had ever seen. She was ill and had million boils. Scared he started walking towards her home but she died on the way. He still took her all the way home. The whole village was stunned when he broke the news about the Chandratal fairy. He buried the infant and built a memorial for her in the house. Surprisingly, their luck changed and they became rich.

spiti 128

Villagers say that his old house is in ruins but still exists. The man moved to a new house and moved the memorial to the new house – and it can still be seen.

Though it is a Lake, on closer look you feel she is rising above as a beautiful curvy woman. I felt the rigid mountains are merging into her complementing her color and paying her regards.

September 11, 2015, our eyes met and there she was. Awestruck I observed the lake for sometime imagining the man and the fairy talking. I saw gravel brown color changing to turquoise and to a different shade few minutes later – but no color has ever been made for her eyes.

I wanted to get into the water despite the cold. I touched the water and something mind-boggling happened to me. My lower lip is pierced and I wear a stud. The moment I sprinkled water on my face, the stud came off and fell into the Lake. I was astonished and didn’t know how to react. A million thoughts were running in my head – constant polarity of sadness and happiness.

spiti 124

I looked around but wasn’t able to divert my mind. So I started clicking pictures and trained my mind that it must have happened for good. After spending some more time, I trekked back to the camp site. When I shared this with the locals, they were all smiling and said the fairy asked for it and will give you something big in return (she might not because I have revealed the secret now :)).

I am cheerful even when I am writing about this experience. So this was Chandratal.

**Now is when you should scroll up and read the poetry again :)**

P.S. I will very soon be posting my itinerary detailing places to visit and mode of transport in Spiti valley.

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The trek to Chandratal

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25 thoughts on “Mysterious Chandratal – Middle Himalayas, Spiti

  1. This place is till now my best felt and seen places..u just made me feel it again. This was my last destination when i had visited Spiti and it left a beautiful impact of its beauty and silence on me…which will never leave. It’s silence is not nosiy and black but it is peaceful and pleasant.

    Special mention of the poem and your silver stud :)) it is one of the best described feelings ever read.

    Beautiful is an understatement :))

    God bless u and Keep Writing Shilpi 🙂

    Like

  2. I had always wondered about “Chandertaal ki pari” since my childhood days. I have googled it several times to have a glance to keep the dream alive. I am getting a feeling that the right time is about to come soon….You have beautifully captured it Shilpi…I could not think of any better narration of this mystic peice of water body that tickles your soul…leaves you nostalgic !!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing photographs! Seems like a place I would love to visit… My bucket list is growing longer by the day. All thanks to travel bloggers like you. 😀
    Looking forward to reading more about your travels… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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