Mantalai LakeEverything you Need to Know Before You Visit!
The Parvati valley is named after Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva, (also known as Kailash). The famous Kailash Parbat has been named after Lord Shiva. During your visit to the Parvati valley, you will find yourself surrounded by lush green trees of pine and deodar, alongside the river Parvati. On your way to the Mantalai lake, you will cover the major part of the journey by hiking along the parvati river. If you are a new trekker who wants to pursue a challenging trek, the Pin Parvati trek should be a must-do on your bucket list. The Pin Parvati pass is considered one of the most beautiful treks of India and reaching there involves crossing over to the Pin Valley (Spiti). The trail to Mantalai is situated at 13000 feet above sea level, which makes it a challenging expedition.
Itinerary for Mantalai Lake Trek
THIS IS A SUGGESTED ITINERARY THAT IS DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU A BRIEF IDEA ABOUT YOUR TRIP
Day 01: Bhuntar-Pulga-Kheerganga
The on-foot trek begins from Pulga. Therefore, you need to drive or look for a taxi/ tempo traveller service from Bhuntar to Pulga. Most pick-up truck drivers are kind enough to offer you a free lift if the location falls on their way. From Pulga you reach Kheerganga by evening and spend a night there gazing at the stars and admiring the beauty, while lighting a campfire.
Day 02 : Kheerganga to Tunda Bhuj
After having breakfast, you will commence your journey from kheerganga towards Tunda Bhuja, which is situated at an altitude of 3285m. The day is going to be hectic, but worth the effort as you will come across a number of rare flora and fauna of the region during the trail. It is advisable that you start early and spend a night at the Tunda Bhuj in a covered shelter or tent.
Day 03: Tunda Bhuj to Pandu Bridge
The trek from Tunda Bhuj to Pandu bridge is a bit challenging as you’ll have to go through dense vegetation and rocky routes. Also, you will cross 3 unique bridges. One of them is the pulley bridge which is a special kind of manual bridge, operated by manpower. In order to cross the river, you’ll have to sit in a small wooden box, kind of a chamber, which is based on the concept of the pulley system used in the wells to draw water in the olden times. Spend a night around the Pandu bridge and take rest. Next day, you will be reaching your final destination i.e the Mantalai lake.
Day 04 : Pandu Bridge to Mantalai Lake
Start your day early with some good breakfast and begin your journey towards the Mantalai lake. From Pandu bridge, the trek leads to Odi Thach, which is a splendid location, surrounded by snowy peaks. From Odi Thach, the climb is steep and difficult but the view totally compensates for the troubles. On your way to Mantalai lake you can witness beautiful scenery of Mini Mantalai. The distance is around 4km and can easily be covered by the afternoon. After enjoying your afternoon at the Mini Mantalai head for Mantalai lake and return back to the mini Mantalai by late evening.
Day 05 : Mini Mantalai to Tunda Bhuj
Have a nutritious yet light breakfast at Mini Mantalai and begin your descending journey towards the Tunda Bhuj. The trek is going to test your stamina so beware and avoid overeating. Also, take proper rest the night before so that you can cover as much distance as possible on this day.
Day 06: Tunda Bhuj to Kheerganga
Kheerganga is well known for its natural hot water spring which has therapeutic properties. You can start your journey early in the morning after breakfast and reach Kheerganga by noon. This day should ideally be your relaxing day. Rejuvenate yourself by dipping into the hot water springs and take a good night’s rest.
Day 07: Kheerganga- Pulga- Bhuntar
This is the final day of your trek where you need to walk from Kheerganga to Pulga. The Kheerganga trek is one of the most popular treks of Himachal Pradesh and the best part is that it is just a 5-6 hours walk (approximately 10km). Upon your arrival at Pulga, you can take a cab to Bhuntar. Most probably, you’ll reach Bhuntar by evening.
How to Reach the Mantalai Lake Trek
Tourists can reach Pulga via road by travelling from Kasol, Kullu or Delhi. If you are planning to travel to Pulga from Kasol, the good news is that it only takes 2 hours to reach there. You can also take a direct bus from Delhi to Bhuntar. From Bhuntar, you can book a cab or a tempo traveller which can drop you off at Pulga. You can also save time by flying to Kullu and then commencing the rest of your trip via road. Direct flights from New Delhi to Kullu are available. Your journey from the Kullu airport to Pulga via cab would take somewhere around 2.5 hours. If you are planning a train journey, you can kick-start your journey from Chandigarh. Flights are also available from the Chandigarh airport. Chandigarh is quite closer to Pulga than Delhi. If you have the option of travelling from Chandigarh, you must go for it.
Best time to Visit
The Mantalai lake treks falls on the Pin Parvati pass, which connects Kullu and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. The Pin Parvati trek is usually doable in the months of June to October. The trek is challenging and should not be taken by first-time trekkers. Seasoned trekkers can surely try this trek as physical fitness and stamina are the key-requirements for completing this trek. The winter season is not the best time to visit this place as it snows heavily and the probability of all the routes getting blocked by snow is high. During the winter season, the area does not have access to essential supplies also, so it might make the situation worse for you if you get stuck.
The monsoon season should also be avoided as the roads get slippery and chances of facing a landslide are quite high.
Trek Difficulty- Is this trek right for you?
The Mantalai trek is an arduous trek and should be avoided by newbies. If you are someone who wants to try trekking for the very first time, you should try smaller treks like the Hampta Pass trek or the Beas Kund trek. The Mantalai trek is a demanding trek which requires lots of stamina and should only be done by seasoned trekkers. You should consider halting at Pulga and test the waters before commencing your journey further.
The Manatalai trek area is completely remote with no Guest houses or lodges around. The best possible solution is that you must carry your own sleeping bag and portable tents for living the true Manatalai trek experience. Make sure that you carry all the necessary supplies like medicines, first-aid kits, water bottles, some food and blankets to keep yourself warm. If you are travelling in a group, make sure that every person is well-equipped with the necessary supplies.
Things to keep in mind before going
- Make sure that you pick the season wisely and stay well-informed by contacting local authorities about the weather conditions
- Plan well and carry all the essential supplies like water, food, blankets and woolens to keep yourself warm.
- You might not get any place to stay at Mantalai as the area is completely remote. Hence, carrying a sleeping bag is a must.
- Avoid going in the peak winter season. However, you can expect snowfall during the early winter season as well.
- Do not expect mobile data or Wifi to work from Pulga onwards as the network connectivity here is poor. Imbibe yourself in nature.
- The entire stretch does not have any village or camps. Therefore, plan your trip accordingly.
The Mantalai lake is the source of the river Parvati and also one of the most difficult treks in Himachal. It is located at 4200m on the trail and the view is completely worth taking the risk, provided you are well prepared to take the challenge, both physically as well as mentally. There are quite a few opportunities on this trail to witness the myriad flora & fauna of the Indian Western Himalaya.
This is the perfect trek for nature lovers and people who have an interest in the spiritual & natural history of Kullu. You can interact with the locals and take a closer look at the Himachali culture. It is also believed that Kheerganga is the place where Lord Shiva meditated. A dip into the hot water of Kheerganga might make your skin greasy, but it’s all for good! On the other hand, if you take a bath at the hot water spring in Manikaran, your skin might feel dry, but that water too has its own therapeutic properties.
Now that you have all the relevant information about the Malatai lake trek, plan your journey with your family and friends to this remote beauty of Himachal Pradesh.