The other day we talked about Khajund Lake, which happened to be an accidental discovery. I went out in search of ancient copper mines and stumbled upon two unexplored lakes in Chamba instead.
The twin duo of Khajund and Chakund. Separated by the mighty Panj Ungla Peak (five fingered peak).
This five fingered peak, marks the boundary between Saho and Lilh/Jhumar in Chamba. The glacial slopes of this five fingered peak give birth to this incredibly beautiful lake and then the five fingered peak subtly merges with the icy rock faces of the mighty Pir Panjal range running along its western edges.
Unlike the Khajund Lake trail, this one has a well marked track, devoid of any water source en-route, and near vertical climb at places, with a scorching sun keeping a constant vigil throughout the journey. But the end result is worth every effort.
The lake stands at a height of 3062 meters and I would rate it far better than the Khajiar Lake. Have a look!
The trek starts from Kiri Village, which is en-route Saho from Chamba. Kiri happens to be the last village where from this short yet arduous trek of 11 km starts. I got company of an electrical lineman who accompanied as well as discouraged me halfway through the trek.
The first half of the trek is a constant struggle against the sun. The next half mysteriously throws lush green meadows wide open in front of you. Every inch of this land, I was told, belongs to gujjar shepherds of Chamba. Their tiny settlements are sprinkled all across the mountain and that makes the landscape look all the more beautiful.
I was offered milk and roti at every settlement I passed by but because of time constraints, I couldn’t accept their offer. The lake rests right beneath the five fingered peak. The setting is divine; the lake serene, and this hidden jewel of Chamba needs more visitors for sure.
Pir Panjal Mountains run wild and free along the western shores of this small lake and that’s where the mysterious lake of Mahakali or Chaurasi Ka Dal is located. It’s a two day trek from Chakund that takes you to the hinterlands of Churah Valley at Dantuin, where from the final ascent to Chaurasi Ka Dal starts.
Yeah, Dantuin is the same village which serves as the base camp for Darati Pass Trek.
The trek is short yet moderately difficult. The starting point, Kiri stands at 1600m; Chakund at 3000m; that makes climb of 1400m in 10 kms i.e 140-150m/km; which is a quick height gain.
A Short Review of My Tracks App
Inditramp suggested that I start using a GPS for marking my treks. Because a real GPS was un-affordable, he suggested to try the MyTracks App. If you too want to document your treks using a GPS, I suggest you buy an Android phone, if you don’t have one already, and install MyTracks App.
The app records your path, speed, distance, and elevation while you walk. You can also export your tracks to Google My Maps, Google Spreadsheets, or external storage.
The only problem I encountered was that this app doesn’t let you resume your activity once the recording has been stopped. Like once in the middle of the recording session, I used my phone camera, and the session ended abruptly. Else, My Tracks is a fabulous app and it comes free on the Play Store.
You get to see the elevation vs speed comparison in real-time. If you can’t afford a GPS device, go ahead and download this app.
P.S. Don’t forget to buy a Power Bank when you download this App. This App is a sucker for the phone battery.