Dhauladhar 7 Lakes Expedition, July 2018 | A Photo Journey

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. And sometimes it takes away a thin layer of cartilage from your injured knees.

In October 2017, I rode from my hometown to Rohanda on my #MTB and that was that. My injured knees finally gave in and I was almost bedridden for 5 months. So much so that even climbing stairs had become too much of a task. It was Physiotherapy that helped me to regain the lost strength in my knees. So, if your knees too hurt or you’ve a lower back problem or spondylitis or a heartbreak issue, I’ll strongly recommend that you should pay a visit to a physiotherapist.

Before I begin, here’s an important message for all my readers-

मोदी जी और लेफ्टिनेंट गवर्नर मुझे ब्लॉग लिखने से रोकने के लिए साज़िशें कर रहे हैं, इसलिए मैंने किताब ही लिख डाली है। आप भी पढ़िए और दिल्ली को पूर्ण राज्य का दर्जा दिलाने में भागीदार बनिए- *Buy Sabse Uncha Pahad from InstaMojo*


Lakes Of Dhauladhar

Dhauladhar rises above Dalhousie and runs Eastwards towards Rohtang Pass giving birth to many streams and lakes. However, when we talk about Lakes of Dhauladhar in this post, we are specifically talking about hidden gems tucked behind the granite wall that lies between Shahpur and Indrahar Pass.

  1. Kareri Lake
  2. Nagara/Nagar Lake
  3. Unnamed Lake-1
  4. Unnamed Lake-2
  5. Lam Dal Lake
  6. Kali Kund Lake
  7. Chanderkup Lake
  8. Dham Gori Lake
  9. Kali Dal Lake
  10. Nag Dal Lake
  11. Nag Dali Lake**

I’m not very sure about name of the last lake but for the time being let’s stay with Nag Dali Lake. Our plan was to enter from Kareri, cover all the lakes mentioned above and exit via Indrahar Pass. But what happened next will blow your mind!!!

We managed to see 7 of the lakes and the ones lying on the other side of the ridge above Lam Dal proved a little too difficult on my knees. Anyways, details of this expedition and others that I have planned in future will be published in my next book which would be exclusively focused on the high altitude lakes of Himachal Pradesh. And none of them would be approachable by road.

Dhauladhar Lakes
Dhauladhar Lakes

Kareri Lake

Kareri Lake, 2967m
Kareri Lake, 2967m | Sharma Ji Ka Ladka Posing Happily

Kareri Lake – Altitude/Distance Map

Distance from Kareri Village to Kareri Lake is around 10.5km if you walk along the trail. However, we wandered off the trail [deliberately] quite a few times and hence 14km.


Kareri Lake to Nagar Dal across Minkiani Pass

From Kareri Lake to the top of the pass, one has to gain ~1088m over a distance of ~3km. Though the trail is well marked but there is a tricky section known as Gharat Nali. This narrow gulley is named thus because when caught in rains while crossing this stretch, one may get crushed like corn in a flour mill. Minkiani Pass stands at an approximate height of ~4055m. From the top of the pass, it is another 2.5km walk with the spectacular view of towering mountains all along. Nagara/Nagar Lake is visible from the top throughout the downhill ascent. The descent involves boulder hopping for an hour or so, which prepares you for the tough day ahead enroute Lam Dal and Chanderkup Dal Lake.

Minkiani Pass, 4055m
Minkiani Pass, 4055m

Kareri Lake to Nagar Lake, Distance and Altitude Map

Nagar Lake to Chanderkup Lake Via Lam Dal Lake

From Nagar Lake to Chanderkup Lake, one gets to see five lakes. Unnamed Lake 1, Unnamed Lake 2, Kali Kund, Lam Dal and Chanderkup Lake. Chanderkup Lake is the highest among the all (all that we explored, otherwise Dham Gori is the highest) while Lam Dal is unarguably the largest lake of Dhauladhar Himalaya.

And because I don’t want to reveal all the secrets here in the blog, I will write my experiences in my upcmoming book which you must buy else ‘Mayawati or Mamta Banerjee’ may end up being the Prime Minister of this already crazy nation.

Nagara Lake, 3678m
Nagara Lake, 3678m

Unnamed Lake 1, 3780m
Unnamed Lake 1, 3780m

Unnamed Lake 2, 3890m

Kali Kund Lake, 3930m
Kali Kund Lake, 3930m and Unnamed Lake 2

Lam Dal Lake, 3970m
Lam Dal Lake, 3970m

Chanderkup Lake, 4192m
Chanderkup Lake, 4192m

Nagar Dal to Chanderkup Lake
Nagar Dal to Chanderkup Lake

This is a 11km walk because we walked from Nagar Dal to Chanderkup Dal and ended back at our camp at Nagar Dal. Local customs don’t allow camping above Kali Kund Lake and strictly prohibit camping at Lam Dal Lake.And because we had to walk back to our camp, the boulder zone sucked the very life from our legs and thus we dropped the plan of visiting Dham Gori Lake.


Return Via Gaj Pass (II)/Thada Pass

Right above Unanamed Lake-1, a gulley opens on the other side. If one moves eastwards along this gulley, one can reach Gaj Pass, which is 300m higher than Thada Pass. The descent, however, from both the sides is treacherous as well as risky because of immense gradient drop.

Thada Pass - Gaj Pass(II), 3990m
Thada Pass – Gaj Pass(II), 3990m

Nagar Lake to Bagga Campsite across Thada Pass
Nagar Lake to Bagga Campsite across Thada Pass

Sooner, we will explore three high altitude lakes in Churah Valley. Stay Tuned!

If anyone wants GPS logs of this expedition, drop a comment or email me.

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