Kareri Lake Trek

Posted: September 14, 2015 by obsesessivetraveler in himachal pradesh, India
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Dates of trek: 4,5, 6 Sep 2015

Day 0: Overnight bus from Delhi (ISBT) to Dharamshala: Time taken 12 hours. Cost: INR 1000. Booking website: hrtc.gov.in/

Day 1: Dharamshala to Ghera village (1306 metres): 20 km away cab (Alto): INR 800

Ghera to Kareri Village (1746 metres): 2.5 hours

The road after Ghera is in a state of disrepair and hence there is no option but to start trekking from Ghera itself although many sites say you can take a cab till Kareri village. We got a lift from a pickup truck till some distance further, which was quite a bumpy ride and we had to hold on to the truck for our lives.

Hike from Ghera to Kareri village takes roughly 2-3 hours and the trail is pretty straight forward passing through Sari Village and one river crossing along the way, although there are options of using the so—called longer motorotable road or the much-touted shortcuts with steep stairs most of the way. We took a mix and match of the two routes and reached the village in 2.5 hours. We had lunch at Kareri at a local’s place and hired him as a guide along with tent for INR 700 per day.


Kareri Village to Camp:

After the village, the trail is a wide road still under construction but easy to tread on. Parts of the road had overgrowth so it appeared to be a scene from a Harry Potter movie. The welcome surprise for us were these temporary tea shops that had been set up for trekkers on account of Janmashtmi on 5th Sep, thus we got tea at regular intervals during our trek.

After the road there is a dirt trail for some time which gives way to boulders and stones acting like stairs that form majority of the trail. A number of times you would be required to skillfully hop over large boulders to cross the various streams of Nyund River, that flows almost all along the trail. Thus there is no dearth of fresh water supply throughout the trail.

There are warnings about bears and leopards, but we did not encounter them. We did get stung by bees on our way and by the poisoinous shrub that locals call “bichhu buti” and seem to be growing almost throughout the trail. Brushing past the leaves of the shrub causes severe rashes and itching. Ironically the sheep of the region feed on the shrub!!

We camped at the dedicated camp site, roughly 4 kms before the lake.

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Day 2: Kareri Camp to Lake (3034 meters):

Next morning we started late and covered the remaining 4 kms in roughly 2 hours, arriving at the Temple overlooking the lake just in time to enjoy the Janmashtmi langar.

Kareri Lake is a high altitude, shallow, fresh water lake fed by melting snow from Dhauladhar range, but dam has been built on the side of the temple to prevent water from overflowing. A few Gaddi kothis (Shepherd’s temporary dwelling place) are present on the other side of the lake and they live and graze their livestock there when there is no snowfall and after snowfall return to their village- Naholi. Post lunch we just hiked around the lake and enjoyed the views. At night the night sky was just mesmerizing, of course could not be captured by the camera. So the sight of the sky strewn by stars, of nebula clouds and of shooting stars every 15 minutes remains only as an indelible memory.


Day 3: Kareri Lake to Mcleodganj:

We descended about 19 km in 5 hours and caught a cab to Mcleodganj from Ghera (cost: INR 1000) and my feet were numb post that with blisterds. We enjoyed a great meal at Mcleodganj before catching our bus back to Delhi.

Local Guide Contact Details (highly recommended): Purushottam: 09736986581 (stays at Kareri village itself and can arrange for tents, sleeping bags etc)


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