Batal is a small settlement situated in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Manali. It is around 100 km away from Manali. Rohtang pass is the road connecting Manali to Lahaul and Spiti. It is a high altitude pass at an elevation of 13000 ft in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. Rohtang means a pile of corpses in the Ladakhi language.
Rohtang pass is like a boundary to no man’s land. Once you cross you won’t find any big crowd. It’s just you and nature. The road after Rohtang pass is not in very good condition but the majestic view of the Himalayas won’t let you feel the exertion of the road.
Kunzum pass is another high mountain pass in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It divides the Spiti valley from the Lahaul valley. Batal lies in Lahaul valley and is the start point of the Kunzum pass.
Batal is surrounded by the mountains of Lahaul and Spiti valley and river Chenab flowing right in the middle of it. Valley narrows at this point and then again widens up towards Chandratal after a few kilometres. One of the most spectacular things, Lahaul and Spiti valley has to offer is the Chandratal lake or Moon lake. The largest glacier in the Indian Himalayas is around 4-5 hours away from Batal.
Batal is the base camp for Chandratal lake. Chandratal is 11-12 km away from Batal. Then you have to trek for an hour to reach the lake.
There’s nothing much to do in the wilderness of Batal, just dwell yourself into the scenic beauty of this place, listen to the whistling winds hitting the mountains. You can also rent the camps and enjoy the stargazing at night.
Batal does not have any permanent settlements. Just a few tea shops and dhabas that provides bedding and food to the travellers.
Some time back Batal had only one Dhaba known as Chandra Dhaba. It is run by Dorje Bodh and his wife Hishe Chhomo. They have been running Chandra Dhaba for more than over two decades.
It is also famous by the name of chacha chachi dhaba. The food is very cheap and delicious.
Despite poor connectivity and difficult terrains they have been doing this work with happy faces and no regrets. Every year during summer they shift to Batal and set up their dhaba and tent. At 15000 ft. they are the most hospitable people you will find there.
Dorje Bodh has also received a bravery award for saving tourists lives in harsh weather conditions a few years back. Listen to the stories from the man himself. Talking to him would unravel lots of interesting stories.
They do it for the love of their work and they have been providing adventurers- bikers, drivers, passengers, trekkers with food and shelter for all this long in their very humble and jovial way.
The route Lahaul and Spiti valley from Manali is open only for few months, from May- September so they close the dhabas by the end of November.
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