Bhrigu lake derives its name from Maharishi Bhrigu, one of the seven great
sages created by Brahma. The tales tell that maharishi Bhrigu used to meditate near this lake. For this reason the villagers here have come to believe that the lake never freezes completely, even at such high altitudes where the temperatures often goes beyond 0 degrees. This lake now has a sacred value for the locals.
Situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet, the Bhrigu lake is fenced by the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in India.
We were told that it is a 4 days trek of moderate difficulty. But being my first trek, personally for me, it was a really difficult one.
The trek starts from Gulaba which is at an altitude of 8,530 ft and is
approximately an hour drive from Manali, that is, if you don’t get stuck in
traffic. Unfortunately for us, with the mountain roads being soo narrow around valleys soo deep, it took us 4 hours to reach Gulaba from Manali!
So we finally reached Gulaba around five in the evening. It was a one hour
uphill trek to our first campsite at Jonker Thatch. We were now at around
10,000 ft and we could feel the fresh air of the mountains. It was already dark by the time we reached our campsite. The night falls early in the mountains.
We were all tired from our day journey and called it an early night.
When we woke up in the morning, the view from our tents was amazing! We could see the snow capped mountains and clouds floating all around them even from inside our tents. Imagine waking up to that every day!
Our second campsite was at Rola Khuli and to get there we now had to climb to an altitude of approximately 12,000 ft. Throughout the trek we saw endless stretches of lush green meadows with beautiful wild flowers. There was something about these mountains, maybe the air, or the smell, or the peace here, that made me forget all my stress. I felt like staying there forever.
After four hours of trek we reached Rola Khuli and the sight was breath taking. You could spend hours just staring at the meadows and the streams of chilled fresh water flowing down the snow capped mountains.
We had our lunch and spent the rest of the day enjoying the cold and the
meadows. There were even tea stalls run by the locals where we had some
Maggie 😀 What more do you need!
The summit was the “trek in snow” day and I was super excited! After a steep climb we hit the snow.
To my disappointment I realized trekking in snow is not that easy after all. We were all wearing spikes so that we could just walk uphill in snow without tumbling down. There were moments when I actually felt “why am I even doing this”! But fighting this feeling, when we finally reached the Bhrigu Lake, I was speechless. All my doubts disappeared the moment I set my eyes on that beauty. It was all worth it.
The lake was partially frozen surrounded by grass and flowers. We were
trekking in mid July, a time when you expect to see the blue or green fresh
water. But I guess you never know with nature. This is a trek that no matter
how many times you do, you will be amazed every time, how nature can
Filled with memories and an experience of a lifetime, we returned to Manali the next day.
So if you are planning to go on this trek then here are a few things to help you-
How to prepare yourself – some tips
- Fitness- To be honest the Bhrigu lake trek is physically demanding. Trust me when I say this, many people don’t make it to the summit on fitness grounds.Your body needs at least one month of physical training before you subject it to extreme conditions.You can start any fitness program or get some fitness equipments of your own to build your stamina. Lack of physical fitness will make you easily tired and you will not be able to enjoy the entire experience.
- Medical Check-up- This is mandatory if you have any serious medical conditions that can compromise you at high altitudes. So you must get a medical check-up done to make sure you are ready to trek at high altitudes.
- Medical Kit- In the mountains you are mostly on your own.So you need to take your own set of first aid kit and emergency medications to handle unwarranted situations. Some of these are easily available from heal-kit.
- Always be Prepared- The weather of the mountains is very unpredictable. So you have to be prepared for whether it’s a rainy day or a sunny day.
- Hydrate Yourself- Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Water is your best friend here. Make sure you drink 6-7 litres of water everyday rationally. Drink 2-3 litres while trekking and the rest must be well distributed throughout the rest of the day.
- Get the right equipment- From shoes to trekking poles, make sure you have all of it and the right equipment. Trekking poles help a lot to reduce the strain and effort. You can even rent trekking shoes, jackets and trekking poles from your trek operators.
- Respect the nature- Please don’t litter and spread garbage in these amazing places. You can carry a separate bag for your disposables.
- Don’t Compete- Trek at your own speed and capacity. This will let your body acclimatize to your altitude changes and avoid complications.
With these things in mind, prepare yourself for an experience of a
lifetime. Happy trekking!
Story by Dr. Swati Singh
Dr. Swati is a dental surgeon by profession.But also like to explore new places and their cultures and believe that the heart of every place and culture is in their traditional cuisine. She feast on the idea of sharing a little of what I can about the diverse cultures, traditions and cuisines within our own country.