Kareri Lake

PlaceKareri Lake
DistrictKangra
StateHimachal
Stay optionCamps & Temple
Places of InterestLake & Minkiani Pass and Baleni Pass
Best Time to VisitMay - Nov except Monsoon

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    Kareri Lake
Less Explored Serene Lake with Mighty Mountains

Kareri Lake  is a high altitude, shallow water lake south of the Dhauldhar range approximately 9 km North West of Dharamshala in Kangra district, Himachal. Its surface is 2934 metres above the sea level. Snow melting from the Dhauladhar range serves as the source of the lake. Kareri lake is best known for being a trekking destination in the Dhauladhars. The lake remains frozen from early December to March–April.

 

This is an unknown or less explored trek which can be easily covered in three days by boarding overnight bus from Delhi on Friday night and  back to Delhi on Tuesday early morning.

 

After keeping Kareri Lake Trek in mind from last 8 months, we were finally about to leave. This was the first time I was going with a group of 10 people. Friday night was the time and HRTC deluxe bus was booked till Dharamshala. It was 10.30 pm when we left Delhi and around 10 am next day we were in Dharamshala. The taxi was already booked, so without wasting time we boarded the taxi till Kareri Village. We reached the village at around 12. After having some refreshments, it was around 1.30 pm when we started our journey for Kareri Lake. 


Way to Lake


The plan was to cover the trek in two days, though you can also cover it in a single day. First halt was at Lioti which is after around 8 km and rest of the trek next day which is around another 5 km. The total trek is around 13 km which includes lot of stairs which makes it a little tiring. Inside jungle and being adjacent to a river makes the trek more scenic. The views got better as we were moving uphill. It is good to have certain level of fitness prior to the trek. After trekking for around 4.5 hours we were at Lioti (Halt point for first night) which includes two breaks.


Camp at Lioti...First Night  


Next day we started early to reach at the Lake. We were now entering into more dense forest, passing through lush green meadows with multiple gushing streams. We also saw different types of wild, colourful and beautiful flowers. The sound of Himalayan birds were creating background music. It took us around 2 hours to reach at Lake from Lioti. We experienced different shades of nature and realised the trek to be among some of the most beautiful treks in the Himalayas. We also met shepherds and small hamlets inhabited by the local gaddis.


Finally we were at Kareri Lake.The Lake was not as I expected and that was a little disappointing.We pitched our tents next to the lake. It is very peaceful and less crowded. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on a hilltop overlooking the lake. Now we had good amount of time to explore nearby places around the lake.We decided to explore nearby places and go at least till the bottom of Mankiani Peak.


Around Lake... 


Kareri Lake serves as a base for trekking further into the Dhauladhar and onward to Chamba and Bharmour via the Minkiani Pass (4250m) and Baleni Pass (3710m). The Lake is formed by melted eater from Minkiani Pass and Baleni pass. A few gaddi  kothis are present on the other side of the lake, an area which is used by the gaddis as a grazing ground for their animals. After our lunch we moved to experience the bottom of Minkiani Peak which took us around 2.5 hours. Our guide narrated us some stories about the place and inform about some precious plants and birds.   


                                                      Cobra Lily


He also advised us to be in a group because of the story of a boy who lost his way as he got hypnotised with some musical sounds from the mountains and apparently met back with his group after the guide found him.


Bottom of Manikiani Pass


While returning back from the bottom of Manikaini Peak, our guide took us at the sunset point and we spent around an hour just sitting at the corner of the hills and experienced magical colours of sunset. Back to camps and it was about to be dark. Temperature in day was pleasant but at night was cold. Bonfire and music added magical moments to the joy. Everyone was enjoying and sharing their travel stories. It was our last night at this place. Around 12 we all were looking at stars and went back to our camps with heavy hearts because we had to leave this place next morning.


View from camp at Kareri Lake 


Next day, we started our downhill trek which took around 4 hours and boarded an overnight bus from Dharamshala to Delhi.    

 

On the way there are few snack points from where you can get energy bars, maggi and tea/soft drinks. There is one food stall at Kareri Lake if you going solo or in group without any organizer. A camp can be taken on rent from Kareri Village.

 

Trekking level is in between easy to moderate. It took us around 7 hours to complete around 13 km trek which starts from Kareri Village. Buses are easily available from Delhi to Dharamshala. It is 25 km from Dharamshala to Kareri village. There is very limited option of government buses and which don’t even go till Kareri Village. Last stoppage is 7 km prior to Kareri Village. The best option is to hire a taxi; it will cost you around Rs. 150 per person and will drop you till Kareri Village. It’s a 90 minute journey in taxi from Dharamshala to kareri Village. There is another route to Kareri, drive till Salli village from Shahpur.


On the way.....Bridge with hut   


Things to take care 


Start your trek from Kareri Village instead of Mcleodganj.

Have guide if you are going solo or in group without organizer.

Just follow the stream coming down and stick to the way on your left.

Be a responsible traveller and don't litter.

Don't trek at night.


Keep Travelling !!


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