Removed from the rush of Rohtang Pass and Manali, guarded by two high-altitude ridges is Bhrigu Lake. The journey to this forget-me-not blue lake takes you to a completely different world! Aswati writes about Nikita Bhatia’s magical trek to this stunning alpine lake.
All pictures taken by Nikita Bhatia.
Manali is a hub. No two ways about it. It is a touristy destination in the upper reaches of Himachal and is teeming with families looking for a quick getaway, travellers with Royal Enfields out to conquer the holy grail of road trips. The Bhrigu Lake trek starts from Gulaba, a quick drive 24 km from Manali.
Gulaba is a quiet hamlet, which occasionally buzzes with tourists en route Rohtang Pass. The trail takes off from the 14th scissor bend and alternates through forests and pasture lands! What a start it was! It rained that night- offering us a rain-washed sky full of stars!
Out of the dense forest, we burst into this expanse of meadow. There were swings tied to trees that brought the children in all of us alive! These swings take you to the sky! I couldn’t have imagined swinging in a place like this, where you see incredible views of the mountains and Solang valley!
Our campsite that evening, Bhrigu Base Camp is a wide, wide expanse of a grazing ground. That day the clouds clung on to mountains after the rains, like greyish-white fluffy cotton candy. Snow accentuated the grooves of distant mountains. Sheep and cattle grazed as creek flowed lazily by our campsite. After the long day of trekking, I suddenly wasn’t tired anymore.
And the steep climb to Bhrigu starts!
We climbed so high up that we could see the treelines! The border of the treeline was so clear-cut, it was uncanny!
A 5-minute walk away from Bhrigu Base Camp and we began to see the first snows. We saw Deo Tibba, “the mountain of Gods” dominating the landscape.
Suddenly, the lush greenery disappeared and the landscape was dominated by brown and white. We walked on a slippery slope of snow, ice and scree. The scale of this was so huge – it felt like we were walking on a giant Oreo cookie.
And then the grandest view of them all! Out from the ridges popped the oval-shaped Bhrigu Lake. It was a complete surprise. The lake popped out of nowhere and considering how grand and celestial it is, we wondered how on earth it was so well-hidden!
The ice looked so luminescent- it felt like someone has sprinkled stardust on Bhrigu lake. It seemed to belong to a different planet altogether.
Can you see the distant lights of civilisation?
I am not going to forget this particular sunrise. When the sunlight broke through clouds, it created such an impressive effect on the mountains. The mountains looked like inverted jelly! If you have ever made jelly, you would know what kind of depressions the sunlight made on those mountains.
We have company! Horses and sheep graze on the pasturelands where we camp.
The grass is greener on this side. This happy goat can attest to that.
The meadows on the way to Vashisht were so vast and green, with tiny little rivulets that we hopped over! Oh it was delightful!
On the way to Vashisht, we were treated to grand views of Kullu Valley. Apple orchards accompanied us on our descent and we came near the hot springs where we treated ourselves to a hot bath! Quite a luxury after a trek.
Bhrigu Lake is special – in just four days, it offered us such a complete experience for a trek – forests, meadows, snow and an impossibly pretty glacial lake!
If you want to take a look at the entire trek details and register for the trek, click here!