Coming across a high altitude lake in India is rare. Coming across one like Lake Bhrigu is even rarer. Bhrigu Lake is a high altitude glacial lake located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. The most enticing feature of the Bhrigu Lake Trek is that you get to climb up to an ambitious altitude of 14,000 ft. in just 3 days, which is usually achieved after 4-5 days of hectic climbing on a Himalayan trek. This ideal weekend hiking trip promises loads of excitement for both beginners as well as experienced hikers.
P.S. The Bhrigu Lake trek is suitable for both beginners as well as experienced trekkers. While the beginners get to cover an impressive height within a couple of days, the steep climb up to the lake can get quite rigorous for them. Therefore, it is recommended that first timers maintain good physical stamina.
Trekkers at Bhrigu Lake Trek summit
Situated to the right of the Rohtang Pass and about 6 km from the Gulaba base Bhrigu Lake is a ‘paradise on earth’ especially for nature lovers. Nestled in the lap of nature and flanked by rows of snow-capped mountain peaks on all sides, Bhrigu Lake attracts a large number of visitors every year. During the early sum’mers, you can see green and blue ice rings formed around the circumference of the lake. In the late summer, it turns completely into a blue lagoon.
The nearest airport to Manali is Bhuntar which is connected by domestic flights to Delhi and Chandigarh. You can take a pre-paid taxi from the airport to Manali which is about 50 kilometres away. If you’re thinking of driving up to Manali, then you must because the views are simply breathtaking! It is 550 km from Delhi. Besides this, Manali is extremely well-connected by a network of government as well as private buses.
Apart from its scenic, colour-changing properties, the Bhrigu lake also has significant historical and religious implications. As per local folklore, a thousand year ago Maharishi Bhrigu would meditate near this pristine lake & that is how it got its name. Apart from Sage Bhrigu, it is also believed that a lot of the Himalayan rishis and devtas bathed at this heavenly location. For this reason, it is popularly known as the ‘pool of Gods’
The high altitude lake, its steep ascend, the magnificent flora-fauna and the intriguing history behind it make this trek one of the most sought-after treks in India. The trek starts from Gulaba which is 4-5 hours trek to Rola Kholi situated at the base of Bhrigu Lake. Along the way, one gets to admire breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks, verdant oak and cedar forests and gushing streams. Depending upon the season you might even come across sheep and wild horses grazing in the meadows while the winters are a bonus for those who prefer being engulfed by white blankets of snow. If you’re lucky enough, you can even catch sight of Himalayan Monals, Snow Cocks and beautiful pheasants. On the second day of the trek, you walk uphill to the oval-shaped lake nestled among the clouds. On your descent, adore picturesque views of traditional Himalayan villages littered with the sights of blooming apple orchards.
It would be important to acquaint yourself about the basic facilities that you may need for this trek. These include hygienic food, camping, transport and porters who could carry your luggage. On our part, we would be scheduling your travel as per your budget and requirements. A team of highly trained people would be there to assist as well as guide you through your way. And before you are set on the trekking segment of this journey, they would brief you on do’s and don’ts so that you may fend for yourself in case of an emergency.
Arrive at Manali
2 hours drive to Gulaba
4-5 hours trek to Rola Kholi
Accommodation, and food at Rola Kholi campsite.
Reach Manali bus stand by 9:00 am sharp and then drive together to Gulaba which is 22 km away and would require around 2 hours to get there (depending on the traffic).
Please note that we shall not be providing you with breakfast on the first day. Also, try to arrive at the pick-up point on time, we shall not wait for anyone beyond the ETA. Once we reach Gulaba, we have our lunch which will be provided by us and then we proceed to hike our way through verdant forests and meadows with Manali and Solang Valley in the background. En route, we get to see some of the most notable peaks including Mt. Hanuman Tibba and the Seven Sisters and Shitidhar peaks rising from the Beas Kund Valley.
Make sure you carry enough of water along with you since the chances of finding any water sources before you get to Kolang Nallah (which is 3-4 hours away) is very limited (depending on the season). The trail to Kolang Nallah is a steep ascent and after crossing the nallah it gets gradual. You will have to get across the Nallah by crossing a makeshift wooden bridge. After crossing the bridge and having some evening snacks, hike for another couple of hours until you get to Rola Kholi, our campsite for the day.
Rola Kholi is an ideal campsite surrounded by mountain ranges on 3 sides and with a water stream flowing nearby. Once you reach the campsite, you could unwind, have dinner and rest before the next day’s trek. If you have any extra baggage, then leave it at the base camp before you begin to make your way to the lake on the next day since the way forward is a treacherous one. We will be providing tents that can fit up to 2 people along with mattresses and sleeping bags that withstand up to temperature -20 degrees Celsius.
12,500 ft. to 14,000 ft.
10 km trek, 8 hrs approx. from basecamp at Rola Kholi to Bhrigu Lake
Try to leave early from the basecamp
Trek down from Brigu Lake to Pandu Ropa (11,500 ft.).
Bathe in the hot Sulphur spring of Vashisht
Trek back to Rola Kholi and settle there for a night halt
Accommodation, and food at Rola Kholi campsite.
On the second day of the trek, we start off at the break of dawn since the trail is long and steep. We shall have our breakfast by 5 am and start trekking by 5:30 am. We will be carrying packed lunch along with us. The earlier we start, the more time we shall get to spend at Bhrigu Lake. Along the way, we get to witness the trail change colour from green to brown and, in winters, even snow white! The participants are requested to be extra cautious today because the path is a treacherous one through streams and boulders, especially the last 5 km before reaching the lake. Once we reach the summit, you will be subjected to spectacular views of the lake which is frozen for most of the year. But during the summers, it is surrounded by grass and pretty little alpine flowers. After having our lunch and spending some time exploring around the lake, we will trek down to Pandu Ropa. This little hamlet is covered in pine trees and serves astounding panoramic views of the Kullu Valley below. As we walk down further we come to the ancient village of Vashisht which has a sulphur hot water spring as well as a 4,000 years old wooden temple dedicated to Sage Vashisht. The spring is believed to have medicinal properties and those who wish can bathe in it. We shall have some evening snacks here and finally descent our way back to the Rola Kholi campsite where we shall have dinner and then rest for the night.
Trek from Rola Kholi to Gulaba
6kms, 4-hour trek
Drive back to Manali
On the final day, after breakfast we leave the Rola Kholi basecamp by 9:00 am and trek our way back to Gulaba. This is a 4-hour easy trek. Upon arriving at Gulaba we have our lunch, board our vehicles and drive back to Manali. We have an evening snack along the way and reach Manali by around 7:00 pm (depending on the traffic). The trip ends in Manali.