Bhrigu lake has been a special place for me because, first, it was my first ever trek, and second, I feel an inexplicable vibe whenever I visit that place. After all, Rishi Bhrigu meditated there for many years and that place is closely related to the gods.
➡ Click here to read about my first solo experience on the Bhrigu lake trek!
Whenever I plan to visit the lake, I always wish for being there all alone so I could spend some time in solitude, near the lake.
I wish to see all the phases of the lake. Its a high altitude glacial lake at 14000 ft and it gets frozen during winter months, The best time to visit the lake is in the month of May- early June when it is semi-frozen.
I saw the semi-frozen phase on my first trek and this time I wanted to see its monsoon phase. Luckily, I got a long weekend in September and I had 3 days with me, so I planned to visit the lake again.
Also, I made a short video of the lake when I first visited the place, it was just a 3-minutes crappy video but still received a good response on youtube so I wanted to make a better video this time, as I didn’t know anything about making videos then.
As usual, I took a night bus from Delhi to Manali on Friday and reached there the next morning, I had a total of 3 days with me – Saturday, Sunday and Monday. My return bus was on Monday evening.
Reach Manali on Saturday morning and just take some rest for the day, buy some remaining stuff from Manali, start the trek on Sunday morning… early, reach Rolakholi and camp there for the night. Wake up early the next morning and go to the lake, return to Manali on Monday afternoon to catch the evening bus to Delhi.
In a search for a cheap hostel, I reached old Manali and before I could find one, I bumped into a small hotel where I got a room for Rs. 600/- for a day.
Day 1 – Sunday, 2nd September 2018
My sleep got interrupted by the sound of heavy raindrops hitting a tin shed near the window of my room, it was around 5:00 AM. It was all sunny the previous day, but that day it was raining since the wee hours.
I was excited because I love walking in the rain and this was going to be a long walk in the rain through beautiful lush green meadows.
I got ready for the trek and left my hotel at around 8:00 AM. I just walked down from old Manali towards the clubhouse area to find a ride to Gulaba. The streets were all empty, probably because it’s hard to leave the bed in such weather, but it was a sexy rainy monsoon morning and I was the only guy on the streets with a backpack and a destination on my mind.
Moments like these are the ones when I wish if I could freeze the time and stay there for much longer.
I reached near the clubhouse and went to a small restaurant, it was still raining so I waited there and asked a guy if I can get a ride to Gulaba from there, he called someone and we agreed for a taxi for Rs 1500/- to चौदह मोड़ (14th turn), which is the starting point of the trek.
We took off to Gulaba, crossing beautiful views, with the raging Beas river flowing next to us, it was cold and I was wearing a sweater.
As we reached near Gulaba, the whole area started to get covered with dense fog, there were only a few vehicles going towards Rohtang pass that day, It was off-season, we crossed the Gulaba barrier and he dropped me at चौदह मोड़, the starting point of the trek.
For going till the starting point, you can catch an early morning bus to Kaza or Kelong from the Manali bus stand, but for that, you need to wake up quite early, they depart at around 5 or 6:00 AM in the morning. I don’t have complete knowledge of the bus timings so if you wish to go there by bus you can inquire at the bus stand.
Now here I was, standing at the starting point of the trek, with zero visibility, ready to go.
I started the trek and couldn’t see anything more than a few meters away, man it was scary! I was the only one on the trail that day, and I could hear nothing other than some horses grazing at a distance and sound of the insects that come out during the monsoon, it was like a horror movie scene with occasional Ravens passing by.
I knew that the trail was clearly laid out till Rolakholi but it still felt like a scene from a horror movie. With my heart in my throat… I kept going.
The grass was all wet and the soil was all muddy, a few minutes into the trek and my shoes and
the lower part of my trek pants was all muddy, also, clicking pictures was of no use because of the low visibility.
Upon moving further up the trail, I saw more horses, beautiful meadows, but still no signs of humans.
After trekking for a few minutes more, the fog started to scatter and I got some visibility but still, the surrounding mountain ranges were not visible.
It took me 3 hours to Reach Rolakholi from the starting point of the trek and there I saw some more tents pitched, they belonged to Indiahikes.
The campsite is divided into two sections by a water stream flowing right through the meadow and I decided to pitch my tent on the other side where there would be no one except me.
It was raining intermittently since I started the trek and walking in the rain was like a dream come true for me, I have done two treks this monsoon so far 🙂
After pitching my tent and settling up for a bit, I took some rest, prepared lunch and read a book for some time while I waited for the rain to stop.
The altitude of Rolakholi is 3800 meters. It was a good thing that I brought a book with me this time, that’s the best way to pass time in the campsites, I prepared Haldiram’s meals but didn’t like it this time, probably I will look for some other food options for my next trip.
It was raining the whole night but as I am going on solo camping trips more and more, I have started to get used to it, I slept well that night.
Day 2 – Monday, 3rd September 2018
I wanted to be the first man to reach the lake that day and planned to leave for the lake at 6:00 AM, but I woke up at 6. I got fresh and made some breakfast (Haldiram’s Lemon rice, which was not good at all because it was frozen until the morning and it didn’t cook properly)
So… my breakfast was no good and I just ate it half stomach and started the trek. I noticed a few Himachali locals already started the trek which was not a good thing because I wanted to reach there first 😎
They were climbing too fast and I wished that they stop to take some pictures so I could get past them.
finally, they stopped at a spot to click pictures and that was the time when I left them behind.
After leaving them behind I never looked back, took my pace because my body has warmed up now, I was going fast and after 1 hour of trekking, I reached the final climb which looked so different from when I last visited the place.
When I was in that area, last time, that whole area was covered with snow but this time it was all rocks and boulders, I didn’t know that beneath that snow there was a mountain of rocks. the trail was not at all visible but I knew the direction.
After a few minutes, I finally reached the lake, it was again a spiritual experience but this time the water level in the lake was low because it’s a glacial lake and this season there was very less snowfall in Himachal.
The glaciers above it act as a feeder for the lake. despite having less water it was beautiful and special. As I was the only one there, I shouted a few times just to have some fun.
I spent some solo time near the lake by throwing some rocks in it, touching the water etc and after a few minutes those locals also arrived and I waited for half an hour at the lake and then I took off for the campsite because I had an evening bus to catch, I was planning to reach the road head ASAP.
It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach back the campsite from the lake and after reaching the campsite I packed my tent and took off to Gulaba. climbing down was fairly easy but as my bag was too heavy, it made me struggle a bit in the last 5% of the trek as my ankles were exhausted, also I did not have a good breakfast that morning.
I reached the road head quite early and to my luck, there was a cab waiting for an Afghanistani couple, returning from Rohtang pass, he told me that he can take me to Manali for Rs 500/- which was a good deal.
After reaching Manali, I was so hungry that I ate some Dal-Tadka and Roti in a nearby Dhaba and waited for my evening bus in Manali.
I completed the trek quite fast this time, but as it’s a moderate level trek, my calves were exhausted, but I enjoyed every bit of it.
Now I have seen two phases of the lake, one is the semi-frozen, and the other one is the monsoon phase, I am yet to see the fully frozen phase for which I need to visit the place in the month of April – early May.
I will do it next year 🙂
Below is the vlog of the trek, hope you will like it 🙂