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The Hidden Gem in Manali – Kala Patthar Trek

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited of what could go right” – Tony Robbins

This was taken when we were having breakfast at Southern Souls

We decided to explore local Manali by auto and on foot this weekend, not renting any bike. Last weekend, we went to Sissu and I have written my experience here. From our host, we had heard a lot about Kala Patthar trek plus it is an offbeat location (not known to many people), hence decided to go there.

Directions to reach the starting point of the Kala Patthar trek:

Ascend upwards from Hadimba Devi Temple straight till Royal Dhaba for 1.2kms.

From Dhaba, follow the road patch till you find a water tank or a board about the plantation. In case, you get confused you can always ask the locals.

Kala Patthar’s trek starts with giant pine trees and a beautiful trail.

Trek Difficulty level – Easy to moderate.

An initial half-hour is a decent walk in the jungle; after crossing the locals’ tent, starts a 70 degree inclined climb! We took our time to hold our breath, enjoy the views, drink water, and hear the chirping of birds.

Points to remember while going on the Kala Patthar trek :

  • Carry sufficient water bottle and some energy bars as there are no shops along the trek.
  • Make sure to keep the place clean and leave no garbage behind.
  • Try to have a local guide or someone who has already visited the place because there are no marked trails. But just like us, you want to explore yourself, no need to worry, go ahead and do it. We did it too, we were lost but there wasn’t any way ahead so it was pretty clear that we took a wrong turn.
  • While climbing up for Kala Patthar, you will come across the “T” section; take a right turn and follow the pony’s dung. Yes! trust me, we were able to trace the correct path with this only. There is no need to panic even if you get lost. In the worst case, you can just climb down from where you came from, right!

Time is taken to complete the trek – 2-3 hours depending on the stamina

Panting heavily, slowly climbing up, we saw a “Bada Kala Patthar”! Sat on that giant rock for some time and quietly observed the panoramic view of the whole Manali.

We still had time and wanted to explore a little more; hence we ascended a little more only to widen our eyes and drop our jaws!

No less than Switzerland.. just perfect! The best part was there wasn’t anyone except one local couple gazing at their cows. I felt blessed to be able to do this Kala Patthar trek; I couldn’t help but drool over the diverse landscape, We had some instant noodles and lots of photography.

We saw some trekkers carrying tent and gas to camp there for one night, but we were satisfied with what we saw and the amount of time spent . Hence we started descending back with happy heart and a broad smile.

Just for my readers’ information, Trekkers doing Lambadugh trek also cross Kala Patthar on their way. But Lambadugh is a moderate to difficult trek according to me and it’s difficult to do it in one day. We were in no mood to get excessively tired hence returned from Kala Patthar only.


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