Kareri Lake Trek

22nd Dec 2017
Photo of Kareri Lake Trek by meghna Saluja
Day 1

As opposed to Triund, Kareri Lake is a bit unexplored high altitude trek in the Dhauladhar ranges of Indian Himalayas. The trek starts from Ghera/Kareri Village around 15-20 kms from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The ideal time to do the trek is summers as you would find a variety of flora and fauna along the way through the alpine meadows and a community of gaddis residing in the upper stretches near the Kareri Lake. It is a shallow freshwater lake. During summers, one can take a swim in the lake as well. However, the lake has a different charm in the winter months when it is frozen and the path leading to it becomes covered with around 3-4 ft of snow.

We, as most of the travellers, went for the Triund hill trek. However, to much of our disappointment, the forest department cancelled the permits for overnight camp stays at the hill just a day prior to our arrival. Seeing our disappointment, the travel agent who had to provide us guides and tents for the trek suggested that we instead go for Kareri Lake trek. Since we hadn't heard about it, we were apprehensive of it first. But being short of options as well as time, we decided to go ahead with it.

It took us around 2 hrs to reach Kareri Village from Mcleodganj. After having a sumptuous meal of maggi and coffee at 'Out of the World' cafe, we started our trek at around 4 pm. The trek led us through alpine meadows with a stream flowing alongside us for most part of the trek. Most of the climb was over the boulders and stones acting like stairs. Though the path is well trodden, it has a steep ascent and confusing two side trails at some places. The uphill ascent is tiring, especially for first timers, however the calming sound of the flowing stream and the feel of fresh mountain air keep you filled with energy all along the way. It took us 3 hours for us to reach our camp site, Reoti. Total Distance that we covered today was around 6.5 kms.

Day 2

The next day we started our trek for the Kareri Lake from the campsite Reoti at around 8.30 am. Today we were accompanied by a bunch of college-goers, one of whom had come with his father and an uncle for this trekking expedition. It was really amazing to see such 40 year olds walk with much energy and speed during the trek. The path was all covered with snow, and at some places, the snow was as deep as 4 ft. The path was exciting with some really difficult narrow pathways in between. However everything seemed worthwhile once we reached the mystical lake after about 2 hrs at around 11 am. We found an ancient Shiva temple on the hilltop with lake on the adjacent side. After spending an hour or so at the lake soaking in all the positive energies surrounding us, we headed back to the Kareri village, falling and sliding in the snow. Total Distance that we covered today was 6.5 kms uphill and around 13 kms downhill.

Though snow adds to the difficulties of traversing which takes the trekking experience to a whole different level, I would advise you all to go for this trek in the months of summer as you be able to find and interact with the local community.

Out of the World cafe at Reoti village

Photo of Kareri, Himachal Pradesh, India by meghna Saluja

Snow clad Dhauladar ranges

Photo of Kareri, Himachal Pradesh, India by meghna Saluja

Sense of happiness on reaching the lake!

Photo of Kareri, Himachal Pradesh, India by meghna Saluja
Photo of Kareri, Himachal Pradesh, India by meghna Saluja

Fresh water lake