The Glacial Lake which is around 25kms from Badrinath, could be reached after a arduous trek crossing Lakshmiban and Chakratirtha. Natural Caves along the path are used as the night shelter. Around Badrinath places like Lakshmiban and Chakratirtha are steeped in legends.It is said that goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth)and her husband Narayan meditated in Lakshmiban and Chakratirtha respectively and while meditating, Narayan kept his famous Sudarshan Chraka on the valley which got depressed by the weight of that Chakra to form a beautiful round shaped meadow surrounded by lofty mountains. Traversing the satopanth glacier and hours of hard trekking on the treacherous moraine is required to reach the lake.The first thing that strikes you is the strange ethereal ambience of the lake, Calm and Soothing The perfectly triangle shaped lake is at the base of the snow crested Chaukhamba 1 peak. Satopanth tal trek is just for hardcore trekkers indeed!
Legend goes that the pandavas followed this path to reach the gates of heaven after the Mahabharata war. This area is shrouded in mystery. While trekking you’ll cross some of the highest snow covered peaks, breathtaking waterfalls (some of which don’t even make it to the ground because of the winds) and magnificent glaciers; you’ll trace the source of the Alaknanda River and knock on the gates of heaven at the Satopanth Taal.
Legend goes that on Ekadashi, Lord Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Mahesh (the destroyer) visit the lake for a holy dip. Each of the 3 corners of the triangular lake is occupied by one of them.
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Day 1 - Mana to Lakshmi Van
Meet our crew at Mana village, and start the trek.
We’ll start the trek from Mana, go on the other side of Bhimpul and beyond. Bhimpul derives its name from the legend that Bhim put rocks across the Sarasvati River for Draupadi to cross it. After crossing the pul, we’ll trek for another 5kms to reach the magnificent Vasudhara falls. After a short halt, we’ll continue for another couple of kms to reach the Lakshmi Van where we’ll set up our campsite for the night.
Mana Village - 3 km from Badrinath, this is the last village of India on the Indo-Tibetan border. The Indo-Mongolian tribe set up this village. A population of 200 people lives here. As soon as the gates of Badrinath open, they come here and as soon as they close, they go down to the plains where they live for the rest of the year. In this way they live a dual family life. These people are very hardworking and industrious. They wherein the women knit and weave sweaters, carpets, etc run a small-scale industry of woolen clothes.
Bheem Pul - Bridge - A short distance from Mana Village a natural bridge made of a huge boulder, over the river Saraswathi is seen. The story goes that Bheem; one of the Pandava brothers put it there. The view of this extraordinary bridge and the din of the flowing river make this place interesting. Vasudhara falls - 5 km after Bheem Bridge this astonishingly high waterfall is very attractive. The most interesting aspect about this place is that all the water here becomes vapour and vanishes into the atmosphere. The view looks like the Ganges is descending from the sky.
Day 2 - Lakshmi Van to Chakrateerath
From Lakshmivan we trek across the Sahastra Dhara to reach Chakrateerath. Today we’ll trek for about 10Kms.
Day 3 – Chakrateerath to Satopanth Taal
Today’s trek is not for the faint hearted. High altitude, cold mountain winds, and unpredictable weather conditions make it extremely exciting and dangerous. A 3 km glacier walk will bring us to the Satopanth Taal, where we’ll set up our camp for the night.
Further up is Swargarohini – the gate of heaven. We pay our respect to the gods at Swargarohini and come back to our campsite at Satopanth.
Day 4 – Satopanth lake to Lakshmi Van – 13Kms
We start our descent and set up our campsite at Lakshmi van once again. The area is a beautiful meadow full of high altitude flowers and breathtaking views. Draupadi is believed to have left her body here.
Day 5 – Lakshmi Van to Badrinath
We trek all the way back to Mana village. Trip ends at Mana village.
From Mana, Badrinath is 3kms away and if you prefer, you can get accommodation at Badrinath or head to Joshimath and stay for the night.
Mirag, Joshimath, Dist. Chamoli, UTTARAKHAND
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