About Kareri Lake trek
The Dhauladhar range is home to 22 glacial lakes. Situated in the high mountain tops of the Dhauladhar mountain ranges, lies a shrouded glacial lake, known as the Kareri Lake. It is one of the easily accessible lakes of the Dhauladhar range. The Kareri Lake trek is located in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. Many people in India do not know about the existence of this mesmerizing lake which makes it all the more attractive tourist destination.
Level of Difficulty – Easy to Moderate
Highest Elevation – 3300 metres
Starting Point – Kareri Village
The trail of the Kareri Lake trek passes through thick green lush forests, lying in the midst of high rising Himalayan mountain ranges. It provides the scenic beauty of a mixed landscape – of mountains and forests. The lake area is frozen during the months of winters and snow can be seen during the first half of summer.
Lam Dal (Dal in local language means lake) is a very prominent lake in the Dhauladhar range because of its religious importance. If one goes beyond Kareri lake, they can cross the Minkiani pass through which Lam Dal is approachable.
Best time for Kareri Lake trek
Kareri Lake trek should be undertaken during the months of April to Jun when the weather is warm and pleasant (also the best time for crossing the Minkiani Pass) or between September-December when snow can be seen in patches from last week of December.
Weather during the months of September to November is also quite suitable due to the pleasantly cold wind that blows.
Keep an eye out for wild animals during the months of December to March, as they descend after snowfall on the higher regions. It’s best to reach your camping spot before sunset.
The monsoon months of July and August should be avoided as there is a constant lash of rain. The route might be crowded during the end of August and early September due to the Manimahesh Yatra.
How to reach Kareri village?
You would have to first reach Dharamshala. There are several ways to reach Dharamshala.
- By Air: Gaggal Airport near Kangra is the nearest airport to Dharamshala. It is located at a distance of 17 kms from Dharamshala. Taxi services are available from the airport for Dharamshala and Mcleodganj.
- By Bus: There are frequent services of government buses of Himachal roadways, Haryana roadways and Punjab roadways between New Delhi and Dharamshala. Government buses include both Semi sleeper AC Volvo and non AC buses. Apart from government operated buses, many private bus operators too ply their Volvo buses on this route. However, private buses usually depart during evening and night time only from Delhi and Chandigarh.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Dharamshala is Pathankot. It is situated at a distance of 80 kms from Dharamshala. Bus services are available from Pathankot to Dharamshala and onwards to Mcleodganj.
- By Road: Dharamshala is located at distance of about 243 kms from Chandigarh and 493 kms from New Delhi. It usually takes 6-7 hours to reach Dharamshala from Chandigarh and 10-11 hours from New Delhi.
Note: Rains are quite unpredictable and Kangra valley receives the highest rainfall in entire Himachal. It is advisable to carry your rain-gear for Kareri lake trek, irrespective of the month in which you’re trekking.
There are only 2-3 buses available from Dharamshala to Ghera. Ghera to Kareri costs Rs 500-700 one-way for a taxi, although if you find a shared taxi it would cost just 50 bucks per seat.
Kareri village stay
There are a few homestays and a Forest Rest House.
Phone no. of Resthouse’s Caretaker: +91-9736525486
Kareri Lake trek itinerary
Day 1: Dharamshala to Kareri Village (26 km)
On this day, you will be travelling from Dharamshala to Kareri Village, which is the base camp of this trek. There, you can spend the day with the natives, knowing more about their culture and enjoying the food popular in that place.
Day 2: Kareri Village to Kareri Lake (14 km)
The real trek to Kareri Lake begins on this day. From the village, the trail will lead you across thick forests consisting of various trees of pines, oak and rhododendrons. Soon the ascent to higher elevation begins which is quite steep in nature.
The trail will lead you alongside a small stream known as the Kareri Nullah Stream which you will be required to cross a number of times. On reaching the base of the Minkiani Pass, the Kareri Lake becomes visible. It is a beautiful glacial lake, surrounded by tall mountains.
There is a small temple near the lake that has 3-4 rooms and can accommodate 6-7 people comfortably per room. Shack owners nearby won’t charge anything directly for the stay, but do expect some contribution to the temple’s fund.
Day 3: Kareri Lake to Kareri Village (13 km)
You will have to retrace the steps of the previous day to reach back to the Kareri Village. Although the scenery might be the same as of the previous day, you will find it to your liking and the downhill trail is soothing and not taxing as much as the initial ascent.
Cellular network at Kareri
BSNL and Airtel networks are available in the Kareri Village, however, the connections might be intermittent. It is very hard to find connections for the other networks during the rest of the trek.