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A Hidden Wonderland In Dharamshala: Kareri Lake

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

Rockfalls, Mudslides, Landslides - Mountains are fragile during monsoon. It is always advised against travelling to the Himalayas. It was the time when India was experiencing heavy rainfall and I was desperate to travel somewhere in the mountains. Dharamshala is the closest and most well-known hill station and I've been there a lot; in fact, it might as well be my second home. Most of the treks were already closed so we didn't know where to go. Sunny is a helpful and nice guy I know from Mcleodganj. He recommended we go for the Kareri Trek, as it is the safest and is open during monsoon as well. Although I never like to travel with a guide, this time I was with some friends who were going on their first trek, and because it was monsoon season, I was really worried about their safety. As a result, we hired a guide named Sashi, a kind guy.

Before I give you a brief overview of my trek, I'd want to let you know that it cost each one of us in the group Rs 3,000 in total, including travel expenses, meals, the tents and sleeping bags we rented, as well as the guide we hired. Considering we were 7 people and the cost was split evenly among us, we hired our own traveller from Chandigarh to Kareri for 2 Nights and 2 Days. We left Chandigarh at night so that we can spend the whole day trekking. I prefer to go at night since it allows you to save your day exploring places.

This was going to be my first trek to Kareri Lake!

Ghera Village

To reach Kareri, you must travel from Dharamshala to Ghera Village. You can reach Ghera either by taking a route from Dharamshala or the Dharamshala bypass while travelling from Mcleodganj. You can hire a Jeep from Dharamshala to Ghera which will cost you around Rs 500. As for us, we continued in our vehicle. In Ghera, you can buy food items from one or two small shops, and they may even serve you Maggi or other meals at night.

Ghera Village is around 18 km from Dharamshala, getting there could take you up to two hours due to the dangerous and busy road. The moderately difficult Kareri Trek is located about 12KM from Ghera village. The Trek begins at Ghera Village and on to Kareri Village and Kareri Lake. You can follow this map.

Kareri Village

The lush trees and continuously flowing freshwater stream originating directly from the Dahuladhars will surround you on the Kareri Lake Trek, making it a really stunning experience. One of the most beautiful treks I've ever taken is this one.

There are numerous local shops along the trail from where you may buy snacks like biscuits, Maggi and a hot cup of tea. These shops also provide raincoats and rainproof shields during the monsoon, but it's usually preferable to have your own supplies on hand in advance.

On our route to Kareri, we experienced heavy snowfall that caused us to stop our trek for about 1.5 hours. I briefly doubted whether we would be able to go any further, but the weather in the highlands is incredibly changeable, and the sun started to shine once more. After an hour, the sun set once more, and the forest was completely obscured by thick fog, giving a stunning perspective of the trail.

After travelling for six hours, we finally arrived at Kareri Lake, where we made the decision to set up our tents before exploring the area. Kareri Lake is beautiful in its own right. The finest view is at sunset when the mountains are coated in the golden sunlight and are reflected in the lake just in front of you.

You can eat dinner at one of the two nearby restaurants in Kareri. They serve you delicious rice and dal, and they also offer tasty homemade pickles. They can provide you with an extra blanket if you're feeling cold. People are really nice and helpful.

The Morning

Kareri Lake is quite gorgeous in the morning. With the sun rising, the lake appears to be extremely lovely.

Take a stroll around the lake and through the woods and forest nearby, to discover Kareri.

Taking a walk around the lake in the morning will make you feel so rejuvenated. Due to its size, it could take one hour to thoroughly walk around the entire lake.

We returned to Ghera village after exploring for a while and eating breakfast. We admired the beauty of Kareri Trail as we descended.

A trip is incomplete without having an open bath. We did it this time too.

Overall, the trail to Kareri is much more beautiful than the final destination. Nature always surprises you in its own way. The nicest part of travelling is to take in everything that comes your way.

Mountains may be delicate. Keep them spotless and lovely. Always carry your trash back up with you as you descend. Keep the mountains as "Clean and Beautiful" as they were intended.

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