Satopanth Tal is a glacial lake in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand which is 26 kms from Badrinath. It is located in the midst of snow-capped peaks at an altitude of 4600 m above sea-level. It is believed that on its three corners meditated the holy trio – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The lake, considered to be of religious significance to the local residents of Mana Village, popularly known as “The last village of India”, is 3 kms ahead of Badrinath.
This holy triangular shaped lake has a perimeter of 1 km. The snow covered Himalayan peaks of Neelkanth (21638 feet), Chaukhamba (23419 feet), and Balakun (20040 feet) looms over the waters of the glacial lake. The trek starts from Badrinath and stretches on the right bank of Alaknanda River, after 3km trek on reaching Mata Murti Temple, we can see the famous Mana village at another side of Alaknanda river as well as KeshavPrayag (Confluence of Saraswati&Alaknanda), the trail goes through the lush green Vasundhara valley where one can see the Vasudhara falls.
It is believed that after the war of Mahabharata the Pandavas came to Satopanth valley, in search of peace and on the way to Satopanth, all four brothers Bheema, Arjuna, Nakul&Sahadev died along with Draupadi. Yudhisthira, the eldest of Pandavas could reach to Satopanth and from Swargarohini, he ascended to heaven alive.
Day 1: Rishikesh to Badrinath – Drive for 300 km (approx.)
On the first day, you will be travelling by road for around 11 hours or so to reach Badrinath from Rishikesh. To reach within a reasonable time and get some rest for the next day, start early. Catch the morning bus or start your car trip at dawn. Pay a visit to the shrine before having dinner and settling down for the night at your hotel.
Day 2: Badrinath to Lakshmi Van – Trek for 5 hours (9km) – 11,900 ft
You can either start walking from Badrinath or take a cab for 3 km to Mana Village. From here starts your actual trail for SatopanthTaal. You will be walking along the left bank of River Alaknanda. After 3-4 km, you will come across the majestic Vasundhara Falls. Crossing the cascading waters of the Falls, keep walking towards Lakshmi Van campsite at 11,900 ft where you will tent for the night.
Day 3: Lakshmi Van to Chakrateertha – Trek for 4 hours (7km) – 14,000 ft
Today you will walk along with the green grasslands along the moraines of Dhano Glacier. Expect to see patches of colourful wildflowers and glimpses of Bhagirathi peaks on your way. Towards the end of the trek, you will reach Sahasradhara – the place of limestone stalactite monoliths along which drip thousands of water streams – giving it the name Sahasradhara, which means a ‘thousand-fold spring’. You can get a view of the mighty Neelkanth peak from here on a clear day. The Chakrateertha campsite is half an hour’s trek away from here.
Day 4: Chakrateertha to Satopanth and back – Trek for 8 hours (10km) – 15,100 ft
This day’s trek starts off on a flat and easy gradient but takes off towards the end. Boulders and moraines trace your path towards the top of the ridge from where you get the first glimpse of the pristine lake. Stay prepared to be greeted with a scintillating view of a lifetime, with Neelkanth behind you, Swargarohini on the left, Chaukhamba straight ahead, and Balakun on the right. Climb back to Chakrateertha once you are done taking the place and clicking photographs.
Day 5: Chakrateertha to Badrinath via Mana – Trek for 6 hours (15km)
Climb down the same path to reach Mana village in about 6 hours this time. You can take a direct cab or jeep to Badrinath if you are too exhausted, which you probably will be.
Day 6: Badrinath to Rishikesh
On the last day of your trip, you will be taking a bus or a cab back to Rishikesh for your further journey towards home. You can pick up some last-minute essentials or souvenirs from either Badrinath or Rishikesh before you leave Uttarakhand.
· Accommodation during trek.
· Meals while on trek (hygienic vegetarian food) which included breakfast, packed lunch and dinner, snacks.
· Qualified & experienced trek guide
· Local transport (Badrinath – Trek starting point)
· All forest permit fee.
· Potters for personal luggage.( offload your bag to the Potter& pay offloading charges i.e. 600? per day)
· Unscheduled stay due to road blocks etc.
· Anything not mentioned under the inclusion.
· Personal insurance. If you desired to get yourself insured kindly get it yourself.
· Accomodation in Badrinath.
WHAT ARE THE GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS?
1. Rucksack with a rain cover (50 to 60 liters)
2. Day Sack with rain cover (30 to 40 liters)
A sturdy rucksack and day sack with a water/rain cover is recommended as during the monsoon the rain showers will greet the trekker as s(he) walks into the majestic valley
3. Trekking shoes
A good pair if trekking shoes with a quality bottom is a must for doing this trek. Waterproof shoes are recommended. Avoid shoes made of foam and cloth.
4. Thermal wear (Upper and Lower)
Temperatures dip specially in night and morning even in June. Thus, make sure you keep thermal wear.
5. Cotton sock (2 pairs)
6. Woolen socks (2 pairs)
7. Undergarments (2 pairs)
8. Gloves (1 pair)
10. Trek Pants
11. Woolen cap
12. Sun cap
13. Heavy jacket
15. Water bottle
17. Sunscreen lotion
18. Toiletries: Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Toilet Soap, Tissue papers, etc.
19. Head lamp or torch with extra batteries
20. Personal First aid kit.
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