Please note that I wrote this article about camping at Chandratal over 4 years ago. Things and situation may have changed recently. My strong advice would be that you do not just go by my word. Arrive at Chandratal, inspect the camp sites and check in to the one you like the most. By means of this article, I am not really vouching for any particular camp site at the lake.
Of all the places that I have camped at, either in my own tent or at a camp site, camping at Chandrataal was probably my favorite one so far. The absolute beauty of the place is mesmerizing. I always urge everyone to spend a night at Chandrataal if they are planning a Spiti trip because in my opinion, the trip remains incomplete unless you have included Chandrataal in it.
There are several camp sites at Chandrataal that you can choose from. Up until some time ago, the closest camp site was barely located at a distance of less than 1 kilometer but recently, owners were asked to move at least 3 kilometers away from the lake in order to keep the ecology safe. Chandrataal is the lake from where river Chandrabhaga originates so it is safe to assume that the lake has its own importance as well as beauty.
I am not saying that the other camp sites are bad but my favorite one would be Jamaica’s camps. I first met Jamaica during my first visit to Chandrataal where I met him and stayed in his camp. There are several reason for which I would always prefer to stay with him whenever I visit Chandrataal some of which I will cover below;
Camps: On a high altitude place like Chandrataal where the nights are freezing cold, it becomes of utmost importance that your tent is of superior quality, capable of withstanding the high cold winds and keeping you warm at night. Even a single opening in the tent is enough to give you a sleepless night. Jamaica’s tents are pretty comfortable in that manner, of good quality and quite spacious.
Comfort: Good comfortable beds and blankets to keep you warm and cozy at night.
Location: It actually applies to all the camp sites here and pretty much is same for everyone. I will post a picture and let it do the talking.
Cleanliness: I know this worries a lot of people and I am saying this based on the queries I received on a daily basis. At Jamaica’s however, the camps were quite clean and the beds/blankets we slept in were all washed and clean. If you are someone like me who is a little too concerned about hygiene, I would also recommend staying with Jamaica.
Washrooms: This I believe is another aspect that applies to all the camps here. The aspect of a common washroom is pretty much the same with all the camp sites however, even though it is common, washrooms are quite clean and well managed. Facility of running water is also under work and will be available soon.
Water: I know, at a cold place like Chandrataal, hot water is a must. Right now, you will get hot water any time you would like it.
Food: Food I must admit was quite delicious. They have their own cooks at the camps sites. Non-veg is not really always available but can be if you want to have. If you want to have a drink, that too can and will be arranged if you just asked Jamaica.
Jamaica: This is probably the best part of the camp. A jolly good fellow, quite funny and great company. Will create a bonfire for you, will sit down and eat and drink with you like a perfect host. He wouldn’t even mind showing you around on his own. He in my opinion is a perfect host.
In short, if anyone asks me for a place to stay at Chandrataal, I would always suggest Jamaica’s camps. If you would like to stay there, give him a call and let him know so that he can prepare. If interested, let me know and I will help you with Jamaica’s number,