Perched on hill top at an altitude of 3790m (12,430ft), Rani Sui lake (or Saurkundi Lake) is above Manali town. It can be called a flower valley as vast pastures around the lake remain covered with varieties of flowers between May and September. The area remains snowbound for seven months, while shady mountain faces hide snow for 8-9 months a year. The lake freezes completely in December and person can walk on it as thick ice is unbreakable. Rani Sui lake is south west of Manali with aerial distance not more than 7km. Close to Rani Sui lake is an amazing stone formation, similar to a base of a bridge, which is believed to have built by Pandavas during Mahabharata yuga. It is also a midway halt for shepherds enroute Kangra valley.
Rani Sui lake is reachable by nearly a half dozen routes. Depending upon route you choose, this is a 3 to 7 days trek from Manali. Rani Sui is one of the few high altitude lakes in Kullu valley. Beyond the lake is Khanpari Tibba and Blue Eye Lakes (neeli eye lake). The region offers mesmerising view of Manalsu glacier, Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, Indrasan, Jagatsukh Peak, Inder Kila, Rohtang pass, Manali town, Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges.
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Day 1: Manali To Lama Dugh (3065m), 4-5 Hours
We start the trek from Dhungri, about 1.5kms from Manali. Today’s trek comprises of walking through thick Deodar forests. It is mostly an uphill climb. We’ll stop for lunch on a lovely rocky ledge providing a beautiful view of Manali town and its surrounding peaks. Lama Dugh is a lovely meadow ringed by Maple, Spruce and Oak while stands of Silver Birch are further up in the Hill-side. Lush green Lama dugh is a meadow surrounded by thick forest. The meadow has a small cottage built by forest department to house the forest guard who occasionally visits the area. Overnight in camps.
Day 2: Lama Dugh To Khanpri Ruar (3658m), 3- 4 Hours
Now the trail ascends steeply through woodland and meadows with wild alpine flowers strewn all around. On the way brilliant shrubs of rhododendron and birch pave the way to the ridge after which you get to the camp site. Be noticed that this is the habitat of Himalayan bear. Have your lunch and go to explore the surroundings.
From this point one can have a magnificent glimpse of Manali, situated on the left bank of River Beas and of the whole upper Kullu valley, which appears swathed in the different colours of the season. Overnight in camp.
Day 3: Khanpri Ruar To Rani Sui (3800m), 4- 5 Hours
This day start early in the morning after breakfast , summit Khanpri tibba (4022m) and then go further to visit the sacred Lake of Hindus Rani sui. The lake at Rani Sui is a small mountain tarn with a 360 degree view of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar Ranges. The lake is also known as Saurkundi Lake. The small lake is rain and snow-fed with no outlet. Lake gets completely frozen in winters. It is surrounded by vast meadows with now tree cover. The region is popular for Himalayan herbs. A many shepherds camp in the region during summer months. Overnight in camp.
Day 4: Rani Sui To Manali (2050m), 5 – 6 Hours
Wake up to a beautiful morning and enjoy the sunrise. Post breakfast, continue all the way downhill till the Shangchar Village, south of the lake, from where the jeep will pick us up and take us to Manali.
- Veg Meals on Trekking days
- Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
- Camping tents, Temp rated sleeping bags, mattress
- Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys
- Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with Wilderness Emergency Responder & Rescue.
- First Aid Certified Local guide, cook, helpers
- Porters or mules for carrying common luggage
- Transportation from Manali to Manali.
- Meals during road journeys
- Any kind of Insurance
- Any expense of personal nature
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
- Carriage of personal rucksack
- Meals during Hotel Stay, if any
- Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Daypack (20 litres): As this is a crossover trek, you would only need a daypack if you are offloading your backpack.
- Three layers of warm clothes: Carry two sweaters, and a padded jacket. If you are more susceptible to feeling cold, add another layer.
- Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the Pass day.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, preferably quick-dry, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. If you’re too cold, you can wear two tshirts together for more insulation. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandotory. In June, there will be abundant snow on Hampta Pass, and you would need it to protect yourself from snow blindness.
- Suncap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
- Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. You can add a fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
- Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
- Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each or 2 litre water bladder.
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Domperidone – 6 tablets (vomitting)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)