The Sahastratal group of lakes lie at an average altitude of 15000 ft in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. These lakes are considered holy by the local people who take an annual pilgrimage carrying the “Doli” (Deity) on their shoulders. Otherwise, it remains an extremely remote area not frequently visited, trekkers included.
The route climbs up through the only village on the way, Sila, passing through high pastures where depending on the season, one meets only goatherds and Gujjars.The trail winds its way through massive open meadows littered with wild daffodils and climbs over a 13200 ft pass (Kyarki khal) for a brilliant view of all the mountain ranges in the area from Bandarpunch and Kala Nag to Jaonli.
All the lakes – Lam Tal, Pari Tal, Narsingh Tal, Darshan Tal, Gaumukhi Tal and many others – have a significance attached to them. According to local lore, it is impossible to complete a Parikrama (circumambulation) of the highest lake , Darshan Tal (16300 ft).
Pilgrims from the Uttarkashi side return from the lake after making their offerings. Instead of returning, we make a steep descent through forested hillside to the stunning Bhilangana Valley. The route now follows the river all the way to the roadhead at Ghuttu – the starting point for the trek to the Khatling Glacier. This is a challenging trek done best October. The later period has the added attraction of the post monsoon wildflowers and clear skies and views for the photographer.