Baralacha La, Spiti Valley Overview

The Baralacha La, also known as the Baralacha Pass, is a high mountain pass that is located at the height of 16,040 feet above the sea level and is situated in the Zanskar range. This 8 kilometres long pass connects the Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir and is located along the Leh-Manali highway. Just a few kilometres away from this pass, one can also find the Bhaga River, which is a tributary of the Chenab River that originates from the Surya Taal Lake. The Baralacha Pass is thus, surrounded by numerous beautiful sights, which leave the onlooker spellbound and yearning for more.

The famous Baralacha Pass also finds mention in Rudyard Kipling's celebrated novel 'Kim', wherein the source of the Suraj Tal is used by the novel's character Lama to enter into India from Tibet. People who visit this pass also love to enjoy the trek from the Baralacha up to the Chandratal, which is situated on the banks of the Chandra River in the Spiti Valley. A visit to Baralacha La will teleport you to a different world altogether. The scenery and views here are breathtaking, and the barren land without any hotels and shops looks stunning. 

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Baralacha La Weather and Best Time to Visit

The Baralacha Pass is closed in the winter season due to heavy rainfall and snow. The best time to enjoy a visit to the pass is in the months of April to October when the snow melts and the pass is considered to be safe for travellers.

Legend of Baralacha La

According to legends, there were two lovers Chandra and Bhaga, who were the children of the Moon and Sun God respectively. To marry each other and live together forever, they decided to climb up the Baralacha La Pass, and from there, they ran in opposite directions. Since Chandra was the active and smart one, he easily found her way and reached Tandi. Bhaga also made his way through the narrow gorges to Tandi where both of them met and finally got married.

Baralacha La Pass Trek

Tourists can enjoy the trekking route from the Baralacha La to the Chandra Taal in the Spiti Valley. This trek, which lasts for about a week, is absolutely fun-filled and exciting. It involves activities like camping and walking at high altitudes, as well as crossing a few glacial rivers.

The most common itinerary that trekkers usually follow is a drive from Manali to Batal, followed by a hike to Chandra Taal, Tokpo Gongma, Tokpo Yongma and then to Bara-lacha. The Baralacha Pass is also the point of commencement for several other treks as well, including the trek to the Suraj Tal.

Wildlife at Baralacha Pass

Tourists get the pleasure of sighting many species of animals at the Baralacha La. These exotic species include marmot, pica, birds like the horned lark, lammergeier vulture, wagtails, black redstart, sand lark, snow pigeons and choughs.

Tips

1. Be extremely cautious, since the pass is covered in snow, and sharp turns and gloomy weather make the route quite dangerous.
2. Wear enough warm clothing since the area gets cold due to the chilly winds that blow in this high altitude region.
3. If you plan to ride on the stretch in the evening, avoid riding after 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM. Consider taking halts at nearby places.
4. Acclimatise yourself for the high altitude sickness. Carry enough water and medicines to combat it.
5. There are no eateries at the pass, and the only food available is at the campsites. The food served here mostly consists of Tibetan cuisines like soup, noodles and momos.

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