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Suraj Tal, Spiti Valley Overview

Located at an elevation of 4950 m above the sea level, Suraj Tal Lake is considered as the 3rd largest lake in India. Situated in Spiti Valley, Suraj Tale In literal sense means, ‘The Lake of Sun God’. Just below the Baralacha pass, the stunning lake should definitely be visited while here, especially if they are into photography. The Suraj Tal, is one of the most dream-like and photogenic lakes.

Due to the belief that a dip in the Suraj Tal lake cleanses a person of his sins, it attracts a lot of people and is therefore considered spiritual. However, the major reason that the lake has gained popularity is that it comes en-route to the famous Manali-Leh path that is popular for trekking and biking trips, that also encompasses the Baralacha-La Pass on the way. Suraj Tal is, thus, meant for people who are mostly adventurous, and religious at the same time.

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Suraj Tal Trek

One of the popular treks in this region, the trek to Suraj Tal Lake is highly preferred by tourists. The trek starts with a camp house in Spiti, called Zingzingbar. It is 18.8 km from the lake. In order to reach the Zingzingbar, one has to travel by car/taxi via the Manali-Leh Highway. After reaching Zingzingbar, trekkers then proceed towards Bhaga River to cross a bridge on the north bank. The distance is approximately 3 km. After crossing the river, one has to climb a steep hill for 2.5 km and that eventually starts at the Suraj Tal Lake.

Bike Tours

The bike tours are conducted by tourists when the area around Suraj Tal is safe and approachable. The route that is usually taken is from Manali-Leh. One the way, one comes across Keylong, located near the banks of the Bhaga Valley. Straight down the road, one comes across Baralacha Pass, the plateau where the Himalayas, Pir Panjal and The Zanskar Valley come together. The view over there is magnificent and after stopping there for some time, one head en-route to a small settlement called Sarchu, which resembles the Himalayas due to its grandeur. Along the journey, the Suraj Tal Lake is observed and the tour thus comes to an end. The tour takes 5 hours and is 100 km long.

Bhaga Valley

One of the important features of describing Suraj Tal Lake, the Bhaga Valley is a terrain that starts from the south-western foot of the Baralacha Pass. The region around it is barren, rocky and not inhibited by any population. A narrow gorge, devoid of any vegetation, this goes up to Darcha, which is the first village of the valley. From there, one can see a lot of settlements and people living over there.

As one goes further, he/she comes across the right bank of The Bhaga River, which has a plantation of shrubs and trees. It further widens up to its confluence with Chandra River at Tandi while having its terraces between Darcha and Tandi. The area is under cultivation in the lower slopes.

How to Reach Suraj Tal Lake

Suraj Tal is 65 km from Keylong, which is the district headquarters of Lahaul Spiti district. The district is accessible by road via National Highway NH 21, which is popularly known as the Leh-Manali Highway. The road leading to Suraj Tal Lake is around 3 km short of the Baralacha-La Pass.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Suraj Tal Lake is from mid-May to mid-October since the weather is relatively warm during those months and it is easy to go for treks and bike rides as the road is clear during that time.

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