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Sarchu – A Place For Climbers, Trekkers And Adventure Enthusiasts

If you are an adventure enthusiast you generally want 3 things from a place. Difficult to reach, incredibly beautiful and a great history. In India, you would get 2 of these 3 things very easily because India has a great ancient history and almost all places are really beautiful. However, due to the improvement of roads and railways, almost all places are easily accessible. It is really good for an average traveller but it takes away the adventure from the journey. In this article, I would be telling you about one particular place which might give rise to your adventure spirits. The name of the place is Sarchu which is considered to be a paradise for trekkers, climbers and adventure enthusiasts. In this article, I would tell you all you need to know about this place.

Sarchu – A Place For Climbers, Trekkers And Adventure Enthusiasts

Shepherds in Ladakh
Photo of ‘Shepherds in Ladakh’ by Koshy Koshy under CC BY 2.0

1. About the place

If you have been looking for a place where you can find adventure then Sarchu would serve as a perfect destination for you. It is located at an altitude of nearly 15,000 feet on the boundary of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Generally, most travellers who are travelling to Manali or nearby places crash here for the night. It is located at a distance of nearly 200 kilometres from Manali. You will find Sarchu located between Lachulung La and Baralacha pass. When you come to this place one thing you would surely notice is the incredible resemblance of this place with Ladakh. It is very popular among adventure enthusiasts, trekkers and climbers because of the rough terrain of the Himalayas. These set of people like to explore the unexplored regions of the Himalayas which is incredibly difficult to reach which makes it even more exciting for them.

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2. How to reach the place

As I said that if you want to see this beautiful place you would need to go through a lot of hurdles. There are no direct routes to this place and you would need to go through a road trip to reach this place. If you are coming here via airways you would need to book your ticket to Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. From the airport, you would need to rent a cab which would drop you at this place. If you are coming here via the mode of railways then you would need to book your ticket to Jammu. From the station, Sarchu is located at a distance of 600 kilometres. If you are planning to come via road then the best option would be to reach Manali or Leh first. From these places, you would get numerous buses which would drop you at this place.

Photo of ‘Rainbow’ by Elroy Serrao under CC BY-SA 2.0

3. Best time to visit

I would personally suggest that do not visit Sarchu during the winter or monsoons. During the winter, the entire region receives heavy rainfall. The road trip to this place is already very difficult and snowfall makes it almost impossible to reach. During the monsoons, the place receives heavy rainfall which makes it difficult to roam around the place. The best months would be from April – June. During these months the temperature is ideal and you can think of exploring the place. Moreover, trekking activities can be pursued only during these months. So, if you are coming to this place just for the purpose of trekking then you would need to plan your trip according to the months mentioned.

4. Best places to visit

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As I said before that Sarchu is the ideal place for trekkers. It is one of the longest treks you would ever come across in your life as it takes several days to complete. What makes it even more challenging is you would need to cross high rivers and passes and pass through very remote gauges.

Photo of ‘IMG_2520.jpg’ by Silver Blu3 under CC BY 2.0

1. Keylong

If you have ever wanted to see a place which is surrounded by snow covered mountains on all 4 sides then you cannot afford to miss out on a place like Keylong. It is located at a distance of around 100 kilometres from Sarchu and during the road trip, you would be coming across so many magnificent views that it would really leave you awestruck. If you want to see Tibetan culture then you can visit the temples and monasteries located here.

2. Jispa

The second place that I would like to talk about is Jispa. One thing you need to understand about Sarchu is that you need to have the patience of taking road trips because all the places are located at a little distance. If you are not habitual to taking long trips then you might want to reconsider your decision of coming to this place. This place is also a 5-hour drive from Sarchu and the mountains in this region are so high that you feel like they are touching the sky. It is really a very serene and peaceful place and is an ideal place for trekking or mountaineering. This place also has a museum nearby so make sure you visit that.

3. Tso Moriri Lake

The beauty of this place cannot be described in words. This lake is located in the middle of snow-covered mountains and the view from this place is so beautiful that you won’t be able to forget the mental picture throughout your entire life. The lake is covered with snow almost throughout the entire year due to the Changthang Plateau. This place also attracts a lot of Buddist worshippers as a monastery is located on the banks of the lake. This monastery is more than 400 years old. If you visit this place during Sarchu then you would find the lake frozen so the best time to visit it would be during the months from April – August.

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Photo of ‘River’ by Elroy Serrao under CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Tsokar

This lake is located at a height of around 4500 metres which makes it incredibly cold throughout the entire year. It is located at about a distance of around 400 kilometres from Sarchu. It is popularly known as the white lake due to the presence of huge levels of salt. It is a habitat for many birds, so it makes it a good place for all those who love bird watching. You can expect to see cranes, gulls, shelducks and grebes. The best time to come to this place would be during the summers. Avoid coming here during winters because the weather becomes really rough during this time.

As I said right at the beginning this place is not meant for the faint-hearted. If you do not like high altitudes, road trips or adventure then don’t plan on coming to this place. However, if you are excited by adventure then Sarchu is the best adventure you could ever hope for. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and leave for Sarchu right now!

Featured Photo of ‘Sarchu’ by Navaneeth KN under CC BY 2.0



Meghna is an MBA HR by profession, she has 5 years of corporate experience in HR and Admin. She has a very simple style of writing this is one reason why her work reaches easily to different types of people. Apart from writing she also loves to shop be it real or window she can spend hours shopping :).

Currently, her little one keeps her occupied. However, her passion for writing still forces her to take some time out time and pen down her thoughts into words. She truly loves both her jobs, looking after her naughty little kid at time same time create quality content for the website.

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