Baralacha La: Ladakh Travel Guide

Baralacha La
Introduction

Situated at an altitude of 16,040 feet, Baralacha La Pass in Ladakh is a high mountain pass in the Zanskar range in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a high plateau where three different mountain ranges - Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas - meet at an altitude above 16,000 feet. One of the highest passes in Ladakh, Baralacha La Pass is around 73 kilometers away from Keylong on Manali - Leh road. Just a few kilometers away from the Baralacha Pass towards Manali is the Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chandrabhaga river, which originates from the Surya Taal Lake. The Baralacha La Pass is the point of commencement for several treks which include the famous Suraj Tal trek and Chandra Tal trek. During the winter season, the pass is closed due to heavy snowfall.

If you are planning a trip to Ladakh by road through Leh-Manali highway then you will have to cross the Baralacha La pass. If you are going towards Leh from Manali then it is always advisable to cross this pass before Noon. The melting of snow and formation of water stream on the high altitude road of this pass makes it difficult to cross this as the day advances. If the current is too strong then one should return to Jispa as crossing water stream could get really dangerous.

Legends of Baralacha Pass

There is an interesting legend about the Baralacha La that is connected to the love stories of Chandra and Bhaga. Chandra was the daughter of the Moon and Bhaga was the son of the Sun who fell in love with each other. They both decided to perform their eternal marriage in the Baralacha pass. They thought like this and then ran in the opposite direction to climb the Baralacha La to carry out the rituals there.

Out of the duo, Chandra was more efficient and smart. She found her way quite easily and reached Tandi by traveling a distance of 115 km. Bhaga had to struggle more to reach Tandi but finally reached the destination after going through a difficult journey of 60 km. They met at Tandi and their celestial wedding was performed here.

When it is open for Tourists

Summer is the best season to visit the Baralacha Pass when snow melts and the roads become accessible to travelers. So, travelers are suggested to visit the pass From April to October. During this time, you can enjoy the best views and adventures in this place.

Best Time To Visit

From April to October is the best time to visit Baralacha La as the snow melts and road is open for travelers

The best time to visit and enjoy the ride through the Baralacha La is from April to October. In these months, the snow melts and the Baralacha La is considered safe for tourists who can travel and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.

Road Conditions of Baralacha Pass

The Baralacha La is situated at an altitude of 16,040 feet on the Leh-Manali highway. The road condition is quite good especially during the summer month, you can comfortably travel to this pass. While in winter, the road remains closed due to heavy snowfall,  during monsoon, traveling on this high altitude steep road is not safe.

Permits / Permissions for Baralacha Pass

To visit the Baralacha La, You need to show your identity proof and proof of your nationality. Indian travelers can carry the passports, voter ID cards or Aadhar cards and attested photocopies of the same. Foreign travelers need to carry their passport and visas.

Trekking Routes from Baralacha Pass

The Baralacha Pass is the commencing point for several treks like the trek to the Suraj Tal and Chandra Tall. The week-long trekking to Chandra Tall in the Spiti Valley from the Baralacha La is the most admired among travelers. You can enjoy camping, walking on the high pass, and incredible views of lovely hamlets in the lap of the mountains. Trekkers usually drive from Manali to Batal and then trek to Chandra Taal, Tokpo Gongma, Tokpo Yongma, and  Baralacha. 

Wildlife to See at Baralacha Pass

Baralacha La is home to a wide range of flora and fauna that especially draw the nature lovers to this spot. Tourists enjoy spotting rare animals and colorful birds here. The exotic species include pica, marmot, birds like the lammergeier vulture, horned lark, wagtails, black redstart, snow pigeons, sand lark, and choughs.

How to Reach Baralacha La

1. Manali to Baralacha La

Many buses travel from Manali to Baralacha and the distance between the two places is 242 Km. It takes approximately 8 hours to reach Baralacha from Manali by bus. In this way, you do not have to cross the Rohtang Pass.

2. Leh and Baralacha La

The distance from Leh and Baralacha La is 281.8 km. It takes around 7 hours and 30 mins to complete the high altitude journey.

Essential Tips for Travelers

  • One of the most important factors is the weather for visiting the pass. 
  • Gather required information about the pass before planning your trip such as whether the pass remains closed on any day of the week. Go through the travel guide for Baralacha pass in Ladakh before the trip.
  • Start your journey at the early hours of the day journey so that there is ample time for you to enjoy the views and stop at places for photography.
  • No food stall is available at the pass. So pack your meal and carry enough snacks like dry fruits, energy bars, chocolates, etc. Also, carry the water bottles with you. Only Tibetan cuisines are available at the campsites.
  • You need to carry the required permits mentioned above otherwise the border security won’t allow you to enter the pass.
  • The pass gets covered in snow, and sharp turns and unpredictable weather make the route quite dangerous. So you need to be extremely cautious while traveling.
  • As chilly winds blow in the high altitude region making the place extremely cold,  wear enough warm cloth.
  • Acclimatize yourself properly to avoid high altitude sickness. Carry enough water and basic medical kit to combat it.

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