Baralacha La, also known as Baralacha pass, is located in the Zanskar range and serves as a high mountain pass connecting the Leh district in Ladakh with the Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh via the Leh-Manali highway. The scenery around the pass is breathtaking with barren landscapes free from any man-made obstructions such as shops or hotels.
Adding to the allure of the location, a few kilometers away lies the Bhaga river, further amplifying the already stunning surroundings. The name Baralacha roughly translates to a summit that has multiple crossroads, connecting important regions such as Lahaul, Zanskar, Ladakh, and Spiti. This makes it an essential stop for mountain bikers who frequently venture on their adventures
In addition to being a favorite destination for mountain bikers, trekkers also cherish this location as a great pit stop on their way to the Chandratal lake, which is further up ahead. The pass, spanning over 8 kilometers, presents an ideal location for trekkers to rest and revitalize themselves for the journey ahead.
The optimal time to visit and experience a ride through Baralacha La is between the months of April to October, when the snow has melted and it is deemed safe for tourists to travel and admire the stunning scenery of the location.
There exists a well-known folklore surrounding Baralacha La, recounting the love tale of Chandra and Bhaga. According to legend, Chandra, the daughter of the Moon, and Bhaga, the son of the Sun god, climbed the Baralacha pass to fulfill their eternal marriage rituals, after which they ran in opposite directions.
Despite Chandra’s intelligence and agility, enabling her to easily traverse a distance of 115 km and reach Tandi, Bhaga struggled with the arduous journey and eventually arrived after a difficult 60 km trek. It was at Tandi where the two lovers finally reunited and performed the celestial marriage ceremonies, ultimately being celebrated together.
Best Months to Visit Baralacha La
If you’re planning a visit, it’s recommended that you venture to the pass between April and October. During this narrow window, the snow has melted and the roads are passable for travelers, showcasing the area’s finest features.
Baralacha La road conditions
Located on the Leh-Manali National highway, the Baralacha La mountain pass boasts an impressive altitude of 16,040 feet. During the summer months, the pass is considered safe for travel, with a well-maintained road in good condition. However, the winter season brings heavy rain and snowfall, making the pass hazardous for travelers. Due to its steep incline and challenging terrain, the pass is closed to tourists during winter time to avoid any potential danger.
Manali and Baralacha La
Covering a distance of 190.4 km, the journey from Manali to Baralacha La takes around 6 hours due to the high altitude and challenging terrain.
Leh and Baralacha La
Traveling from Leh to Baralacha La requires covering a distance of 281.8 km, which takes roughly 7 hours and 30 minutes due to the mountainous landscape and high altitude.
To visit Baralacha La, Indian citizens must meet certain requirements. These include carrying a valid photo identity card and attested photocopies of documents proving their nationality, such as a passport, voter ID card, or Aadhar card.
Any one of the above-mentioned documents is sufficient to establish Indian nationality and allow entry to the pass. However, foreign citizens must carry their passports and visas if they wish to visit Baralacha La.
When planning a visit to Baralacha La, it’s important to keep the following things in mind:
- Always check the weather conditions before embarking on the journey to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Note that the pass may remain closed on Tuesdays, so gather all necessary information and plan accordingly.
- Schedule your journey early in the day to allow enough time to explore the pass and return before sunset.
- As there are no eateries at the pass, bring enough snacks like chocolates, dry fruits, and energy bars, along with sufficient water.
- Don’t forget to carry the required permits mentioned earlier, as entry to the pass will be denied without them.