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Baralacha La Pass – Keylong, Ladakh

Baralacha La is at an elevation of 4890 meters or 16,040 feet above the sea level in the Zanskar range of the Himalayas. The word’ Baralacha’ denotes ‘a pass in a summit wherein crossroads meet in the Tibetan language. It has in it a pretty lake called Suraj Lake that is emeraldish in color. This is from where the river Bhaga emerges. Both Bhaga and Chandra rivers flow through Baralacha La.

HISTORY

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It has significant links with Spiti, Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul and since ancient times had been serving as a trade root that connects all these places.

 

Legend has it that, two lovers Chandra and Bhaga made up their mind that they will get married from Baralacha La and started climbing the pass. Chandra was the daughter of the moon, and Bhaga, the son of Sun. Once they reached the top, they went to opposite directions. Both of them reached Tandi, Bhaga took much time to reach Tandi while Chandra covered it quickly, and they committed a celestial marriage.

LOCATION AND CLIMATE

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It is located on the Manali Leh Highway. It links Lahul district of Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh. Keylong and Jispa are the nearest villages. It also connects Pir Panjal range to Zanskar range of the Himalayas.

HOW TO REACH

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It is NH 21 that connects Manali and Leh and upon which the pass is located. The access to the pass is thus trough road transport. Another option is to get a flight to Bhuntar airport. Get a taxi from there to Manali. Moreover, there is the number of transportation facilities connecting Manali to Keylong.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

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Leh Manali highway opens up for visitors only for four months starting from late May or June to early October. Hence this is the only possible time to visit Baralacha La Pass. The road is built and maintained by BRO, Border Roads Organisation, who shuts down the road after October.

It is also preferred that the pass should be crossed during the daytime as night approaches climate becomes harsher. Crossing water streams at night can turn out to be dangerous at night.

TOURIST ATTRACTION

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Suraj Tal is located in this pass and is a sacred river water body. It is considered to be the lake of the sun god. It is the 3rd largest lake of India and 21st most significant of the entire world.

 

There is a trekking route that starts from Baralacha La to Chandra Tal from which Chandra River emerges in the Spiti valley. It is a seven-day long trek and covers lakes, riversides and glaciers.

 

Bhaga River is another major attraction. It is a tributary to Chenab River and is a beauty in itself. The NH21 road is in an excellent condition, and people often come for bike expedition to this place, as well as it is a route that is loved by cyclists.

WHERE TO STAY

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There are several hotels and homestays in Keylong where one can stay. It is also accessible from Jispa where one can find the equal number of home stays. However, there are no rest houses on the way.

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