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Situated at an elevation of 4,290m, Sarchu is an overnight layover on the Leh- Manali Highway with tented accommodation. Widely known as Sir Bhum Chun, it is located between the high mountain passes of Baralacha La and Lachlung La. Sarchu basically lies on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Sarchu serves to be a congenial halting point for the bikers on day 2 as the journey from Manali to Leh roughly takes 3 days because of the high elevation and condition of roads.

Surrounded by barren splendour and exceptional beauty, Sarchu is highly sought after spot due to its location. This beauty can be experienced only between May and September when the Manali –Leh Highway is open for traffic. Sarchu is also a well-known trekking point where the difficult trek into the Zanskar region of Ladakh starts. Historically, Sarchu was an important trading point of the Ancient Silk Route.

You can also find an Indian army camp which is located on the banks of the Tsarap Chu River which serves as the accommodation for the tourists. From June to September every year, Sarchu encounter huge tourist turnover when the highway is open for traffic.

Key Facts

  • Region : Sarchu, Manali – Leh Highway, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Difficulty : Moderate
  • Altitude: 14,000ft
  • Trip Starting Point : Manali or Leh
  • Nearest Airport : Leh Airport (255 Km), Kullu Airport (260 Km)
  • Category: Riverside Area, Natural Beauty

How to Reach

Sarchu is located 220 Km away from Manali and 255 Km from Leh on Manali Leh Highway. Sarchu can be reached either from Leh or from Manali by well connected road.

Sarchu serves as an overnight stay for bikers and tourists and you can reach there by bus which operates between the months of May and September. You can also take private vehicles to reach Sarchu but due to heavy snowfall this highway remains closed after October.

Best Time to Visit

If you want to explore the region, summer is the best time to visit Sarchu as average temperature of the place is 25 degree. In winter, temperature of the place may fall up to -35 degree. Since Highway and camps are closed by October due to heavy snowfall, this place experienced most of the tourists from May to September.

Where to Stay

Accommodation facility is provided by Army base camp alongside Tsarap Chu River from May to September. You can also opt to stay in guest house run by J & K tourism and other private camps. If you are prepared you can established your own camp. Tented accommodation is available at reasonable price.

Tourist Attractions of Sarchu

Sarchu is an overnight layover on the Manali- Leh Highway for tourists travelling from Manali to Leh and can’t be accessed during winters due to heavy snowfall.

Camping in Sarchu is the most adventurous things to do. You can find various tented accommodation there and food is also available there. Sarchu is also the starting point of various treks around the Zanskar region of Ladakh. Exceptional beauty and the barren splendour of Sarchu can be experienced after snow melts.

Flowing along the Manali- Leh Highway, Tsarap Chu River is the main attraction of Sarchu. This river flows due to the glaciers of the Rupshu Plateu and joins Doda River, after that it is known as Zanskar River.  One can take a long walk alongside the Tsarap Chu River and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Reasons to Visit Sarchu

  • Camping
  • Starting point for various Treks
  • Experience beauty of the barren land of Ladakh
  • Take a stroll alongside Tsarap Chu River
  • Overnight Stay, if you are travelling from Manali to Leh
  • Trading point of ancient Silk Route

Tips For Travelling to Sarchu

  • Sarchu is situated on the high altitude and the problem of Altitude Sickness started from Sarchu. Hence it is advisable to reach Sarchu on day 2 when you travel from Manali. Travelling from Keylong and travel up to Sarchu on day 2, is the preferred route. Aclimatise yourself and aware of Altitude Sickness.
  • Do not expect lavish stay arrangements here as these villages are remote places.
  • Keep yourself with sufficient cash as you don’t find any ATM once you leave Manali.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol.
  • Carry extra copies of the permit as you would need to submit them at different check posts.

Nearby Places

  • Baralacha La – 33 Km
  • Lachalung La – 55 Km
  • Tso Kar Lake – 141 Km
  • Rohtang Pass – 171 Km

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The Himalayan Odyssey


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