Sach Pass in Pangi Valley, the big daddy of all mountain passes and we say that the name is JUST enough to give you shivers down the spine 😀 D… Yes, you guessed it right; I just came back from a f***** amazing adventure of my entire life last week only.
The journey to Sach Pass, Pangi Valley in Himachal Pradesh was something that I cannot put into words, something that I cannot recall to live it again, something that will go down as the most unforgettable experience of my lifetime, something that I can barely realize I made it through. If you are planning a trip to this region, do not forget to refer my article on the most common itinerary of Pangi Valley.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Why plan a Sach Pass trip?
Numerous water crossings, endless waterfalls, snow walls as high as 40 feet, roads as if the pathway to hell, picking up an XUV to cross the landslide, clearing the landslide on your own, driving through the ever violent gushing streams and waterfalls, running through the live landslides, taking an open wild waterfall bath, getting stuck in no mans land, crossing over mighty passes of Rohtang Pass and Jalori Pass in the middle of night…
Uff… Can you ask for anything more?? 😀 :D…
All in all an F-amazing drive to the daddy of all the mountain passes – Sach Pass in Pangi Valley which concluded with an exhilarating WTF kind of experience last week…
How was my experience?
Well, overall, the road conditions lived up to the expectations though we were just lucky to save ourselves from heavy rains as predicted at the start of the journey. The weather just kept itself to offer optimum beauty with light rains and ever-refreshing green colors.
Chandrabhagha river accompanied us throughout in Pangi Valley to keep us interested in the routes with some majestic infinite number of waterfalls pouring down into it. Some were just breathtakingly beautiful with multi-story falls right from the top of the mountains. All these things were WORTH the effort we had put into the trip 🙂 :)… The road conditions in most of the region of Pangi Valley were just horrendous to say at least 😉 ;)…
Though the detailed travel tale will take some time to write, in this article I would like to share what Sach Pass trip itinerary I followed, the route I took and the updates on road conditions of this mega-adventure in trans-Himalayas, that is, Sach Pass – Pangi Valley.
Trip Suggestion: Are you looking for an offbeat place to travel in Himachal Pradesh?
About Sach Pass – Pangi Valley
Before I dive into the trip details, for those who do not have much idea about Sach Pass and Pangi Valley, I will give brief details of it and then will move on to the trip details.
Sach Pass is situated at an altitude of 4,420 meters or 14500 feet lying on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. It connects Chamba Valley / Churah Valley with Pangi Valley in Himachal Pradesh. The distance of Sach Pass to Chamba is about 127 km, and Sach Pass to Dalhousie is about 175 km. Every year the pass gets open from late June or early July to mid-October, and then the road closes for winters after heavy snowfall. It is the shortest route from Chamba to the Killar, with a distance of about 160 km.
Hence, once open, this route is preferred by the locals too. The other routes to Killar are Chamba – Manali – Udaipur – Killar, about 680 km, and Chamba – Jammu – Doda – Gulabgarh – Kishtwar – Killar about 570 km. It is the shortest route for Pathankot to Leh over Manali – Leh Highway as well.
The breakup of route direction and distance to Sach Pass from Chamba is as Chamba – Tissa (63 km) – Bairagarh (90 km) – Satrundi (106 km) – Sach Pass (120 km) – Bagotu (130 km) – Killar (166 km).
The altitude graph from Chamba to Sach Pass to Killar goes like Tissa (1570 Mtrs) – Bairagarh (2800 Mtrs) – Satrundi (3400 Mtrs) – Sach Pass (4420 Mtrs) – Bagotu (3600 Mtrs) – Killar (2590 Mtrs)
Once you enter Pangi Valley, you unlock yourself some of the most beautiful and amazing places to explore in the Himalayas. You will need at least 4-5 days to explore Pangi Valley after reaching Killar and then can head towards Udaipur – Tandi – Manali for going back home.
Some of the beautiful places to explore in Pangi Valley around Killar are Dharwas, Luj, Sural, Hundan, Findroo, Findar, Mindhal, Parmar, etc.. to name a few. The entire Pangi Valley offers many picturesque villages, and there is a PWD rest house in Cherry where you can stay in peace too along with hotels or guest houses in Killar.
My Sach Pass Trip in July – 5 Day Itinerary
Well, we had 5 days in hand for my Sach Pass trip including one buffer day and we followed the itinerary as mentioned below.
Day 1: Delhi – Dalhousie – Bairagarh
We started around 3.30 AM from my house, got together by 4.30 AM at Delhi bypass and left from Delhi. We had breakfast at Zhilmil, Karnal, with stuffed paranthas and then continued in heavy + light rains to Pathankot. There we took the road towards Dalhousie – Chamba and went on to reach Bairagarh at 7.30 PM. Half of the group stayed at Mannat homestay, and the other half stayed at hotel Chamunda just near it. Delhi to Bairagarh came out to be 686 km with a wrong detour towards Amritsar road for about 12-13 km on one side.
Day 2: Bairagarh – Sach Pass – Killar
This was supposed to be the D-Day, the day when we crossed the Sach Pass driving going through Kalaban – Satrundi and reaching Killar in Himachal by evening with ample of stops on the way. We started at 7.20 AM from Bairagarh to cross the pass early in the morning before the Nallahs gets flooded on the route and traveled around 76 KMs that day to reach Killar in evening passing through Bagotu nallah. We stayed at Chamunda Hotel in Killar too :)…
Day 3: Killar – Udaipur – Sissu – Manali
There was quite an anxiety on this day because a lot of was heard about Madgran Nallah which could swallow the big buses to afternoon or towards evening. The bridge wasn’t there, and hence, our only option was to cross it as early as possible. So, we started at 5.45 AM from Killar, and it was raining that day. Passing through various beautiful villages of Pangi Valley, witnessing loads of waterfalls and water crossings.
We were able to reach Udaipur by 12.55 PM after crossing Madgran, though it was one of the longest I ever crossed but was doable without much trouble at that time. We had our brunch at Udaipur – Bhandari Bhojnalya, which served us amazing vegetarian food. Then, we went to Trilokinath Ji for darshan and cruised to Tandi – Sissu – Khoksar. We reached Rohtang Pass at 7.40 PM and old Manali at 9.20 PM. We called off this never-ending day in Old Manali at Dontell Mama Guest House.
Route of the day was like Killar – Cherry (14 km) – Purthi (28 km) – Tindi (54 km) – Madgran (70 km) – Udaipur (79 km) – Trilokinath (96 km) – Khoksar (175 km) – Rohtang Pass (194 km) – Manali (245 km)
Day 4: Manali – Jalori Pass
We killed half of this day in Manali, and then we realized we have to move to Narkanda via Jalori Pass 😀 :D… A series of events held us on the road up to 2.00 PM, and we could not make much progress ahead.
Finally, around 4.30 PM we crossed Aut tunnel and then started the ascend towards Jalori Pass passing through Banjar Valley – Jibhi. Spared out 2.30 Hrs at Shringi Vatika as some of us wanted to have chicken made up there as a specialty. Hence, we could end our day in dhabha at Jalori Pass at 10.40 PM. Amit, Anshul, and Nitin went on to sleep in camps at Jalori Pass.
Day 5: Jalori Pass – Narkanda – Delhi
Started from Jalori Pass at 7.15 AM, passed through Ani – Khanag – Sainj – Kingal – Narkanda – Shimla – Ambala – Delhi. We had our brunch at Narkanda at Himalayan Restaurant this time, skipping my favorite Negi Dhabha, which is just the opposite of it. On the way home, we had our dinner+lunch at McD, Zirakpur and then drove non-stop to Delhi from there to reach home by 10.00 PM which concluded the trip.
The total drive over the trip was about 1610 KM done in a budget of around Rs 5600 per head, including all, and it had a couple of very costly meals for about 1000 per person at Manali that just got wasted 🙁 🙁 … As I said, words fall short to explain this f-amazing mega-adventure of my lifetime…
Road Conditions for Sach Pass in July
Following is the breakdown of road conditions for my Sach Pass trip:
- Delhi – Ambala – Ludhiana – Jalandhar – Pathankot: Mostly Excellent, smooth sailing toll road.
- Pathankot – Bungal – Bhatwan – Dunera – Nainikhad – Banikhet: Mostly good and some sections were average and very few bad patches with potholes.
- Banikhet – Chamera Lake Reservoir – Larog – Koti: Mix of good and average roads.
- Koti – Tissa – Bairagarh: Roads are mostly bad with few average patches Between Tissa and Bhairagarh, there are some landslide points and tricky sections along with few water crossings. Drive with care here.
- Bairagarh – Satrundi – Sach Pass: Mostly non-existent roads, rocks, boulders on road, multiple gushing water crossings, landslide points, slush near the pass and some very very tricky sections. Quite difficult I will say.
- Sach Pass – Bagotu – Killar: Again mostly non-existent road especially till Bagotu nallah which was totally flooded. The road on the other side of Sach Pass was extremely pathetic, I mean no words for it. Might kill sedan totally. Both XUV and Terrano struggled a lot in water crossings, big boulders, snow, and slush.
- Killar – Cherry – Purthi – Tindi: No roads, dirt track but is OK to drive with average conditions and a couple of water crossings.
- Tindi – Madgran – Udaipur: Again no roads, dirt track, slush, couple of very heavy/violent water crossings including Madgran.
- Udaipur – Trilokinath – Tandi: Many patches of good tarred roads and smooth sailing. A couple of places have average and bad sections.
- Tandi – Sissu – Khoksar: The majority of sections are good but there are few sections which are narrow, with slush and very bad especially for small cars.
- Khoksar – Gramphu – Rohtang Pass: Quite bad roads, some sections are very pathetic again especially almost up to few KMs before Rohtang Pass.
- Rohtang Pass – Marhi – Manali – Kullu – Aut: Mostly very good roads except for Rohtang Pass to Marhi which has a couple of bad sections.
- Aut – Banjar – Ghiyaji/Jibhi – Shoja: Narrow road with a mix of good and average roads.
- Shoja – Jalori Pass – Ani: Quite bad at places with slush on the road which made it more difficult. On the other side of Jalori Pass towards Ani, still fine with few bad sections.
- Ani – Khanag – Sainj – Kingal: Mostly good roads.
- Kingal – Narkanda – Shimla – Zirakpur – Ambala – Delhi: Smooth sailing with no issues while passing through the regular route of Shimla – Mashobra to Delhi.
Phone Signals & Data Connectivity in Pangi Valley – Sach Pass Trip
I was carrying Airtel Postpaid, BSNL Postpaid connection while Vodafone Postpaid connection was with some friends. Following was the signal status:
- All three were working mostly through all the routes up to Bairgarh. Then, there was no signal of Airtel or Vodafone up to Tandi. In Killar, by evening, BSNL started to work, but the connection is erratic. Udaipur had signals but then in between no signals.
- Beyond Bairagarh, only BSNL connection worked, so do carry it else be ready for out of family connection for a couple of days till you reach Tandi – Sissu area in Lahaul. Jalori Pass too had signals though a bit week for all the connections.
- Data Connectivity was almost always available wherever the signals were present, mostly limited to 2G and at places, even 3G was running.
Travel Tip: Do not forget to carry these 40 must-have things for a self-drive trip to the Himalayas.
Other Important Updates for Pangi Valley – Sach Pass Trip
- Bairagarh, Killar both have decent hotels and also liquor shops though preferred brands can be an issue.
- DO NOT go towards Chamba or Dalhousie and follow the road to Chamera Lake from Banikhet, then reach Koti from there. That is the short route; the other route is quite long via Chamba or Dalhousie. Neither Chamba nor Dalhousie should come on the route to Bairagarh from Pathankot, in case they come, you took a longer route.
- Once you cross Bairagarh, you will find Dhabha at Satrundi checkpost, but no paranthas, so pack your food from the hotel. Then after crossing Sach Pass, you get to eat around Bagotu Nallah before Killar in a dhabha. After Killar in Pangi Valley, you will find dhabhas at Purthi and then at Udaipur only.
- Killar is a big town in Pangi Valley being headquarters of it and does also has an SBI ATM.
- You can get good Rajma from Baban or Purthi villages in Pangi Valley even in Udaipur, Lahaul or Peas as well in case you want to carry them back here.
- We filled up the fuel before Bairagarh guesses near Tissa somewhere and then after that, we could spot fuel pump only at Tandi on Manali – Leh Highway.
- Whenever making a trip to Sach Pass or Pangi Valley, do leave early in the day so that water crossings have less water in them as there are numerous of them on the road with Madgran being the most violent along with Bagotu nallah.
- Bhandari Bhojnalya at Udaipur is a great place to eat homely food. We loved it a lot.
Toll Amounts on the Route
- Toll at Panipat: Rs 30
- Toll at Panipat: Rs 30
- Toll at Panipat: Rs 30
- Toll at Karnal: Rs 111
- Toll at Gharggar: Rs 67
- Toll at Ladowal: Rs 117
- Toll at Chollang: Rs 70
- Toll at Tunuhatti: Rs 30
- Toll at Harse Mansar: Rs 75
- Toll at Himachal entry: Rs 30
- Toll at Banikhet: Rs 30
- Toll at Himalayan Expressway, Panchkula: Rs 28
- Toll at Ambala – Chandigarh NH22: Rs 36
You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
I hope this Sach Pass itinerary article will help you plan a trip to this adventurous route of Himachal. I have explained the route plan, the road conditions on the Sach Pass trip, fuel availability, and phone signals. Knowing about these things will help you in planning your trip and making it memorable.
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I will start sharing the detailed Travel Tale of this Sach Pass – Pangi Valley trip, the reviews of the hotels I stayed and places at which I ate food, very soon. So, stay tuned guys 🙂
If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Sach Pass, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Pangi Valley trip.