In July, I finally got a chance to visit one of the most beautiful and unforgiving places of Himachal Pradesh on my trip to Sach Pass – Pangi Valley. Today I will be sharing the most common itinerary which you can plan to visit this beautiful part of Himachal Pradesh but yet quite unforgiving and full of adventures.
As usual, this article is the first step towards the comprehensive travel guide for Sach Pass and Pangi Valley which I will be publishing as a series of articles in weeks to come. The second one is how to make a trip to Sach Pass in 4-5 days.
Quoting from my experience of Sach Pass – Pangi Valley in terms of what you can expect from it…
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 daddy of all the mountain passes – Sach Pass in Pangi Valley which conclude with an exhilarating WTF kind of experience last week…
Let's quickly dive into the details:
How to reach Sach Pass?
Sach Pass in Himachal Pradesh connects Pangi Valley with Chamba Valley. There are three routes you can travel to Sach Pass from Delhi. You may opt to travel to Pangi Valley by any of these three routes. However, keep in mind that you will face challenging road conditions on all these routes. Each of these routes has its charm and different difficulty levels for driving. Sometimes you will feel that it very much unlike making a trip to any other place in Himachal.
Delhi to Sach Pass via Dalhousie – Chamba route
You can start in Delhi and travel to Dalhousie – Khajjiar or even Chamba. Then you keep driving to Bairagarh – Satrundi to finally enter Pangi Valley after crossing Sach Pass. You may come back home via the same route or pick any of the other two routes. This choice of driving a circuit will help you explore two of the three available routes for traveling to Pangi Valley from Delhi. If you are short on time, this is the best route to travel to Sach Pass as you can easily make a long weekend trip via this route.
Delhi to Sach Pass via Kishtwar – Killar route
Next on the list is to plan a trip to Sach Pass via Kishtwar – Killar side. However, this route will expect you to more days at hand. You will need to first travel to Kishtwar, which will take you about two days from Delhi. Then people drive the famous cliffhanger drive from Kishtwar to Killar on the next day. Finally, on Day 4, you may cross the Sach Pass to travel to the Chamba side.
Delhi to Sach Pass via Keylong Udaipur route
It will take 3-4 days to reach Sach Pass from Delhi via Keylong route. You need to first travel to Manali, then Manali to Keylong on the second days. Now on the third day, you will travel from Keylong to Udaipur to Killar. Finally, Killar to Sach Pass and either return via the same route or enter Dalhousie – Chamba side.
Now that you know how to reach Pangi Valley, let us look at a day by day detailed plan of planning a memorable Sach Pass trip.
Travel Tip: If you are driving yourself to Sach Pass or Pangi Valley, then do not forget to check the 40 must-have things to carry on a self-drive trip to remote Himalayas.
Most Common Itinerary of Sach Pass – Pangi Valley for 7 – 8 Days
To maintain the brevity of the article, I will quickly jump upon the most common itinerary for making a trip to Sach Pass and Pangi Valley. We will be taking the route to Sach Pass from Chamba side and then exit via Manali side. I will also provide an option where you can exit via the Kishtwar side as well.
Day 1 | Delhi – Pathankot – Chamba / Bairagarh
- This day you will be just driving out from Delhi without much sightseeing apart from what comes on the road. You can stop for food at Chamera Lake that comes on the route.
- It will take about 3.5 Hrs to reach Bairagarh from Chamba, so early start from Delhi is mandatory.
- Follow the route alongside Chamera Lake, in case you need to go to Bairagarh then on short route Chamba will not come. So, look for directions.
- About 12-16 Hrs drive to Chamba (12 Hrs) / Bairagarh (16 Hrs).
- Overnight at Chamba / Bairagarh, whichever suits your timings.
Day 2 | Chamba / Bairagarh – Sach Pass – Killar
- Leave very early, if from Chamba and enjoy the vistas en route.
- Leaving early is mandatory because else there will be too much water in nallas that can strand you in between nowhere.
- You can plan for lunch at Bagotu Nalla dhabha after crossing Sach Pass towards Killar or have food at Bairagarh.
- About 8 – 9 Hrs of in case from Chamba else will take about 5 – 6 Hrs to reach Killar from Bairagarh.
- Overnight at Killar.
Day 3 & Day 4 | Stay at Killar and explore beautiful villages of Pangi Valley
- Spend a couple of days at Killar to explore the beautiful villages 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.
- About 6 – 7 Hrs of total drive on these days as all these villages are not that far from each other.
- Overnight at Killar on both the days or maybe the Sural village can be one place to stay.
Day 5 | Killar – Cherry – Purthi – Udaipur
- Start your day early else at time Madgram Nalla near Udaipur will be flooded and you will not be able to cross it.
- Easy drive to Udaipur exploring the beauty on the route. You can have lunch at Purthi Dhabha if required.
- About 5 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
- Overnight at Udaipur.
Day 6 | Udaipur – Tandi – Sissu / Jispa / Manali
- Visit Trilokinath Temple while going towards Tandi.
- You can stay either at Keylong / Sissu / Jispa depending upon the choice if you want to visit Baralacha La / Surajtal or not.
- In case you want to return, better stay at Sissu else for Baralacha La go over to Jispa and stay there. In case you are short on time, you can directly reach Manali from Udaipur and save a day for you.
- About 5 Hrs of drive in the day. Manali will take around 4 Hrs from Sissu.
- Overnight at Sissu / Jispa / Manali in Lahaul Valley.
Day 7 | Sissu – Rohtang Pass – Manali / Mandi
- In case you are at Jispa, you can do Baralacha La and Surajtal on this day else from Sissu you can head to Manali or Mandi.
- Have lunch at Manali and continue to Mandi or enjoy in Manali.
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day to reach Manali. Mandi is another 3 Hrs from Manali.
- Overnight at Manali / Mandi.
Day 8 | Manali/Mandi – Delhi
- If there is time explore Manali, that is if going by overnight Volvo which starts around 5.30 PM.
- Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Old Manali, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting), etc.
- About 12-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between.
- Back Home.
Alternate Plan – Sach Pass to Killar to Kishwar in 7 days
Now, instead of planning to travel to Manali from Killar via Keylong – Udaipur route, you might be interested in traveling the cliffhanger drive from Killar to Kishtwar. Let us look at how you can adjust the above Pangi Valley itinerary.
Day 5 | Killar – Kishtwar
- Start your day early to reach Kishtwar by evening.
- The route is popular by the name Cliffhanger drive. The rough drive can give goosebumps to anyone. Hence, it will take some time to cover the 120 km journey from Killar to Kishtwar via Gulabhgarh.
- The road is pretty narrow with a deep drop running aside it.
- About 6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between the journey.
- Overnight at Kishtwar.
Day 6 | Kishtwar – Patnitop
- Wake up easy after a tiring day and start for Patnitop in Jammu to halt the trip before returning home
- Patnitop is just 120 km from Kishtwar and roads are mostly decent.
- About 5 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between the journey.
- In the evening, do some local sightseeing in Patnitop or enjoy the sunset.
- Overnight at Patnitop.
Day 7 | Patnitop – Delhi
- You start the trip back home after an early breakfast.
- About 12-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between.
- Back home.
Road Conditions for Sach Pass – Pangi Valley trip
You must understand the road conditions on the route to Pangi Valley and Sach Pass. If you are planning a self-drive trip to Sach Pass and you have never driven on rough Himalayan roads, then I will highly recommend you think twice. It may look tempting, but the trip to Sach Pass and Pangi Valley is an adventurous journey.
Following is the breakdown of road conditions for this Pangi Valley 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.
Petrol Pumps After Pathankot
Let us see where all fuel or petrol availability exists on the Sach Pass trip. It will help you decide if you need to carry spare fuel for your Pangi Valley trip or not.
- A couple of petrol pumps are there on the way to Banikhet from Pathankot.
- There is one petrol pump near Chamba or Banikhet where you must do the top-up.
- Manjir, Bhadram.
- Churah about 8 km from Tissa towards Sach Pass. Do not forget to fill your fuel tank at this place. The next one will be the Tandi petrol pump on Manali Leh Highway.
- Tandi petrol pump is a must-over stop as, by the time you reach it, you may not have sufficient fuel to make it to Manali.
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 am sure the above itinerary if not help you 100% with planning a trip to Sach Pass – Pangi Valley but can certainly act as a starting point for your upcoming Sach Pass – Pangi Valley trip. Do share your valuable thoughts or queries or doubts you have and we can discuss more your upcoming Travel Plans for Pangi Valley 🙂
If you know any of your friends are planning a trip to Pangi or Sach Pass, feel free to share this article with them. This article will surely help them also make a memorable trip to this tribal part of Himachal.