Sach Pass has definitely earned its reputation of being the most dangerous road to maneuver. Well, the dangers and the take-your-breath-away is well documented, but I honestly want to highlight the panoramic views and natural landscapes en route.
Snow-clad mountain peaks offering virgin natural beauty coupled with the limited tourist flow is the perfect combination for tranquility. With the valleys and the mountain peaks – all in easy sight – you will be mesmerized. A perfect getaway for nature lovers, photographers and adventure seekers – Sach Pass is definitely for the faint-hearted.
But, given that you’re here, I assume we have one thing in common – a love for the Himalayas. So, trust me, this place should be on your list of places to visit. It is a great place to go to.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Sach Pass is famous – Nah – infamous really, like the Big Daddy of all Himalayan Mountain passes. It sits at a staggering elevation of 4,414-metres in the Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh. A mammoth pass of the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas, Sach Pass connects the Chamba valley with the Pangi valley. It is the shortest and toughest route from Chamba to the Killar, with a distance of only 170 KMs.
Once you enter Pangi Valley, you unlock yourself some of the most beautiful and amazing places to explore in the Himalayas. 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.
The gateway to Pangi valley, this pass is open from June or Early-July to mid-October. Now be warned that the road is narrow and unmetalled. It is the shortest route to Killar. With the completion of this road (Sach Pass) the distance from Pathankot to Leh via Sach pass has been reduced to 670 KMs while the distance from Pathankot to Leh via Manali is 800 KMs.
Now, back to Sach Pass – You MUST visit this pass at least once in your life. Reaching the top, soaking in the views and the field – oh man – it is a heavenly experience. Will it take a lot of effort? Yes. Will you be challenged and uncomfortable at times? Absolutely! Will you be enthralled? Indeed, you would.
Also, it should be noted that the most comfortable (if there was ever such a thing in relation to Sach Pass) is from July to season end. I suggest this as the snow gets cleared properly by PWD and constant (ish) movement of traffic. However, if you want to experience snow and a real tough grind – go early in the season or towards the closing of the season!
Sach pass can be reached from three directions, via Pathankot-Dalhousie road, Manali-Udaipur road, and Udhampur/Anantnag-Kishtwar-Paddar-Pangi road. The first is the shortest, more treacherous, and most popular route, given that the other routes are very long in comparison.
In terms of Pangi – it should be noted that Pangi remains accessible all year round from the Paddar valley (Jammu & Kashmir) route. But, it is a longer route as one has to take the Chamba to Baderwah or Udhampur road in Jammu & Kashmir.
The distance of Sach Pass from a few major places on all three routes is below.
The route from Chamba takes you through Tissa (63 KMs, 15709 Mts) – Bairagarh (90 km, 2800 Mts) – Satrundi (106 km, 3400 Mts) – Sach Pass (120 km, 4420 Mts) – Bagotu (130 km, 3600 Mts) – Killar (166 km, 2590 Mts).
You’ll reach Dalhousie from Delhi and from there onwards, the distance is about 135 KMs. The journey should ideally take you about 6-7 hours of driving time to reach Sach. However, it is important to note that up to Bairagarh, the connectivity is decent.
However, after that – the last 30-35 KMs are poorly developed (if at all existent) and this portion alone will take you about 2 hours. So, buckle up. Also, from here, you’re climbing nearly 2000 meters!!!!! Mental preparation is more important than physical preparation.
Now, when it comes to planning the trip – you need to be prepared – mentally, physically! You should take into consideration on how you’ll break your trip and where you’ll sleep as well as what will give you the most acclimatization opportunities!
You can reach Dalhousie by road, taking about 10 hours. Or, you may take a flight to Dharamshala and drive from there, covering 120 km in about 3 hours. I suggest you drive down from Delhi itself. Stay the night, explore Dalhousie, and its cuteness!
Taking only 3.5 hours of driving, you’ll cover 121 km from Dalhousie today. Two hotels worth exploring in the region are Mannat homestay as well as Hotel Chamunda – which are economical.
Bairagarh is an unexpected find in Himachal Pradesh and while it might seem like a pit-stop village – do go out and explore nature. The facilities are very basic and there isn’t much to catch your attention initially. But, the weather, the friendly people and the peace and quiet is something you’ll love!
The point of exit from Bairagarh is where the tarmac ends. From there, it’s 25-odd KMs of trail that gets progressively worse and more narrow. The silver lining is that this route takes you through some incredible and diverse landscapes.
Initially, you motor through dense forests and lush greenery. Then, as you keep climbing extraordinary heights, the vegetation disappears and you make your way into a more barren land dotted with flowing streams and waterfalls.
Do remember to leave as early in the morning as possible from Bairagarh because the Nallahs get flooded as the sun rises during the day. The total distance to Killar is 76 KMs. Each KM will be etched in your memory for EVER!
Enjoy exploring the Killar region and return back either via the same route or from the Manali side.
We have a day-by-day Sach Pass itinerary for the region as well!
Can I do Sach Pass trip in one day from Dalhousie?
It will take you around 6 hours from Dalhousie one side to travel this place so one can break this journey till Bairagarh, stay overnight, and in the morning travel to Sach pass and further ahead towards Killar. One-day travel might be hectic to Kids/aged people as it will take overall 12-13 hrs to complete the journey.
How safe are the roads to Sach Pass?
Police at Satrundi check post take an undertaking from Driver that they will travel only up to Ranikot (5 Km from Satrundi Police check post). Beyond that it will be Driver’s responsibility for any tragedy as the road is not having NOC by PWD.
Where will the IDs be checked?
Keep your ID card ready at the Satrundi police check post.
When is the best time to visit for snow?
If you are a diehard fan of snow, then please do visit this place in June as you will get snow everywhere along this road, provided the road is open.
Will I experience AMS on Sach Pass trip?
Since you will be climbing staggering heights in the duration of the same day – it is likely that you may get AMS. However, as you may not end up sleeping at high altitude. So, you shall be OK with it. Also, keep in mind that you should remain hydrated and if the symptoms get worse- then you should descend immediately.
Sach pass is on the bucket list for adventure travelers. And, with good reason. Hopefully, this detailed travel guide of Sach Pass will help you in understanding how you’ll be traversing the region.
I hope this article covers all you needed for planning a Sach Pass trip. But, if you still have any questions for us – don’t hesitate and shoot them below! Happy to help 🙂
This post was last modified on Mar 21, 2021 19:01
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