Sarchu, also known as Sir Bhum Chun is yet another mesmerizing abode located in the borders of the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. It is known as one of the halt points for an overnight stay for adventure enthusiasts travelling along the expressway connecting Leh and Manali. This camping site is located 250 km from Leh and 220 km from Manali. Sarchu offers an amazing view of nature and the great Himalayan range.
It also happens to be the base camp for a number of Himalayan treks like Zanskar region of Ladakh, jeep safari and motorcycle tours to Leh and Ladakh, adventure tours to spiti and much more. The best way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place nestled in the middle of the Baralacha la Pass in the south and Lachulung La Pass in the north is by staying in the camps, which also happen to be only place to stay in Sarchu.
Apart from just being a place to rest in the middle of the journey, Sarchu happened to be an important spot for the trade in the silk route. It's been at all times a top favourite place for tribes, adventure enthusiasts and traders. Come over to this amazing place and spend some time in relaxation enjoying the amazing scenic beauty and soaking in all the flavours of this place.
How to Reach Sarchu
The distance between Sarchu and Leh is 251 km.
Bus: You can reach Sarchu by taking the Leh-Manali Highway. You can easily find local state transport buses that ply in between the two places.
Cab: You can also hire cabs to reach the Sarchu Camping site. It takes about 5-7 hours to reach Sarchu from Leh as the roads are mountainous and packed with numerous hairpin curves.
Personal Vehicle: If you choose to drive all the way to Sarchu from Leh, you must be very careful and watchful about the hanging rocks on the way.
Best Time to Visit Sarchu
The best time to visit Sarchu is in between the months of May and September. This is the time in which the climate of Sarchu is slightly warmer as compared to any other months. Tourists love to come over to Sarchu in this frame of the year and enjoy camping on the hills.
Camping can happen only in this time as Sarchu receives very heavy rainfall in the course of the winter season. Come here to Sarchu in the summer season and make the most of your trip to this wonderful place close to the clouds.
What Not to Miss at Sarchu
Sarchu is home to numerous treks and monasteries. It’s unquestionably a one stop destination for your holidays. Check some of the must visit places here:
1. Chandratal Lake- Chandratal Lake is known to be one of the best places to visit for campers and trekkers. The lake is situated at an altitude of about 4300 m in the Himalayan mountain range over the Samudra Tapu Plateau. The lake also happens to be one of the most adored places by adventure junkies. If you are someone who loves to go on adventure trails, then this is the place which will surely satisfy all your adrenaline rush.
2. Key Monastery- The Key Monastery is a well-known Buddhist Monastery in the district of Spiti. The monastery is located at a height of about 4166 meters above sea level. It is believed to have been founded by Dromton in the late 11th century. This is the largest monastery in the entire area and is also an important training centre for the Lamas. You can come here with your loved ones and experience the intricate design elements and peaceful scenic beauty.
3. Kunzum Pass- Kunzum Pass is the highest motorable mountain pass in India, situated at an altitude of about 4551 meters above sea level. The pass serves as an important gateway between the Spiti Valley via Kullu and Lahaul. A visit to this amazing place will let you have the sight of the mesmerizing Bara-Shigri Glacier, which happens to be the second-largest glacier in the world.
Other Essential Information About Sarchu
Mobile connectivity- The mobile connectivity is better in Sarchu compared to that in some parts of the Leh and Ladakh. The major telecom operators in Sarchu are BSNL, MTNL, Aircel and Airtel. The best connectivity is however offered by BSNL.
Medical facility- Medical facilities are readily available for tourists in the Goldrop Camp. Individuals who get affected by high altitude sickness due to shortage of oxygen can be admitted at this facility. The camp is known to offer all basic amenities to the visitors.
ATM- There is absolutely no ATM service available in Sarchu. For this reason, it is at all times recommended to carry enough cash with you if you are planning to travel to Sarchu and places nearby it.
Petrol Pumps- The only petrol pump that one can find in the Leh-Manali expressway is the Tandi Petrol Pump. You must not miss this petrol pump at any cost if you have less fuel in your vehicle because the next petrol filling station is almost at a distance of 350 km.
The next petrol pump is at Karu before the township of Leh. However, if you are in urgent need of petrol, you can get it from any of the Dhaba tents of Zing zing bar, Pang and Sarchu.
Camping in Sarchu
Camping in Sarchu is something that entices tourists from all over the world to come to this place. It is best for outdoor exploration in the summer season. You can spend some time in the midst of the scenic picturesque backdrop of nature. The panoramic view of the place will keep your mind fixed to the natural surrounding that is filled with lush greenery and diverse landscapes.
There are a number of trekking sites near the camping grounds in Sarchu. The widely held grounds for camping in Sarchu are Dorje Camps and Snow Gold Camps. Both these camps are known for their pocket friendly nature and both offer comfortable and necessary amenities.
Acute Mountain Sickness
Saarchu is located at an elevation of about 4290 meters above the mean sea level. As it is located at a higher altitude, the temperature of the place remains low all over the year and individuals who are very receptive to cold and altitude problems should take a considerable amount of care. Not only low temperature problems, but most individuals also face high altitude sickness because of the falling percentage of oxygen in the air.
Apart from all these, the climatic condition of this place can take a turn at any point of time. It is at all times recommended to stay inside the camps when the weather starts getting bad. Most importantly you should not roam in and around the place after sunset. It is for the reason that the nights are very frigid and you can catch a cold in no time.
Traveller Tips before Visiting Sarchu
Here are some of the tips that you should keep in mind when travelling to Sarchu:
1. You should carry multiple copies of the permit and other essential personal documents. You would need to submit these copies at various checkpoints.
2. You should keep yourself hydrated at all times.
3. You should carry enough cash with you as there are no ATMs.
4. You should take adequate precautions when thinking of taking a road trip to these hilly areas. The weather can be harsh and the roads can give you tough times. So, prepare well for the trips and carry all that you may need on the way. It is at all times recommended to move ahead in groups.
5. Winters are pretty tough in these places because of the falling temperatures. The camps even remain shut down and the weather turns out to be very harsh.