Bara-lacha la

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Bara-lacha la
Bara-lacha la
Elevation4,890 m (16,043 ft)
Traversed byLeh–Manali Highway
Coordinates32°45′31″N 77°25′13″E / 32.75861°N 77.42028°E / 32.75861; 77.42028Coordinates: 32°45′31″N 77°25′13″E / 32.75861°N 77.42028°E / 32.75861; 77.42028
Bara-lacha la is located in Himachal Pradesh
Bara-lacha la
Baralachala signpost
An abandoned shelter near Bara-lacha la

Bara-lacha la also known as Bara-lacha Pass, or Bārā Lācha La,[1] (el. 4,890 m or 16,040 ft)[2][3] is a high mountain pass in Zanskar range,[4] connecting Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Leh district in Ladakh, situated along the Leh–Manali Highway.

View of Bara-lacha La

The Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chenab river, originates from Surya taal lake, which is situated a few of kilometers from the pass towards Manali. The other major tributary of the Chenab River, the Chandra also originates from glacier in this region.[4] The native name of Chenab, "Chandrabhaga", represents the union of Chandra and Bhaga rivers downstream.

The pass also acts as a water-divide between the Bhaga river and the Yunam river.[5]


Folklore states that the two divine lovers, Chandra, daughter of the Moon, and Bhaga, the son of the Sun god, decided to perform their eternal marriage atop the Bara-lacha-la. From there they ran in opposite directions. Chandra being active and smart, easily found her way and reached Tandi after covering the distance of 115 km (71 mi).

Soon Bhaga was found coming with great struggle through the narrow gorges to Tandi, where consequently, they both met and the celestial marriage was performed. Bhaga covered about 60 km (37 mi) distance, which was very difficult.[6]

Baralachala means summit with cross roads from Spiti, Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul meet here and in ancient times it was part of a trade route. On the North West lies the Bhaga River while the Chandra flows south-east. Near below the Baralacha-la is having a beautiful emerald lake the Suraj tal (Sun lake), the source of the river Bhaga.

"Mr. Shaw thus describes the region:

"The Bara Lacha is the boundary between two separate regions distinguished by their physical characteristics. That which we have already passed through may be called the true Himalayan region. Here the gigantic ranges are covered with perpetual snow, furrowed by glaciers, and they arise from amid dense forests which clothe their flanks up to a certain elevation. They are separated by deep gorges, whose sides are precipices, and though which large rivers flow. In fact the scenery is Alpine.

Henceforward, however, we must bear in mind that we are in the barren or Tibetan region, where green spots are about as rare as islands in the ocean, and universal gravel is the rule."[7]


In Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim, there is a reference to Bara-lacha la pass the source of the Suraj Tal having been used by Kim's Lama to enter India from Tibet.[8]

A trekking route leads from Bara-lacha la to Chandra Taal, situated by the bank of Chandra River in the Spiti Valley. In about a week's time, trekking in this region involves camping and walking at reasonably high altitude, and crossing a few glacial rivers. The basic day wise itinerary that trekkers can follow is:[9]

  1. Manali (2000 m) - Batal (3907 m) drive
  2. Batal (3907 m) - Chandrataal (4300 m) hike
  3. Chandrataal (4300 m) - Tokpo Gongma (4320 m) hike
  4. Tokpo Gongma (4320 m) - Tokpo Yongma (4640 m) hike
  5. Tokpo Yongma (4640 m) - Baralacha La (4900 m) - Manali


  1. ^ "Bārā Lācha La". Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ a b Gosal, G.S. (2004). "Physical Geography of the Punjab" (PDF). Journal of Punjab Studies. Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies, University of California. 11 (1): 31. ISSN 0971-5223. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  5. ^ R. K. Pant; N. R. Phadtare; L. S. Chamyal & Navin Juyal (June 2005). "Quaternary deposits in Ladakh and Karakoram Himalaya: A treasure trove of the palaeoclimate records" (PDF). Current Science. 88 (11): 1789–1798. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Lahaul & Spiti". Archived from the original on 16 April 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  7. ^ Central Asia. Travels in Cashmere, Little Thibet and Central Asia. Compared and arranged by Bayard Taylor. New York. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1893, p.107.
  8. ^ Manali - Leh Jeep Safari-II
  9. ^ "Chandratal to Baralacha La Trek -".


External links[edit]