If you’re on a road trip from Leh to Manali, an overnight stop-over at Sarchu will be the highlight of the trip. It is by no means an easy place to spend the night; it is perched at an altitude of 4,290 meters, which means it’s bone-chilling cold here at all times of the year. However, it’s a popular place for camping; located on the Manali-Leh highway, interestingly, on the border of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. It is nestled between the Baralacha La to the south and Lachulung La to the north and makes for quite an experience to stay a night here.
There are quite a number of tented accommodations available here; and since Sarchu is bang in the middle of Leh (260km) and Manali (230km), it’s an ideal pit-stop for travellers. Sarchu, also known as Sir Bhum Chun, resembles Ladakh with its barren splendour. Sarchu is a bee-hive of activity, especially between June and September when the snow melts and the Leh-Manali highway is open for traffic.
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In short, it’s the lifeline for both the states of Jammu and Himachal Pradesh. It’s actually been an important trading point since the time of the Silk Route. And is still a hot favourite with traders, nomads and adventure seekers.
Not just camping, Sarchu is also supremely popular as a trekking point. It is the starting point for treks to Zanskar in Ladakh. The route is popular among seasoned trekkers and high altitude climbers as one has to deal with hostile climatic conditions and difficult terrains.
Though Sarchu poses its own challenges to the travellers, the reason why you must consider being here at some point in your life is the absolute breath-taking views of the snow-capped mountains it offers. It mostly is accompanied by a clear blue sky and ample amount of fresh air.