Tag Archives: Jalori Pass

Sach Pass – In search of Truth


“There are BAD roads in Ladakh,
there are extremely BAD roads in Spiti,
and then there is SACH Pass”

That’s what I said when I completed the ride across Sach Pass in Pangi Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Truth cannot be found easily, you have to go thru thisRoads of Sach Pass

Did you notice the missing word in above line “road” ? that’s because it would be an understatement to call it a road, better call it a wide mule track. If you could manage to cover only 80 kms in 10-12 hrs without many breaks, you can imagine what I’m referring to. And how often you have heard that the main T bolt (the bolt which puts handle bar in place) of Royal Enfield became so loose that it was easily opened with bare hands. Adventure travelers swear by the name of Sach pass and it’s quite common to compare bad roads with Sach pass. We encountered this and much more in this ride of a lifetime. In Hindi Sach means Truth, hence I see it was an appropriate title for this ride.

You gotta have right Attitude

Nature has mysterious plans and you can’t do much about it but be ready and be flexible. How many times it happens that you plan for something and end up doing something else. Same happened with us in sep 2014 , when our well laid plan to do the leh-Ladakh circuit was smashed by flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir just 10 days before our scheduled ride. The situation was so scary that all the Riders backed out of the idea of exploring some other place if we are not riding to Ladakh. All riders backed out except the two hard nuts (Me & Aditya), we were not ready to sit at home thinking what we could have done. Hence, an alternative plan had to be chalked out and that too within next 2 – 3 days. Maps were out, discussions, Google search, more discussions, weather forecasts and contingency plans were chalked out.

And have some faith – Trilokinath TempleTrilokinath Temple

After an extensive 3 day research we came up with a probable route. We would be crossing 3 of Himachal’s notorious passes known for bad roads, landslides and what not (Jalori pass, Rohtang pass, Sach pass) and also cover 3 most popular tourist destinations in Himachal (Shimla, Manali, Khajjiar). On paper it was a good plan, but somewhere at the back of our mind we knew, it will not be an easy ride in this season. There has been news of heavy rain in Himachal and there were chances that we may have to ride in rain as well. We bought some rain gear from the local markets and checked all the necessary items which we might need on the ride. So all was set; 2 guys,me (Rana and Adi) , with me on Jr.Black Bull (Royal Enfield Classic 350cc) and Adi on TB Baby (Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500cc). With all things checked out of our list we were ready to ride and face the Truth.

And answer some hard questions – “Why we ride?”Why we ride

Tirthan Valley – Kullu (Himachal Pradesh, India)

Tirthan Valley : It is one of the hidden treasures of Himachal and is also the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP).The valley is located at an altitude of aprox 1600 mts on the banks of Tirthan river. A long walk through the rugged woods next to the river whispering with the meddling fog is what makes this place so charming. Bonfires, camping and music will only elicit your already developed bias for this place. Follow the lazy roads through the forests and unwind into tiny hamlets of Nagini, Ghushaini, Banjar and Shoja. These are equally beautiful and you would be charmed by their serenity. The valley is known for trout fishing and if you spend some time here and you might just get lucky with a trout.

Location Map: Tirthan-Valley-Map


Road Map


What to do:

Angling: Tirthan River is one of the few rivers in Himachal that doesn’t had a dam built on it and therefore remains one of the few rivers where Rainbow trout is actively found. Tirthan Valley therefore has becoming an hot angler destination over a period of time.

Chehni Kothi: Chehni Kothi is a 1500 years old building and was the fortified residence of Rana Dhadhia. Initially it was 15 storeys high but after the earthquake of 1905 only 10 storeys were left. Presently this structure is built of stone and wood only stands around approximately 60 feet high. The ground floor is bigger in area as compared to the upper floors giving it a cone like appearance.

Great Himalayan National Park: The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) was initially constituted in 1984, GHNP was formally declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of 754.4 sq kms. In June 2014, the Great Himalayan National Park was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The Unesco World Heritage Site Committee granted the status to the park under the criteria of “exceptional natural beauty and conservation of biological diversity. It takes a minimum of 2 days to get into the park. So an overnight 2 day trek is the minimum.

Waterfalls: There are two lovely waterfalls around an hour walking distance. Both of them are very shortly separated from each other and are on the same walking trail.

Jalori Pass : Jalori Pass, at an altitude of 3120 meters, is one of the steepest passes to drive in Himachal separating Kullu valley and Shimla Valley. You need to cover almost 2500 meters in less than 25 KMs to reach the top . Expect his place to be covered with snow from December end till March end.

Serolsar Lake: Enjoy an easy trek of 5 kms from Jalori pass amidst pristine surroundings of forest cover. Walk to Serolsar Lake through forests full of oak, blue pine, spruce, fir and Deodar.

Day Hikes: There are a few day hikes which you can consider like Dingcha and Tinder Hike , Nohanda – West, Himalayan villages hike, Hike to park’s gate.

Best Time to Visit:

The best months to visit the Park are March, April, May, June, and then September, October and November.


Avg. summer temperature: 14 to 20 °C

Avg. winter temperature: −5 to 10 °C

For current weather conditions you can also refer to http://www.accuweather.com/en/in/banjar/198355/weather-forecast/198355

How to get there:

By Air : Bhunter near Kullu is the nearest Airport and there are direct flights from Delhi to Bhuntar. Please be advised that due to weather and other issues Delhi – Bhuntar flights are often canceled at the last minute. It will be better to have an alternative plan ready just in case this happens.

By Train : Chandigarh (296km) is the closest major Railway Station. From there you can either take a cab or bus. If you would like to enjoy Toy Train ride, then you can come all the way up to Joginder Nagar (100 kms), in Mandi from Pathankot, and take a cab or bus from there.

By Bus : You can take any Manali bound bus and reach Kullu / Aut (12-13 hours journey). Daily Volvo bus service by Himachal Roadways is available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Manali/Kullu. Once at Kullu/Aut you can hop on to another bus to Tirthan or hire a cab. Bus Service may not be frequent on this route.

By Car: Delhi – Ambala (188 KM) – Chandigarh – Roopnagar (282 KM) – Kiratpur – Bilaspur (371 KM) – Mandi (440 KM) – Pandoh – Aut (481 KM) – Larji – Gushaini – Tirthan (511 KM)

From Dharamshala: You can take any Manali / Kullu bound bus and reach Kullu / Aut (205 kms) 5 – 6 hrs and then hop on to another bus to Tirthan (35 kms) or hire a cab.

From Shimla: Shimla – Narkanda (60 Kms) – Kingal (87 Kms) – 6 kms after Kingel on Rampur road take left for Kullu road – Ani – Khanag – Jalori Pass (153 Kms) – Shoja (159 Kms) – Banjar (173 Kms) – Tirthan (183 Kms). A very scenic route but very narrow with steep gradient, avoid travelling in low ground clearance vehicles. Check road status beforehand as there are a couple of landslide prone points and route can close down unexpectedly.

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