The Wild Road to Saach Pass in the Himalayas
Saach La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.420m (1,4500ft) above the sea level, located in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh, in India.
Can you drive to Saach Pass?
Tucked away in the northern part of the country, the challenging road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s called SH37. Keep in mind that the road is always a serious challenge. It’s a treacherous and slippery road where even the most experienced drivers do not dare to drive faster than 10 kmph at any point of time. The road is in bad condition and only 4×4 vehicles are suggested for traveling. The pass is a relatively new road built at the beginning of the 2000’s which shortened the distance from Killar to Chamba (the main town in the area) by about 500km.
Is Saach Pass open?
Set high on the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, the road is usually impassable from mid October through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. It’s the last pass to be declared open sometime in the month of June and also the first one to receive snow. The pass offers a spectacular view of the show clad peaks, high mountains, and untouched and unspoiled surroundings.
How long is Saach Pass?
The road to the summit is 67.9 km (42.19 miles) long, running from Siri to Killar. The pass links Chamba valley with the Pangi valleys of Himachal Pradesh. The pass is the shortest road link between Chamba town, some 450 km from the state capital, and the Pangi Valley. The Pangi valley remains cut off from the rest of country for about seven months in a year. Basic accomodation can be found at Killar for the night stay. The traffic on the road is virtually non existent, just some buses, a handful of jeeps and trucks. Likewise the valley is relatively sparsely populated not surprising due to the steep valley, with perhaps one village every 30km.
Pic: Rajesh Uraon