Baralacha La Pass – Deadliest Mountain Pass

baralachla-passA high mountain pass situated at an altitude of 16,040 feet in Zanskar region of Jammu and Kashmir, Baralacha La means the pass where many roads meet. The pass connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

It is a high plateau where three different mountain ranges – Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas – meet at an altitude above 16,000 feet. This mountain pass, one of the highest passes in Ladakh is around 73 kilometers away from Keylong on Manali – Leh road.

The Baralacha Pass forms a natural divide between the Bhaga and Yunam River. The Bhaga River is a tributary of Chenab River which is also known as the Chandrabhaga River. The tributary originates from the Suraj Tal, a few kilometers from Baralacha Pass. The Chandra River which meets the Bhaga River at Tandi to form the Chandrabhaga, originates from a glacier in the Baralacha La region.

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It is a high altitude pass in the Zanskar range connecting Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu Kashmir. It is 4,890 m or 16,040 ft high at the top and is considered to be the most treacherous pass due to the heavy amount of snow it receives each year. It opens only for a few months and there is always a risk that it can snow at Baralacha La at any time of the year, closing down the road.

At the top of the pass is a large hall type building which now stands in ruins with a stone marker in front of it reading “Shaheed Sainik Bhavan”. Everyone who has taken the adventures journey from Manali to Leh would have noticed this hard to ignore and standing in middle of nowhere building. But only a very few are aware of the interesting and rather peculiar story behind.

This pass is the point of commencement for several treks which include the famous Suraj Tal trek and Chandra Tal trek. During the winter season the pass is closed due to heavy snowfall.

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