The Parvati Valley in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh is the home to Sar pass. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful treks in India, Sar Pass Trek promises a medley of meadows, forests, streams, and snow-covered trails.
Sar Pass is like a snowy dream with new adventures after every base camp and views that will make all the chattering in the cold worth it. The base camp of Sar Pass trek is Kasol, which is also known as the Mini Israel of India.
Sar, in the local language, means ‘lake’. One passes by a small, usually frozen lake while trekking across the path hence, the name Sar Pass.
About Sar Pass Trek
Sar Pass trek is one of the most popular ones in the Shivalik range and is filled with abundant views of nature that will leave you in a daze. This trek is a hub to some of the magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks.
Beginning from the famous Israeli village of India, the trail weaves through a mixture of dense pine and rhododendron forests, lush meadows, and hamlets. An ideal trek for beginners, the Sar Pass trek is actually a mountain ridge.
Nestled in the Parvati Valley, Sar Pass treks give us serene views of the Parvati River. The Sar Pass trek height is at 13,780 ft and the Sar Pass trek distance is 49km.
This trek also is a trail through some of the finest campsites including Min Thach, Grahan Village, Biskari, and Nagaru.
The trek begins in Kasol, which is also known as the backpacker’s paradise. Plenty of backpackers visit Kasol every month to rejuvenate themselves and most of them happen to be foreign visitors who are soaking themselves in the bohemian lifestyle of the place.
Kasol is the base camp for many treks in the Parvati valley and is nestled between pine trees and the snow-capped mountains. Kasol is also known as the mini-Israel of India because of the abundant number of Israelis staying here and the delicious Israeli food available here.
The first part of the trek usually begins by driving through with beautiful meadows and mountains around and once the trail gets rocky and steep, it is covered on foot.
The first campsite is Graham village. Grahan Nalah, has an abundance of Rhododendron (red tree) growth, a local bright flower which is known as ‘buras’ and is collected in large number to make syrup. The trek from here is an absolute treat for the eyes.
The next stop is Min Thatch which is also the grazing stock for the livestock there. ‘Thatch’ means meadows and the trek till here is filled under a canopy of trees and beautiful meadows. From here, one trek towards the Nagaru campsite which is slippery and has melted snow at some parts.
From here, the spread of mountains across the Parvati Valley will be visible, and with the snow and the views, all the tiredness washes away. The main part of the trek is after here towards Sar Pass and the Biskeri Thatch. There are quite a number of challenges or difficulties but what you come across here is something which is out of the world.
One also gets to have a short experience at the river crossing. Adding to the list of adventures in this trek is the last 2 hours of the trek where one comes across an incline of 90-degree slope and the trek descent isn’t traversed by trekking because of its steep but by actually sliding down through the snow.
The entire trek of Sar Pass is filled with mesmerizing mystic views and adventures like in no other trek.Quick Facts related to Sar Pass Trek
- Region: Himachal Pradesh
- Trek Altitude: 13,780 ft
- Trek Difficulty level: Moderate-to-Difficult
- Trek Duration: 6 days
- Distance: 49 km
- Start point: Kasol
- Endpoint: Kasol
- Sar Pass Temperature: The average temperature during the day ranges between 12 degree Celsius to 20 degree Celsius and -2 to 6 degree Celsius during the night
- Nearest Railway station: Chandigarh
- Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport (also known as Kullu-Manali airport)
- Nearest ATM: Kasol
Reaching the Basecamp Kasol
From Chandigarh, one can go directly via the road to Kasol. You can take a bus to Manali and hire a cab/taxi till Kasol or drive directly to Kasol. If via road, the distance is 271 km, giving you almost 8 hours to travel.
If you want to travel by air, from Chandigarh you can fly to Kulu. Kasol, being a remote place doesn’t have any airports so the nearest airport is at Kullu and you can then go via road from there till Kasol. Kullu to Kasol is only around 38kms and it’ll only take you an hour to reach.
One can also take a train from Chandigarh to Joginder Nagar. From there, one can go via road till Kasol which is at a distance of 124km and that’ll take you almost 4.5 hours to reach Kasol.
To go Sar pass trek from Mumbai via road, one has to get on NH-3 which is the main road that leads to Kasol while on its way to Manali.
To go Sar pass trek from Mumbai via road, the drive is a long one of nearly 37 hours with a distance of 1917 km to cover. One can choose Delhi as their base by travelling to Delhi via flight or train and then going via road.
If via air, one can fly to Bhuntar Airport and then go via road which is only an hour away from Kasol, at a distance of 30km.
Delhi to Kasol is at a distance of 510km, taking approximately 12.5 hours to reach. From Delhi, one can reach Kasol overnight if you start after lunch.
You can also fly to Bhuntar Airport and go via road from there.
Best Time to visit Sar Pass
The Sar Pass Trek's best time is during the seasons of summer, monsoon, and autumn. Sar Pass trekking is thus best done from May to October.
Sar Pass is also a snow trek so one has to be careful of the weather. May to October become the Sar Pass best time to trek because the weather isn’t too extreme and you can also enjoy the thick blankets of snow at higher altitudes. During this period, the snow slides are also very enjoyable and you can see bright, colorful, and beautiful flora and fauna.
Comparatively, in the month of May, the snow is considerably higher. In June, the snow starts to melt leaving behind a fresh trail of greenery. The weather conditions are ideal and suitable during these months but once at the top, the weather doesn’t stay constant and one must be prepared to be surprised with rainfall, hailstorms, and even snowfall.
Sar Pass trekking is not done during the winters. Weather in summer itself is usually unpredictable and winters get very snowy. The snow increases and the weather get very risky for treks so it’s usually not advisable during this season.
Sar Pass trek Weather and Temperature
The average temperature in Sar pass trek during summer ranges from -5 degrees Celsius to 12 degrees Celsius.
The Sar pass temperature in May at the base camp ranges between -1 to -2 degree Celsius and at Nagaru it ranges between -5 to -10 degree Celsius. The temperature in Sar pass trek starts decreasing once the season changes and the nights get even chillier.
It is advisable to carry proper gear, shoes, and woolen clothes. During the nights, the temperature significantly drops so it is necessary to be fully prepared.
Is it Difficult To Trek Sar Pass?
Sar Pass is a moderate level trek. Even without any prior trekking experience, Sar Pass trekking can be done. There is an almost vertical incline at the top and a steep decline.
The air gets thin and the oxygen level drop once going higher. Compared to other difficult treks, this one is between easy-to-moderate.
Though the trek is moderate, there are certain challenging parts of the trek. While trekking through the vertical incline, the path is a little risky but with the views of the majestic mountains around you, it all gets done smoothly.
Once you slide down through the decline, there are chances of being heavy blankets of snow around you. While sliding through the snow is an entirely different experience on its own, one has been aware that the snow gets accumulated inside the clothes and shoes so trekking forward with snow in and around gets a little chilly.
One also has to be prepared to trek through knee-deep snow and continue walking/sliding till the next campsite. Occasionally, there are slight chances of snowfall/rainfall while in the middle of treks so it gets a little challenging to walk in snow while in the middle of snowfall.
The experience is nevertheless, unreal and magical. This part of the trek is the trickiest one and once it’s cleared, the trek is clear from thereon.
Is it safe?
Sar Pass trek is safe for everyone. Even though there are steep inclines and declines, it is completely safe to trek and the risk is very low. The treks conducted are always under the presence of guides and expert supervision.
There is also constant local guidance across different campsites. Going solo trekking here is usually not preferable because of the snow trekking. As one goes higher, the altitude starts gaining and the weather changes but the atmosphere is safe for trekking.
In any case, if there are any sudden changes in the weather, the trekkers are informed beforehand and whatever measures are taken, are in favor of their safety and security.
Health and Safety
- For any Himalayan Trek, Ideal BMI for a trekker should be 18.5 to 24.9
- To keep a check of this please calculate BMI here
- Below given Safety checks should be done to get prepared for any Himalayan Trek.
- Balance : As well said a balanced mind and body gives out best in every condition and that too works in Himalayan treks as well.
- Legs Strength : Body and Legs Strength is required to carry body weight as well as the backpack while trekking in uneven multi terrains. Generally, a good strength on legs works out good in any Trek. One can gain legs strength by doing simple Squats.
- Muscle Flexibility : While trekking in Trans Himalayan region with a flexible body one can easily achieve full range of movement and this can be really helpful for trekkers as well as trek leads. A good flexible will be an advantage while walking on trails, climbing and river crossing etc. Flexibility can be achieved by simple stretching, yoga etc.
- Cardiovascular Endurance : Cardiovascular endurance is defined as the ability of lungs and heart to transmit oxygen to the body muscles. All Himalayan treks are basically ascending descending the slopes and for this trekkers should be having a good cardiovascular endurance. Anyone planning for a Himalayan trek can attain this capacity by doing any cardio exercise like running, swimming, cycling etc.
If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, snowfall, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc.), Moxtain will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed upto same amount for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
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