Isn’t it a rare & beautiful feeling when you explore something unexplored? When you reach a destination and see that you and your friends are the only ones there? When you see a place which is not yet commercialized and littered by tourists?
Sach Pass is a 4,420-metre-high mountain pass in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas which is not yet devoured by the cringe-worthy crowd! The pass is open from June or early July to mid-October. And guess what, this road is also called death road (Killar to Pangi Road, via Kishtwar) as it is one of the world’s most dangerous roads. Thrill seeker much? keep reading YOU!
We started our journey to Sach pass from Dalhousie as we were already staying there. We hired an SUV the day before from DALHOUSIE TAXI UNION (tour and travels), it’s situated on the mall road of Dalhousie. The taxi cost us 7500 after negotiating for like half an hour and believe me, every penny was worth the trip. If you want to make it on time then you gotta start your journey early in the morning around 5 am. We left our hotel at 5:15 am wearing light woolens and carrying heavy jackets with us as the temperature at the top drops as close to -2 degree sometimes. A little tip for those who get nauseous in the mountains – don’t eat too much before and on the journey and carry some gums, candies & light snacks with you. And voila, you’re ready.
You can’t go wrong with the views in Chamba, so there wasn’t a single dull moment on the roads. We crossed the Chamera lake and dam after one hour. We had planned to go speed boating in the lake on our way back but unfortunately, the lake was closed due to some reason, so we could not do it.
The first 3 hours of the journey were easy, with serene views, flowing rivers, bright blue and clear skies and a killer 90s playlist. Also, on our way, we crossed 3 army check posts, they check your ids and make entries, the security is pretty tight on the road to Sach Pass. So, don’t forget to carry your ids.
The first amazing thing that we experienced on the road was a waterfall, not just any ordinary waterfall but a high waterfall in the middle of the freaking road, and you have to drive underneath it, one could only dream something like this. After this, the roads started to become narrower and more dangerous but with even better views. There were heavy and milky waterfalls and streams all along the way and panoramic views of the hills. Driving on those roads felt like we were driving through rivers. I had never encountered any such thing before.
And just when only one hour was left to reach our destination, our driver pointed out to us the snow-clad mountain peak far away amongst the hills (the top of our destination), after that we started to spot a little bit of snow on the roads everywhere. There were frozen waterfalls and streams along the way.
But as beautiful as it was, it started to get more dangerous by the minute, the road started to become steeper and the condition of the road was exceptionally awful. It was like we were driving on crushed bricks and stones and the road could not get any narrower than it already was.
The good part was that there were no other vehicles. Our car got stuck in the middle of the road several times because of rocks from landslides and we had to clear the path ourselves. There was a point where our car started to slip backwards with dangerous speed because of the water and snow on the roads from waterfalls, somehow our driver managed to keep us alive against all the odds.
After all of this hard work, we finally reached and started driving amidst long walls of snow at both sides of our car. There was snow and heavy mist everywhere. And just when I thought that it can’t get any better than this, we reached the top point of Sach pass & I went silent. I wasn’t able to speak for 2 minutes, the beauty of that place was something I had never encountered in my life before. I was spellbound and felt as if I had died and gone to heaven!
When we got out of our car, we started freezing to our deaths, so we quickly put on our jackets but it still wasn’t enough. We started having difficulty breathing properly, we went numb with cold and I even got frostbites. But hey, I’m not complaining, I live for these moments! I saw the most beautiful views there so it was all worth it.
There was no one other than us, the place was deserted and that increased our fun all the more. The only thing we spotted there was a little tin hut, which was a shop and they only sell two things, Maggi and coffee, but it was more than enough. What is it with mountains and Maggi? Why does Maggi taste so good in the mountains? We sat in that hut and had coffee and Maggi while discussing that.
The shopkeepers were very kind and when they saw us shivering, they lit a bonfire for us. Everything was just perfect at that moment and we couldn’t ask for anything else. We had a feeling of peace and a sense of rush, both at the same time. And oh, I almost forgot, there’s a little temple on the hill and you can get there by walking in knee-deep snow.
We didn’t want to come back from all the fun we were having there but had to take a U-turn, so we started our journey back for Dalhousie from there with lots of memories and reached around 8 pm. The total time it took us to reach Sach pass from Dalhousie was around 7 hours (5:15 am-12 noon) and just like that, we put an end to that beautiful day with a hearty dinner at mall road, Dalhousie.
I still get chills and goosebumps when I think of that road though!
Some suggestions and tips:
- Check the weather before you leave, if it’s raining heavily then don’t go for safety reasons, a lot can go wrong in bad weather on that road.
- Carry heavy jackets or you can also get full-body suit and rubber boots on rent on the way.
- Don’t forget to carry your id.
- Carry some chewing gums and candies and water.
- If you have some difficulty breathing at the top, just relax and sip water slowly, trust me it helps.
- Only hire an SUV.
A request to anyone reading this – Please, whenever you travel, don’t throw your trash anywhere and try to preserve the beauty of mother nature.
If you have any other questions regarding this, feel free to contact me via instagram DM or email.