Sarchu region is also well-known as Sir Bhum Chun. Sarchu is on the border between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir States in India. It is a main halt point with tented accommodation in the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali Highway. It is positioned between Baralacha La to the south and Lachulung La to the north, at an elevation of 4,290 m.
The journey along the Manali-Leh highway at high elevation and erratic road conditions, usually takes two days, so travellers and tourists use this spot as an overnight stop. An Indian army camp is sited nearby on the banks of the Tsarap Chu River. The highway and thus the camp are closed during the winter, when snow blocks the high passes along the road.
Sarchu was an essential trading spot in the earliest Silk Route. It is still a most favourite with traders, traveling tribes and adventure seekers. Between May and September, Sarchu becomes the starting point for treks to Zanskar in Ladakh. The route is popular with trekkers and high altitude climbers as one has to deal with hostile conditions and difficult terrain.
Places to Visit in Sarchu
The source of Tsarap River is in the glaciers at the boundary of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and close to Pankpo La Pass. After expanding from its source, the Tsarap River runs southwest up to Sarchu, a campsite at the Leh-Manali Highway, here the Tsarap River links a confluent of three rivers of Lingti, Yunan and Sarchu River.
Tsarap River is joined to Kargyag River in Purne village. Kargyag River initiates near Shingo La pass. After combining with Kargyag River the Tsarap River flows downward in the Zanskar valley, throughout of Mone, Tichip, Jamyang Lang, Dorzong and Chia these cities.
Tsarap River is then flowing together with its branches, like Stod River, at Padum region, which is the capital of Zanskar. Together, these two rivers form the Zanskar River, a stream of the Indus River.