On the way to the Sach (Saach) Pass

The Sach (Saach) pass, one of the lesser known passes in Himachal Pradesh has always had a certain allure since friends Cass and Cara had cycled it 6 years before. They had rated it as the most beautiful and challenging they had ever cycled (and they really know the Himalayas). With a bit of back tracking from Leh, we set-off from Keylong and followed the confluence of the Chandra (moon) and Bhagga (sun) rivers which form the great Chandrabhagga (or Chenab) river which flows into Pakistan.

A few kilometres after Keylong we left the Manali Leh highway and followed the mighty Chandrabhagga river (2400m) which cuts through the spectacular Pangi valley.
Day 1 was a gentle and enjoyable ride which contoured all the way to Udaipur village some 57km away
Exquisite quilts of fruit trees, maize, rape seed and potatoes.
A snack stop en route.
My favourite: moong dal ‘crisps’.
It is interesting how one valley can be so different to the next. The Pangi valley is Hindu although there are remnants of Buddhist tradition.
And eventually the valley became to steep for cultivation giving way to the indigenous pine covered slopes.Hard to imagine that this valley is often submerged in 2m of snow in the winter.
Continental town and countries (once upon-a-time my tyre of choice) are certainly aren’t what they used to be. First day cycling with panniers I have a blow-out that rips into the side wall. Luckily we carry a spare Schwalbe marathon that saves the ride (can’t find this quality in SA).
Udaipur is scruffy little town set alongside the raging Chandrabhagga. The main attraction to the town is the Markula Devi Temple (AD 1028) dedicated to the goddess Kali. Somewhat a battered and shack-like wood tiled structure, people come from far and wide to pay their respects to the silver Kali inside. A family of Buddhist Lahuali’s from Gemur near to Keylong were also visiting the landmark site.
The Lahauli’ Newang family stopped for a chat and family photo which I promised to deliver to them in Gemur when I hopefully cycle there next year.
Pretty little miss in her perfectly re-sized Lahauli skirt and bolero.
Best of friends. Sanita and Lapka then joined us outside the temple and entertained each other endlessly with squirting water out of soda bottles. We saw them a few hours later that evening charging up and down the main street with the same endless energy and joy.
High street shops in Udaipur.
Udaipur has even more to offer.
Top class hotel with satellite TV and green walls.This set us back a somewhat relatively inflated Rs400 (R70) but at least I managed to insist that they changed the sheets.

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.

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9 thoughts on “On the way to the Sach (Saach) Pass
  • Larissa

    Bridg, my folks are hiking in Himachal Pradesh at the moment . I'll forward you some of their photos in a couple of weeks. Wish it was me....

    • Bridget Ringdahl

      Hey Larissa, thats great news to hear. Would love to know whereabouts they are hiking, please do send some pics. oxo

  • Susan

    i love visiting for a few minutes on your trips with you by reading about them. thanks for doing this!!

  • Kim

    What a beautifully shared journey - thanks Bridg - you are amazing!

  • rosafrica

    Knowing I could never cycle it let alone walk it ........ so I enjoy each and every pedaled revolution with you. Your inspiring journey and travelogue are nurturing my intention of returning to Leh and surrounds ... Thank you dear Bridget. xx

  • Hi Bridget Have just found this thanks to LP. I want to go from Srinigar to Chamba on the same road as you took from Udaipur. Was it well signposted. There must've been a turnoff somewhere? Did you take cooking gear? Am having trouble finding any good maps of Srinigar. Thanks Fred

    • Bridget Ringdahl

      Hi Fred The road from udaipur wasnt well signposted, in fact there werent any sign posts - the main thing is to know some of the key village names (can find on most general maps). Killar, in this case is where the junction is to the Sach Pass (sound like you will be coming from the other direction). It is more or less clear where to go, however you can…

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