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Bhaga River

Bhaga River, as it is most fondly called in Himachal Pradesh, is an inseparable part of Chenab River. Chenab is formed by two quintessential rivers namely Bhaga and Chandra. Bhaga River originates from the third highest lake in India and 21st highest in the world--Suraj Tal. This lake lies below the Bara- lacha- paas at a height of 4, 890m in the land of cold deserts Lahaul & Spiti. Originating from Suraj Tal, the river streams down to merge into waters of Chandra River at Tandi in Himachal Pradesh. When it enters Jammu & Kashmir, it is called Chenab River.

Apart from Chandra River that forms a part of the course of Bhaga River, there are many other streams of waterfalls and rivulets that coincide with its course and descend along the hilly plateaus of Himachal.

Bhaga River runs a course of about 65 km in length and average fall is about 28 m per km. The river flows through barren and deserted areas of Darcha Village. Direction of these rivers initially goes northwards but takes a U turn and flows south westerly. The pathway of this river is a cold mountainous terrain with no vegetation.

During summer months the river flows at full bloom as the glaciers melt down faster. After merging with Chandra River, the river bed increases and flow is steady. Banks of this river are rocky and steep but pave the way for a wide valley. Rocky mountains here take interesting forms as they are sculpted by the flow of water. There are patches where you can go down to the river bed. Generally, this river maintains a dangerous deep flow.

How to Reach

One can reach Suraj Tal Lake following the route to Lahaul Spiti on National Highway 21. This route is via Keylong, which is the district head quarter. This is also where visitors to Bhaga River tend to stay. Keylong lies on NH21, which is the Leh-Manali Highway. Roads here fetch you only till Suraj Tal Lake. Bara – lacha – pass is 3 km ahead of Suraj Tal Lake. The highway remains closed during severe winters from November to April due to snowfall. You can access the lake only by road on bikes or a four wheeler.

On the contrary if you wish to travel by air, you will have to take a flight till Bhuntar Airport and travel 40 km to Manali. From Manali you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Keylong which is 115 km from here. The journey would take 6 hours corresponding to the condition of roads.


Climate at Suraj Tal Lake and Bara – lacha Paas are cold arid and dry. During summer months (March to June) the weather is completely dry and sun rays directly fall on these areas due to its altitude. Rainy season is the most dreaded as it can bring sudden flash floods or cloud bursts in the area. Winters are extreme and every year almost 15 – 20 inches of snowfall is normal.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit would be from March to May end. The national highway here is open for public and remains so till November. Clothing should preferably include a wind sheeter as there is a lot of wild wind blowing constantly. This is a cold desert region because of which summers also see low temperatures. It’s a must to carry woollens here all round the year.

Where to stay

There are hotels at Keylong and Lahaul & Spiti, but on the way there are no rest houses.

Chanderbhaga Hotel

This is an HPTDC hotel with a courteous staff and a comfortable stay. There is ample parking space and rooms tend to come with complimentary food options.

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Tashi Deleg Hotel

This hotel offers convenient stay options with comfortable rooms and good furniture. There is a common balcony at the hotel, which offers stunning views of the mountains.

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PWD Rest House, Keylong

Enjoy great grandeur of the Himalayas at Keylong, which is a comfortable and convenient place to stay for tourists from across the globe.

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Bhaga River
Bhaga River
Bhaga River
Bhaga River
Bhaga River
Bhaga River

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