The third highest lake in India and the 21st highest in the world, Suraj Tal is a divine water body surrounded by barbaric bare mountains and soothing valleys. It is a common belief that whoever takes a dip in the pristine emerald waters of the lake, his sins are washed away.
Suraj Tal, also known as Surya Tal, is a divine lake surrounded by breathtaking valleys and magnificent mountains. It is situated under the Bada-Lacha-La pass in the Lahaul-Spiti valley and is known to originate from a tributary of the Chandrabhaga River. This magnificent lake has been rated as the 21st highest in the world and the third-highest in India.
It is also known as the Sun God’s Lake, and it is believed that you can absolve yourself of all sins by taking a dip in this holy lake. The beauty of this lake is completely enhanced during winters as the mountains around it are covered with layers of snow, and it looks nothing less than a heavenly abode.
Its surrounding areas are mostly uninhabited as the climatic conditions here are similar to those of the polar region. This lake is not only a beautiful paradise for nature lovers and a blissful treat for divine souls, but it is also a hotspot for trekking and motorcycle enthusiasts. The main reason for the huge popularity of this lake is that this lake comes in the way of the Manali-Leh road, which is very famous for bike tours and trekking.
It also includes Baralacha-la-Pass which is the starting point for various thrilling treks. Motorcycle riders and adventure lovers often stop at Suraj Tal to break their journey and camp here for a pleasant stay. This sacred and astonishingly beautiful lake is also a dream for every photographer as the natural beauty here seems like something straight out of a storybook.
What Not To Miss
Trekking at Suraj Tal
Suraj Lake is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts as it has some of the most awe-inspiring treks and takes you on an expedition that you will never forget. It is located close to the Baralacha Pass, which is the meeting point of the roads leading to Zanskar and Spiti Ladakh. Baralacha Pass is also home to various extraordinary treks that boast of innumerable surreal and supernatural sights of nature. The Suraj Tal trekking route initially starts from Zingzingbar and from here you can walk across the Bhaga River for 3 km to cross a bridge on the north bank. After climbing the stretch for about 2.5 km, a steep slope will begin which will eventually end at Suraj Tal.
Trekking enthusiasts mostly choose Manali-Leh Highway as their base camp, and throughout this trekking expedition, you will get to cross two of the most beautiful passes, Baralacha La and Rohtang Pass. The trails within this trekking route will not only allow you to see yourself being nurtured in the open arms of nature but will also give you a chance to explore the rich culture that adorns the land of Spiti. After a thrilling trekking experience, you can pitch your tent under the starry sky at Suraj Tal to end your adventure story.
Places to Visit Around Suraj Tal
Some of the most spectacular getaways near Suraj Tal that you must visit-
- Jogini Falls
It is a picturesque waterfall that cascades down to the Beas River in the Kullu Valley. It is believed to be the abode of Goddess Jogini, and many divine seekers visit this place to take a bath with the blessings of the Goddess. You can easily reach the waterfall by trekking through the Vashistha Temple, full of apple fields and tall deodar trees. The trek to this waterfall near Manali is considered to be the most beautiful mini trek.
- Shashur Gompa
It is a highly revered Buddhist gompa also known as the Palace of the Blue Pines as it is surrounded by deodar trees on all three sides. It is dedicated to the Zanskari Lama and is also a training center for Buddhists. The monastery is decorated with flags, traditional paintings, and door frames which take its beauty to the next level.
- Kardang Monastery
This is a very famous Drukpa dynasty monastery in the Lahaul valley. It was founded in the 12th century and is a nine hundred-year-old monastery. It serves as a storehouse of many important Tantric, Buddhist relics, and thangka paintings that adorn its interiors. You can also find ancient wall murals, golden Buddhist sculptures, and a huge library here.
The library houses a storehouse of texts and Buddhist scriptures. It is also famous for its vast collection of Kangyur texts and old weapons. About thirty Buddhist nuns and monks live in this monastery. They have the right to marry someone they like, and they can even visit their families.
How To Reach
Suraj Tal does not have train, bus, or flight connectivity, but is well connected by road, and you can easily reach here by hiring a taxi or cab from Keylong.
By Road: Suraj Tal is located at a distance of about 65 km from Keylong. Keylong district is easily accessible via road from National Highway NH 21, also known as Leh-Manali Highway. It is the most important road connectivity for the residents of Lahaul Spiti. The road leading to Suraj Tal is only 3 km from the Bara-Lacha La pass. This scenic route stretching from Rohtang Pass to Leh district is completely inaccessible during winters.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Suraj Tal is between April and mid-May when the snow starts melting and the weather becomes very pleasant. You can also visit this place from mid-May to mid-July when summer is at its fullest and tourists throng here to enjoy the beauty of this place.
During winters: You should avoid visiting Suraj Tal during winters as the roads through which you can enter Suraj Tal also get blocked during winters due to the inhospitable environment. Also, the temperature drops by more than -2°C, and the entire water body is covered with snow.
During Monsoon: You should also avoid visiting Suraj Tal between July to September as the place experiences frequent torrential rains and dangerous landslides during monsoons. Most of the roads that allow you to enter this place get blocked during monsoons due to the possibility of disasters.
- Location: Lahaul Valley, Keylong, Himachal
- Altitude: 4950 m
- Altitude: High, the third highest lake in India
- Distance from Spiti: 16.0 km
- Distance from Manali: 187.2 km
About Bhaga Valley
The Bhaga Valley, also known as the Stod Valley, runs from Surya Tal to Tandi and begins at the southwestern foot of the Baralacha Pass. It is located in Lahaul and is completely uninhabited and barren till Darcha. The valley widens after Darcha, and you will find a few more settlements in areas outside the region. As you move through Darcha, you will find small villages every seven to eight kilometers.
This valley is called Stod from Darcha to Kolong and Gnat from Keylong to Keylong. Suraj Tal Lake, known as the third largest lake in India, is located in the Bhaga Valley and is one of the most spectacular lakes that visitors can truly admire. Bhaga Valley provides an instant adrenaline rush to trekking enthusiasts as it is surrounded by some of the most scenic trails that can be conquered by both experienced and beginner trekkers.
In winter, the entire valley is covered with snow, and it looks like a sheet of white snow. Apart from this, there are deodar trees and lush greenery which makes it a wonderful land of nature that every visitor must visit.
Tips for Visiting Suraj Tal
Here are some tips that you should follow during your visit to Suraj Tal:
- Make sure to carry your snow boots and comfortable shoes for long walks near Suraj Tal.
- Dress in layers so that you do not catch cough and cold due to the cold climate here.
- Carry snacks with you so you can boost your energy levels in between trips.
- Carry a map with you so you don’t get lost on the way due to darkness or other emergency factors.
- Research the area well in advance so that you are aware of the difficulties that may come your way.
Frequently asked questions about Suraj Tal
Q. In which state is Suraj Tal Lake located?
A – The Suraj Tal Lake is just below the source of the Bhaga River which joins the Chandra River at Tandi to form the Chandrabhaga River in Himachal Pradesh.
Q. Where is Suraj Tal located?
A – Suraj Tal Lake is also known as the Sun God Lake is located in the Upper Himalayan region in the Lahul and Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is the third-highest lake in India situated at an altitude of 4950 meters above sea level.
Q. What is Suraj Taal and Chandra Taal?
A – Suraj Tal or Tso Kamtsi is one of the highest glacial lakes in India located in the Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The glaciers near Barlacha La give rise to the Bhaga River, feeding the Suraj Tal. Whereas Chandratal Tal or Tso Chigma, located in the Lahaul Valley, is the source of the Chandra River, which is known for its extremely scenic spots.
Q. How many lakes are there in Himachal Pradesh?
A – Altogether there are more than 25 lakes and reservoirs in Himachal. Most of the lakes in Himachal Pradesh fill up during the summer months.
Q. In which district the Suraj Tal and Chandra Tal lakes are located?
A – Chandra Tal and Suraj Tal Lake – The most enchanting and amazingly beautiful lakes in Himachal. Suraj Tal Lake in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh is one of the most attractive and amazingly beautiful lakes in the country.