The spectacular lakes of Himachal Pradesh are a much-loved destination for tourists. Out of the many lakes of Himachal Pradesh, Suraj Tal Lake attracts many visitors to its great surroundings. Usually, many trekkers form a considerable part of the tourists who visit Suraj Tal Lake.
Third highest lake in India, the 800-m long Suraj Tal Lake is located at the height of 4,890 m below the summit of the Baralacha pass in the Lahaul region of Spiti and Lahaul district. The Baralacha Pass connects Mandi and Lahaul to Ladakh. Suraj Tal Lake, the source of the Bhaga River, is situated at its head.
The lake is considered a sacred water body and attracts quite a few devotees apart from general tourists. Therefore, particularly in summer, this place becomes abuzz with a vast number of visitors.
Suraj Tal literally means the Lake of the Sun God. It is also called Vishal Tal and is among the two lakes you will visit while traveling to Baralacha La, the other being Deepal Tal.
Suraj Tal Legend
There is a tale associated with this famous lake in Lahaul Spiti. People say that a long time back, the son of the Sun God (Suryadev), Bhaga, and the daughter of the Moon God, Chandra, fell in love. Sun God wanted Bhaga to take his place and continue his work of bringing light to the world. Similarly, the Moon God wanted his daughter to take his task of lighting the nights in the world.
Bhaga and Chandra wanted to tie the knot but their parents won’t allow it. So they eloped and got married. The place they agreed to meet is believed to be Baralacha La Pass. Chandra arrived slightly ahead and where she landed is Chandratal Lake near Kunzum Pass. And Bhaga arrived at the location of Suraj Tal.
They looked for each other and met near Tandi, where a celestial marriage took place. The trail Chandra took is the route that people take to reach Bhaga river today. And the route taken by Chandra is the one where Chandra river flows.
The Horror Story Behind Suraj Tal Lake
The next story related to this lake talks about ghosts that haunt the Baralacha La pass. It is said that on the top of this pass, there are remains of a building that was once used by the Indian Army and is called Shaheed Sainik Bhawan.
According to folklore, one winter, a man killed three Indian Army soldiers here and ate them. Later, he was killed by the army, but people believed that his spirit along with dead soldiers still haunts the road across the pass.
Trekking at Suraj Tal
If you are an adventure enthusiast, visit Suraj Tal Lake in Himachal Pradesh for an unforgettable trekking experience. It is located close to Baralacha La Pass, which is the meeting point of the roads leading to Zanskar and Spiti. The pass offers various treks to see the surreal sights of nature.
Suraj Tal Trek starts from Zingzingbar, from where you walk ahead and cross the Bhaga River up to 3 km. After crossing the bridge and climbing a 2.5 km stretch, move down a steep hill that will take you to Suraj Tal.
Trekkers prefer Manali-Leh Highway as their base camp and during the expedition, cross scenic passes - Baralacha la and Rohtang Pass. Once the trek is over, set up the camp near the lake and spend the night under the clear, star-studded sky.
Best Time to Visit Suraj Tal
May and June is the best time to visit Suraj Tal Lake in Himachal Pradesh. The weather is pleasant and makes sightseeing comfortable. Moreover, the Lahaul Valley is open during this time, so you can cover other attractions as well.
In September and October, the pass starts to cover in snow and eventually gets blocked. Between November to April, you cannot visit the lake. Monsoon season should be avoided (July and August) as the heavy downpour can cause landslides.
How to Reach Suraj Tal Lake
There are two routes to reach Suraj Tal Lake from Manali. You can either go through Rohtang Pass or Atal Tunnel.
Route 1: Manali - Rohtang Pass - Kokhsar - Keylong - Jispa - Suraj Tal (around 187 km)
Route 2: Manali - Atal Tunnel - Keylong - Jispa - Suraj Tal (around 142 km)
There are no direct buses for Suraj Tal. You can get a bus from Leh to Manali and Keylong that passes Suraj Tal Lake. However, there will be difficulties getting a bus back to Manali or Keylong. So we do not recommend buses.
Hire a cab or rent a bike from Manali to Suraj Tal. The road conditions are smooth. However, there will be a few bad stretches and a couple of water crossings.
Tips for Suraj Tal Lake
The nearest place you can stay is a hotel in Jispa.
There are a few dhabas near Deepak Tal, which also provide dormitory-type accommodation in the form of Chadar Tents.
Deepal Tal has no mobile network. Airtel, Jio, and BSNL users will lose connectivity after Keylong. Idea, Vodafone, and other networks will be off around Rohtang.
Carry snow boots and an extra pair of shoes for walking around Suraj Tal.
Make sure to wear clothes in layers to protect yourself from the cold weather.
Carry energy bars or other snacks with you.
Download offline maps or carry physical maps for emergency situations.
Do research about the area so that you will have an idea of what is about to come.
You can visit this lake and other tourist attractions on your Spiti tour in Himachal Pradesh. We provide customizable tour packages that you can modify per your traveling preferences.