The Bhaga valley formed from Suraj Tal up to Tandi is a narrow gorge, and is devoid of any vegetation up to Darcha. Thereafter it widens up to its confluence with Chandra River at Tandi with terraces between Darcha and Tandi which are under cultivation in the lower slopes, with the middle slopes having grasslands. Plantation of trees and shrubs to meet fuel wood and fodder requirements has been done on the hill slopes.
Physiology of Suraj Tal
Situated in the Upper Himalayan Zone or the high latitudinal part of the Himalayas, the Suraj Tal Lake is fed from glaciers and torrential streams originating from the Baralacha Pass. The region has sparse population with the climate being akin to polar conditions. There is scanty snowfall in this region, though it is reported to be spread all year round. Rainfall precipitation is rare in the region. Snow precipitation from snow storms is reported to be less than 20 cm of snow in nearly 50% of the storms, even though one observatory in the region has reported 80 cm of snow fall.
The lake’s geology is represented by the Baralacha Pass, which is reported to be an early rifting event on the northern Indian passive margin and that the basalts which are emplaced along the trans-tensional faults indicate that.
Tourism in Suraj Tal
The valley of Lahaul and Spiti is a common destination for tourists to go on road trips, trekking and motorcycling. And en route from Manali to Leh, it covers the Suraj Tal Lake and also the Baralacha Pass.
Trekking tours are a common feature, like the Zingzingbar- Suraj Tal- Baralacha route. This particular trek involves a route along the Bhaga River for 3 km, then cross a bridge to the north bank and a further climb of 2.5 km from the bridge followed by a steep foot trail upto Suraj Tal.
Along with trekking motorcycle trips during the season when the area is approachable are undertaken by tourists. During such trips from Manali to Leh, the section between Patseo to Baralacha is a rough journey of 30 km. While on this route, Suraj Tal along-with another small lake called Deepak Tal can be seen.
Visiting Information on Suraj Tal
Suraj Tal is 65 km from Keylong, the district headquarters of the Lahaul Spiti district, a frontier district of India which is approachable by road by the National Highway NH 21, also known as the Leh- Manali Highway. The NH 21 is the vital road link for the people living in the Lahaul Spiti district. The road skirts the Suraj Tal and is just 3 km short of the Baralacha pass. It remains inaccessible from Rohtang Pass to Leh during winter months of November to April since the pass becomes totally snowbound during this period.