The Bashleo, though a low pass – it is 10800 feet. – is almost all that a pass should be, for it looks impressive from a distance, it is steep, it passes over a col between two high mountains, it is sufficiently high to be interesting, the ascent from Sarahan is not long enough to be tiring and there is a fine view back from the top, though the view towards Kulu is disappointing as it looks towards the lower hills.
A Naturalist in the North-West Himalaya by M.A. Wynter Blyth , The Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, Volume 50 (1951-1952) (Click to read the journal report)
Bashleo Pass connects the Inner Seraj (Banjar, Gushaini etc.) region of Himachal Pradesh with the Outer Seraj (Nirmand, Ani etc.) While the Inner Seraj feeds the catchment area of Beas Watershed, the Outer Seraj pours all its glacial melts into the Satluj Watershed. I had been eyeing Bashleo Pass since long and the urge to visit Outer Seraj, Nirmand in particular, was accentuated manifold when this song released last year. Although I don’t understand the dialect but the way Charu Sharma and A.C. Bhardwaj praise Nirmand and Bushahr in this song, I couldn’t delay my plans any further. Listen to the song before we move forward….
The first time I heard about this pass was way back in 2005 when Bhunda Festival of Upper Shimla gained International Limelight. A man hanging on a rope, sliding from a high point to propitiate local devis and devtas. The Journal mentioned above was written in the year 1950 or late 1940s.
The author described his experience which I am quoting verbatim…
Nermand is famous for its mela, at which in days gone by, so I am told, a rope festival was celebrated. This was a kind of sacrifice to ensure the fertility of the crops. A rope was secured between a precipice and the ground at its foot so that it stretched at a steep angle, and a suitable person, a criminal or one who had seriously offended against village custom, was chosen to ride down it on a forked piece of wood the shape of a ‘Y’.[..] If friction caused the rope to catch on fire and he fell to the ground below and was killed he and his apparel were torn to pieces and planted in the fields. If however, he survived, this usually only happened to his clothes.
So Bhunda led to Nirmand and that led to Bashleo Pass. Sit back and enjoy the beautiful landscape of this wonderful country…
Murari and Kanta – Our wonderful hosts at Bathahad. Murari was fecilitated by Deputy Commissioner Kullu in 2015 for his heroic efforts when he, along with many other local brave-hearts, spent an entire night looking for school kids who had gone missing on the Bashleo Pass Trek. The kids were rescued after a grueling 10 hour effort led by locals from Bathahad
The mountains of Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu. Right after you leave the Bathahad Village, such majestic views greet you. Somewhere below the tree line is Mashiar Village, which I am told, serves as a base station for pilgrims of Srikhand Mahadev from Gushaini/Bathahad…
False Summit Alert. We assumed this to be the Bashleo Pass but it isn’t. The pass lies further leftwards from this point.
Devrani-Jethani having a quick chat on the trail. Marriages across the pass are a common thing. The lady in orange suit (with a bag) is going to Baga Sarahan (her in law’s place). She got married in 2012 and the barat went across the pass. Imagine that! The other lady is her jethani and she’s going to Bathahad, to her maika…
Rani Pani Campsite
Sharma Ji posing
Sharma Ji and Kamal Preet trying to figure out a way to reach Lambhri/Jalori from Bashleo Pass
Bashleo Pass, 3280 meters/ 11800 feet
The Beautiful Country, Baga Sarahan
Epitaph at Khanag PWD Rest House- In Loving memory of Penelope Chetwode. She spent a considerable part of her life in and around Seraj. Also, she traveled to Kullu via Jalori Pass on her mules.
Bashleo Pass Trivia
- Where to stay in Bathahad?
- We stayed at Murari’s Homestay. Wonderful people, lovely food. Don’t expect luxurious rooms or exotic bedsheets. Basic homestay, good enough to spend a night. Contact Murari – 9418971702
- Where to stay in Baga Sarahan?
- Baga Sarahan has many stay options. Parasol Camps run by Bishan Thakur (8219430138) and Sunil’s Homestay (where we had stayed, basic facility) – 8988379525
- What are the trek details?
- Maximum Altitude: 3280 meters/11800 feet
- Trek Distance: 11.2km
- The trail from the top of the pass to Baga Sarahan side is steep but short.Approximately 4 kilometers
- Is water available on the trail?
- Yes. Plenty. On both the sides of the pass. Though it is advisable to refill your bottles at Rani-Pani campsite.
- When to visit?
- April to October. And if you’re fond of snow, unlike me, then even Novemeber -December is possible (but not advisable)
- Is Permit from GHNP required?
- I am not sure about that. We did not take any permit, and nobody asked for it on the trail, so probably no.
- Download GPS file here: Bashleo Pass Yatra @Wikiloc