Sissu Himachal Pradesh
Sissu is a small town in Lahaul valley, Himachal Pradesh located high above on a big patch of ground on the bank of Chandra River. Sissu is also known as Khagling in the local dialect. It is about 90 km from Manali on your way to Keylong and thence onward to Leh. Sissu to Keyland distance is 30 kms and Leh is 380 kms. The famous temple of ‘Raja Geypan’ is situated in Sissu. The locals as well as Himachalis from far and wise while passing through Sissu make it a point to offer their obeisance to lord Geypan who is known to shelter the people of the Lahoul valley.
Sissu village, which had now become a small town is worth a visit. One advantage of this place is that it is on the national highway that connects Manali to Leh. This village is surrounded by greenery all around with dense willow and poplar trees, high mountains, and a lake. The famous Gyephan peak is visible in its splendor in the background. The fields are green with potato, peas, barley, and buckwheat. You can see wild roses and other alpine flowers in different colors of red, white, yellow, blue spread on the slopes. Sissu is also a beautiful camping site due to the lush greenery and peaceful location.
How to Reach Sissu
Sissu can be easily reached from Manali via the Atal Bihari Tunnel. The Manali to Sissu distance via Atal tunnel is only 25 to 30 km. is also the exit point of the under-construction Rohtang tunnel, which will connect Kullu Valley with Lahoul Valley, thus keeping Lahoul valley accessible throughout the year. The Lahoul valley is presently cut off for half of the year when Rohtang pass is closed due to heavy snowfall in winters. Though helicopter service has now been made available for the local people.
Attractions in Sissu
With the opening of the Atal Bihari Tunnel in Manali, Lahoul Valley is open to tourists throughout the year unlike in the past when the area was cut off from the outside world during winters. Sissu has now become a tourist attraction as it is the first town you reach after the exit from the tunnel. It has snow become super easy to reach Lahaul Valley and thus the influx of tourists. It takes around 30-40 minutes to cross the tunnel and then you are in totally different geographical conditions. When you are in the mountains the main attraction is nature, the mountains, waterfalls, rivers, snow, and green meadows. This is what you find in Sissu.
Some of the attractions
This waterfall known as the Sissu Waterfall is on the other side of the river Chandra. It is a famous tourist attraction in the area and one can reach there trekking on foot. From a distance, one can see the waterfall cascading from the high cliffs in a spectacular fashion. As you reach the waterfall, you come across greenery all around which makes the location is mesmerizing. One feels refreshed and at peace with the beauty of nature.
Just on the banks of the Chandrabhagha river, is situated at the Sissu lake. It is not exactly a lake but a swamp and the water is greenish with algae. Siberian ducks and geese on their way to Siberia come and halt on this lake. Trout fish can also be found in this lake as well as in the river.
This is another attraction of Sissu which is situated high above the mountains in the Sissu and can only be reached after a tough trek.
The Atal Tunnel
One of the world’s longest Highway tunnels, Atal Tunnel is 9 km long. It connects Manali to Lahaul Spiti valley throughout the year unlike in the past when the area was cut off from the outside world during winters, except through helicopter service. The Atal tunnel cuts through the mountain below west of the Rohtang pass. Atal tunnel reduces the road distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and the duration of the time by about 4 to 5 hours. The foundation of this tunnel was laid by former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee in 2002. After his party ceased to be in power this tunnel was forgotten by the Congress party. It was the dynamic leader of the century and Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi who got this tunnel completed in record time. This is what he said,
“Unprecedented pace was given to the project. Every problem faced by the BRO was resolved. The result was that while earlier 300-meter tunnel work was being accomplished every year, it reached 1,400 meters a year. In six years, we completed the work of 26 years.”
An achievement that would make every Indian proud.
The weather of Sissu is more or less like Manali except that in winters it snows more in Sissu. However, once you reach Sissu, the landscape and the scenery of Sissu and for that matter lahoul is completely different from Kullu Valley.
There are many guest houses and homestays at Sissu.