Journey to Hidden Himachal
Kinnaur Valley can be divided in two parts. First is the lower Kinnaur including areas like Sangla, Chitkul, Reckong Peo and Kalpa. Upper Kinnaur is the area around Nako village. Kinnaur district ends at Nako and the road further travels into Spiti valley. With that being said, the villages of Khab and Nako are mostly considered to be a part of Spiti trip; and people traveling to only Kinnaur usually keep their travel limited to Shimla, Narkanda, Sangla Valley and Kalpa.
During this tour we will be covering lower Kinnaur which will cover Sangla and Kalpa.
Sangla Valley is located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the country. In Tibetan, the term Sangala means pass of light which refers to the valley receiving sunlight during the day. To get here, tourists must make their way to either Delhi or Chandigarh. From Delhi, Sangla Valley is more than 500kms away. From Chandigarh, it is around 350kms. Whichever city you choose to make your way to Sangla, you will have to pass through Shimla. From Shimla it is another 6-8 hours away. Visitors were prohibited to enter this region before because it was situated close to the Tibetan border; 25 years on and this valley has been explored by many enthusiasts. Spread over an area of over 40kms, its a magnificent sight to behold. Snow clad mountains surround you and you get to see the Kinner Kailash peak. The Baspa River flows through the valley and that is why it is also known as the Baspa Valley.
Kalpa has all the makings of an Indian Fairyland. At a height of 10,900 feet in Himachal Pradesh, 265 kms ahead of Shimla on the NH22 in Kinnaur District is this hideaway town. It is located at the base of the imposing Kinner Kailash ranges and Shivling peaks which rise upto 20,000 feet, towering above the clouds, kissing the heavens, encircling the area around. Kalpa itself is spread amidst chilgoza forests, apple plantations and the holy deodhars. It is reached after crossing the quaint town of Recong Peo, which has a hundred-year-old monastery.
Journey begins from April 01st to October, 2019
Day 01: Delhi to Shimla: (365 kms; 10 Hrs)
Day 02: Shimla to Sangla (230 kms; 8 – 9 HRS)
Day 03: Sangla- Chhitkul- Sangla (Stay) (40kms; 03 hrs )
Day 04: Sangla to Kalpa (49 kms; 02 hrs )
Day 05: Kalpa Sightseeing
Day 06: Kalpa – Sarahan- Shimla (10 Hrs)
Day 07: Shimla to Delhi (365 kms; 10 hrs)
|No of Pax||Standard||Deluxe||Luxury||Meal Plan|
|Shimla||Woodrina/ Hotel Sukh Sagar (veg)||Silverine / Snow Lotus / Rock castle||Shimla Havens / Similar|
|Sangla||Rupin River/ Hotel Prakash||Prakash Regency/ Royal Castle||Kinner Camp /Hotel Batseri|
|Kalpa||Rolling Rang / Apple Pie||Shangrila||Kinner Villa|
- Transportation by Tata Indigo/ D’zire / Etios (2Pax) , Toyota Innova (4 to 6Pax) for the entire tour
- All sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary
- Mentioned or similar hotels on as per the meal Plan
- Child of the age of below 5 Years of complimentary without extra bed
- Personal expenses
- Train/Air fare
- Entry Charges
- GST 5%
- Unforeseen Expenses because of the weather conditions.
Important Points & Facts to be updated while travelling to Kinnaur & Spiti
Best time to go:April to early-October when roads are open, but dates vary every year. Catch the autumn colours in October and munch apples fresh from the trees. No vehicular movement is possible the rest of the year ( October to May) via Manali and Kunzum Pass. Roads are open longer when coming via Shimla but you can only go up to Kaza.
Connectivity & Mobile Networks:Only state-run BSNL mobiles work in Tabo and Kaza, and service is erratic. Internet access is limited and slow. But in Kinnaur you can find airtel connectivity as well but BSNL has a broader reach and better signal and connectivity in the region.
Vehicles to use:It is best to use SUVs – these need not be 4-wheel powered. But people do use sedans too, Sedan is only recommended if you plan to visit only kinnaur from Shimla and come back through same route back to Chandigarh to Delhi. Else if you wish to travel to Spiti and want to connect to Manali Sedan is not recommended because of the rough terrain of the road.
Permits:Foreigners require Inner Line Permits. Minimum 4 person are required to move in group if one wants to visit Kaza and Tabo from Shimla. The permits can be acquired in Shimla from ADM Shimla or at Recong Peo SDM Office.
Altitude Sickness :Going till Kinnaur does not affect the body metabolism as such but entering to spiti can affect your body metabolism as you go higher in altitude in Spiti. Basic precautions: (a) Keep sipping water regularly, (b) Cover your head and ears with something warm when it is cold and windy (c) Don’t push yourself physically too much (d) Don’t stay at high altitude passes for too long (e) Go easy on yourself for the initial 1-2 days, you should be ok after that. It is advised strongly to keep one night stay in and around Shimla/Manali and start slowly in first two days. Later the body gets acclimatized to high hill driving.
Climate:Biting cold from November to March with temperatures falling many degrees below normal. Everything is frozen over. The months of April to October are pleasantly warm, while it is comfortably cold during the other months. It is always cold at higher altitudes. Make sure you carry warm clothes at all times. Very little precipitation in this rain shadow area.
Packing your Bags:While visiting Kinnaur & Spiti. Warm light woolen cloths are required from May to October . As a cold mountain desert, the weather in Spiti is almost confusing! The sun's rays are harsh enough to burn your skin, while shaded areas remain cool enough to wear a jacket. It's best to pack clothes in layers, and carry full-sleeve T-shirts, sun hats, sun glasses and any other sun protection you can find. Good walking shoes are a must.
Distances/Sightseeing and Roads:Kinnaur & Spiti being the remoter destination of Himachal offers the travel to the lesser known lifestyles, religion and landscapes, the region is well connected by roads but at times you find the patches which are very rough and terrain very challenging to travel. Guest has to acknowledge the fact that he is not travelling to leisure destination. At times you can find the road blocks, traffic jams because of the landslides and weather conditions. Kindly be prepared that the travel time mentioned depends upon the road conditions and usual time calculated in reaching from one place to another on approximation.
Health Precautions:Carry personal medication (Mainly Crocin, ORS/Electrol, Eno, Disprin/Asprin, Band Aids, Thermometer, Adhesives, Alcohol based sanitizer, Tensor Bandages, Antiemetics). Do not over eat while travelling to a higher altitude to avoid nausea/ vomiting.
- Sunscreen lotion & Moisturizing lotion
- Heavy Woolen Clothing & socks
- Good rubber-soled shoes
- Personal Medication
- Camera with sufficient batteries and film / memory cards
- Dark polarized Sun glasses with retainers
- Id Proofs