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Kinnaur, A place to Ponder and Wander- A complete travel guide

Published on: 18-May-2021

Kinnaur is neither an offbeat place nor it gets overwhelmed with tourists. It is ought to be the 2nd least populated district of Himachal Pradesh. The hill station is nestled in the circuit of Himachal Pradesh can make you ponder in awe as you wander through its terrains.

This blog is a complete travel guide to help u to plan a trip and explore places in Kinnaur.

Apt information in this comprehensive write-up spares you from the “analysis paralysis” of surfing through the scattered material available over the internet.

If you extend the exploration further in the north, then you will enter Spiti region having the least population in Himachal. Both regions share their borders with Tibet.

Kinnaur can be said to have two parts. The upper region of it has Khab and Nako villages, while the lower region includes Sangla, Kalpa and Chitkul

Table of content

1.       Which route is the best?

a.       By road

b.      By train

c.       By air

2.       Curated itinerary

3.       How are the roads to and in Kinnaur?

4.       Places that spellbinds

a.       Sangla

b.      Chitkul

c.       Kalpa

d.      Nako

5.       Best time to explore

6.       Kinnauri foods that excite the taste buds

7.       How to enjoy the fullest in Kinnaur?

8.       Other details

Which route is the best?

By road: whether coming by flight or train, a few hundred kilometers by road are complimentary you will get.

Why the road ride is good?

Because my friend you will be going on the ways encompassed with forests, rivers and staggering mountains. There will be loads of points where you can stop and click photographs to capture the magnificent vistas of Himachal Pradesh.

We’ve assumed that Delhi is the start location of this trip, which is easily accessible from anywhere around the world by air.

For Indian inhabitants, Delhi can be reached by train, bus or air.

Delhià Chandigarh à Narkanda à Karcham àSangla

To reach other villages of Kinnaur, take digressions from Karcham

·         For Kalpa, take a diversion to Reckong Peo

·         To reach Nako village, turn towards Pooh from Karcham

By train: nearest railway station to reach Kinnaur is in Shimla connected to Kalka (famous for the ‘Toy Train’ ride). From there, hire a cab or take a bus to Sangla or Kalpa, which plies on road at specific timings. To get more information about bus timings, visit Himachal Roadway website.

Distance from Shimla to Sangla is 235 km that can be covered in 8-9 hours.

Another option to reach Kinnaur is from Chandigarh or Delhi railway station, from where a hired taxi is a viable mode to reach Kinnaur.

By air: Shimla has an airport where flights from Chandigarh and Delhi arrive every day. From the airport hire a cab to reach Sangla.

Curated itinerary:

This itinerary is designed for a 7 days tour to Kinnaur. Although, it depends upon individuals to elongate or shrink their stay at any of the places. For more options of the itineraries, have a look at our various packages available on this website.

Day 1: Delhi to Narkanda

Day2: Narkanda to Sangla

Day 3: Sangla to Chitkul and Back to Sangla

Day 5: Sangla to Kalpa

Day 6: Kalpa to Sarhan

Day 7: Sarhan to Delhi

How are the roads to and in Kinnaur?

When you start from Delhi to Narkanda via NH44 and NH55, roads are pretty good under the maintenance of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

Even from Narkanda to Sangla, roads are well-maintained.

Road conditions deteriorate after crossing Kharcham. There are a few smudged tracks on the way to Sangla.

Even roads to Chitkul and Kalpa lie in the grade of average along with some in bad.

Bad road conditions are primarily a result of the closure of the routes in the Kinnaur valley during winter that makes the maintenance difficult at times.

Places that spellbinds:

Sangla:

River Baspa flowing energetically through valley passes near Sangla village.

Kinnaur is well-known for its apricots and apple orchids, and Sangla’s land is sprawled with them. In fact, these ‘Pahadi Fruits’ are the best takeaways from the valley for the near and dear ones.

Fronting these verdant orchards is an age-old castle that now serves as the abode of Devi Kamakshi – the holy deity of the village. The castle has been named as Kamru fort. It is said that the goddess idol was brought to the fort from Guwahati in the 15th century.

Chitkul:

No mobile signals, no ATMs and no petrol pumps. Get into this village all prepared because you shall be getting disconnected from all “modulated” signals but going to get rewired with yourself and everything around.

What is the fun fact about this village?

Hey! You are visiting the last village of India accessible without a permit. Go beyond, and you will be in Tibet, China.

Kalpa:

Overlooking the sacred mountain – Mt. Kinnaur Kailash – Kalpa town bestows tranquility upon its inhabitants as well as on visitors.

Intriguing facts about Kalpa

·         Adults born in the 90s must be knowing ‘Chilgoze’ – a dry fruit usually came in the box with other “dried-fruity” sisters and brothers on Diwali. This now-rare exclusive dry fruit is farmed in Kalpa

·         Guess what! 1st man of India who gave vote belonged to Kalpa

·         A more inspiring fact is that the town’s literacy rate is more than 80%. Moreover, its population is quite low.

Low population and high literacy rate! It is required to be implemented in the whole of India. Don’t you think?

Enticing places near Kalpa:

·         Kalpa Suicide point

·         Roghi Village

·         Kothi Village

Nako:

Explore this village on foot as there are fewer but enthralling places to explore. The village is a stoppage point for the tourists going to Tabo village in Spiti Region.

The secret untouched Nako lake lies in the Pooh district coaxes the recipients with its ethereal beauty.

Kinnauri foods that excite the taste buds:

Tibetan culture prevailing in the Kinnauri region due to its proximity with the Chinese state has imbued its flavor in the food too. Relish the tasteful food here at any local restaurant.

Being sparsely populated culture of eating outside the home is not observed by the inhabitants.

Only countable restaurants are in the villages to serve the tourists.

Try these in any eatery

·         Salted tea – quite famous among people there.

·         Momos, thukpa and other usual Tibetan food, which also available in metro cities now a days.

·         Chha Gosht for the meat lovers.

·         Try some booze to have warmth in chilly Kinnaur – Angoori (grape alcohol) and Apple wine are seasonably available local alcohols.

How to enjoy the fullest in Kinnaur?

·         Capture the beauty in your camera of the panoramic views of the mesmerizing landscapes of the valleys and mountains.

·         Listen to bird songs, bask in the sun with a cup of salted tea and have some apple wine whilst dining in alfresco settings at night. Of course, with a bonfire.

·         Camp on the banks of River Baspa.

·         Hike to Roghi and Kothi village to have a mountain trotting pleasure

·         Shop handlooms – shawls, caps and mufflers – from the local market.

·         Buy the luscious apples and apricots.

Other Details:

ATMs and petrol pumps are only a few in the region.

Nako and Chitkul do not have any ATMs or petrol pumps.

In the region, only Sangla and Reckong Peo have a petrol pump.

It is advisable to fill your car’s tank when you start from Narkanda and have the cash to use.

We are sure that this guide must have answered many of your travel questions about Kinnaur. We have many packages with customizable itineraries. Don’t forget to have a sneak-peak at them. Please provide your valuable views about this blog.

Happy traveling!