Kinnaur Valley – Most Common Itinerary

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Kinnaur Valley is growing its popularity year by year among the travellers seeking offbeat and secluded places in Himachal. Every year I see more and more people looking forward to travel to Kinnaur Valley, especially Chitkul. The prime reason may be that it is fascinating to visit the last inhabited village in India before Tibet :). However, its not just Chitkul that Kinnaur Valley has to offer a traveller. It offers some magical and enchanting places which are worth the visit any time of the year. To be very frank, there is not a single argument about the mesmerizing beauty this offbeat destination in Himachal has to offer us.

Making its way… through the mountains of Kinnaur Valley …
Making its way… through the mountains of Kinnaur Valley
Making its way… through the mountains of Kinnaur Valley

In the past, I have already written a detailed travel guide of Kinnaur Valley. It covers all the aspects on how to travel to Kinnaur Valley, what do expect and where to stay. In this article today, I will share with you the most common itinerary of Kinnaur that I suggest to many travellers every year. The article will cover the lower part of Kinnaur Valley limited to places like Sarahan, Kalpa, Sangla and Chitkul. Before we go into the meat of the article, let me quote the background of Kinnaur Valley from my previous article:

Kinnaur Valley is one of the 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh which is known for its apples & orchards, beautiful small hamlets, beautiful meadows surrounded with thick dense woods and not to forget the ever adventurous roads. One of the road to Sangla Valley was also got popularly featured by the name Ledge in Discovery Channel as Deadliest Roads in the World 🙂 … This adds just the right charm of adventure in the trip. In winters, the presence of snow makes it just a jaw-dropping experience to be in Kinnaur Valley where the major attractions is the breathtaking view of Kinner Kailash, a mountain sacred to Hindus, close to the Tibetan border. The beautiful meadows in Sangla or Baspa Valley and Chitkul which is considered the last village in India where one can reach from Kinnaur side, are also covered commonly on a trip to this part of Himalayas.

Common Itinerary for Kinnaur Valley

Below is the itinerary covering the lower Kinnaur Valley places in detail. It does not cover places of upper Kinnaur like Ribba, Nako, Ropa, Hangrang as some of those are recommended to visit on your Spiti Valley trip. This plan covers all the places Kalpa, Sangla, Chitkul and Sarahan. Also, it gives an option to travel from Shimla – Narkanda route while return from Narkanda – Chail route. It offer good balance of comfort and ease on drive in the rough roads of Kinnaur and hence, this itinerary is suitable for families having senior folks and kids. I am sure it will help you make your trip memorable one too. Feel free to share this travel itinerary with your friends and family whom you know are makin trip to this place called Dev Bhoomi of Himachal – Kinnaur Valley.

Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
  • Shimla sightseeing includes Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple
  • Narkanda is about 60 KMs from Shimla takes about 2 Hrs
  • About 8 Hrs drive to Shimla
  • Overnight at Shimla or Narkanda, which ever suits your timings
Day 2 | Shimla / Narkanda – Sarahan
  • Relax at Sarahan and visit Bhimakali Temple, for which the place is famous for
  • You can plan for lunch at Rampur
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of beautiful drive to the entrance of Kinnaur Valley
  • Overnight at Sarahan
Day 3 | Sarahan – Tapri – Reckong Peo – Kalpa
  • After breakfast leave for Kalpa
  • You can plan for a lunch at Tapri dhabhas
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of beautiful drive through Kinnaur Valley
  • Overnight at Kalpa
Day 4 | Rest day at Kalpa
  • Rest day at Kalpa
  • You can also visit the Chandika Devi temple at Kothi Village about 3 KMs from Reckong Peo
  • A walk or hike to the Roghi village from Kalpa
  • Visit the suicide point or straight drop point and get clicked from an angle that works 😉
  • Enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset on Kinner Kailash range from Kalpa
  • Overnight at Kalpa
Day 5 | Kalpa – Karcham – Sangla / Rakcham (Baspa Valley)
  • Leave for Sangla Valley / Baspa Valley after breakfast
  • You can visit Kamru Fort, there is trout hatchery region across the river in Sangla
  • Ample of walks around in the woods
  • About 3 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Sangla or Rakcham
Day 6 | Sangla / Rakcham – Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham
  • Today you can visit Chitkul, the last inhabited village in India before Tibet
  • Enjoy the day in Chitkul and have plenty of fun alongside river or spend some time in seclusion on river shore
  • Ample of walks around in the woods
  • About 2 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham
Day 7 | Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham – Rampur – Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail
  • Start your journey back for home but if you have time spend a day camping at Daranghati
  • If Daranghati does not interest you or you want a different route going back home, try route to Chail
  • You can plan for food at Narkanda, Negi Dhabha
  • About 6-9 Hrs of drive in the day depending on where you end up staying
  • Overnight at Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail
Day 8 | Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail – Delhi
  • Roam around in Chail and leave for Delhi by afternoon
  • About 8 Hrs drive to Delhi
  • Overnight at Delhi / sweet home

Day 9 | Buffer day to be kept in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more 🙂

Marvelous View of Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur Valley…
Marvellous View of Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur Valley

Petrol Pumps in Kinnaur Valley

  • Theog
  • Narkanda Do Top Up Here
  • Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on right side is pretty reliable
  • Jeori
  • Tapri
  • Powari – Mostly Closed
  • Rekong Peo

Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the inner line permits or ILP. Domestic (Indian) tourist do not require any permits. If you are Indian, then just carry a valid photo ID proof of your nationality to be on safe side. You can get all the details for these permits and its process at the article linked here

Hindustan Tibet Road near Reckong Peo Cut-off…
Hindustan Tibet Road near Reckong Peo Cut-off

Conclusion

I am hopeful that the above itinerary will help you plan a memorable trip to Kinnaur Valley or at least act as a starting point for your upcoming trip to Kinnaur Valley. Please feel free to share any thoughts or questions or doubts you may have in the comment section of this article or in DoW Community | Itinerary Advice forum for Lahaul, Spiti & Kinnaur Valley. We can discuss or help planning your upcoming trip to Kinnaur Valley to be a memorable one 🙂

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27 Comments

  1. Anirban Mukherjee on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    After three unsuccessful attempts, 3 couples of us are booked on 3rd June morning (Kolkata to New Deli) and New Delhi to Kolkata on 12th June evening. Last time in my Indiamike thread, you helped me a lot by giving valuable suggestions and guidance.
    This time I opened a new thread in Indiamike and my rough Itinerary is as follows :
    3rd June : Kolkata -> Delhi -> Chail (we intend to book a Zylo type vehicle for the entire period – Delhi to Delhi)
    4th : Chail to Sarahan
    5th : Sarahan to Chitkul
    6th Chitkul
    7th : Chitkul to Kalpa
    8th Kalpa
    9th Kalpa
    10th : Kalpa to Narkanda
    11th : Narkanda to Chandigarh
    12th Chandigarh to Delhi Airport.

    Does the schedule look crazy? If doable – pls let me know.

    Is it possible to do a day trip from Kalpa to Nako and back to Kalpa ? Too hectic? My wife has undergone serious surgical operation and this trip will be her “Baby’s Day Out). Also both of us are senior citizens now.

    Can you please lend any support in suggesting the names and phone numbers of VIEW ROOMs with WC in budget hotels at each of the locations?

    Do we need to start Dimox before we start? If so when and at what dosage.

    How cold will be Kinnaur during the period of travel?

    Will it be peak season?

    Friend Dheeraj, please help like before.

    Regards,

    Anirban da
    (Anirban Mukherjee

    • Hello Anirban da,

      Good to connect you back here. Your plan is very comfortable and will enjoy alot. I will personally spend more time in Sangla / Chitkul region than in Kalpa/Roghi region, so change a bit there. Kalpa – Nako one day and Nako – Kalpa the next is good still but one day trip is hectic.

      You can get connected directly to some drivers in Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3000-3500 per day depending upon the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price.

      Otherwise, taxis in general are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands

      For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley.

      You can keep an average of 900-1200 per person per day for food and stay on the tour to Spiti Valley.

      It will be peak season yes.

  2. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planing to visit leh in this june by bike , kindly recommend if its doable in one trip. Delhi- Srinagar -leh -Nubra-pangong-keylong -spirit valley -shimla – delhi.
    Pls also suggest the minimum number of days required if this is doable.

    Thanks
    S kumar

  3. Hi Cheetah,

    We are planing to visit leh in this june by bike , kindly recommend if its doable in one trip. Delhi- Srinagar -leh -Nubra-pangong-keylong -spirit valley -shimla – delhi.
    Pls also suggest the minimum number of days required if this is doable.

    Thanks
    S kumar

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to Manali-Dharamshala-Dalhousie. Just came to about Kinnuar from one of my friend. If i skip Manali, is it a feasible option to do Kinnaur- Dharamshala-Dalhouise?

    Thanks!

  5. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 3 families [including 5 kids] from Kerala who are planning to visit Himachal in May this year. The kids were extremely keen on encountering snow, but we hear that that will be possible only at Rohtang. We [the adults] are more interested in the Kinnaur region since we want a peaceful scenic trip away from the crowds. We have about 7 to 8 days, so don’t think we can make it beyond Sangla/Kalpa. Is there a freak chance we may see some snow anywhere along our trip?

    • Kunjan, there could surely be remains of snow present in some hikes around Chitkul and Sangla in the month of MAy. However, there won’t be ton’s of it. You may have to hike a bit but as I said completely possible. In May Kinnaur makes much sense because Rohtang – Manali will be raided by tons of tourits.

  6. Harshad gandhi on

    Hi dheeraj,
    I am planning to visit kinnaur valley and spiti valley via shimla and come back via manali after visiting chandratal lake.
    I have about 12-15 days on my hands. I will visit in Mid June 2017.
    I wish to make this journey on a budget and by public transport , so what would be the ideal cost.
    Kindly please suggest an itenary and things to carry with me and also please suggest what kind of gear (shoes,backpacks,tents,etc) should I take or any other essentials.
    I am eagerly waiting for your reply,

  7. Darshana koravi on

    Hi dheeraj , very very informative blog…..as i have asked a question earlier ……we r planning to book with Youngindiaadventure,a team of agents for our family (4no persons) tour to kinnaur….. for hasslefree journey we r booking in advance……for 6 days tour from ambala to ambala 44k for my family including travel by innova , bkfast n dinner, sightseeing, accommodation in low budget hotels ……is it ok ? ……kufri ,sangla ,kalp ,nako ,sarahan will be covered

  8. HI Dheeraj

    Thanks for all your detailed information. Me and my parents are planning to visit kinnaur or Spiti valley during end of September this year.
    The main concern for me is the budget of the car. As we are only three, the per head cost in Innova or Travera is coming quite high. Is there any other alternative?
    Or if we can get a Sedan or Hatchback…is it advisable to take those cars in Kinnaur or Spiti

    Thanks you

    • Hi Arka,

      No taxi guy will travel to Spiti or Kinnaur in a small vehicle AFAIK. The only other option will be to travel by road transport buses or shared taxis to reach Spiti and Kinnaur and within Spiti and Kinnaur take private taxis for local sightseeing. This will help bring down budget to an extent.

      • HI Dheeraj

        Can you please suggest an Itinerary for the same. I have 7 days from Delhi to Delhi and I ant to cover Kinnaur Valley

        Thank You

  9. PIYUSH KAPOOR on

    IS IT POSSIBLE TO COMPLETE KINNAUR VALLEY TRIP IN 4 DAYS FROM DELHI

    DO WE HAVE FLIGHT OPTION

  10. Pingback: Kinnaur Valley Travel Guide | Kalpa, Sangla & Chitkul - Devil On Wheels™

    • It is a good time to visit both Kinnaur and Spiti Valley but you will not be able to come back from Manali as Kaza – Manali road opens up in June only.

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