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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You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

61 Comments

  1. Subhra Prakash Das on

    Hi Dheeraj
    your blogs are really nice and informative.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with Himalayas.
    Please let me know if Two wheeler rental is available at Shimla for Lahul Sphiti [Kinner Valley] Kaja and return via Kunjum pass route.
    Is it advisable to take that route in December? or April May is the best time?
    We are two pax planning to travel there as you suggest between that two timings.
    Waiting for your reply.

    • There are couple of bike rental shops in Shimla but in December it is best that you keep yourself to Kinnaur Valley only and do not venture into Spiti Valley unless you are OK with harsh winters and in case you not used to driving in harsh conditions best is to restrict the adventure max to Kinnaur.

      • Subhra Prakash Das on

        Thank you for your valuable suggestion. Then according to your opinion May is the best time if I want to cover all the places.
        Please tell me the average cost of that route if we want to complete that in 11 or 12 days…
        An Itinerary guidance will be cordially appreciated.
        Thanks a lot for your valuable time and reply

  2. Ameeta Nehra on

    Dear Dheeraj
    Have been a keen reader of your posts on HP.Needless to say that they have been helpful to us in planning our trips. Further to this, would like to know the road conditions from Narkanda to Kalpa.
    Have been on this route in 2015,when they were really bad. There was a landslide,due to which there was a long diversion with dangerous curves.
    It would be kind of you to revert on the current road conditions of this route primarily after Wangtoo.
    we plan to go to Kalpa

    Thanks & Regards

  3. Hello Dheeraj,

    I am planning Kinnaur valley trip.. I am arriving on May 19th to Chandigarh and depart on 28th From Chandigarh. Can you please suggest a good itinerary… is May is the good time to visit.. I am interested in Chitkul area, keen on seeing Mt Kailash. Since it’s just next week, I have to arrange lot of things.. a. please respond at your earliest convenience.

    Thanks,

    • Hi Naga,

      The itinerary mentioned in the article above is good enough for you with the number of days you have in hand. Spend more time in Sangla / Chitkul area than Kalpa with couple of extra days you have in hand. Let me know in case you still need any help.

      You can get connected directly to some drivers in Himachal or 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 the pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3200-3500 per day depending on the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price. If you are 2-3 in the group, you can opt for sedan taxi cars as well which charges around Rs 2200 per day.

      Otherwise, taxis, in general, are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands. These drivers can help you with finding local stay options too.

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

      • Kavya Sahai on

        Hi Dheeraj, Can you please help us to finalize our trip! Can we drive by own and follow the same itinerary? We are planning in July 1st week. Please help and advise.

        • Hi Kavya,

          Yes, you can drive by your own car as barring few patches of bad roads after crossing tapri, most of the road conditions up to that are fine to travel. Do you need any particular plan, you can follow the plan mentioned in the article above if you have those many days.

        • Kavya Sahai on

          Thanks a ton Dheeraj. This is really an important piece of information.
          We will start our trip on 1st July and will be back on 8th July. On 8th we will be back in Delhi.
          Yes, please help us with itinerary in which we can go by our own car. will take rest in nights (wouldn’t drive in night) Can do camping also if can find good camps. Having our own tent also.
          Please help. Thanks

        • In that case you can easily follow the plan mentioned in the article above as you seem to have days in hand. In above plan there is no need to drive in night.

  4. Jayati Choudhury on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    This is Jayati Choudhury from Kolkata…gone through the article and found it very useful..Can I travel alone?? What is the cost of this Itinerary for Kinnaur Trip?
    Plannings are on during Durga Puja Holidays from 27th Sept to 3-4th October

  5. HI Dheeraj

    CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US :

    1. HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE IN TAXI IF WE DIRECTLY GO TO KALPA FROM SHIMLA

    2. ABOUT CHAKA TREK IN KALPA : HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE AND WILL IT BE ACCESSIBLE IN 2ND WEEK OF MAY.

    THANKS

  6. Monali Mitra on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to himachal but have only 8 days in hand – 6th May reach delhi from mumbai @ 8am & 13th May head back to mumbai from delhi @10:20am flt. After going through my message request you to kindly guide/suggest on whether to cover Sangla & Kinnaur valley or do jibhi , gushaini .Pls suggest route & if self camping is poss & if we need to carry r own camping gear or will they be avbl for rent. So we are 2 of us planning on doing this trip with my male friend riding a bike & me being the pillion rider , please suggest where to rent a bike & whc bike will be best for the route. We have never done a road trip together & he’s never ridden in himachal before & I dont ride. so keeping all this in mind pls help me decide on an enjoyable biking experience in himachal pradesh. Also will it be a back breaking & buttock sore journey ??

    Look forward to your suggestions.

    • Monali, I will recommend you make a trip to Kinnaur Valley as per itinerary mentioned in the article above and ease out in the nature. Leave other places for some other trip.

  7. Anirban Mukherjee on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    From your suggested list, I chose Mr. Ramesh Kumar as the driver for my June 2017 Kinnaur Trip. Have paid him advance he asked for. Is he and his Xylo are dependable? Can I depend upon him to come at the correct time and pick me up from Delhi T1?

    Today is Bengali New Year. Season’s Greetings to you and all other reader friends.

    Anirban da

    • Anirban da, greetings to you and your family too !!

      Well, unfortunately, I cannot assure you on it but the fact is most of these drivers are put up by various members of the community if they liked their services or not. So, hopefully he should be there but please be in touch with him.

  8. Abhishek Gupta on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    You are doing a great job buddy by sharing your experience and knowledge, hats off!!. I need your input/review for my upcoming trip to Kinnaur in April.

    I am planning a short trip to Kalpa from Delhi with my family which includes my wife and 4 year old kid. My itinerary is as follows –

    12th April 2017 – Overnight train from Delhi to Kalka
    13th April 2017 – Expected arrival time at Kalka 5:30 AM but it might get delayed till 9:30 AM. Take taxi directly from Railway station to Kalpa. I believe its 7 – 8 hrs journey. Expected check-in time at Kalpa – by 5 PM.
    14th April 2017 – Enjoy stay in Kalpa
    15th April 2017 – Enjoy stay in Kalpa
    16th April 2017 – Road travel back to Kalka to catch train to Delhi.

    I know 4 days is quite less for Kinnaur and thats why we are not over ambitious and limiting to just one place i.e. Kalpa. I need your valuable input to following points –

    1. Is it safe for a kid to take to Kalpa considering its high altitude 2960 m/ 9700 ft.
    2. Which vehicle would be best for this road journey.
    3. Whether 2 days in Kalpa would give us rewinding time with nature.
    4. Does my itinerary seem practical?

    Thanks
    Abhishek

    • Kalka to Kalpa will be around 10 Hrs of drive. The plan is very ambitious. I will suggest with kid you do something conservative like Narkanda – Sarahan limiting. Or travel to Tirthan Valley side. Else it will be like touching and coming back and being on road mostly.

  9. 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.

      • Anirban Mukherjee on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        I was unwell and as such took time to respond,

        I hv done the following:
        1. Booked the driver, Ramesh Kumar, accredited by DoW for the entire trip (Palam -3/6/17 to Palam -12/6/17)
        2. Booked V21 Resort at Chail thru MMT – got some good discount.
        3. Booked Hotel Trehan at Sarahan
        4. Boooked Panchali Resort at Chitkul
        6. Booked Rakpa Regency at Kalpa
        7. Booked Himalayan INN at Narkanda
        8. Chandigarh hotel is being booked by my friend stationed at Chandigarh.

        Did not want to splurge and so booked budget hotel mostly.

        Your comments please.

        What will be the temperature like at KInnaur during first two weeks of June? any major rainfall threat?

        REgards,

        Anirban da

        • I hope you are feeling better now Anirban da !!

          Do have some food at Negi Dhabha or New Himalayan Dhabha at Narkanda. IT is a good choice to book budget hotels. Weather around the whole globe is whacky now and it is hard to predict. But in general it remains cool & pleasant in June in Kinnaur.

    • Anirban Biswas on

      My wife, son and I are planning to visit during 2-11 June (KOL-DEL-KOL) to cover Kalpa-Sarahan i.e lower Kinnaur. Can you please brief on:

      Car hire charges, suggested hotel (Are Himachal tourism hotels good or opt to private ones?), availabity of food, any worth forest place to stay/short trek?

      A. Biswas
      Kolkata

      • Anirban, the plan for Kinnaur Valley is documented in the article above, you will not go wrong with it. You can hike around Sangla Valley or in Chitkul.

        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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

      • Hi everyone..as per ur facebook message I’m posting my query here..i would really appreciate ur advice on the following :
        Finally planning an adventure trip ( first in my life)… But before i embark upon this journey, i need ur expet advice n guidance… – Details of my trip n queries are as follows :
        Delhi-shimla-Reckong peo-pooh-nako- tabo- kaza- lossar- chandertaal – rohtang- manali

        Guidance requested on:
        # is the itinerary fine for a first timer
        # what time of year is best for travelling
        # how many days in total + how many days at each place
        # places to explore at each place
        # taxi and guide services ( if anyone has any reference)
        # staying m food options at each place
        # approx funds required for two people travelling together
        # what pre preparations ( physical fitness regime)
        # medical n essentials to carry
        # any other information i should know

        I look forward to all of urs expertise

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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,

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. PIYUSH KAPOOR on

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

    DO WE HAVE FLIGHT OPTION

  18. 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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