Kinnaur Valley Travel Guide | Kalpa, Sangla & Chitkul

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Kinnaur Valley – Kalpa, Sangla Valley, Chitkul

Continuing on towards laying the foundation of comprehensive Travel Guide for Spiti Valley and as discussed in the last article Hindustan Tibet Highway, first let’s cover the lower Kinnaur Valley in depth before going further towards upper Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley. The lower part of Kinnaur Valley is also very much visited by many people during summer time due to ease of accessibility from Shimla/Delhi/Chandigarh and less crowd or offbeat location. By lower Kinnaur, I mean that I will be covering Kalpa, Sangla Valley and Chitkul in this travel guide and may be upper parts like Nako, Chango, Ropa, Hangrang can be covered in time to come, if required.

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.

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

Kinnaur Valley is located in the Northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh about 235 KMs from state capital, Shimla.

Altitude

Kinnaur Valley has a mountainous area, ranging in altitude from 2,320 Mtrs to 6,816 Mtrs (7,610 ft to 22,362 ft) where Kalpa is located at an altitude of 2,960 Mtrs (9,710 ft) and Sangla Valley is located at an altitude of 2,696 Mtrs (8,900 ft). Chitkul is the highest in the lot at an altitude of about 3,450 Mtrs (11,320 ft).

Season for Traveling to Kinnaur Valley

You can visit this beautiful valley throughout major part of the year but in winters things get very tough and heavy snowfall makes it inaccessible sometimes too. But, apart from peak winters Kinnaur Valley including Kalpa and Sangla Valley can be visited rest of the year without much fuss. It is important to note that monsoon is not the right time to be in Kinnaur Valley due to common landslides and worse roads, so in any case avoid monsoons My favorite time is Autumn or Fall when monsoon just resides away and you might still see some apple orchards loaded with apples with clear skies in the background. Also, Chitkul becomes inaccessible at the time of peak winters, so please avoid going there in late winters without knowing the weather conditions. One snowfall can trap you for months in Chitkul :)… In case you are going in Apple Season, that is around Late July or August in Kinnaur Valley then be ready for massive mess of trucks traffic too along with rains.

How to Reach Kinnaur Valley

Below is the most general route to Kinnaur Valley from Delhi that most people usually follow. You can reach Kinnaur on the second day with overnight halt at Narkanda or anywhere far from Shimla or Chail. The route to Kinnaur Valley from Delhi along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Delhi – Shimla (360 KMs) – Narkanda (420 KMs) – Rampur (488 KMs) – Karcham (566 KMs) – Reckong Peo (587 KMs) – Kalpa (595 KMs)

Road from Karcham bifurcates towards Sangla Valley and Chitkul as: Karcham (566 KMs) – Sangla (582 KMs) – Rakcham (596 KMs) – Chitkul (610 KMs)

Making its way… through the mountains…
Road cut through mountains in Kinnaur Valley
Road cut through mountains in Kinnaur Valley
Preferred Vehicles

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones not required. However, quite a few people do it in hatchbacks and sedans as well which depends upon your skills to drive and road conditions at the time of travel.

Suggested Itinerary for Kinnaur Valley

Generally, I recommend 7 day itinerary for Kinnaur Valley so that one can enjoy the drive on the way as well as enjoy their stay in Kinnaur Valley comfortably, refer: 7 Day Kinnaur Valley Itinerary | Kalpa – Sangla – Sarahan

Feel free to discuss your custom itineraries in DoW Himalayan Travel Community at the link: Itinerary Advice | Lahaul, Spiti & Kinnaur Valley

Accommodation Options at Kinnaur Valley

There are many accommodation options available at Kalpa as well as Sangla Valley which are good enough to cater to the varied needs of budgets among people. There are economic guest houses which are cheap enough to keep your money saved and there are other luxury properties as well which provide the comfort and facilities if you are looking forward to them.

Apart from private accommodation options, you can go ahead and vouch for many PWD Rest Houses in Kinnaur Valley which are though comfortable and economic but may not suit needs of every family may be. Also, you require bookings for them and sometimes in case of some VIP visit they may try to push you though not in rights. So, in general and in case you are OK with average comfort conditions, Quite Recommended!! You can refer: How to Book HP PWD Rest Houses or FRHs

For more details on good hotels to stay in Kinnaur Valley OR good accommodation options to stay in Kinnaur Valley, you can refer the article: Good Hotels or Accommodation options in Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley

Places to visit in Kinnaur Valley

You can plan a trip to Kinnaur Valley where you can try and explore the following places in or around Kalpa and Sangla Valley.

Attraction In-Around Sangla Valley

Sangla Valley: About 120 odd KMs before the Indo-Tibet border, lies one of the most beautiful and romantic valleys in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Sangla Valley or otherwise also known as Baspa Valley which houses a major village by the name Sangla. Sangla is about 16 KMs diversion towards right from Karcham which is at Hindustan Tibet Highway going towards Kaza from Shimla Sangla Valley is surrounded by thick forest slopes and offers lovely views of the high mountains surrounding it. Recently, various beautiful meadows in this valley (such as Rakcham meadow) have become very popular among shooting various film scenes and advertisements too.

  • Chitkul Village: About 28 KMs away from Sangla Valley at an altitude of 3450 Mtrs and on the banks of Baspa river there lies the last inhabited place in India before Indo-Tibet border named Chitkul. The magical beauty which this village offers is unmatched and incomparable. Chitkul remains closed in winters and is extremely famous for its potatoes in the whole world which are extremely costly as well :) … You can read more about Chitkul at the Wikipedia link here.
  • Kamru Fort: About 2-3 KMs away from Sangla Valley, there is a famous 1000 year old Kamru Fort considered to be one of the oldest forts in Himachal Pradesh. Do check out when you are in Sangla Valley.
  • Misc. Trails & Meadows around Sangla: There are loads of trails in these apple orchards which can be hiked around while your stay in Sangla Valley. There are some lovely meadows too (one near Rakcham village as I remember) as well which can be visited or spent time to bask in the lap of pristine mother nature.

    You can also for for an easy 3-4 Hrs hike to the Glacier point if you are interested for some snow play.

    Batseri village to Sangla Village walk of about 12 KMs through dense Cedar forests is also quite famous among people who love being midst nature and actually feel it. There is a Trout Fishery Farm on the other side of Baspa River near Sangla Village too which is nice to visit and can be covered in this walk itself. What better having a trout for yourself and later barbecue it over camp fire in the evening :) !!

Hindustan Tibet Road near Reckong Peo Cut-off…
Hindustan Tibet Road near Reckong Peo Cut-off
A Surprising Snowfall in Kinnaur Valley…
A Surprising Snowfall in Kinnaur Valley
Attraction In-Around Kalpa

Kalpa: Kalpa is one of the best place to see sunset and sunrise in Himalayas over Kinner Kailash range. Kalpa is about 8 KMs from Reckong Peo, district headquarters of Kinnaur Valley which in turn is about 7 KMs diversion from a place called Powari on Hindustan Tibet Highway. The place is just majestic and the views of Kinner Kailash range from almost any of the hotel at Kalpa would just make your jaws drop at any day. I never thought that it would be that beautiful what I witnessed after reaching this lovely place. We were extremely lucky to witness such fantastic weather at such awesomely beautiful location in Kinnaur Valley. Read more about Kalpa here.

  • Roghi Village: It is about 6-7 KMs from Kalpa and is known for its traditional lifestyle of Himachal surrounded by apple orchards. Very nice place to have a short hike or walk across village from Kalpa. You will almost feel you are in time machine and somewhere in past, if you really spend some time here in this village. They villagers have a great knowledge of the place, its flora and fauna and you can get quite a decent knowledge in the village from them in case you are interested to know about Kinnaur Valley and this region
  • Kothi Village: Just 3 km from Recong Peo, this village has a Chanadika Devi temple which has an unusual architectural style and fine sculpture set amidst a picturesque mountains backdrop.
Clouds floating in Kalpa – Kinnaur Valley…
Clouds floating in Kalpa - Kinnaur Valley
Clouds floating in Kalpa…
Clouds floating in Kalpa - Kinnaur Valley
Medical Facilities in Kinnaur Valley

In case you need any kind of medical assistance, there is a one district hospital at Reckong Peo, being the headquarters of Kinnaur Valley. There is a local hospital at Sangla village too being the biggest village in Baspa Valley.

Food Joints near Kinnaur Valley

Most of the time you will be eating out in Hotels or Camps or Guest Houses or Home stays you will be staying. However, there are dhabhas or eating joints on the way to Kalpa or Sangla from Shimla which you can use for in between meals.

Phone Signals at Kinnaur Valley

Most of the connections work in Kalpa as well as Sangla Valley with best being Airtel. However, as you go ahead towards remote parts of Kinnaur like Nako, Puh, Chitkul etc. then best option will be to carry an MTNL/BSNL prepaid/postpaid connections which always has maximum coverage in Himachal Pradesh. Vodafone did have issues with some connectivity at times.

Petrol Pumps near Kinnaur Valley

About 10 KMs from Kalpa, you can find the nearest petrol pump at Reckong Peo. There is one more fuel pump at Powari which is on Hindustan – Tibet Highway when you move from Reckong Peo back towards Shimla which is about 30 KMs from Sangla Valley. I am not sure if it is still functional though on my recent trip to Spiti Valley in first week of May 2013, Powari fuel pump was not functional. There has been one fuel pump which is fairly new that I saw at Tapri.

Best thing is to top up your fuel tank at Narkanda which is fair in terms of quality as well OR the last petrol pump in Rampur that comes on the right side while going from Shimla side.

ATMs near Kinnaur Valley

There is an ATM as far as I know in Sangla Valley. Otherwise, you may find one for sure at Reckong Peo about 8 KMs away from Kalpa and 38 KMs away from Sangla

Conclusion

Kinnaur Valley is one of such secluded and untouched places in Himachal Pradesh which people must go over and enjoy raw nature. It is a perfect place for family vacation with lovely views all around and yes, a part of adventure too with rough roads. It is one of those places where journey is itself a destination.

Please feel free to post any queries or doubts you might have in planning your trip to Kinnaur Valley either in the comments section or more preferable Itinerary Advice | Lahaul, Spiti & Kinnaur Valley section of DoW – Himalayan Travel Community. If you have been to Kinnaur Valley, kindly share your thoughts and other information you might feel will be worth sharing with other fellow travelers and prove helpful to them as comments or in DoW – HTC community.

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602 Comments

  1. Sandeep Singh on

    Dear Dheeraj, we are planing bike expedition for last week of march himachal off beat place (billing, barot, prashar lake, tirthan valley, jalori pass, chindi).
    Please guide regarding this trip especially about jalori pass as we have to cross it

      • Sandeep Singh on

        Dear Dheeraj Sir, forget to mention days in hand, we already make plan
        Day 1. Billing, Barot .
        Day 2. Prashar lake
        Day 3. Tirthan valley
        Day 4. Janjehli Chindi
        Day 5. Rewalsar
        Day 6. Back to faridkot (Punjab).
        Need your expertise for this expedition to make this a memorable one. Be free to add another place or delete already plan.

        • Sandeep, but in this case I have two things to comment:

          Tirthan Valley to Janjheli / Chindi does not make sense to go over from Jalori Pass. OR Will you guys target Jalori Pass route which will be longer in comparison to reach Chindi from Tirthan Valley over Mandi – Rohanda route.

          Secondly, why to come back from Chindi to Rewalsar? You should move ahead from Chindi towards Shimla – Barog and exit from there.

  2. Reshma Lobo on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I had commented earlier this day asking in a post on Himlayan-Tibet NH. I am not bale to find that post. So asking my second question here. Where will we be able to find snow. Our travel dates: May1 to May 7

  3. Hi ,

    We are planning to go to Sangla April second week. Do I have reasons to worried about landslides and road condition ? We will be coming from Thendar to Sangla.

    regards,
    Sumana

    • Sumana, well, landslides are something that cannot be predicted but March is the time when they are at peak due to snow melting and by mid April it stabilises. However, this year there hasn’t been much snow at all, so roads might stabilize by March end only.

  4. Snehangshu Supakar on

    Respected Dheeraj Sir
    Many Many thanks for your advice. just tell me what type of car will be suitable for three of us and what will be the approx. cost for the total tour. Thanks again.

    • 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

      You can also check if they can offer the small car. But, still check with them if you can have small car like sedan for just three of you? Big car will only be required in Kinnaur belt, so you can ask the drivers to give you small car upto Rampur and then big car. This might save you some money.

  5. Snehangshu Supakar on

    just to add my post . Is jalori pass will be open at that time,that is around 6th april

  6. Snehangshu Supakar on

    Respected Dheeraj Sir
    You have not commented on my post posted on 22nd jan.I am eagerly waiting for your reply at the earliest. thanks in anticipation.

  7. Hi Sir

    It was a great read. I am planning a bike trip(alone on Pulsar 200NS) to kinnaur valley with a time frame of 1 week starting from Jan 25 (monday). Will the roads be open this time to Kinnaur and nearby places like chitkul?

    If not than, can u suggest any alternate bike trip in himalayas that can be done in the same window

    Thanks in advance

  8. Hello Dheeraj, Hope you are having a good New Year.

    I am a regular reader of your blogs. And i like them very much and i followed your instructions for the manali Trip from the chandigarh. It was more than Awesome. No words to explain the adventure it was there. Thanks a lot for that.

    Now I am planning a trip for 3-4 days using my own Hatchback i20. And I can drive long easily so what would be the best scenario for this? As I want to visit each place and i am also thinking for a visit to spiti valley but i think it won’t be possible to go there in such short span of time. But I will try and if that doesn’t seem possible at that stage then i would be thinking about Kinnaur and Sangla, Chitkul area.

    So Please Advice the best possible scenario for me that would suit me the best. I would be leaving from chandigarh on First week of July on Thursday Night so that i can reach there on Friday Afternoon.

    Also Please let me know if the night driving is safe on those areas? Because I drove to Manali on Night and drove whole night so suggest me if those areas are equally safe as that of Manali.

    And Please suggest me what are the best residing places for those 4 days. Where should i stay so that it to be an affordable stay for me.

    Please suggest me the best plan of 4 days to this area so that i can plan and manage everything accvording to that as you are much professional and experience than me. I would be very thankful to you.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Bhupinder

    • Hello Dheeraj,

      Good day. I see you haven’t commented on My Post above. I know my message is big and i am asking a lot of questions. But I really love your blog and would love to get your feedback on this. Please reply me so that I can plan my Trip.

      Thanks,
      Bhupinder

      • Will surely be doing it Bhupinder ji, no worries on the length of the reply. I reply to each and every query posted on DoW :) … Just spare me a day more and you will get reply. I do not want to rush through it and give you half the info :)

        • ok Dheeraj ji, i am waiting for your reply. and i have read your one more blog SACH VALLEY, can we consider this option too during our season ? but i have i20!!!
          waiting for your reply..
          thanks

        • Sach Pass will not be possible in i20 or I should say, you may make it possible but car might have severe damage especially on the side of Killar ahead of Bairagarh.

    • Hello Bhupinder,

      Thank you for the patience and continuously loving DoW Travel Platform :) .. You should make the trip in following manner:

      Thursday / Friday: start the drive and reach Sarahan for the day. Roads are mostly good all the way upto Jeori and then little bad patches further 14 KMs to Sarahan

      Friday: Rest at Sarahan only
      Saturday: Sarahan to Sangla Valley / Rakcham.
      Sunday: Visit Chitkul and start the drive back to reach Rampur
      Monday: Rampur to Chandigarh

      This is what you can do as a trip to partial part of Kinnaur Valley in 4 days in hand.

      • Thanks for the reply, Will it be possible to follow your directions for Sachpass that you described in other blog. Means will that be possible in July for 4 days?

        Also can you also give me some suggestions about the residence for the Kinnaur valley trip that includes Chitkul and Sangla? As i checked but couldn’t find any options for the stay.

        Thanks

        • Well, Sach Pass will be very very tricky in small car I will say but yes can be done in 4 days. Sometimes it opens mid of July too. Regarding plan for Sach Pass,

          Day 1 – Reach Bairagarh
          Day 2 – Bairagarh – Sach Pass – Killar
          Day 3 – Killar – Tandi / Keylong / Sissu
          Day 4 – Tandi / Keylong / Sissu – Manali
          Day 5 – Manali – back home

          Day 1 – Reach Bairagarh
          Day 2 – Bairagarh – Sach Pass – Bairagarh
          Day 3 – Bairagarh – Chamba/Dalhousie
          Day 4 – Chamba/Dalhousie – back home

          Options of stay in Kinnaur Valley: Good Hotels or Accommodation options in Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley

  9. everett dsouza on

    hi dheeraj, first of all thankyou for sharing your adventure i along with my wife and 2 kids one is 13 ,and the other one is 5 years old have planned atrip to the kinnaur valley we will be reaching shimla on 11 may and have two weeks to explore kindly guide me and suggest a itenary thank you in advance

    • Everett, since you have two weeks of time I will recommend you plan for both Spiti Valley and Kinnaur as below:

      Day 1 – Chandigarh – Narkanda
      Day 2 – Narkanda – Sangla
      Day 3 – Sangla – Chitkul
      Day 4 – Chitkul – Nako – Tabo
      Day 5 – Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley
      Day 6 – Pin Valley – Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — For stay check Sakya Abode or snow lion are two good options at Kaza apart from PWD Guest houses. Get in touch with Tsering, the guy who runs it. He is a very good friend of mine and you can refer my name or DoW
      Day 7 – Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
      Day 8 – Kaza Local Sightseeing and go back to Tabo
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit
      Day 9 – Kaza – Kunzum Pass top or till where road is open and back to Kaza
      Day 10 – Kaza – Geyu Mummy – Nako
      Day 11 – Nako – Kalpa
      Day 12 – Kalpa – Sarahan
      Day 13 – Sarahan – Chandigarh
      Day 14 – Buffer or rest day

  10. Snehangshu Supakar on

    Respected Dheeraj
    I along with my wife and son had planned to visit Shimla Manali Sangla Kalpa Sarahan and Chitkul.My tour plan is as follow.

    Day 01: Manali (2nd April)
    Arrive Chandigarh st. After refreshments proceed towards Manali. On the way enjoy the beautiful scenario
    & tunnels of Manali. Transfer to hotel, check in rest n relaxes. Evening is free leisure . Overnight stays at
    Manali.
    Day 02: Manali (3rd April)
    Morning after refreshment of tea/ coffee and breakfast we will start journey for Rohtang Pass & Solang
    valley – leisure tourist activities – return to hotel – Overnight stays at Manali for full rest n relaxes.
    Day 03: Manali (4th April)
    Morning after refreshment of tea/ coffee and breakfast we will start journey for local sight-seeing at Manali
    (Arjun gufa, Rahal falls, Jagat such, Hadimba & Hidimba temple) and visit the local market and buy souvenirs
    or simple walk in near about Manali.. Enjoy dinner and overnight stays at Manali.
    Day 04: Manali to Rampur (5thApril)
    After breakfast we will start journey for Rampur via sighseeing at Kullu valley , Bijli Mahadev Temple ,The
    Pandoh Dam etc – reach Rampur by evening, check-in-hotel, rest n relax. Enjoy dinner and overnight stays at
    Rampur.
    Day 05: Rampur to Kalpa (6th April)
    Early morning , proceed to Kalpa via local sight-seeing. Transfer to Kalpa
    hotel . Evening is free for leisure. Overnight stay at Kalpa.
    Day 06: Kalpa (7th April)
    Next morning, start for Sarahan & Kalpa Sightseeing at Bhimakali temple, Kinnaur-Kailash, Bird Park, Bhaba
    Valley, Darang Ghati, Gaura,. Lunch on the way. Evening is free for leisure. Overnight stays at Kalpa.
    Day 07: Kalpa to Sangla (8thApril)
    Early morning, move to Sangla, transfer to hotel via all tour in Sangla (Chitkul, Nako), visit the valley of
    flowers at Sangla, walk around Rupin river – night stay at Sangla.
    Day 08: Sangla to Shimla (9th April)
    Next morning, proceed to Shimla. Transfer to hotel, check in & rest –relaxes. Evening is free for
    leisure. Overnight stays at Shimla.
    Day 09: End of Trip (10th April)
    Next morning, move to Kalka station & board train towards NDLS then proceed to Durgapur/Howrah..
    For 3 person what will b a good & safe vehicle? What will b the total tour cost of the vehicle? Is my tour plan all right? Please comment and suggest required changes.

  11. tapan gomes on

    Hello Dheeraj
    salute for such a indepth knowledge and pasion.I am planning to go to Chitkul along with my friend from delhi by bus .it is a 7 days affair. please guide me which time of the year i shoud prefer and what about availability of accomodation ? i often visit in small villages in uttarakhand but going to chitkul for the first time.

    • Hi Tapan,

      Well, you should travel in April – May window OR you should travel in September-October when rain resides the region to witness beauty of Kinnaur Valley in colors. There are mnay guest houses running in Chitkul on season time and for plan you can refer the itinerary in above article.

  12. Yatin Namjoshi on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    First of all, immense respect for your efforts in putting all these bits n pieces together. Its great to see someone equally passionate about spreading responsible travel.

    I want to check with you about my plan to visit Kinnaur-Spiti valleys in May’16. I’ve about 13 days to spare & wish to travel at ease & stay in basic accommodation like home-stays enjoying the local culture. your list of good hotels/stays has come really handy. also, the same with list of drivers.

    Here’s my plan.
    Day Plan
    1 Mumbai – Chandigad – Mohali

    2 Chandigad – Sarahan

    3 Sarahan – Sangla – Chitkul
    local exploration

    4 Chitkul Rest day
    local exploration + short walk

    5 Chitkul Rest day

    6 Chitkul – Kalpa
    Raksham – Kamru Fort – Kalpa

    7 Kalpa – Nako

    8 Nako – Tabo
    Chango – Sumdo – Gue – Tabo

    9 Tabo – Kibber
    Tabo – Dhankar – Kibber

    10 Kibber – Kaza – Komic

    11 Kaza – Tabo – Sumdo

    12 Sumdo – Nako
    Drive back

    13 Nako – Ribba
    Drive back

    14 Ribba – Narkanda

    15 Narkanda – Chandigarh

    16 Chandigarh – Mumbai

    Is it fine if I have same vehicle for the entire trip?

    More on this when we interact. thanks a ton for sparing your time reading this!
    Regards,
    Yatin.

    • Hi Yatin

      Thanks a lot. I will suggest to take out time from Chitkul and spend that day in Spiti Valley only. Also, instead of doing Nako twice skip it and again spend that day in Spiti only. One day you can devote to Demul and other to Langza along with Kibber and Komik already in plan. Lhalung and Pin Valley are other options as well along with Dhangkar. So, spend more time in small villages of Spiti. Ideally on the way back you can easily do

      Kaza – Kalpa/Peo
      Kalpa / Peo – Shimla/Narkanda
      Narkanda – Chandigarh

      So, spend rest of the time in Spiti only and couple of nights in Chitkul will be sufficient too soak the place.

  13. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning a Kinnaur tour in next October for 7 -8 days . I am coming from Hyderabad so I will try to reach Delhi/Chandigarh by flight and then take a bus from there.
    My tentative plan is
    1st day.Delhi/Chandigarh to Simla (
    2nd day.Simla to Narkhanda(Is one day time is enough for Narkhanda?)
    3rd and 4th .Kalpa
    5th- Sangla/Chitkul
    6th-Saharan
    7th -Back to Chandigarh from Saharan
    Can you please fine tune the itinerary? Also is it possible to directly go to Kalpa from Simla ( ie without a stoppage at Narkhanda?)

    • HI Sumit, overall the plan looks OK but I will suggest that you spend two day in Sangla/Chitkul as it offer much more than Kalpa. Also, I will say Narkanda will not offer anything much rather you can either skip it or if you want to explore Shimla in detail then do it only.

  14. Dheeraj SIr,

    Wonderful Job. I have never come across someone with such in-depth information. I plan to visit Kinnaur from 25th December’15 to 1st January’16. As I am travelling from another end of India I need to get back home on time due to job and other commitments. I also understand that it is next to impossible to predict weather, but just want your opinion by the vast experience you have regarding this area and place. I read somewhere in this page that due to heavy snowfall people may get stuck for days and weeks, in such a scenario what would be ur suggestion to me going ahead to Kinnaur Valley at this time of the year (25th Dec to 1st Jan). Plus is there a way to get news regarding the condition as I said I am coming to Himachal for the first time from another end of the country and wouldn’t want to get stuck and stranded after reaching Himachal and also maybe celebrate my New Year stuck on a highway 😉 (though I am sure it would be uber fun). I have a few more options which I feel maybe safe (*Safety only in the sense of getting back to Delhi on time to catch my flight on 2nd Jan) The following are the options I have collected from the net…also we are a pack of 4 highly adventurous guys and we have travelled long distances in the most unfavourable conditions. Sir, pls give ur views on the following options I have gathered from the Internet. Having loads of snow fall is something that would be an extra topping for us.

    Option 1: Dharamshala-Mcleodganj-Khajjiar-Dalhousie (Seemed more like the Nana-Nani family trip place)
    Option 2: Malana, kasol, rasol, tosh and kheerganga (Seemed more like a trip for junkies, but we are open to it until unless theres peace and scenic beauty)
    Option 3: Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa – Sarahan (Seemed very much like the trip we want, but conditions are completely unknown)

    Warm Regards,
    Victor

    • Victor, I will advice you to keep a tab on weather updates and plan about 2 days of contingency. The week period mostly is adviced here for going further fro Kalpa towards Nako but for Kalpa, I guess 2-3 days of contingency will do for you.So, I will suggest you go ahead with you option 3 of Kinnaur Valley and always keep a tab on weather updates once you reach near the dates.

        • Rohit Trivedi on

          Hi Dheeraj,

          I am planning for kinnaur/Spiti Valley. Kalpa being at my base so that I can move either to sangla or try to move into spiti valley depending on conditions that time.
          I talked to the drivers listed by you.Huge help sir.!..I I owe you for the drivers list with numbers because I almost had cancelled Spiti before seeing your website and was started looking into Dalhousie :(.
          Anyways,I talked to Tsering/vinkal. They rejected straight.
          I talked to Chewwang Dorjey,he told he is ready to go kaza and even ahead.I confirmed many times by observing his confidence.
          Then,I talked to Arun Negi, he is looking into every aspects and suggested me that he can take me till nako lake and will try for tabo.

          I am in huge confusion.I cannot afford vacation again no way sooner or even later.I am only concerned with my driver.If he is okay I am good with the other conditions prevailing. Please suggest.

        • Hi Rohit,

          Yes, most driver will refuse to go in this season beyond Tabo because the road is mostly gets blocked from Schichilling only from where the extreme weather belt start in Spiti and then further towards Kaza. I will suggest in case you are mentally prepared then go ahead and talk to Dilip as well because he too is a genuine guy. As of now it is snowing up there in Kalpa and chances might be that the road is closed. I believe you can make a trip to Kinnaur but further will depend upon how many days snow will continue now from today.

      • Hi Rohit!

        I am flying to Delhi tonight. M still in a dilemma where exactly to go. Do u have any info on whether transportation is easy available in the Kinnaur Valley route???

        • Rohit trivedi on

          Hi Victor!

          The last volvo bus from delhi to shimla as per Redbus is at 11.20pm which promise to reach at 7am.You can start from shimla then in morning.All volvo buses runs during night only.You can talk to the list of drivers provided by Dheeraj, i think talking to them will solve your transportation problem and will also give you clear picture of conditions in kinnaur valley.
          The other way is kalka shimla toytrain.But you might be losing a day because it depends on train timings.You can check timings for delhi-kalka or delhi-chandigarh(kalka is 40mins from chandigarh) and kalka-shimla toy train.

          Anyway,you try to reach shimla as per your convenience and get in touch with your driver.And as per dheeraj halt at Sarahan and guide yourself to kinnaur as per discussions on this thread.It will cost 3000 per day after negotiation.
          If budget doesn’t allow you then as mentioned by dheeraj you can take bus fromDelhi to Peo.Please keep us posted.

          Thanks Dheeraj!..I will get in touch with Dilip.

  15. RAJESHWARI GANESH on

    HELLO
    WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE TO BREAK THE JOURNEY WHILE TRAVELLING FROM KALPA TO MANALI
    ALSO I TERMS OF ACCLIMATIZING WOULD IT BE BETTER TO STAY FIRST AT SANGLA VALLEY OR AT KALPA IF TRAVELLING FROM MASHOBRA
    HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO DRIVE FROM MASHOBRA To SANGLA VALLEY ?
    THANKS AND REGARDS
    RAJESHWARI GANESH

    • RAJESHWARI, please dont type in CAPS, as it is more or less meant for shouting on a public forum or user sites.

      Regarding the query, I will say better go with Sangla valley first couple of days and explore Chitkul around and then go over to Kalpa. Regarding breaking the journey between Manali – Kalpa, I will say you go with Shoja after just crossing the Jalori Pass. When are you planning this trip?

      • RAJESHWARI GANESH on

        Hi
        sorry about the caps lock !! thanks for the reply
        i am planning to do the trip in april last week but am open to do the same in may last week also if weather conditons are not favourable. April end was because my son wants to see snow .
        a varied age group oldest being 71 years and youngest being 10 years will be there in the travel group
        is it possible to go to chitkul from kalpa and say bypass sangla ?? is manali possible via the jalori pass and can you please help me with the timings if possible, from mashobra to sangla valley how much time will it take on the roads and from kalpa to shoja what will be the time taken? Sorry about so many questions at the same time , am really excited about travelling to this part of himachal and want to make sure that i plan a good trip so that my family members are not inconvenienced and enjoy lovely kinnaur !!

        Thanks once again

        • Hi Rajeshwari,

          1. Alright, last week of April should be OK to go. You might see snow in Chitkul. It is much better to plan to stay in Sangla Valley as it is much better IMHO and close to nature where as Kalpa is mostly about sunrise and sunset at Kinner Kailash range.

          Mashorba to Sangla = Around 8 Hrs, Kalpa – Shoja around 9-10 Hrs.

  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    Am planning the trip in the second week of march. We are looking for a relaxing trip. Please refer the itinerary and let me know any suggestions.

    5th mar: Reach Simla in the morning (spend the day), leave for mashobra in the afternoon
    6th mar: Reach Tirthan Valley at noon, visit gushaini
    7th mar: Leave for Kalpa in the afternoon
    8th mar:- Visit Sangla, chitkul and rakcham and head back to Kalpa in the evening
    9th Mar:- Leave for Tabo and Nako Monasteries
    10th Mar:- Leave for Sarahan
    11th Mar:- Reach bank chandigarh

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Ralph,

      If you are looking for a relaxing trip then better that you skip the Tirthan Valley – Gushaini par and ay be do Sarahan on 6th March. Then go over to Kalpa and spend a day or two there and then make a couple of days stay at Sangla Chitkul. Going beyond Kinnaur to Nako will be too much and road cnoditions do have lot of landslides and snow slides during that time beyond these places wherever the glaciers fall/slide from higher mountains. So, best is that you stick to Kinnaur Valley only given the constraint of relaxed trip

  17. Aniruddha on

    Hey dhiraj we are planning for a bike trip. Shimla-chitkul-sangla-kalpa. Is it safe to travel on bike in January?? What are the difficulties we can face in the journey.. Add your opinion on how we should prepare as well.. Thank you..

    • Aniruddha, Chitkul is closed for the season. You can make a bike trip to Kinnaur Valley with Kalpa and Sangla in the plan. However, keep a note that road might close in case snowfall happens and also you will have to face cold conditions quite a much along with black ice on roads too which skids the bike. If you are familiar with such road conditions and have made such bike trip, then only try for such an adventure.

  18. debasish dutta on

    Is it May or Oct is the best for travelling sarahan,sangla,chitkul,kalpa,manali ?

    Pls, reply with temperature range .

  19. can we visit sarahan,sangla,chitkul, kalapa,back to manali in the month of May ?
    What will be temp range at kalpa & manali in taht period ?

    • Debashish, yes, you can visit Kinnaur Valley covering all above places and return to Manali from Jalori Pass route in the month of May. Climate will be pleasant in Kinnaur during that time.

  20. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are 6 people planning to visit the Kinnaur valley in the last week of April 2016. The itinerary looks something like this:
    Day 1: Reach from Delhi to Shimla. Night stay.
    Day 2: Shimla to Sarahan. Visit Kufri, Fagu, Rampur Padam palace etc. Reach Sarahan by evening. Night stay.
    Day 3: Sarahan to Sangla. After reaching Sangla, visit Kamru village & fort, Berinag temple etc. Night stay.
    Day 4: Visit Chitkul and return to Sangla. Night stay at Sangla.
    Day 5: Sangla to Kalpa. Kalpa sightseeing: Rekong Pio Mahabodhi temple, Pangi village, Roghi village. Night stay at Kalpa.
    Day 6: Stay at Kalpa. An additional day to roam around the place.
    Day 7: Kalpa to Shimla.
    Day 8: Shimla to Delhi.

    Q1. Seek your feedback on the itinerary. Can there be any impact on the plan because of weather?

    Q2. We are a 6 people group and planning to rent an MUV (Xylo/ Innova) for the entire week from Shimla to Shimla. Can there be any cheaper alternative (public transport etc.)?

    Q3. Any recommended hotel in Sangla?

    Thanks in advance. :)

    • Hi Avik,

      A1: Your plan looks quite relaxed. I will advice that you make Kalpa to Narkanda on Day 7 and Narkanda to Delhi final day. You going to enjoy it in relaxed manner.

      A2: Best is you hire an Innova by directly getting in touch with drivers. 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

      A3: Please check the thread: http://devilonwheels.com/india/lahaul-spiti-kinnaur-valley-hotels-guest-houses/

  21. Ashit Baran Deb on

    Want to visit Simla, Sangla, Chitkul and Kalpa in 14 to 21st December, 2015, please advise.

  22. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning the trip in Mid March – from 13th to 22nd
    Will you suggest to make the trip in March?
    DAY 01: DELHI –SHIMLA —– 13th
    DAY 02: SHIMLA Arrival and proceed to hotel —– 14th
    DAY 03:  SHIMLA –SARHAN  —- 15th
    DAY 04: SARHAN-SANGLA —- 16th
    DAY 05:    SANGLA –CHITKUL – SANGLA —- 17th
    DAY 06:    SANGLA-KALPA —- 18th
    DAY 07:    KALPA  —- 19th

    After that could not fill the itinerary –
    Is it possible to go to Manali on Day 08, or you suggest any thing else?

    • Shouvik, from Kalpa you need to track back toward Delhi and for Manali, better plan two days from there. Kalpa to Shoja over Jalori Pass, Jalori Pass to Manali.

  23. Dear.. Dheeraj.. I had planned to Kalpa..by 11th of this January…. Day one arrival at Chandigarh by 1 pm halt at Rampur.. Day two. Rampur to Kalpa.. Day 3 Kalpa.. Day 4 Kalpa to sarahan.. Day 5 sarahan to shimla.. Day 6 back to chandigarh.. Is it possible to do. Can you suggest me good cab operator innova I need ur valuable suggestions

  24. HI, Is it possible to visit Nako from Kalpa and come back to Kalpa in Same day, I saw its around 3 hrs one way journey from Kalpa to Nako

      • Thanks Dheeraj, your advice is really helpful. Though It is technically possible, I wont like to make the travel hectic for my 3 yr old kid. its better to stay at Nako 1 day.

        • Amlan, it depends upon when are you making the trip. In case you are making the trip in season time, from May to mid October, it is perfectly fine to stay at Nako but other than that Nako is a harsh place to stay with quite cold conditions. When are you staying?

        • Hi Dheeraj, I am planning for Mid April, will it be too harsh at Nako…

  25. Any updates on current weather condition in Kalpa & Sangla ? Will be travelling between 1st – 6th Nov..

    • Vidisha, it has snowed up there in Kinnaur Valley in last couple of days. Chitkul may be out of bounds now. Long term weather forecasts of Kalpa and Sangla shows clear weather anyhow with partly cloudy during the time you are planning to visit. So, in case it snowed less then Chitkul might open. Be prepared with heavy woolens though.

  26. Rajesh Chakravarthy on

    I want to visit simla, sarahan ,Sangla,kalpa,chitkul during last week of March or first week of April 2016 along with two kids . Also desire to come back by visiting Manali and Amritsar. Please suggest me the route and budget Hotel and also advise me about the vehicle.

    • Rajesh, Chitkul may not be possible or would be just lucky as road might have opened just during that time. Apart from that you can visit all these places. You can make your way back over Jalori Pass to Manali and then further to Amritsar. Before suggesting any plan, let me know how many days do you have in hand?

    • I am also planning to make a trip during mid March. Is it possible to make Kaja? I have a total of 9 days, Starting from Shimla, how much can I cover?
      Also should I book hotels in advance or will get after reaching there?

      Thanks Dheeraj in advance.

      • Venkatesh, it is very much possible to go to Kaza in March. However, the risk of getting stuck for few days is high. Also, the facilities from Kinnaur to Spiti will be very basic including food and water. Washrooms will be dry only with no water in them. Regardless to stay, the cold will be very very much. I have been in March and you can check out my experience of staying in March in Spiti from the links in Main Menu of the site.

  27. manab sengupta on

    may i (4 including 2 kid i.e 13 & 05) want to visit shimla to manali via kinnaur,kaza , lahul spiti ( through kunzum pass & rothang pass) next year. cld u pse tell me the right time to visit those place and how many days it will take also suggest me how can i book pwd rest house and a cab with no during this tour. expect ur reply urgently fr further planing. thanks manab

    • Manab, July – September will be the only time you will be able to do a complete circuit from Shimla to Manali over Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Spiti Valley followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 10-11 days: Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley.

      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

  28. VENKATESH on

    hi dheeraj this is venkatesh , we r planning to kinnar in january first week and me and my friend r planing to go to Chitkul by trecking from sangla is it possible,we r tacking tent and sleeping bags and food stove etc,is our plan wiil be workout,is it possible to terk and can we stay there with my campang tent,so plz guide me,and canu u tel me with u r experiance what is the precautions we want to take.

    • Venkatesh, Chitkul will not be accessible during that time of the year even by trekking AFAIK. It is quite risky to do so and even deadly. So, even Kinnaur Valley you will struggle a bit and have to have good gear to survive.

  29. Arka Dawn on

    I am planing to visit kinnar valley at the end of january nxt yr. Will i be able to reach kalpa and chitkul? Are the hotels open at that time?

    • Arka, Chitkul for sure you will not be able to reach as the road will be closed. Most hotels will be closed in Sangla Valley and few basic guest houses or home stays and a single hotel or two will be running. However, please note that water freezes in pipes and hence, you might not have running water anywhere and even have to have dry pits for toilets with no water.

      Regarding Kalpa, there are some good number of hotels and better infra. up there and in case snow do not pour during the the time you will visit Kalpa, the road gets cleared and open.

      • Arka Dawn on

        Thank u sir , are the hotels in kalpa in same condition at that time? Are the roads to kalpa cleared everyday for tourist to reach kalpa? Is it possible to reach manali from shimla via kiiner valley (as much snow permits) on same day so that we can see liitle of kinner valley?? What tour plan do u suggest from 23rd Jan to 1st Feb 2016?

        • Arka, since Kalpa has better infra. so a bit better than in Sangla. Roads do not clear everyday but will start to clear when snow has stopped for a day or two. In case less snow pour then they try to clear it every day.

          There is no route to Manali from Kinnaur Valley unless you are talking about Spiti Valley or Jalori Pass by back tracking towards Narkanda. However, in case you want to go to Manali from Kinnaur, then you can come back towards Rampur and take the route from Chindi – Karsog – Rohanda – Mandi/Ner Chowk route to reach Manali.

        • Arka Dawn on

          Thanks once again sir . As i cannot visit kinnar what tour plan do u suggest for 23rd jan to 1st feb??

        • Hello Arka,

          Are you open for tourists location or you only planning offbeat? Also, are you open for a plan to Kumaon region in Uttarakhand or only Himachal you are planning?

        • Arka Dawn on

          Only himachal sir. Already i have booked tickets to shimla. Reaching on the 23rd of jan

  30. I am planning go for kinner valley and Chitkul Village on jan 1.it is possible to go there on january.is roads will be open that time , i am going solo to enjoy the nature , i will planing to stay there for 5 days is it possible,is there any buses from shimla in january to kinner valley , plz sugesst me with ur plan.and what will be the cost of the trip for 10 days from shimla , plz help me

    • Venkatesh, Kinnaur Valley will be in reach but Chitkul will be out reach due to snow, similarly in case it snows during that time Kalpa and Sangla might also be closed. So, there is a chance that you might want to take to witness the snowbound beauty of Kinnaur Valley

      • Thanku sir , can u tel me is buses will available in january from shimla to kinnar,if no buses then tel me howbi want go from shimla.with mediam cost.and what is the cab cost for droping sri.plz help me sir

  31. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning a trip to Kinnaur Valley from Chandigarh. Do you suggest I take a taxi from Chandigarh or Shimla?
    I had the below in mind
    1st Nov – Take Toy Train to Shimla -> move to Narkanda
    1st and 2nd -> explore Narkanda, Thanedar and Kotgarh
    3rd -> move to Kalpa
    4th -> Explore Kalpa and nearby villages
    5th -> Visit Sangla and back to Kalpa
    6th -> leave for Shimla and there on Chandigarh
    do you think the above sounds like a good plan? I am basically looking for an easy trip.

    • Hello Jaspreet,

      Your plan looks good to me. It will be better if you stay at Sarahan on 2nd Day. If hotels in Sangla are open there is no need to come back to Kalpa as again you have to travel the same route. Day 5, reach Sangla try to go ahead towards Chitkul till the point snow allows you and then return for a stay at Sangla. Finally from Sangla come back to Shimla.

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