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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780 Comments

  1. Vishnu,

    We are planning for the below. What would be your recommendation. Based on your notion, we could expand the plan.

    Month: July 2017 (Dates, we will plan in short)
    Destinations (to the possible amongst the list): Shimla, Kinnaur , Sangla, Kalpa, Kaza, Spiti
    Duration of Travel: Minimum 4 Nights and 5 Days

    Thanks

  2. kamod koul on

    I am planning to go to chitkul , will leave from shimla on 18th aug, want to get back to delhi by 22nd aug. My drive is a swift dezire. what are the current road conditions and if its feasible to travel now.
    Please guide!!!

  3. Tanay Saha on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Any idea how much the local drivers charge for Shimla to Kalka? I am leaving my cab(contacted Mr Dilip from Dow list) in Shimla on the day before our return jouney. I have to book a cab then for Shimla to Kalka.
    How long dose it take normally? I have my return train at 11.45 night (Kalka mail), for that When should I start from Shimla.

      • Tanay Saha on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your reply. The reason I am leaving the cab is that we have already visited Shimla last time. This time I have kept one day in Shimla only for rest that is the reason I dont want to keep the cab. We wont be visiting any places, so if I keep the cab , I have to pay 3100 for that day unnecessarily.

        If I get to know how much the local drivers charge for Shimla to Kalka and how long does it take, I can make the plan accordingly.

        • Aah, I see. In that case it will be good to drop the cab and you can book a cab for Kalka drop from Shimla. I am sorry about the drop charges to Kalka from Shimla but it should be around 2000-2500 types at max.

  4. Jaswinder Singh on

    Dear,
    Dheeraj Sharma
    • I am planing for go to Kinnaur, kalpa, sangla chitkul Kaza ,chandertal by my own jeep , Mohindra Bolero. Can it be possible to travel by Mohindra Bolero. Planing to start the trip by 12 to17 SEP 2016 . Please advice & plan my trip

    • Yes Jaswinder, bolero will do great on these roads of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur valley. However, the number of days seems less to me and you should plan about 9 days of Spiti trip to make some sense of it else you will just be on road only.

  5. Ahana chowdhury on

    Hi ,
    Me Ahana from kolkata . We wants visit himachal Pradesh in the month of December. We are two family and I have a 8 yrs old child we will start from kolkata on 23rd December and reached simla.we will do a planning for 6 night and seven day trip .please guide us the route you suggest for us simla manali kinnor koilash or sangla kalpa chitkul simla manali.

    • Ahana, it will surely be quite cold in December in Kinnaur valley. So, please go prepared with heavy woolens. Regarding tour plan:

      Day 0 | Reach Kalka and move to Shimla/Narkanda
      Day 1 | Shimla/Narkanda – Sangla Valley
      Day 2 | Sangla – Chitkul / Sangla
      Day 3 | Chitkul / Sangla – Kalpa
      Day 4 | Rest at Kalpa
      Day 5 | Kalpa – Sarahan
      Day 6 | Sarahan – Chail/Shimla
      Day 7 | Chail/Shimla – Delhi

  6. Jitin pal on

    Hi dheeraj do organise the trip shimla to kinnaur or spiti.on any 4*4 . How many days we need and accommodation and what the cost of trip and shuld my bagback need.pls whtsapp me first and call me 9996399964 or give me ur no:..or send it on my Facebook the same email add.

  7. What season were these pics taken? Will there be glaciers in the month of August in Chitkul? Thanks

  8. Sabyasachi Bardhan on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to do Spiti Kalpa Kinnaur during 14 to 24-SEP-2016. Could you please let me know if Myles self driven cars are allowed on this route, is there any special permit that might help. Also need your suggestion on the route…we r to start form Delhi at around 12 noon on 14-SEP-2016….

    Regards,
    Dr. Bardhan

  9. Tripti Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj, Im planning to visit Chitkul in September covering the entire stretch starting from Shimla. As of now i would be solo travelling. Could you please help me with an itinerary for the same? I want to start on a Friday night from Delhi and come back the next saturday. Havent decided on the dates yet. But i want to see Chitkul at its best. Please suggest on the local travel options too. Look forward to hearing from you on the same.

    Thanks.
    Tripti

    • Hi Tripti, you have enough days at hand. You can follow the plan like below:

      Day 1 | Reach Shimla and rest for the day.
      Day 2 | Next morning take the bus from Shimla to Sangla and stay there
      Day 3 | Take shared cab to Chitkul village and spend time there, you can come back the next day and reach Kalpa
      Day 4 | From kalpa, move to Tabo covering Nako
      Day 5 | Tabo to Kaza
      Day 6 | Around Kaza
      Day 7 | Kaza – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali, take the evening volvo to Delhi

  10. Kumar Gaurav on

    Thank you for putting up this information. Its really helpful and that’s where my question comes from. Planning to visit Sangla Valley during the week of 15th August. WIll leave from Gurgaon by about 12am on 13th August and would want to be back by night of 19th August. Vehicle is a Diesel Fiat Punto with claimed 185mm GC. Please help me create a plan and also if the said week will be fine for this trip.

    • Hi Kumar, you can follow below plan:

      13: Reach Narkanda and sleep over there
      14: Narkanda – Sangla
      15: Sangla – Chitkul/Sangla
      16: Chitkul/Sangla – Kalpa
      17: Kalpa – Sarahan
      18: Sarahan – Delhi, a bit long drive but doable.

      • Kumar Gaurav on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your quick response. One main question is can all these places be covered in a Fiat Punto and is Mid- August a good time to go to these places ?

        Now to the itinerary, Have made a few changes and basis that have 1 more day in hand on 18th Aug. Where do you suggest I should go or should i just keep an extra day of stay at Sangla or Kalpa to stay and relax. Will be with my 5 year son so long treks are out of question, shorter ones can be done

        13-Aug Reach Narkanda by afternoon
        14-Aug Narkanda to Sangla
        15-Aug Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla
        16-Aug Sangla – Kalpa
        17-Aug Kalpa
        18-Aug
        19-Aug Kalpa to Narkanda
        20-Aug Narkanda to Gurgaon
        21-Aug Sunday – rest at home sweet home

        • Yes Kumar, these places can be done in Punto but of course due to low GC you will face challenges at places. The itinerary is very relaxed, do Kalpa to Sarahan then Sarahan to Narkanda and spend one more day in Sangla/Chitkul instead of Kalpa.

          Please be sure it will be monsoons and Kinnaur mountains are fragile, so expect slush, landslides at places.

  11. Hi. Me n my wife are planning to travel to sangla, sarahan, chitkul & reckong next wk on honda CBR 250R. We’ll reach shimla on 28th july. Would u pls guide me if its doable during these days & the road conditions in these areas. We r planning to return to delhi by 31st night. Pls chalk out an itinerary for us & give ur valuable advice for the trip.
    Thanks
    Dr. Syed

    • Roads are in general OK, there was a flash flood in Batseri village in Sangla valley which has damaged the roads up there but rest most of the roads are fine. Of course that narrow diversion of Tapri to Cholling – Urni is a bit mess when it rains with slush.

  12. Ankur Sethi on

    Sir,
    We are planning to visit kinnaur valley,Spitti Valey and Chandartala from this sunday(24-07-2016) from chandigarh and we having 7 days of time Please suggest how to plan the trip and we are using our own vehicle I20 Diesel is it ok????We are 4 boys. ….

    • Ankur, i20 will badly struggle with low ground clearance on this route. Expect some damage in the under belley of the car especially on Gramphu – Battal route. You have less days in hand and doing the entire circuit does not make any sense but sitll if you want to do below is the plan

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dangkar – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza and around (Ki, kibber, gette, hikkim, komik, langza – Choose whatever you possibly can)
      Day 6 | Kaza- Kunzum Pass – Chandratal – Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Delhi

        • This is what I can suggest in 7 days

          Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
          Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
          Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Tabo
          Day 4 | Tabo – Dangkar – Pin Valley – Kaza
          Day 5 | Kaza and around (Ki, kibber, gette, hikkim, komik, langza – Choose whatever you possibly can)
          Day 6 | Kaza- Kunzum Pass – Manali
          Day 7 | Manali – Delhi

        • Ankur, bhai, surely i20 will suffer on this route especially from Kaza to Manali. Do expect some bruises under belly and if not driven with care can also leak / damage the engine sump

      • Ankur sethi on

        Thanks sir…. Nd if we do one thing that go via shimla to kaza and if we having tym den chandartala also and back from the same route den it will be ok??? Or still any problem and car can be damage???

        • Ankur, that part of the road is less troublesome but the moment you cross Losar and start for Kunzum Pass and then to Chandratal, you will indeed face challenges. Once safe thing is to do Chandratal trip in a taxi and then return from Kinnaur side only.

      • Ankur sethi on

        Thanks a lot sir….. We will start our journey tomm… Nd later will comment here… Sir can we expect some snow after losar???or there will be no snow now days…

      • Ankur sethi on

        Lol no snow… Hum to dekhne hi vahi ja re the… To bro koi aisi jgah hi btado jaha ja sake nd snow bhi dekhne ko mil jaye…

      • Ankur Sethi on

        Sir We completed the circuit on I20 in 6 days from jalandhar to Jalandhar We started our journey from Jalandhar on Monday 25-07-2016 and we were back on saturday 30-07-2016. It was awesome but on I20 it was dangerous….. I will write in detail when I will get time.

        Thanks a lot sir

        • Awesome Ankur, that is great to know. Yes, please do share the experience with some photos with us in DoW Community. I am sure this will be helpful to many.

  13. saikat hazra on

    hello Dheeraj
    we r planning to visit shimla -kinnure-manali at the time of this year x-mass…so can we able to visit that palaces at that time…

  14. Anup Mitra on

    Dheeraj Sharma,

    Excellent article on the tribal sector. I propose to visit during November 2016. Some basic preferences given for your kind advice.
    Reaching Chandigarh on 25th of Nov.2016 (Early Morning by Kalka Mail)
    Would like to have a soft start after two days on the train. Narkanda, or similar, which can be accessed by a maximum of 4hrs. journey.
    The next day onwards you may advise for stay at Saharan, Sangla & Kalpa and back. The stay at these places can be of 2 days each.
    Also require a dedicated transport throughout the tour.
    We are 2 persons around 67 years of age.
    Also required suggestions regarding hotels at that time of the year and approximate cost thereon.
    Please advise on the estimated cost and you are free to suggest a reliable tour package operator if you feel so.

    • Sir, your plan seems fine to me. I hope you are just visiting Kinnaur only.

      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.

    • Anup Mitra on

      Dheeraj Sharma,

      A few more questions before finalising my tour. First, Many thanks for the prompt and encouraging reply, it feels like November is too far away.
      We are an elderly couple aged around 67 years. Whether the climate at that time of the year would be suitable? Does it snow at that time? An approx. idea of the day and night temperatures.
      I was actually looking for a ready made package, since I felt that it may rob us of the enjoyment if we get involved in day to day hotel checking and finding simple food, arranging for transport, etc.
      Please feel free to advise us and we would proceed accordingly.
      With regards
      Anup Mitra

      • Sir, yes it snows at that time, especially in Chitkul. The nights will be quite cold but bearable, days will be cold too but in sun it will be OK. You can go ahead and talk to info@offbeatescapes.com for ready made packages if required. they should be able to arrange hotel as well as taxi for you. From Shimla, you can book a volvo from HPTDC yourself online.

  15. Rakesh garg on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning to visit sangla valley in the coming days. We are leaving from Chandigarh at 4 p.m. On Thursday and wish to come back on Monday evening . We wish to visit Sarahan also. We are looking for a personal camping space in our tent in sangla. Please suggest how to plan the trip and where to find a personal camping ground for one day???

    God bless you , with regards
    R.k. Garg

    • Hello Rakesh,

      Thursday: Reach Shimla/Fagu and rest for the night
      Friday: Reach Sangla Valley and take rest
      Saturday: Sangla Valley – Chitkul
      Sunday: Sangla/Chitkul – Sarahan
      Monday: Sarahan – Chandigarh

  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all thanks for this great write up with lots of information. I need your help to design a tour to cover Kalpa, Sangla, Sarahan, Chitkul in October last week. We are 9 people in group and planning for a 10 days trip from Kolkata. Unfortunately 10 days including journey therefore we just have 6 nights-7 days to start from Shimla and get back to Kalka. (we will start from Shimla on 24th October and need to reach Kalka by 29th October night to catch Kalka Mail).

    We have design a tour plan and here it is:

    23rd : Staying in Shimla(or after reaching Shimla via Shibalik, going to Sangla if possible, I am not sure about that)
    24th: Shimla to Sangla
    25th Sangla to Rakcham/Chitkul
    26th Rakcham/Chitkul to Kalpa
    27th Kalpa to Sarahan
    28th Kalpa to (not decided, looking for some offbeat place in downwards from where reaching Kalka is easy/ or Kalpa if Kalpa to Kalka is doable in one day by car)
    29th : Either Kalpa to Kalka or reaching Kalka from the last suggested spot by you.
    29th Night: Kalka Mail

    Kindly provide me inputs about this tour plan or suggest a better one. We wont like to miss the opportunity of travelling through Shivalik.

    Ksuhik

    Kolkata

    • I will suggest following:

      23rd : Staying in Shimla(or after reaching Shimla via Shibalik, going to Sangla if possible, I am not sure about that)
      24th: Shimla to Sarahan
      25th Sarahan to Sangla Valley
      26th Sangla Valley – Chitkul
      27th Chitkul to Kalpa
      28th Kalpa to Narkanda
      29th : Narkanda – Chail
      29th Night: Chail – Kalka Mail

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your response. I would like to inform you we like to avoid Rampur and Narkanda and Chail as our night stay spot for 28th. We are looking for some offbeat destination on our way down which is less crowded. Kindly suggest some place for the same where we can stay on 28th.

        I would also like to know do you suggest booking home-stay in those areas or booking hotel is better option? and if you have the updated car rates in those area kindly provide me the same or provide some driver’s contact number who can give Tempo-traveller.

        Waiting for your response

        Kushik

        • Thank you for your reply. We got a package quotation of Rs. 8500/- (Shimla to Kalka; without lunch, Shimla sight seen and Shimla Hotel). The tour operator suggest us to stay one night at Fagu while coming down from Kalpa. He also design the plan as 2 night stay in Rakcham. What is your suggestion? is it better to do 1 night in Rakcham and one night in Sangla or 1 night each in Rakcham and Chitkul and just cover Sangla valley as sight seen spot? Is the cost justified(accommodation in deluxe room, MAPI plan, sight seen, tempo traveller included in package)

          Please suggest some home stay option in Kalpa, Sangla, Sarahan and Chitkul. I have find out lots of name in the link but looking for some feedback’s or direct suggestion to shortlist a few so that we can communicate directly before taking any decision regarding whether to go with travel agent or book on our own.

        • helo Dheeraj,

          Can you suggest any home stay near Narkanda or Kotgarh. We are looking for budget accommodation with dinner and breakfast. If you can suggest any home stay. We don’t mind if it is out curse of the places or even some KM ahead of Narkanda towards Sangla also.

        • Kushik, I have no contact of home stay at Narkanda. You can actually go in and try to stay at PWD Rest Houses nearby Narkanda, that’s what I do in general and pay around 600-700 bucks for 2-3 people per night. Of course, for food do not expect much.

  17. Hello Dheeraj ji,

    First of all, thank you for this site and all informative write ups.

    Request you to please check this travel plan and suggest any changes if required. There are a few halts ansd smaller travel spans as I have sr. citizens travelling with me.

    day 1: To Chnadigarh – Shimla -halt
    day 2: Shimla
    day 3: Shimla to Narkanda
    day 4: Narkanda to Sarahan
    day 5: Sarahan to Kinnaur (valley) – Base for stay (Hotel Kinnar Kailash)
    day 6: Kinnaur- Rakcham- Chitkul – Back to Kinnaur
    Day 7: Kinnaur – Rekong Peo -Sangla – Back to Kinnaur
    Day 8: To Kalpa
    Day 9: @Kalpa
    Day 10: Kalpa to Sarahan
    Day 11: Sarahan to Shimla- Chandigarh
    Day 12: Travel back home.

    I am not sure if I have stretched my plan and have included more days than required.. but I dont want to rush the days also.

    Please advice.

    thanks!

    • Hello Sahilja,

      I think there are some confusions, the Kinnaur Valley comprise Sarahan, Sangla, Chitkul and Kalpa as the base if I look above in the tour. I will not recommend to make one of the places as base and considering the senior citizen, I will suggest following plan

      day 1: To Chnadigarh – Shimla
      day 2: Shimla rest day, enjoy walks a mall road, visit Jakhoo
      day 3: Shimla to Sarahan
      day 4: Sarahan to Sangla Valley / Rakcham
      day 5: Sangla Valley / Rakcham rest day
      day 6: Sangla Valley / Rakcham – Chitkul – Sangla Valley / Rakcham
      Day 7: Sangla Valley / Rakcham – Kalpa
      Day 8: Kalpa rest day
      Day 9: Kalpa – Rampur
      Day 10: Rampur to Chail
      Day 11: Chail to Chandigarh
      Day 12: Travel back home.

  18. Tanay Saha on

    Hi,
    I am planning to visit Kalpa, Sarhan, Chitkul, Spiti on September 2016. Can you please suggest whether this is a good time to visit there? Is it monsoon over there at that point of time? Please provide me your valuable information as my entire planning is depending on that.

    • Tanay, it is a very good time to travel to Kinnaur Valley during this time of the year.

      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.

      PS: Do pay a visit to our DoW Spiti Library in Kaza. Who knows you short walk there may help it remain active for the kids up there for much longer time 🙂 :)…

      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.

      • Tanay Saha on

        Thank you for the information Sheets. I am afraid that I won’t be able to cover Spiti Vally due to shortage of time and I may have to cover only kunnur. In that case what would be the best places for overnight staying (including hotels if possible?).
        I have approximately 7 days to visit the places apart from the time I require to travel from Kolkata. I am planning to start on 3/05/2016 from Kolkata.
        Can you please suggest me an itinerary for the trip.
        Thanks & regards
        Tanay Saha

        • You can follow this in that case:

          Day 0 | Reach Kalka and move to Shimla/Narkanda
          Day 1 | Shimla/Narkanda – Sangla Valley
          Day 2 | Sangla – Chitkul / Sangla
          Day 3 | Chitkul / Sangla – Kalpa
          Day 4 | Rest at Kalpa
          Day 5 | Kalpa – Sarahan
          Day 6 | Sarahan – Chail/Shimla
          Day 7 | Chail/Shimla – Delhi

        • Tanay Saha on

          Thanks Dheeraj,
          Can you please suggest what would be the better place to stay between the below mentioned places so that I can enjoy nature at its best and synic beauty.

          1. Between Shimla and Narkanda.
          2. Between Sangla, Rakcham and Chitkiul. (will stay in any on of the places and will visit the other two places from there. Is it possible?)
          3. We are staying 2 nights at chitkiul, is it possible to visit Nako from there and come back to kalpa again?
          The plan will look like this then.

          12/9— Reaching Shimla then move to Narkanda and overnight stay.
          13/9— Narkanda to Sngla/Rakcham/chitkul?? And overnight stay.
          14/9— visit these places and move to Kalpa and overnight stay there.
          15/9— rest at Kalpa (Nako??).
          16/9— Kalpa to Sarahan and overnight stay.
          17/9— visit Sarahan and move to Shimla and overnight stay.
          18/9— Move to kalka or Delhi (Depends on the availability).

          Please advice. I am free to any suggestions if you know any other offbeat places in this region to stay where scenic beauty is awesome.

        • Tanay Saha on

          Hi Dheeraj,

          Can you please put some light on the queries asked by me on June 25th.

        • Hi Tanay,

          Below are the responses:

          1. Narkanda.
          2. Rakcham, Sangla comes on the way to Rakcham and Chitkul. Yes, you can visit Chitkul from Rakcham then. One night you can then stay at Chitkul. You just to be acclimatized for first day and next day stay at Chitkul.
          3. Well, Nako journey will add about 8-9 hrs of journey.

          12/9— Reaching Shimla then move to Narkanda and overnight stay.
          13/9— Narkanda to Rakcham
          14/9— Rakcham – Chitkul
          15/9— Chitkul to Kalpa
          16/9— Kalpa to Sarahan and overnight stay.
          17/9— visit Sarahan and move to Shimla and overnight stay.
          18/9— Move to kalka or Delhi (Depends on the availability).

          Rest made changes above.

  19. Tanay Saha on

    Hi,
    I am planning to visit kalpa, sarhan, chitkiul, spiti in the month of September this year. Is this a good time to visit there. Am I going to face monsoon at that point of time?
    Please suggest. My plans depends on this information.

    Thanks
    Tanay Saha

  20. Aviral Gahlot on

    Hi,
    First of all, congratulation on this great article. It lists all the relevant requirements of any traveler. Great Work.This is my inquiry-
    We are Planning a trip to kalpa and chitkul in August around 13th for 7 days for around 6-8 people . Is the time apt for the trip. Please share if any trekking options are available from kalpa .
    Thanks.

    • Thank you Aviral. August is monsoon time and it is not wise to travel during that month in Kinnaur region as landslides will be common during rains. There are plenty of treks available in Kinnaur, you can hike around Sangla/Rakcham or Chitkul too.

  21. Sudarshan on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planing to do the Spiti circuit this year and were wondering if we could spend the night in Chitkul on the way. Our plan is as follows

    Day 1 Chandigarh – Kasol
    Day 2 Kasol – Sarahan
    Day 3 Sarahan – Chitkul

    Will this be ok or will there be a risk of AMS?

    • Well, you are traveling in opposite directions just to visit Kasol or rather just to spend an evening in Kasol. I am not sure if it is that much worth the pain. Better focus just on Sarahan, Chitkul.

      • Sudarshan on

        We are actually picking up a friend from there, but i get what you are saying about us travelling in the wrong direction. Maybe i can ask him to meet us in Sarahan instead. Another reason was that we wanted to go through Jalori pass also.

        My question is mainly about AMS, is it ok for us to stay at that altitude in Chitkul on the 3rd day itself?

  22. Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all thanks a lot for such a great article. One of the best I have read on net.

    Based on your experience, would you suggest going in the last week (22-25) of July to Kalpa, Sangla and Chitkul ? Or would you suggest any other place in Himachal ?

    • Hmm., please check the weather before going in to Kinnaur in monsoons. It is not wise to be in there with rains as the whole mountains in Kinnaur are very fragile that lies on roads and landslides are common in rains.

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning for 10-13 May.
    We are coming full family.
    9 adults 5 kids
    We are coming by 14+1 seat tempo traveller.
    Please suggest some hotel where we all can stay and enjoy scenic beauty as well.
    We are coming to kinnaur.

  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly, this site is great !! All info here is very helpful.
    We 2 guys will be travelling from June 11-19, below is the possible plan but we planned to visit kasol first from Chandigarh for a night and then head directly to either Shimla or narkanda the next day. The plan is to cover kalpa, Sangla chitkul.

    Day 1 | Chandigarh– kasol
    Day 2 | Whole day in kasol
    Day 3 – Kasol – Shimla / Narkanda
    Day 4 | Sangla – Chitkul / Sangla
    Day 5| Chitkul / Sangla – Kalpa
    Day 6 | Kalpa – Sarahan
    Day 7 | Sarahan – Chail/Shimla
    Day 8 | Chail/Shimla – Chandigarh

    Few questions: is it possible to stay at chitkul ? Or could you suggest a better plan with best places for overnight stay? Since we are only 2 guys, I’m hoping there will be sharing cabs or else public transport if available.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hello Warren,

      The plan looks OK to me. I will suggest to better avoid staying at Chitkul and stay may be at Rakcham. Also, I will suggest better skip Kasol for some other time and stick to kinnaur only to give some breathing space especially when you are traveling on public transport.

      • Thanks for the suggestion 🙂 A few more questions – Is it possible to cover the Kinnaur region only through public transport? I will be needing cabs here n there but mostly through public transport only. I’ve friends staying at kasol and could possibly leave on day 2 itself because instead of 19th, we are leaving on 18th. So 11th-18th.

  25. hi Dheeraj ,
    Need a small info about my journey.
    Here is my plan which wil be started on 24th from Delhi:
    25th – Shimla
    26th – Kullu
    27th & 28th- manali
    29th-kaza (spiti valley)
    My question is about the return trip to Chandigarh. Can you please suggest if there is any way to return from Kaza through local HRTC bus?And the timings of the buses so that it will help to do pre-booking.

    Regards ,
    Sharmi

  26. Sony Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj

    My self Sonu Sharna from Rohtak
    I want to visit kalpa and near places
    I am going there first time so I have some queries
    First about rout
    Second about visited places
    Third about accommodation
    Old guide me
    I want to go 10th June

  27. gagan wadhwa on

    Hi,

    We are two friends going. Want to cover kinnaur chitkul sangla and all from delhi. For two taxi will be expensive. If we cover whole trip by local bus. Any idea what will be the total expense?

    Thanx,
    Gagan

  28. Hello Dheeraj,
    We are planning to go to Kalpa via Shimla from Delhi in the last week of July. Many friends are concerned about monsoon rainfall/landslide during that time . Whats your take on this. Is the route ok, still manageable to go there by tempo traveller

  29. Hello dheeraj ,
    Buddy m going to complete tibbet circuit this june. Need some help.
    17 – will leave from delhi by evening
    18-will reach shimla thn first bus to narkanda nd make halt. Will go to hattu peak. Can i take my personal tent thr nd camp?? Is it safe any restrictions?
    19 morning- will go to peo nd would look for a homestay nd rest
    20-will go to chitkul by bus. Should i camp thr or rather i should return to peo by night??
    21-will go to nako nd explore thr.. camping??
    22-will go to kaza while making a little halt at tabo
    23-will go to chandrtaal lake nd camp thr?? Again will it be safe?
    24- will go to manali nd local sightseeing.. will stay in budgeted hotel
    25- will go to kasol nd trek to kheerganga nd camp thr??
    26- will return to delhi

    Is it good? What would u recomend? Any idea how much it gonna cost?? I have 9 days to travel. Will it be ok??

  30. Nidhi Sharma on

    We are planning to visit sangla by our own quarto car.. What is the best route as we have already travelled till Srahan.and even badhiya at.. Getting bit fussy can we drive on that route fl. Pls tell me the route n road condition we will be going on 5th June 2016. Having kid 3yr asthmatic.. And old people..pls advice if I start from kufri

    • Nidhi, at Jeori you take the turn to Sarahan instead go towards Bhawanagar – Tapri. Then at Karcham take the right to enter Baspa Valley / Sangla Valley from there you can further go to Chitkul. Road conditions starts to go bad and avergae once you cross Bhawanagar.

      • Nidhi Sharma on

        I have visited sarhan last year that was a awesome place for piece n beauty Valley full or roses… Lovely stay at homestay n bhima kali temple.. Now wish to go till wangtu not upto kancham.. Is there any accommodation available there.. As how’s the road from jeori to wangtu.. Wangtu am unable to find any hotel online all are at kancham or kalpa

  31. Deepak Chakravarty on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I want to go to chitkul by my own car , Toyota Etios , this is sedan. Can it be possible to travel to chitkul by Etios. Planing to start the trip by 1st week of july. Please advice

  32. Hi Dheeraj,

    My husband and I are planning to go to Chitkul by road in the 1st week of July. H/ever we are slightly apprehensive considering the onset of monsoons by then.
    So thought of checking with you if we should change our place of visit because this is the only time we can take holidays… Tentative dates of travel- 2nd July to 9th July.

    Would appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks,
    Kulsum

    • Kulsum, first week of July is in general fine to visit Kinnaur Valley and now a days monsoons in general start around late July in fully fury. so, I personally feel it should be OK. You can always check weather sites to get a feel of how much rain it might occur

  33. Hi Dheeraj g,
    I am planing for go to Kinnaur, kalpa, sangla and sumdo also but i have Honda City-I-VTEC, so kindly tell me this car perfect for thsese places or not. Should i go by this car or not??

      • Mahua Bhattachaejee on

        Hi Dheeraj
        we are planning to take our i10 car for Kinnaur, kalpa, sangla. Please advice on the road condition and whether this car is suitable. We are travelling on 2nd week of June.

        • Mahua, apart from that narrow stretch of 25 KMs between Tapri – Urni – Karcham, it all is OK to travel. Drive with care and caution

  34. Koushik Karmakar on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit on 1st June with my family ( wife and 4.5 yr kid ). What will be the package cost for 7 days. I’m coming from Kolkata. Please guide where to start my trip . Any extra days required for this trip? Please guide in detail.
    Thanks & regards
    Koushik

  35. Hi Dheeraj,

    You are doing a wonderful job by helping people ralize their travel dreams. Could you please help me with the below travel itinerary ?

    Travel dates – 11 – 18 june. ( Leave by 10 th night and back by 19 th afternoon )
    Place- Kinnaur
    People travelling :- family of 3 , kid is 15 years old but asthamatic.

    Possible routes :-

    1) delhi – Shimla – narkanda- sangla – chitkul-Reckong Peo -> kalpa- sarahan – chail – delhi
    2) delhi – Shimla – Sarahan – sangla -chitkul- Reckong Peo – kalpa – ? – delhi

    Questions :-

    1) How can we go back to delhi in the second plan ? What it we dont want to go back to Sarahan ?
    2) Will it be advisable to explore Tabo and Kaza in this plan with an asthmatic kid or would that be too much rush ?
    3) Are all these places interconnected via good quality HPTDC buses ? Do you know of any taxi services who could be with us all along or in places where we dont have buses?
    4) Should we expect some cold weather and showers during that time ? Will atke umbrellas and lilght woollens in that case .
    5) How many days you recommend at each place ? 2 in kalps and sangla, one in simla, and the rest ?
    6) Does all the above places have good accommodation for a family ? Am looking for minimum 3 star.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Heloo Ritu,

      You can follow below plan:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Sangla Valley
      Day 3 | Sangla – Chitkul / Sangla
      Day 4 | Chitkul / Sangla – Kalpa
      Day 5 | Kalpa – Sarahan
      Day 6 | Sarahan – Chail/Shimla
      Day 7 | Chail/Shimla – Delhi

      1. I explained the plan above.
      2. No, avoid that and try to follow a relaxed plan like above and spend you extra day whereever you feel like between Sangla,Chitkul and Kalpa. With asthmatic child, better stay at sangla
      3. No, you will need taxi.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
      4. Yes, do take light woolens and unbrellas.
      5. Take it as you like it. I prefer spending more time in Sangla / Chitkul than Kalpa
      3. Yes, they do have. For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley

      • Thank you for the prompt and detailed response. I spoke to a couple of taxi guys in Shimla and they have recommended delhi- shimla-sarahan- sangla route. So in that case, does the below plan look good ?

        10 th night – bus to shimla
        11 th – stay at shimla
        12- leave for sarahan/narkanda , stay overnight at either
        13- sarahan to sangla, see chitkul , sangla kamru fort , Rakcham village . stay at sangla
        14 – same as above. stay at sangla/chitkul
        15 ) Sangla to Kalpa . Overnight at kalpa
        16) kalpa – see Roghi Village . stay at kalpa
        17) kalpa to narkanda/sarahan based on previous decision. overnight stay at either
        18) reach simla by the bus time via chail and take the return bus.

        Sounds good ? What would you change ?

        Thanks again.

  36. BHUPESH KOHLI on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for all your up dation This absolutely a fantastic information available on net regarding this route,i must admire you have lots of in depth knowledge of this route.

    We 2 couples are planning to visit Kalpa on our cars in mid of June with 4 children aging fm. 12 to 19.Could you pl. guide us what safety we should take while driving to Kalpa, although we both are seasoned drivers but need your suggestions on the route.

    Thanks & lovely seeing your updates on this site.

    God Bless you, Regards,

    Bhupesh

    • Hello Bhupesh,

      Thank you for appreciation and warm words. Glad that the site helped you. Well, all I will say is

      1. Leave early, sleep early
      2. Avoid being over confident and make double sure if you can pass the gap available and stay distant from trucks especially uphill.

      Rest you shall be able to manage.

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