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: Kinnaur Valley – Most Common Itinerary

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

951 Comments

  1. Sir,
    We are planning a trip to kinnaur in the March first week, plan being shimla – saharan- sangla…. Wanted to know wether chitkul will be accessible /safe to travel at this of time of the year? Also wanted to know whether we can go to kalpa aswell?

      • Sir, Thank you so much for the reply. I only have 4 days in hand to travel the kinnaur the plan being: We are planning to hire a car for the entire trip….
        Day 1 : Shimla – Sarahan (visit sarahan) – reach sangla and stay there for night.
        Day 2: Visit sangla…. Then leave for kalpa, visit it and night stay.
        Day 3 : See kalpa…. Then come back to sarahan and stay.
        Day 4: Sarahan to shimla… Train at night.

        Sir is this plan feasible? Also how much time is needed to travel from shimla to sangla with stop and visit at sarahan? Plz help sir.

        • I will suggest following:

          Day 1 : Shimla – Kalpa
          Day 2: Half day at Kalpa and move to Sangla for overnight stay
          Day 3 : Half a day at Sangla and around and move to Sarahan for overnight stay
          Day 4: Sarahan to shimla… Train at night.

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

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

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

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

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

        • A K Basak on

          Was visiting this stretch Shimla – Kalpa – Sangla – Chitkul, just 10 days ago. Some roads would have closed by now, specially the one to Chitkul from Sangla, due to snow.

          Of what I could swallow during this whirlwind tour of mine:

          1. Time on the road is just too much! Covering 250 kms on bad hill roads (on stretches) is virtually equal to doing 500 kms on plains. Time to reach Kalpa from Shimla was a cool upward of 11 hours. Too tiresome!

          2. Important observation this – Kalpa has barely anything much of interest to offer. One can easily skip Kalpa. Better to spend a night or two at Sangla and a night at Chitkul.

  2. Sumit Ghosh on

    Sir,
    We are 6 friends and we make a plan to shiml, sarahan,Kalpa,kaza and Manali..on may 1st week is it right or good time to visit Spiti valley….pls suggest me…

    • Sumit, you can go all the way up to Kaza but then you have to return via same route to Shimla. Manali – Kaza route will not be open by that time of the year.

  3. Mousumi Das on

    May I get the mobile number of Mr jai bharadwaj. We are going to kinnaur lahul spiti at October end.

      • Sorry…I have not mentioned the details. Actually We 7 people are going to Kinnaur, lahul and Spiti at October end. We need a 7 seater Innova with good driver. I got the name of Jai Bharadwaj from one of the comments below. Then I talked to Mr Khemraj Verma and he told that the said innova has bucket seats and only six people can sit.

        I would request you if you can suggest a good driver with 7 seater innova.

        One more question, Will it be a problem if we book hotel on spot?

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

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

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

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

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

  4. Hello Dheeraj,

    Me and my freinds are planning to travel and explore Kinnaur district on month of January to enjoy the snowfall and the view.
    Can you please help me in planning the trip like how many days and which places to visit at that time, how to travel(mainly by bus)* & which is best place to take the hotel.

    *we will be starting our journey from Chandigarh

    • Pratyush, in January you can visit Sangla and Kalpa in case the snow has been cleared of snow. When it snows too much, then the road gets closed at times. Sometimes the road closes at Narkanda itself. Best will be to take a hotel at Kalpa and Sangla. You will need at least 5-6 days to easily explore Kinnaur Valley.

  5. Gouri Shanker on

    travelled to spiti Last month. and It was memorable trip. Iternary is : Simla-Sangla-Chitkul-Kalpa-Nako-Mudvalley- Dhankar Gompa-Kaza- hikkim-Ki kibber-Lossar-Kunzumpass- chandratal. Awesome Journey with Beautiful Views. Driver name is Jai Bharadwaj- Brotherinlaw of Khemraj {Top Drivers in DoW} . Vehile is Innova new Model- Cresta. Very Experienced Driver. Indeed careful. Overall Nice Trip !!!

    • Hello Dear, We are 4 friends from Mumbai all CA in practice and around 62/63 yrs. We all have been trekking though mild, started with first visit in 1985 to Valley of flowers and shri Hemkund sab. Pllanning from 1st November to 6th November to Kalpa via Fagu, Sarhan etc.
      Shall very much appreciate more information from all friends.
      Please also suggest a good Driver with Innova from Chandigarh Airport to Airport.
      Is it possible to reach Fagu in 5 Hrs. from Chandigarh airport?
      How much time it would take to reach Sarhan from Fagu?
      On return planning from Kalpa to Narkanda, How much time

      it would take ?
      All best to all of you.
      I am so pleased, you all young guys really enjoy nature.
      In my city, Mumbai very rare to find people like all of you.

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

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

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

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

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

        5 Hrs should be fine for Fagu from Chandigarh. Sarahan will be another 3.5-4 Hrs from Fagu, Kalpa to NArkanda is about 6 hrs.

  6. Hemant Walia on

    Hi dheeraj,

    we are planning a road trip frm 29th sept-02 oct for four days to kinnaur valley.
    wil it be good time to visit there?
    will road condition s be okay?

        • Rajan, 3 days from where? It is too difficult to make it from Shimla as well being two days required to travel from Shimla to Kinnaur and back and then just one day at either of Kalpa or Sangla.

      • also can u suggets how to travel ahead of shimla till tapri. volvo from delhi is only till simla. how can i travel ahead till tapri as i have a trek starting from tapri

      • Vipin dagar on

        Hey Dheeraj planning a trip for Shimla Kalpa Sangla Chitkul in mid may is there any snow?? How’s the weather at that time and recommend clothes? . Should I stay in Chitkul for more than a day??

        Please reply

        • Hey Vipin,

          Well, by mid-May most of the snow in Kinnaur melts away. However, around Chitkul you may find some snow. Weather will be pleasant with light woolens or thermals may be able to do the job. Nights and morning will be cool and the day will be warm. I will recommend staying at least 2 nights in Sangla Valley / Chitkul region.

  7. Priya Singhal on

    We 5 people are planning for chitlul, kalpa ans sangla valley. Can you suggest some homestay over there ?

  8. Indrani sarkar on

    Please suggest whether kinnaur /spiti valley can be visited during 1st week of november.if jouney is made throughcar for 10-12 days.if one plansvto start from shimla and plan to return through manali to delhi.

  9. Kaustav Sarkar on

    Is Dec last week a good time to travel to Kinnaur Dist. (Kalpa, Sangla & Citkul) with family. Generally Snow season is in Jan , keeping this into consideration would like to seek your advice.

    • Kaustav, it gets quite cold in Kinnaur Valley and if you are OK with cold conditions you can travel to Kalpa and Sangla. Chitkul more or less will be inaccessible due to snow unless it is a very dry year. You can make Kalpa as the base because most hotels are open in Kalpa while Sangla has less options of stay in winters. Please keep in mind that in case it snows, the road might get closed for a day or two, so keep that risk in mind and plan accordingly.

  10. Hi Dheeraj!

    I am planning to visit Chitkul and Kalpa in second week of July i.e. 8th – 14th July. Is it right time to visit there ? Because weather forecasts are showing rainfall during this interval, I am worried about the road conditions and primarily landslides. Our driver is perfect and can drive in any kind of situation. Please give some suggestions. Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Hi Harinder,

      The second week of July is still fine to travel to Kinnaur Valley but monsoon is here. Just keep an eye on weather updates at Kalpa and Chitkul, it says heavy rain then avoid else you should be fine to travel to Kinnaur with dry weather.

  11. hi everybody,
    I completed the kinnaur kalpa tour few days back in the month of June. The road conditions are more or less good. in this trip you will enjoy the spectacular views of Himalayan Range throughout the journey. We didnot book any Hotel prior… but stayed wherever our heart felt like to stay.
    Mr. Khem Raj Verma (09816374964/ 08219200108) and his Etios car was our companion. He was a good driver as well as a good travel guide also. He took us to some offbit place namely Bahadarpur. It is a place where one can have serenity of mind. It is also a heaven for the bird watchers. Different species of Himalayan birds are found there.
    However, as a child of 09 months was accompanying us, we restrained ourselves to go to lahul spiti. Can anybody suggest whether we can take the child to Lahul Spiti in the age of 02 years??
    Verma Ji’s brother Ram Krishna Verma (Mob No. 09736051710/ 09857003270) is also a very well-behaved good driver as well, for travelling around Himachal Pradesh. it is requested to Mr. Dheeraj, kindly add them to the driver’s list…
    Thanks…

  12. Jaspreet Singh on

    Just completed trip on Saturday, 10th June, awesome road till Kalpa except few patches. Covered Ludhiana-nalagarh- Rampur, sangla, Chitkul, peo, Pooh, Kalpa Shimla Chandigarh back to Ludhiana with kids. Awesome wather at that time….

      • Absolutely right Jaspreet..The road condition is really good except few places. we have completed our journey on 16.06.17 from Kalka to Kalka via Shimla , Sarhan, sangla, chitkul, kalpa, Bahadar Pur.Most probably we crossed each other at road.Got the weather almost clear. Thanks Dhiraj as we got a lot of information from your sight before the trip. We did not booked any hotel only booked one Etios car for four persons and our driver Mr Khemraj Verma was a nice person who easily manage the things in favour of us.He is really not only a good person cum driver but also a good guide and last place where we stayed one day i.e Bahadarpur, a uncommon tourist place fully covered with jungle and have one cottage as well as guest house of forest department and P.W.D. The said Bahadarpur is also the village of our driver cum guide Mr Khemraj Verma (at lower part of the Hill).if any one interested can contact Khemraj Verma ( M No. 9816374964 & his brother Ram Krishna Verma (M No. 9736051710)…

  13. Thanku dheeraj for all our information.i am planning a trip to kinnaur valley in last week of June.is it good time to visit the place?
    Secondly I have Toyota Innova to the trip.is it an apt one?

    • Innova will do fine in Kinnaur Valley and well yeah, end June is good time to travel. Sometimes there are pre-monsoon showers in end June, just check the weather updates and avoid the trip in case it says/warns heavy rains.

      • Hi guys,

        I am also planning in last week of June with my kids in EcoSport, but the weather seems to be no-good. From the 20th June onwards, weather.com is showing T-Storms and Scattered Thunderstorms. https://weather.com/en-IN/weather/tenday/l/INHP0259:1:IN

        What do you suggest Dheeraj? Should I go there with kids from 22-29 June and should I book hotels (good resorts) in advance?
        @BHUMESH, lets stay connected.

        – Hemant

        • Hemant, June end is too far and weather sites are not that accurate in long-term forecasts. So, better check them near your dates and in case still heavy rains are predicted then avoid. You should check before 3-5 days for weather forecasts.

  14. S. Sengupta on

    We are planning to go to kalpa from Chandigarh on 25th of September 2017. On our way we shall stop at sarahan and sangla , shall spend two nights at kalpa and sangla. We are persons of age around 75 years and shall travel by car. We would like to have your comments about any health problems at kalpa (9500 ft). Our health is average with normal blood with medication.

    • Sir please carry your medicines. I believe as you are doing it at ease, it should be OK. IN case you feel something in Sangla then skip stay at Kalpa though it should be fine because tree line is still there and you can very quickly descend as well to lower altitude. Consult the doctor as well about medication to carry with you too as in remote places, medical facilities are not that great in shape.

  15. Sachin Batra on

    Hi dheeraj ,
    We are planning for chitkul in mid of June .. we are starting from Karnal .. a little bit confuse about where to take break ..I was planning first stay at narkanda for one day .. then rackcham for 2 days .. then kalpa..Is it good ?? Or please give your suggestion .. and suggest a good taxi driver .. we are one couple .. and suggest good hotels too

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

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

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

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

  16. Can you please suggest itinerary if i club keylong, chandratal lake as well. Also ki.
    And also, can i travel these places if I am completely dependent on local transportation. I am planning in july’s last weekend.

  17. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning for Chitkul from Gurgaon in July first week. trip will be for 5-6 day n I will be going in Swift dzire , self drive. is this vehicle good to go. I will be travelling with siblings . How are the roads these days, any idea ? It would be helpful if you can give information about weather and places to cover in planned duration too.

  18. Amit Chopra on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning for Chitkul from Chandigarh in June second week. Thanks that I got most of the information on DoW. I will be going in either Grand I10 or I20 , self drive. Are these vehicles good to go. I will be travelling with my wife and two young daughters (13 and 8). How are the roads these days, any idea ?

    Regards
    Amit

    • Amit with careful and cautious driving you will be able to make a trip to Chitkul by hatch or sedans. Roads are frankly bad once you enter Kinnaur but nothing not manageable. 1000s of people do it every year but be very careful and cautious. No need to attempt something outrageous seeing that locals are doing. Be in your limits and know the limits of your vehicle.

  19. helo dheeraj can i rent a house in chitkul where they allow me to keep my dog its a saint bernard cant leav him alone at home and want to travel with him if theres any such option like that do let me know thanks in adavance

    REgards
    Saurabh

    • Hey Saurabh,

      There will not be any home rental available in Chitkul, so you will have to take the dog with you but I am not sure if they will allow you to take him inside the room or not. You can check with by calling few hotels in case there is any issue or not.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  20. Hi Dheeraj

    I must say that you have been doing an AMAZING job through these posts and to be honest with you, I have been reading it for a while now. My Laddakh road trip in 2014 was memorable and your blogs helped a lot in planning so a BIG THANK YOU! I always look up to your blog specially for off beat locations and I know that you arrange for a Bike tour etc for Laddakh.

    I SO want to visit Chitkul however I have nobody to travel with. I have my own car ( Chevrolet Optra) and I have driven good distances including Delhi to Laddakh, Dras, kargil and back via Manali so I am pretty good with my driving skills.

    Are you/your team planning any tour for Chitkul Or can you connect me with anyone who is in similar situation and looking for another soul? I will really appreciate your help!

    Many Thanks and keep doing this amazing job. We all look up to you for these helpful details!

    Regards
    Anurag
    9999359694

    • Hey Anurag,

      All is good but I DO NOT arrange any bike tours brother or provide any tour / travel services. There are people who are using a same and similar name of our brand and eluding people for their commercial benefits. Anyways, that is another thorn of successful brand image – Copy cats 🙂

      Thank you for your warm words anyhow.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Oh! That’s insane! I will report them when I come across another such instance of them misusing your band!

        Anyway, You know you have been doing wonderful so continue that way. The original one outshines those fakes 🙂

        Let’s hope we can catch up sometime!

        Cheers!
        Anurag Sharma

  21. Good article..We,three women are planning to go in the last week of May.Is it a good time?Can you suggest the name of a good taxi driver who can understand English ?

    • Yes, end of May is a good time to travel to Kinnaur valley to enjoy some cool weather. You may need to get in touch with few drivers and then pick, not really know anyone specific with English speaking skills. You can get connected directly to some drivers in Himachal or Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of the pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3000-3500 per day depending on the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price. If you are 2-3 in the group, you can opt for sedan taxi cars as well which charges around Rs 2200 per day.

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

    • Hi Bindhu

      I am looking for travel buddies for Chitkul. I can start on 4th June and have my own vehicle. I stay in New Delhi and can speak English 😛

      Please let me know if we can club for this travel.

      Regards
      Anurag
      9999359694

  22. hi ..do we need to book hotels/house stays in advance if we plan to go to Kalpa on about 10 – 15 of june ?
    ours is low budget trip, but we need to make sure that we dont run out of accommodation.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for a very informative article ! We are planning to travel to Kinnaur in June 2nd week and will be following the itinerary provided by you.
        Can you please advice if Volswagen Polo is ok for this trip ? We will be 5 adults. We will go upto Sangla and probably take public transportation to Chitkul because the roads are very scary. But can we make it from Delhi- Sangla safely ? 🙂
        Thanks in advance !

        • Well, yes, with careful driving you can make it to Kinnaur Valley. However, the roads start to get bad from Bhawanagar after which you will need to drive with caution and care. People may need to get out to unload the car at some sections so that it gets a bit more clearance to travel through some sections. Having said that, 10000s of people take hatches/sedans every year to these places.

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a family , planning a 10 days trip to Kinnaur- Spiti valley towards mid June , i.e starting 16th June.Is it a good time for the trip?Are there chances of landslides during this time? Is there any possibility to find apples on trees in Kinnaur? Awaiting your reply.Thanks!

  24. Hi Mr. Dheeraj, thanks for your informative article. We are 2 adults and one 5yrs old girl. We r planning to visit kinnaur valley in last week of August. Is this a good time to visit the valley? Is there any risk of landslide at that time? Could u please let us know about the shortest route from Delhi to reach there by road?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Rupa,

      It would be much better to check the weather during that time and plan the trip. Post monsoon is a good time to travel anyways. If the rains have resided the region, it should be OK to travel but if there are still rain predictions better plan the trip in September. You can refer the article above for routes and itinerary for Kinnaur valley.

  25. Hi Dheeraj,
    Planning to visit Kinnaur / Spiti in 3rd week of May 2017 from Chandigarh . Already booked hotels in Rampur , Chitkul & Kalpa till 20th May. My concern is, we are a couple travelling in self driven Hyundai i-20 OR Honda Amaze. Can we go upto Kaza in own car ( considering road condition ) or otherwise can I get a Taxi service from Kalpa / Reckong Peo for Kaza and back while leaving my car at Kalpa ? Any contact details and expected charges ?
    Thanks and Regards.

    • Pradeep you can surely get the taxis but if you OK driving on such roads, the cars should do fine. I have made many trips in my dzire. However, please keep in mind that car does take a beating for sure.

      • Thanks Dheeraj for prompt response. I have fair amount of experience driving in hills ( being a Himachali ) though never been to Spiti side. Can we comfortably reach from Kalpa to Kaza within day light in our own car OR do you suggest a halt at Nako / Tabo ?

        • I will highly recommend to sleep at Tabo first before sleeping at Kaza as it will give you less 2 Hrs of drive and also much importantly provide you with acclimatization.

  26. v2kvamshi on

    Last week we have been to Shimla and Kinnaur valley trip. For commute we called one of the drivers from DOW drivers list – Saleem. He was so nice that even if he was not able to make it up he told us and arranged another driver : “Khem Raj verma”
    Khem Raj verma was very polite and punctual driver. he is very skilled driver based out of shimla. He was familiar with all the routes. He was a good guide and photographer too. he made our trip more memborable and wonderful.
    He picked us from Chandigardh and dropped us to chandigardh and charged reasonably.

    Could you please add him to the drivers lits of DOW site as well.

    His Name: Khem raj Verma
    His mobile number:09816374964/09857320041

      • v2kvamshi on

        Hi Dheeraj, Thanks a lot for Adding Khem Raj ji in drivers list. He charged 2200/- per day. He picked us from Chandigarh Airport and Dropped us as well.

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to visit Kinner camp as per the below schedule next weeks long weekend:

    1. Leave delhi at 9pm in innova, overnight journey to shimla.
    2. Try to reach shimla by 7 am in morning next day and then continue the journey and reach Kinner camps by 4PM
    3. Is the above plan of reaching kinner camps in one go feasible(innova will be driven by taxi driver)

  28. Avinash Mahato on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning a trip (2 persons) shimla to Kalpa-Chitkul. Can you please suggest me detailed about bike trip and which places i take in rented .
    Thank you.

    • Avinash, there is no restriction to take bike in Kinnaur Valley. So, you can visit Kinnaur on rented bike without any issues. Below is a plan for Kinnaur Valley

      Day 1 | Chandigarh – Sarahan
      Day 2 | Sarahan – Sangla Valley
      Day 3 | Sangla – Chitkul / Sangla
      Day 4 | Chitkul / Sangla – Kalpa
      Day 5 | Kalpa – Kotgarh/Narkanda
      Day 6 | Kotgarh/Narkanda – Chandigarh

  29. I am planning to go 1st sep kalpa sangla chitkul , is it right time to visit ? Can I see apple ? Will you tell me about monsoon ? I want to avoid monsoon .

  30. Abhishek Gupta on

    Wow.. For such an informative article. Thank you so much. Can you help me with below questions.
    1. Is it safe and practical to take 4 year old kid to Kinnaur considering the high altitude.
    2. Although quite clear from your post that minimum 6 days itinerary is required from Delhi but is there a possibility to enjoy part of this place with 4 days itinerary from Delhi.
    3. What is the best alternate for us in Himachal or Uttarakhand for 4 days in April. I don’t want to go to popular spots like Shimla Manali etc. If you can suggest some offbeat unexplored place that would make my holiday.

    Many thanks
    Abhi

    • Hey Abhi,

      1. Kinnaur is pretty much fine unless you sleep in Chitkul which can be avoided easily by staying in Sangla. You can do night halts at Narkanda, Sarahan, Sangla, Kalpa
      2. In just 4 days it will be very hectic I will say and with kid for sure. You may try Delhi – Sarahan, Sarahan – Sangla, Sangla – Narkanda, Narkanda – Delhi but will be hectic.
      3. Go for Chopta/Deoriatal – Tunganath. Or go with Jalori / Tirthan valley

  31. Nikhil Wadhavkar on

    Hellow Mr. Dheeraj Sharmaji,

    I and my wife are planning to visit spiti and kinnaur valley in 2nd fortnight of June, 2017 – for 15 days from 17/06/17 to 2/7/17.
    I am 59 yrs old and my wife is 56.
    I would like to visit pin valley national park and other sights if any as I love animals and birding.
    I have some queries.
    1. Is June ok to visit. I can change the dates and have no problem. So advise me if to visit in June or should I change the month considering I wish to be there at the most appropriate period.
    2. Is it possible to visit great himalayan park and stay at gushaini.
    3. Please suggest places I must visit and activities I must do.
    4. Kindly suggest me the itinerary with night halt and duration.
    5. Also guide me the transportation I should use.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
    With regards,
    Nikhil Wadhavkar

    • Hello Sir,

      1. Yes, second half of June should be good time to visit Spiti valley.
      2. On the way back you can stay at Tirthan valley for few days if you want after night at Manali.
      3. Refer below
      4. Refer below
      5. Refer below

      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 add more days in between as rest as you have more days at hand, flow will help you.

      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.

      I will request that you please refer the following articles for planning a trip to Spiti Valley: Spiti Valley via Manali | How to Plan Your Journey AND Spiti Valley via Kinnaur | How to Plan Your Journey

      They have all the details. Feel free to let me know in case of any doubts

  32. bhavik thakker on

    We are 6 adults and 5 kids all under 8 years we would like to visit, kalpa and sangla for 6 Nights, kindly send me your mobile number and mail me the travelling distance with how much hours does it take, we will be comming gujarat so kindly guide us how to reach there, from Gujarat we can come to either shimla, Delhi, chandigarh

  33. Hi Dheeraj, I have already planned trip from march 12 to 17 to Sarahan, sangla, chitkul, kalpa. Let us how would be the weather, can we visit chitkul, suggest any tips. Pls advise any good scenic points

      • Thanks Dheeraj for your inputs. My iternary is as below:
        Mar 11 – Chandigarh to Shimla
        Mar 12 – Shimla to Sarahan
        Mar 13 – Sarahan to Sangla
        Mar 14 – Sangla to Chitkul & back to Sangla
        Mar 15 – Sangla to Kalpa
        Mar 16 – Visit Roghi village
        Mar 17 – Kalpa to Chandigarh

        During the 2 days spent in Sangla & Kalpa can you suggest some good 1 day trekking options which we can start in the morning and come back in evening

        • hi Mukesh,

          Your itinerary looks fine to me. Well, in kalpa you can walk to the Roghi village while in Sangla there are many walk in the woods available. Even in Chitkul, go for a hike to anywhere.

  34. Soikat Pal on

    Hi Dheeraj, I am planning to visit on 9-10-11-12-13 March.
    I’ll be coming to Sangla,Chitkul and Kalpa.
    Will Chitkul be accessible in march?
    Thanks in advance.

  35. Soikat Pal on

    Hi Dheeraj, I am planning to visit on 9-10-11-12-13 March.
    I’ll be coming to Sangla,Chitkul and Kalpa.
    Will Chitkul be accessible in march?
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

  36. Aditya Gokula on

    Hi guys,
    I am i barot right now planning to go kinnaur…i would love to visit kalpa and chitkul..
    Is it a good time to be there…hv no idea about the road conditions…if any road blocks
    Please provide your insights

    Thanks

    • Chitkul is closed and you can only visit Kalpa and Sangla. The road is open right now, please check weather updates before venturing out so that you do not get stuck in case of heavy snowfall.

  37. Hi
    We are planning to visit kinnaur from panchkula in March during holi we are 10 people with 2 kids of 1 + and 3+ age and 2 old one of 65 and 60.
    How can we plan it with them in 6 days.
    By tourist car we want our total journey from panchkula to panchkula.
    Details of accommodation too required
    Approx budget for our tour require to know.
    Please help us.it very urgent to our plan successfull

    • Priyanka, best will be try to fit in this plan: Kinnaur Valley – Most Common Itinerary but since you starting from Panchkula, I will suggest following for 6-7 days:

      Day 1 | Reach Narkanda
      Day 2 | Reach Sarahan
      Day 3,4 | Reach Sangla and rest there for a day or two
      Day 5 | Go over to Kalpa
      Day 6 | Start back and stay at Rampur
      Day 7 | Reach home

      It will be less hectic and in case you want to do in 6 days then it is better to skip Kalpa and focus on Sangla only.

  38. Hi
    We are planning for Sangla valley , chitkul after 18 May for 6 nights 7 days .Is this the right period to travel from mumbai.
    What should be the itinery ?
    Are the PWD resthouses and forest rest houses are safe cause are only one couple and our kid ?

  39. Hi, Dheeraj,

    Kudos for the article! I’ve been longing to visit this place and this feb, im planning to make a trip. There are few questions-
    1. Road conditions in Feb. How much is the possibility of us facing a landslide? What about snow?
    2. How much is the average cab fare from Shimla to Sarahan & Kinnaur?
    3. Will there be too much snow at this time so we carry clothes accordingly?

    Also comment on my rough itinerary –
    Shimla to Sarahan – halt.
    Next day, move to Sangla and stay there. visit Chitkul and return same day to Sangla.
    Next day Sangla to Kalpa and other areas close by.
    Next day return to Shimla

    • Hi Vishal,

      1. Roads are blocked especially for Chitkul and in case of heavy snowfall during those days of travel, even Sangla may be closed. However, you can make the trip if you are OK with such surprises.
      2. Taxis charge around 3400-3500 per day
      3. Yes, there will be plenty of snow in Feb in Kinnaur Valley and Narkanda too

      Chitkul will be closed and as said Sangla could be closed too. So, keep plan felxible and with readiness to surprises.

    • Yes Yudhvir, you can drive i10 on the roads of Kinnaur Valley but in slush stretched it will need some skill and caution to maneuver . So drive with care in such roads. Also, roads are bad so car will surely take some beating.

  40. Debabrata Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj!
    I am planning a family trip (4 persons) to Kinnaur Valley. I would like to cover Shimla-Saharan-Sangla-Kalpa-Spiti Valley in about 10 days. Can you please suggest me a detailed itinerary for the entire trip? Thank you in advance.

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