Kinnaur Valley is growing its popularity year by year among the travelers seeking offbeat and secluded places in Himachal Pradesh. Every year I see more and more people looking forward to traveling to Kinnaur Valley, especially Chitkul and Sangla Valley region. The other one being Kalpa, which is mainly used as a transit point for a road trip to Spiti Valley.
The prime reason for visiting Chitkul is that it is always fascinating to visit the last inhabited village in India before Tibet :). However, it’s not just Chitkul village that Kinnaur Valley has to offer a traveler. Kinnaur offers some more magical and enchanting places which are worth the visit any time of the year. To be very frank, there is not a single argument about the mesmerizing beauty this offbeat destination in Himachal has to offer us.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Planning a trip from Delhi to Kinnaur
In the past, I have already written a detailed travel guide of Kinnaur Valley. It covers all the aspects of how to travel to Kinnaur Valley, what do expect and where to stay. In this article today, I will share with you the most popular Kinnaur Valley itinerary or a day by day travel plan that I suggest to many travelers every year.
The travel plan will cover the lower part of Kinnaur Valley limited to places like Sarahan, Kalpa, Sangla, and Chitkul. Before we go into the meat of the article, let me quote the background of Kinnaur Valley from my previous article.
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A little background on Kinnaur
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 roads to Sangla Valley was also got popularly featured by the name Ledge in History 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 are 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.
Kinnaur Valley Itinerary – Most Recommended Day by Day Plan
Given below is the day by day itinerary covering the majority of the places in the lower Kinnaur Valley in detail. It does not cover places of upper Kinnaur like Ribba, Nako, Ropa, Hangrang as some of those are recommended to visit on your Spiti Valley road trip.
This plan covers all the places of lower Kinnaur including Kalpa, Sangla, Chitkul, and Sarahan. Also, it gives an option to travel from Shimla – Narkanda route and on the return journey to Delhi from Kinnaur, you can take the Narkanda – Chail route.
Hence, this Kinnaur Valley plan offers a good balance of comfort and ease of driving on the rough roads of Himachal Pradesh. Hence, this itinerary is also suitable for families having senior folks as well as kids. I am sure it will help you make your Kinnaur Valley trip a memorable one too.
Delhi to Kinnaur Road Trip in 7-8 Days
Let us look at this Kinnaur Valley road trip plan in 7-8 days in detail.
Feel free to share this travel itinerary with your friends and families whom you know are planning a trip to this place called Dev Bhoomi of Himachal – Kinnaur Valley.
Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
- Shimla sightseeing includes Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple
- Narkanda is about 60 KMs from Shimla takes about 2 Hrs
- About 8 Hrs drive to Shimla
- Overnight at Shimla or Narkanda, whichever suits your timings
Day 2 | Shimla / Narkanda – Sarahan
- Relax at Sarahan and visit Bhimakali Temple, for which the place is famous for
- You can plan for lunch at Rampur
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of a beautiful drive to the entrance of Kinnaur Valley
- Overnight at Sarahan
Day 3 | Sarahan – Tapri – Reckong Peo – Kalpa
- After breakfast leave for Kalpa
- You can plan for the lunch at Tapri dhabhas
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of beautiful drive through Kinnaur Valley
- Overnight at Kalpa
Day 4 | Rest day at Kalpa
- Rest day at Kalpa
- You can also visit the Chandika Devi temple at Kothi Village about 3 KMs from Reckong Peo
- A walk or hike to the Roghi village from Kalpa
- Visit the suicide point or straight drop point and get clicked from an angle that works 😉
- Enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset on Kinner Kailash range from Kalpa
- Overnight at Kalpa
Day 5 | Kalpa – Karcham – Sangla / Rakcham (Baspa Valley)
- Leave for Sangla Valley / Baspa Valley after breakfast
- You can visit Kamru Fort, there is trout hatchery region across the river in Sangla
- Ample of walks around in the woods
- About 3 Hrs of drive in the day
- Overnight at Sangla or Rakcham
Day 6 | Sangla / Rakcham – Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham
- Today you can visit Chitkul, the last inhabited village in India before Tibet
- Enjoy the day in Chitkul and have plenty of fun alongside a river or spend some time in seclusion on a river shore
- Ample of walks around in the woods
- About 2 Hrs of drive in the day
- Overnight at Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham
Day 7 | Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham – Rampur – Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail
- Start your journey back for home but if you have time spend a day camping at Daranghati
- If Daranghati does not interest you or you want a different route going back home, try the route to Chail
- You can plan for food at Narkanda, Negi Dhabha
- About 6-9 Hrs of drive in the day depending on where you end up staying
- Overnight at Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail
Day 8 | Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail – Delhi
- Roam around in Chail and leave for Delhi by afternoon
- About 8 Hrs drive to Delhi
- Overnight at Delhi / sweet home
Day 9 | Buffer Day
This will act as a buffer day to be kept in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more 🙂
Can I make a trip to Kinnaur Valley in 5 days?
Well, yes, you can make a trip to Kinnaur in 5 days from Delhi. But, needless to say, that it will be a hectic trip. You can start on Day 1 from Delhi and make a halt at Narkanda. The next day reaches Sangla Valley and stay at Rakcham. Day 3, you can visit Chitkul and then move to Kalpa. Finally, on Day 4, you can start the journey back home after enjoying the sunrise at Kalpa and halt for the night at Sarahan. The last day will be a 14 hr drive back from Sarahan to Delhi. Here is the quick breakup:
- Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda
- Day 2 | Narkanda – Sangla/Rakcham
- Day 3 | Sangla/Rakcham – Chitkul – Kalpa
- Day 4 | Kalpa – Sarahan/Narkanda
- Day 5 | Sarahan/Narkanda – Delhi
What is the best time to plan a road trip to Kinnaur?
Kinnaur valley temperature remains pleasant through most of the year except winters. In winters, from November to February period, it is time for snowfall or snow in Kinnaur, and hence, Kinnaur temperature plummets to sub-zero. You will need to go prepared for such winter temperatures.
However, for the rest of the year, you will find favorable road conditions and temperatures in Kinnaur. Still, you can check my detailed article on the best time to visit Kinnaur.
Where can I get taxis for Kinnaur Valley trip?
Taxis to Kinnaur trip are available from Shimla for traveling to any destination in Himachal Pradesh. You can always get connected with local taxi drivers in this list of Kinnaur and Spiti taxi drivers. The costing may be anywhere around INR 20,000 depending on the number of days of the trip (as of 2019). In general, these local drivers charge from Rs 3000-3500 per day.
Petrol Pumps in Kinnaur Valley
Mostly, there will not be an issue for petrol or fuel availability in Kinnaur Valley. However, I highly recommend that you top up at Narkanda, Rampur last petrol pump and ensure you top up at Reckong Peo. This situation is especially true when you are traveling in the winters to Kinnaur Valley.
Hence, don’t worry much about fuel availability but there isn’t any harm in keeping this list of places where you can find petrol or fuel availability in the Kinnaur road trip.
- Narkanda Do Top Up Here
- Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on the right side is pretty reliable
- Powari – Mostly Closed
- Reckong Peo
Do I need any permits for Kinnaur Valley?
Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the inner line permits or ILP. Domestic (Indian) tourists do not require any permits. If you are Indian, then carry a valid photo ID proof of your nationality to be on the safe side. You can get all the details for these permits and its process in my article on Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley Inner Line Permits.
I am hopeful that the above itinerary will help you plan a memorable trip to Kinnaur Valley or at least act as a starting point for your upcoming trip to Kinnaur Valley.
Please feel free to post any thoughts or questions or doubts you may have in the comment section of this article. We can discuss or help planning your upcoming trip to Kinnaur Valley to be a memorable one 🙂
If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Kinnaur Valley, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Ladakh trip.