Kinnaur Valley Travel Guide | Kalpa, Sangla & Chitkul

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Continuing on towards laying the foundation of comprehensive Travel Guide for Spiti Valley and as discussed in the last article about Hindustan Tibet Highway, first let’s cover the lower Kinnaur Valley in depth before going further towards upper Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley.

An ultimate travel guide of Kinnaur Valley
An ultimate travel guide of Kinnaur Valley

The lower part of Kinnaur Valley is also very much visited by many people during summertime due to ease of accessibility from Shimla/Delhi/Chandigarh and less crowded or offbeat location. By lower Kinnaur, I mean that I will be covering Kalpa, Sangla Valley and Chitkul in this travel guide and maybe upper parts like Nako, Chango, Ropa, Hangrang can be covered in time to come, if required.

Kinnaur Valley Travel Guide

Kinnaur Valley is one of the 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh which is known for its apple 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 on the trip. In winters, the presence of snow makes it just a jaw-dropping experience to be in Kinnaur Valley, where the major attraction 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.

Snow at Chitkul and a wild dog posing for the shot
Snow at Chitkul and a wild dog posing for the shot

Location

Kinnaur Valley is located in the Northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh, about 235 KMs from the state capital, Shimla. The distance of Delhi to Kinnaur Valley is about 570 km considering Reckong Peo. It makes Kinnaur Valley not so far from civilization yet so raw and offbeat.

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).

In general, people face AMS issues if they spend the second night directly at Chitkul. Hence, it is always recommended to spend a night in Sangla or Kalpa before sleeping overnight at Chitkul.

Weather in Kinnaur Valley

The majority of the year Kinnaur weather is mostly cool to cold. Even in the summer months, you can feel the coolness in the breeze especially in the morning and evening. You will find snowfall in Kinnaur in winter months and a few feet of snow being a common phenomenon.

In summer months, the temperature in Kinnaur revolves around 15-25 degrees Celsius. Come July – August, the rain begins to play spoilsport with landslides and road closures getting common.

Kinnaur in December – January – February

When you visit Kinnaur in winter months, you must prepare very well with heavy woolen clothing. Many hotels remain closed in most parts of Kinnaur Valley. The road to Chitkul closes down in January and February. It can open anytime in December.

Roads to Kalpa and Sangla also closes in between intermittently but as soon as bad weather settles, authorities open up the road connectivity to these tourist destinations in Kinnaur Valley.

Kinnaur in March to July

The snow starts to melt in March and the closed roads within Kinnaur Valley, like the road to Chitkul, start to get open to welcome tourists. The heat starts to rise as we approach the summer months after spring in Kinnaur.

There is a heavy tourist rush from April end to June – July period. Once you get into the last week of July, monsoon lashes Northern parts of India. The road journey to Kinnaur becomes problematic.

Kinnaur in August

Monsoon is one of the worst times to visit lower hills in the Himalayas, including Himachal. And then, combining rains with fragile mountains of Kinnaur Valley, it becomes a deadly combination. Hence, I strongly feel that Kinnaur is not the place to be in monsoon. The entire Kinnaur region is very fragile, and road closures are pretty common.

Kinnaur in September to November

Once the rain goes away, the apple harvest season begins in Kinnaur Valley from late August to September. It runs up to the middle of October in the upper parts of Kinnaur Valley. I do feel that it becomes one of the best times to visit Kinnaur because even the roads are dried up and much better in road conditions, including stability. In November, the temperature starts to go toward sub-zero conditions, and water in pipes starts to freeze at night. The winter chill is there to welcome you.

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

What is the best time to visit Kinnaur Valley?

You can visit this beautiful valley throughout the major part of the year, but in winter things get very tough and heavy snowfall makes it inaccessible sometimes too. But, apart from peak winters in Kinnaur Valley, including Kalpa and Sangla Valley, Kinnaur can be visited throughout the 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 to visit Kinnaur Valley 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, please note that 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 a massive mess of trucks traffic too along with rains and landslides.

Travel Tip: Read my detailed article on best time to travel to Kinnaur Valley.

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 an overnight halt at Narkanda or anywhere away from Shimla or Chail. However, if you are visiting Manali, then you can travel to Kinnaur Valley from Manali as well via Jalori Pass or the longer Spiti Valley route.

Delhi to Kinnaur from Shimla side by Road

The route to Kinnaur Valley from Delhi via Shimla runs along the Hindustan Tibet Road or NH-05 (previously called NH-22). You will be traveling on one of the most treacherous roads as soon as you enter Kinnaur Valley. The sense of adventure is pure bliss, and in case you drive yourself, you will enjoy the offroading in some sections of Kinnaur.

The route from Delhi along with the 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)

At Karcham, the road bifurcates towards Sangla Valley and Chitkul as per below distance between these places.

Delhi – Shimla (360 KMs) – Narkanda (420 KMs) – Rampur (488 KMs) – Karcham (566 KMs) – Sangla (582 KMs) – Rakcham (596 KMs) – Chitkul (610 KMs)

You will reach Kalpa or Sangla on this road trip to Kinnaur Valley in a minimum of 2 days from Delhi. Mostly, Narkanda or somewhere near Shimla / Chail – Narkanda is an ideal overnight halt to distribute the journey evenly. If you are starting from Chandigarh, you can consider taking an overnight halt at Sarahan as well. The road to Sarahan bifurcates from Jeori which is 23 km from Rampur. The distance from Jeori to Sarahan is 12 km only.

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

Love food on the Kinnaur road trip?

Also, a pit-stop-must is a makeshift dhabha of sorts right after Jeori – Sarahan diversion where an old lady serves lip-smacking Rajma Chawal. Yes, the hygiene is slightly questionable, but it is a dhabha after-all! The taste is unbeatable. Rs 50 for an unlimited plate of Rajma Chawal – sign me up! Apart from that Annapurna dhabha nearby it also is pretty famous for Rajma Chawal too.

Delhi to Kinnaur from Manali side by Road

You can travel to Kinnaur Valley from Manali well. There are two routes that exist. The shorter route that goes from Jalori Pass – Rampur and the longer route in which you travel from Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass route while making a Spiti Valley trip from Manali side.

The distance from Manali to Kinnaur via Jalori Pass route is 310 km and will take 12-15 hrs. This route will merge at Rampur on Hindustan – Tibet Highway and then follows the route via Shimla to Kinnaur. I recommend staying overnight at Jalori to break the journey evenly. If you travel from the Spiti side, then it is better to explore Spiti Valley and then travel down to Kinnaur.

By Air

The nearest airport to Kinnaur Valley is at Shimla, about 220 km away. If you are traveling from the Manali side, then you can get down at the Bhuntar Airport which is near Manali. Bhuntar is approximately 245 KMS from Reckong Peo, the center of Kinnaur. However, due to their small size, these airports have limited capacity and connectivity.

Chandigarh Airport lies approximately 340 km. Hence, Chandigarh is the best place to start the journey to Kinnaur Valley if you are flying from any other part of India than Delhi or other Northern states.

By Railways

Shimla is the nearest railway station. However, this would also have limited connectivity. My suggestion would be to have your endpoint of the railway journey as Chandigarh, which is well connected throughout.

By Bus or Public Transport

Reckong Peo is well connected with Chandigarh and Shimla by direct buses run by HRTC, the state bus department of Himachal Pradesh. There is an overnight bus from Chandigarh to Reckong Peo, and one bus leaves Shimla around 11 AM. Once you reach Reckong Peo, you can travel to Kalpa, Sangla, and Chitkul by connecting buses within Kinnaur Valley.

Reckong Peo is also connected by a daily morning bus from Kaza in Spiti Valley as well. So, you can travel from Spiti to Kinnaur as well by public transport.

You should look more details in the article on how to visit Kinnaur by public transport.

Kinnaur HRTC Bus Time Table and Fare
Kinnaur HRTC Bus Time Table and Fare

Taxis for Kalpa

You can get private taxis for trips to Kinnaur Valley from Shimla taxi stand. These taxis can also come to Chandigarh or New Delhi for a pickup. I always recommend traveling with local drivers or taxis in remote regions of the Himalayas like Kinnaur and Spiti.

You can always get connected with local taxi drivers in this list of taxi drivers in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley. Hiring a private taxi for a Kinnaur road trip may cost you about Rs 25000 for 7-8 days. In general, these local drivers charge from Rs 3200-3500 per day for taxi charges which includes everything including their own stays and food.

The prices will come down if you’re traveling in a group. You can also book self-drive cars from Delhi or Chandigarh to plan a road trip to Kinnaur as well.

Preferred Vehicles

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones not required. However, quite a few people make a trip to Kinnaur Valley in hatchbacks and sedan cars as well. So, it all depends upon your skills to drive and the road conditions at the time of travel.

You can always refer my list of top 40 things to carry on a self drive trip to Kinnaur.

Suggested Itinerary for Kinnaur Valley

I mostly recommend people to spare at least 7-8 days to plan a relaxing trip to Kinnaur Valley. This much days will help you explore the beautiful places on Hindustan Tibet Road as well as relax in the enchanting and peaceful villages like Kalpa, Sangla, Chitkul, and Sarahan.

If you are not one of those who visit places to tick them off from bucket lists, then you can refer my article on Kinnaur Valley – Most Common Itinerary for a detailed plan. I have highlighted the high-level day by day trip plan from Kinnaur below as well.

  • Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
  • Day 2 | Shimla / Narkanda – Sarahan
  • Day 3 | Sarahan – Tapri – Reckong Peo – Kalpa
  • Day 4 | Rest day at Kalpa
  • Day 5 | Kalpa – Karcham – Sangla / Rakcham (Baspa Valley)
  • Day 6 | Sangla / Rakcham – Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham
  • Day 7 | Chitkul / Sangla / Rakcham – Rampur – Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail
  • Day 8 | Daranghati / Narkanda / Chail – Delhi
Snowfall in Kalpa in April
Snowfall in Kalpa in April

Accommodation Options at Kinnaur Valley

There are many accommodation options available at Reckong Peo, Kalpa, as well as Sangla Valley and Chitkul. Many of them are good enough to cater to the varied needs of budgets among people. There are economic guest houses or homestays, which are cheap enough to keep your money saved. But, 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 economical but may not suit the 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

Where to eat in Kinnaur

Most of the time you will be eating out in Hotels or Camps or Guest Houses or Homestays you will be staying in Kinnaur. However, there are dhabhas or eating joints on the way to Kalpa or Sangla from Shimla, which you can use for in-between meals. Do not forget that famous “Last Indian Dhabha” in Chitkul.

You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂

Places to visit in Kinnaur Valley

Once you enter the gate of Kinnaur Valley, the daunting mountains welcome you, and a kind of adventure begins. The drop around the roads gets higher and higher. The roads start to deteriorate and soon becomes a dirt track. Every tourist attraction places in Kinnaur is much closer to nature than being commercialized towns of lower Himachal.

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

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 km 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.

You can read our detailed travel guide of Sangla Valley.

Beautiful Sangla Valley - Rakcham Village
Beautiful Sangla Valley – Rakcham Village

Chitkul Village

About 28 km 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 the 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 our detailed travel guide of Chitkul Village.

Kamru Fort

About 2-3 km 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 that can be hiked around while you 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 the time to bask in the lap of pristine mother nature.

You can also for an easy 3-4 Hrs hike to the Glacier point if you are interested in some snow play. Batseri village to Sangla Village walk of about 12 km 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 a campfire in the evening 🙂 !!

Hindustan Tibet Road near Reckong Peo Cut-off
Hindustan Tibet Road near Reckong Peo Cut-off

Kalpa

Kalpa is one of the best places to see sunset and sunrise in the Himalayas over the 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 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 fortunate to witness such fantastic weather at such an awesomely beautiful location in Kinnaur Valley.

You can read our detailed travel guide of Kalpa Village.

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 the village from Kalpa. You will almost feel you are in a time machine and somewhere in the past if you spend some time here in this village.

The 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.

Medical Facilities

In case you need any medical assistance in Kinnaur, 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. The next help for anything major will be available in Shimla.

Floating Clouds Kinnaur as seen from Kalpa
Floating Clouds Kinnaur as seen from Kalpa

Phone Signals

Most of the mobile phone service connections work in Reckong Peo, Kalpa, as well as Sangla Valley, with best being Airtel. However, as you go ahead towards upper remote parts of Kinnaur like Nako, Puh, Chitkul, etc. then the best option will be to carry an MTNL/BSNL prepaid/postpaid connection. It has maximum coverage in Himachal Pradesh. Vodafone did have issues with some connectivity at times. Lower Kinnaur Valley does not have any major phone connectivity issues.

Petrol Pumps

About 10 km from Kalpa, you can find the nearest petrol pump at Reckong Peo. There was 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 km from Sangla Valley.

I am not sure if it is still functional though on my recent trip to Spiti Valley in the first week of May 2013, the Powari fuel pump was not functional. There has been one fuel pump which is fairly new that I saw at Tapri, and it is true as of 2020 as well.

The best thing is to top up your petrol or 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 the Shimla side.

ATMs near Kinnaur Valley

There is an ATM as far as I know in Sangla Valley. Otherwise, you will find one for sure at Reckong Peo about 8 km away from Kalpa and 38 km away from Sangla. However, whenever I travel to such remote villages of the Himalayas, you must carry enough cash with you for an emergency without relying on credit or debit cards.

Clouds floating in Kalpa - Kinnaur Valley
Clouds floating in Kalpa – Kinnaur Valley

Conclusion

Kinnaur Valley is one of such secluded and untouched places in Himachal Pradesh where people must go over and enjoy raw nature in its purest form. It is a perfect place for a family vacation with lovely views all around and yes, a part of the adventure too with rough roads. It is one of those places where the journey is itself a destination. You might opt for your honeymoon destination in Himachal as well.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comments on my YouTube videos. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

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 help them travel better.

Finally, in case, If you know your friends or family are planning a road trip to Kinnaur, then do share this article with them to help them make a memorable trip as well.

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968 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow my YouTube Channel or follow me on Instagram to ask your travel questions. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Arijit Chaudhury on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning for a Kinnaur Valley trip in June 2017. Apart from Sarahan, Kalpa, Sangla, Chitkul we would like to cover Manali.

    We want to start from Delhi to Manali and from thereon enter the Kinnaur Valley. Could you please suggest an itinerary for the same.

    We will be reaching Delhi on a Saturday morning. The whole trip time is between 9th June 2017 to 18th June 2017.

    Thanks
    Arijit Chaudhury

    • Hello Arijit,

      You can follow the below plan of 10 days for Manali and Kinnaur Valley

      Day 1 | Reach Manali and rest for the day
      Day 2 | Manali Local sightseeing including Manu Temple, Hadimba Temple, Local Monastery, Shopping at Mall road etc etc
      Day 3 | Manali – Marhi Snow Points towards Rohtang Pass – Solang Valley – Manali
      – You can enjoy the first half of the day at snow point of Manali and if interested may also visit Solang Valley for other adventure activities
      Day 4 | Manali – Naggar Castle – Shoja / Jalori Pass
      Day 5 | Shoja – Jalori Pass – Rampur – Sarahan
      Day 6 | Sarahan – Sangla Valley – Rakcham
      Day 7 | Rakcham – Chitkul/Rakcham
      Day 8 | Chitkul/Rakcham – Kalpa
      Day 9 | Kalpa – Narkanda
      Day 10 | Narkanda – Delhi

  3. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for your detailed & minute guidance and helpful tips. Me & my husband are planning to visit Kinnaur valley & Manali in this January.Below is our plan. Please guide me if this plan is at all feasible during that time or not.
    We will reach shimla on 25/1/16 hopefully by 11 am. Actually we have only 8 days leaves ,so we need to get return to Bangalore on 2nd Feb’17. But we want to cover Shimla, Narkanda, Sangla,Chitkul,Kamru ,Kalpa ,Sarahan then kulu & Manali. We are planning to book a taxi from Simla or to avail HPTDC bus services:

    25/1/17: Shimla (stay)-local sight seeing
    26/1/17 -Shimla- Manali(stay)
    27/1/17-Manali-Naggar -& local sight seeing Manali(stay)
    28/1/17-Manali-solang valley-Kulu(stay)
    29/1/17-Kulu-Sarahan – Sangla Valley-kumru-chitkul(stay)
    30/1/17-chitkul-kalpa-narkanda(stay)
    31/1/17-narkanda-kufri-masobora-shimla
    1/2/17-shimla -chandigarh
    2/2 chandigarh-bangalore

    If this is not feasible,please do give your suggestion

    • Madhu, I will suggest little tweaks to the plan and recommend the below itinerary:

      25/1/17: Shimla (stay)-local sight seeing
      26/1/17 – Shimla – Kalpa (check weather conditions before leaving)
      27/1/17- Kalpa – Rest day at Kalpa
      28/1/17- Kalpa – Sangla (if open), Chitkul will be closed anyhow
      29/1/17- Sangla – Sarahan – Rampur
      30/1/17- Rampur – Manali
      31/1/17- Manali and around
      1/2/17- Manali – chandigarh by night volvo
      2/2 Reach early morning at Chandigarh and back home

      • Thanks a ton Dheeraj!.
        But I want to go to Solang Valley and Rothang also. Will it be possible to cover those places also ? After reading to your other articles and comments I came to know that Spiti is beyond our plan,though we wanted to visit there,but probably it will be too risky for honeymooners like us,so we decided to avoid it .Moreover I want to go to Kulu also, so when should I plan for Kulu on 30th Jan or on 1st Feb?, Please help.

        And one more thing. I am not booking any hotels right now.After reaching there,depending on the weather condition we will book there itself. What is your suggestion regarding that ?
        And do we need to book the taxi by contacting them with the provided list of no.s prior few days or can we book taxi after reaching there also ?
        Please provide your valuable suggestions.

        • Madhu, hotels shall be OK I will say because there wont be much tourist around and you will surely get the bookings. Good that you decided not to try out Spiti and Kinnaur shall be fine. Also, in the days you are in Manali, you can visit both Solang Valley and snow point up to which road is open towards Rohtang Pass. Solang Valley you can cover while coming down from the snow point. Kullu has nothing but a big town and in any case you will be passing through it while traveling from Rampur to Manali. You should do Solang snow point tour on 31st.

          You can have both the options, having taxi on the spot or booking from here too.

  4. Hello Dheeraj,

    We are planning trip on 29th dec 2016 to 1 Jan 2017 from chandigarh to chitkul/Sangla/Kalpa on bikes. We are group of 6 people, 2 on each bike. Please suggest us itinerary and other precautions as well. If you have any contact for home stay’s then please provide.

    Thanks a lot
    Simar

    • Simar, for sure 3-4 days will be hectic and also in case of snow during those days roads might also be closed around Narkanda. 2 persons on bike with slippery road may not do good as well. You can plan to ride to Sarahan/Rampur/Jeori on the first day and then next day reach Sangla. Day 3 starts back and stay at Narkanda and finally return to Chandigarh. Plan for worse as well in cae you are unable to move ahead of Chandigarh.

      • Thank you so much Dheeraj. If chitkul and sangla is not accessible can you please suggest us some other place to visit(not crowded one) as per our vacation is for 4 days.

        Thank you so much.

        • Well, you have Sarahan where you can spend and Sangla should be acccessible in case it has not snowed alot. 4 days, I will say two days will be done in traveling and then you will have one day to Sarahan. So, try to keep Sangla, Sarahan in mind.

  5. Hi Dheeraj,

    Fist of I like to thank you for your effort and helping may tourist like me.

    Now I like to place my query , we are group of 13 people including 2 kids of age 1 is 6 years and 1 is 14 years. 3 old persons in the age of 65 – 75. Plan already done. Hotels, ticket (up & down) everything is done. Our Tour starts from from Howrah on 09/12/2016. Attached is the tour itinerary.

    11/12/2016 -DAY 1 :- KALKA – SHIMLA (STAY)
    12/12/2016 – DAY 2 :- SHIMLA-KUFRI-FAGU-SARAHAN (STAY)
    13/12/2016 – DAY 3 :- SARAHAN-BHIMAKALI TEMPLE-SANGLA (STAY)
    14/12/2016 – DAY 4 :- SANGLA – CHITKUL – KALPA (STAY)
    15/12/2016 – DAY 5 :- KALPA – LOCAL SS – KALPA (STAY)
    16/12/2016 – DAY 6 :- KALPA -RAMPUR-SHOJA (STAY)
    17/12/2016 – DAY 7 :- SHOJA – MANIKARAN – MANALI (STAY)
    18/12/2016 – DAY 8:- MANALI – LOCAL SS – MANALI (STAY)
    19/12/2016 – DAY 9 :- MANALI -SNOW POINT (UPTO POSSIBLE) (STAY)
    20/12/2016 – DAY 10 :- MANALI – KALKA RLY STN – TOWARDS HOWRAH

    Question :
    Indeed we have taken a risk for selecting such a time. Taking everything in mind as mentioned above kindly advice what precautionary measures should we take for a safe and hassle free journey.

    Swagatam

    • Swagatam, Chitkul will be out of reach in case it snows. Many hotels go nonoperational in Kinnaur in winters. Start each day early enough that sun is shining and you have enough daylight to make it to the day. Rest it looks fine and balanced to me.

    • Hi Dheraj,
      Thanks a lot for your early response. Kindly advise us for the following since we have small kids as well as aged persons:-
      1. Medications required for high altitude sickness
      2. Medications required for motion sickness
      3. What type of layering dress will you recommend for all of us since we will be there in Kinnaur mid December
      4. As advised at what time in the morning should we start our journey to make it for the day.
      Thanks
      Swagatam.

      • 1. There is not much of high altitude in Kinnaur. Apart from Chitkul you wont face any issues at all.
        2. You can consult the doctor for it so that he can prescribe based upon medical history.
        3. You should all have at least couple of pairs of inner thermals, then sweatshirt, then light jacket/fleece jacket, something to protect from wind or block wind else one heavy jacket over sweatshirt.
        4. You should not get late more than 8.30 AM in case you are making a trip of more than 140+ KMs in a day.

  6. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are two people will reach at Delhi on 30th November. We are planning to go Shimla, Prashar lake, Kullu, Manali, Rohtang pass, Kalpa, Peo, Sangla & Chitkul. After this we are planning “Auli” also.

    So can you please prepare an itinerary for us ?? We have around 15 days in our hand. And my friend is from German , so any special permission needed in any of these places ?

    Thanks in advance .

    • Jubeesh, in 15 days you are already covering lot of things up there and I am sure you intend to plan to travel slow. These 15 days include trip to Auli as well? No permission needed to visit these places.

  7. Hi Dheeraj,

    Fist of I like to thank you for your effort and helping may tourist like me.

    Now I like to place my query , we are group of 17 people including 2 kid of 3 years age planning to visit Kinnaur Valley from Delhi Month of April likely after 15th April for 6 days.

    Don’t want to visit Shimla as I have visited earlier

    Question :

    1. Can you please tell me is that a good time to visit ?
    2. Can you please suggest me an itinerary for the trip ?
    3. Ca you please suggest some budget hotel with clean accommodation for such a big group we required 5 room?
    4 . Is that fine to travel with kid 3 years old ?
    5. For such a big group we required a TT (Tempo traveler ) is that fine to travel with TT ? or do you suggeat any alternative ?
    6. If TT is fine from where we can book ?

    Sorry for long question list , waiting for your reply eagerly….

    Thanks
    Samiran

  8. Hi Dheeraj,

    Planning to visit kinnaur ( sangla, chitkul, kalpa, sarahan) from 20th Oct to 25oct, max 6 days from delhi by self drive from alto car.

    suggest
    1. is it right time not crowded and doable by small car ALTO, road condition
    2. how is nov 1st week for the same trip

    thanks in adv.

    • Hi Gaurav,

      1. Yes time is fine and there will not be much crowd. Alto should be OK for most of it, drive carefully at some sections which might be tricky.
      2. Better plan 20-25 Oct as it will be less cold and far more chances of seeing Chitkul

      • Also tell me these things.

        1. do we able to see snow/snow fall in this time 20-25oct in near by any place.
        2. which places are better to stay night half, that are budget and easily avail, If u know any contact for home stay in these region do share.
        2. do u help in getting a driver from narkanda/fagu on 2nd day, if u know number of any driver/travel agency do share.

        thanks

      • KIRAN SASI on

        Hi Dheeraj,
        Iam planning a trip to kinnaur vally from delhi by Bullets. In February 3rd week.
        Is it good time or can you recommend a seven days within February and march?.
        And is spity possible on that time?

        • Hello Kiran,

          Well, I have been to Spiti in March so saying possible or not, well yes possible. But, would you like to do it in such a harsh climate and time? Regarding Kinnaur, I will say it will be good time with tons of snow around where you can enjoy. 7 days is a good time and you can refer the itinerary mentioned in the article above for your kinnaur valley trip.

  9. Rakesh Vadla on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Could you kindly tell me, if it is at all possible to visit Kinnaur with 4 Days in hand. I am in Noida. I would like to travel on Friday evening and be back here in Noida on Wednesday Morning.
    Planning to travel on 7th October and return to Noida 12th. Is it the good Time ?
    Will be travelling by Bus.
    If its possible, what is the possible Route, Delhi-Shimla and ?
    What Places can I visit ?
    Thank you in Advance.
    Rakesh Vadla

  10. Nirjhar mukherjee on

    What will be the weather conditions in sangla and kalpa in mid November??will it be possible to do camping in CHITKUL during that time??

    • Camping will not be possible during that time of the year and Chitkul might not be accessible due to snow on road in case it snows heavy by that time. It will be too cold to camp out there. Even in Kalpa and Sangla conditions will be quite cold, almost sub zero at night.

      • Ayan Biswas on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I am planning visit kinnaur and Spiti valley on first week of october 2016.
        I am having lower back problem, will pain get retaliate after travelling with SUV (Innova) for all the places as mentioned below.
        Could you please let me know the road condition as per the route mention.
        Your valuable suggestion will advise me to go ahead with my tour plan, otherwise will cancel it.

        Day 1: Shimla to Sarahan
        Day 2: Sarahan to Sangla
        Day 3: Sangla local sightseeing Rakchham,Chitkul,Kamru Ford
        Day 4: Sangla to Kalpa.Kalpa local sightseeing
        Day 5: Kalpa to Tabo
        Day 6: Tabo to Kaza sightseeing
        Day 7: Kaza local sightseeing or Losar
        Day 8: Kaza to Chandratal – Rohtang pass
        Day 9: Manali
        Day 10: Kullu Manikaran Rewalsar
        Day 11: Rewalsar to Chandigarh

        Thanks,
        Ayan B

  11. Hi Dheeraj,
    In coming mid of October I have booked my trip to Kalpa Kinnaur. I have few quaries.
    1) how will be the temperature of Rakcham/Chitkul during this time?
    2) whether there is any possible chance of snowing during this time Kalpa, Rakcham or in Chitkul?
    3) will it be possible an one day trip from Kalpa to Nako & come back to Kalpa in same day as side seeing?
    My itinerary is,
    Day-1 Chandigarh to Chail
    Day-2 Chail to Sarahan
    Day-3 Sarahan to Rakcham
    Day-4 Rakcham to Chitkul & O/N stay in Rakcham
    Day-5 Rakcham to Kalpa
    Day-6 Kalpa
    Day-7 Kalpa to Narkanda
    Day-8 Narkanda to Shimla
    Day-9 Shimla to Kalka

    • Hi Jayanta,

      1. Sangla/Chitkul at nights will be close to 0-5 deg C.
      2. Yes, possible in Chitkul but could only be flurries.
      3. Yeah, possible will take about 8 Hrs.

  12. Dipankar Biswas on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planing to visit Kinnaur valley in the month of March,2017 (20th to 30th). Is it good time to visit Kinnaur Valley and what should be the plan. please advice.

    Regards

    Dipankar Biswas

  13. Hi Dheeraj,

    Is it possible to reach nako from chitkul in one day by own vechile.

    Thanks,
    Vineet

  14. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am travelling with my cousins on a trip from New Delhi to Shimla>>Sarahan>>Kalpa.Its a 5 day trip.We would be travelling next week.
    Is it a good time to visit Sarahan and kalpa.What are the road conditions taking monsoon into consideration. Also which mobile network coverage is better in Sarahan and Kalpa as most of us are having Vodafone operator.
    Awaiting your response.

    Thanks,
    Akshi

    • Akshita, the roads conditions will eba bit bad especially if it rains in these days with slush around. If it is like a dry spell for few days, it should be OK. Kalpa and Sarahan both have network connectivity.

      • Arvind Katariya on

        Hi
        I am trying to get in touch (since yesterday) with a friend who was supposed to be in Sarahan today, but his mobile is coming as switched off (dont know if its network issue).
        He is travelling alone and hence cant call anyone with him. Is there anyway to figure out how to reach him in Sarahan?

  15. 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

  16. 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!!!

    • Well, nothing major has reported but landslides are common in these days. So, drive with care and caution. 5 days from Shimla for Chitkul is a good time.

  17. 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.

    • Sorry Tanay, but why to leave the cab. He can drop you there next day else you will get plenty of taxis in Shimla for a drop to Kalka

      • 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

    • Jitin, we do not organize any tour and travel programs. The above article will help you in detail on how to go about planning a trip to Kinnaur Valley

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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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

      • Ankur sethi on

        Sir den please plan our tour accordingly as we having i20 and having 7 days…

        • 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

      • Sir and i20 will be ok on dis route ???and sir we wre travelling from chandigarh…

        • 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.

  27. 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…

  28. 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 [email protected] 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

      • thank you very much for your reply. Appreciate the suggestions.

        regards

        Shailaja

      • Hi, Just one more question, I see that you have omitted, Narkanda altogether and have suggested Shimla – Saharan. Please could you let me know the reason for this.

        thanks so much,

        Regards,

        Shailaja

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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

  40. 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

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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??

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. 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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