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Amongst dizzy Himalayan heights, Kinnaur, once a forbidden land, is now a treasure’s trove for the daring and adventurers seekers. From the righteous greens of Sangla valley with well developed orchards of apricots and apples, to the magnificent panorama of Chitkul, India’s last village on Indo-Tibet border, and from the stunning sight of Mt. Kinner Kailash, abode of Lord Shiva from Kalpa, to the pristine lake at Nako village, mother nature’s portrait is an ever-changing one in Kinnaur.
Lying on the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, ringed by the majestic Himalayan, Zanskar, and Dhauladhar ranges, Kinnaur with its well conserved culture and timeless rituals is a land of plenty. The gushing rivers – Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries – have over the centuries chiselled beautiful valleys across this picturesque land and nurtured one of the most hardy of mountain societies in the world.
Kinnauris, as the natives are called, are proud yet friendly who can be easily spotted out by their striking cylindrical cap that features a half band of green, maroon or purple felt. Where lower Kinnaur has large influences of Hinduism with traces of Buddhism in their belief systems, in the higher reaches it is Buddhism that dominates. Kinnaur in a land where the two religions meet at the peaks and coexist in harmony.
English and Hindi is understood and spoken by people associated with tourism. However, the locals communicate in Kinnauri, the local dialect, in their everyday dealings.
Owing to their high elevation, most parts of Kinnaur usually have a chill in the air round the year. The natives are mostly dressed in woollen clothes. In summers light woollens would be sufficient to live the days but heavy woollens and jackets need to carried along as it can get cold and chilly as the evening draws in. For winters, heavy woollens are essential.
How to Reach
|Nearest Airport (267 Km) is Shimla
|Nearest Railhead (244 Km) is Shimla
|The route is on NH – 22 (The Hindustan Tibet Road). Buses and Taxis are available at Shimla and Rampur. One can also reach Kalpa via Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzam Pass – Kaza (400 Km). Regular bus services are available linking it to the other towns like Manali, Delhi, and Haridwar.
|How To Get Around:
|Local buses operate regularly. Taxis are also available
|Distance from Reckong Peo (Km)
Sangla is situated on the right bank of Baspa river 18 Km from Karcham and 38 km from Reckongpeo.
Overlooking Sangla village stands the towering hill fort of Kamru.
Last inhabited village on the Indo-Tibet border, Chitkul in Baspa valley is 25 km from Sangla.
From Wangtu on the Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti highway, a road veers off to Kafnu.
A diverging road from the Shimla-Kinnaur-Kaza highway that branches out from Powari, after a 7 km uphill drive gets to Reckongpeo, the district headquarters of Kinnaur.
Going past Reckong Peo as you ascend higher (13 km) into the hillside, you reach Kalpa, a beautiful hill station with some breathtaking views of snow peaks to soak in.
Nako is one of Kinnaur’s most picturesque hamlets.
Spread out from the scenic Nako village to Chango village, Hangrang valley has some well-known trekking routes of Kinnaur.
Growing one of the finest quality of apples in the state, Chango, at an altitude of 3,058 meters in Hangrang valley is largely a Buddhist village. There is also a monastery in the village.
Famous for its local brews and edible pine nuts (Chilgoza) Ribba is 16 km from Powari.
One of Kinnaur’s largest settlements, Pooh is 58 km from Powari along the highway to Spiti.
Lippa is a small village that can be easily reached from Kalpa or Reckong Peo.