Kinnaur Sightseeing – Temples & Monastries


Kinnaur Sightseeing – Temples & Monastries

Chandika Temple Kothi 
Durga Chandika – Kothi, Kinnaur
A handsome temple dedicated to goddess Chandika, more especially designated as Shuwang Chandika has spread the fame of village Kothi in greater part of the district.The local people hold the goddess in great reverence and consider her to be one of the most powerful goddess. For want of social contact by the local people with their more advanced and brahmin ridden brethren they have evolved their own peculiar procedure of ritual and worship to this presiding deity. There is an image of gold, seated in an ark. It is danced up and down by four persons at the time of worship. 

Her legend goes that she was the daughter of the demon devta Banaasur who presided over the Kinnaur. He had 18 sons and daughters. Chandika was the eldest among all. She presided over Sairag the heart of Kinnaur. But establishing her hold on the area was not so easy. The thakur of Chini ruled Sairag with a aid of a powerful demon. To defeat this enemy, Chandika took the aid of a cunning female relative called Byche. Byche duped the demon into placing his long hair between the grinding stones of a water mill. Then Chandika sprang on the helpless giant and severed his head with her sword. But a new head immediately replaced the old. Repeated swishes of her sword only brought forth more grinning faces. Frustrated and tiring, Chandika was soon in danger of drowning in the sea of blood created by her actions. Forsaking her pride, she appeared to her brothers for assistance. Chagaon Maheshwar responded and told her to kill the life sustaining beetle, hovering over the demon’s head. Chandika maintains her chief abode at Kothi in the middle of Sairag.
Mathi Temple at Chhitkul
Mathi Temple at Chhitkul, Kinnaur
Mathi is the local goddess of the people of chhitkul having three temples the main one said to have been constructed about five hundred years ago by a resident of Garhwal. The square ark of the goddess is made of walnut wood and is covered with clothes and surmounted by a tuft of yak tail. Two poles called bayanga are inserted into it by means of which it is carried. Her legend goes that she started from Brindavan and passing through Mathura and Badri Nath reached Tibet. Afterward she came to Garhwal, and via Sirmour reached Sarhan in Bushahr and ultimately reached the Barua Khad. Beyond Barua Khad she found the territory divided into seven parts. The deity of Shaung village was Narenas, her nephew. She appointed him to guard the territory.Then she proceeded to Chasu village. There too she appointed the Narenas of Chasu, her nephew as a guard. Then she visited the Kamru fort where her husband Badri Nath, was a guard of the throne of Bushahr. She further went to Sangla where her another nephew, Barang Nag, was responsible for safeguarding the Rupin Ghati. Thereafter she proceeded to Batseri village, where Badri Nath of Batseri, her husband was responsible for guarding a place named Dhumthan. Thence onward she arrived at Rakchham where Shanshares, yet another nephew was appointed as a guard of Dhumthan. Finally she arrived at Chhitkul and settled there permanently assuming the overall responsibility of safeguarding the seven divisions. After her arrival, people had plenty of food, animals had sufficient grass and the village began to proper. She had also a pujares. In the morning the pujares bring water from the nearby spring and worship goddess by burning incense, while musical instruments are played by Domangs.
Maheshwar Temple at Sungra
Maheshwar Temple at Sungra, Kinnaur
The portals of Maheshwar temple of Sungra have superb wood panels on either side. deeply cut images of prominent Hindu deities are a treat for the art historian. On the eastern wall are panels depicting the Vishnu Avatars and the symbol of the Hindu zodiac. The friezes on the eaves are beautiful and the buildings arround the temple courtyard are similarly embellished . A small stone shrine of eighth century stands a short distance from the temple doorway, evidence of the site’s antiquity. The Sungra Maheshwar was once said to have been attacked by an enemy of superhuman strength, often linked to the Pandava hero, Bhima. Bhima hurled a huge boulder at the temple from the mountain tops across the Satluj. The Maheshwar deflected the missile to one side. It now lies close to the road, a short way from the temple and still shelters the alpine flowers found only in the high mountains.
Chango Temples at Chango
Chango Temple at Chango, Kinnaur
Chango has three temples. In lower Chango, the red walls of Rinchen Zangpo temple stand out atop a little promontory  but contain little of note. Nearby, the village temple, in more regular use as a place of worship, has a large prayer wheel, clay idols and contemporary wall paintings. A large image of Avalokiteshwara, crudely carved in stone, lies on the path between these two shrines. It was found in some out of the way and the monks decided to place it in a temple but the combined strength of many men was insufficient to lift the stone. Then the present location was though. The temple in upper Chango is the best kept but of relatively recent vintage. Close by, a new prayer hall, library and guest rooms are nearing completion. Across the Chango stream, perched above yellow, alkaline cliffs, is an older collection of religious buildings.
Rarang Monastery at Rarang
Rarang Monastery at Rarang, Kinnaur
Just outside Rarang, on the Thopan side is the newly built Monastery of Tashi Choeling. This new monastery has come in the wake of post-1960 Tibetan influences from the Drugpa sect. Close to the monastery are older dwellings and temples, merging into the rugged surface of a rocky mountain side. These older units are traced to Nyingmapa adherents.

Durga Temple at Ropa
There is a Durga temple at Ropa also known as the Chandika temple. Chandika had apportioned to herself this semi-arid tract when she divided Kinnaur amongst her brothers and sisters. Her temple at Ropa, a new structure with a reinforced cement concrete frame, is an architectural malapropism.

Charang Temple
Just beyond Charang is a temple of the eleventh century known as Rangrik Tungma complex. The temple takes its name from the goddess Rangrik Tungma and her small metal image, astride a horse is the oldest at the temple. In all likelihood Rangrik Tungma must have been a pre-Buddhist deity, absorbed into the pantheon of the later religion. Two other bronze statues appear to be of considerable value; a Maitreya seated with legs pendant, in bhadrasana and a Buddha in bhumisparsha mudra. The walls of the main hall are linked with clay idols, in the same style as the mandala in the dukhang at Tabo. The wall paintings below are old although the wheel of life outside the door has been redone lately. There is also an interesting hoard of ivory and bonehandled knives and daggers at the temple. Many centuries ago, it is said a robber gang from across the Tibetan border raided the temple. The clay images of protective deities at the entrance set up a terrific noise, resembling the thundering hooves of galloping horses. The terrific robbers droped their weapons and took off, running up valley to vanish in the crevasses of the huge glaciers streaming down from the high peaks above.
Brelengi Gompa at Brelengi near Peo
  Near Reckong Peo in Brelengi there is a Buddhist Monastery also known as the Brelengi gompa.This is an impressive modern Buddhist edifice. The monastery of Mahabodhi society was constructed specially for the Dalai Lama to perform the Kalachakra ceremony in 1992. Next to the monastery is a 10 meter statue of the standing Buddha, which is visible from a considerable distance.

TripAdvisor reviews – Himachal Pradesh

Hotel Apple Pie : Our Hospitality

As compare to the other hotels in Kalpa, Hotel Apple Pie is the only one who has the newly constructed luxury rooms to suite all budgets. It has been catering to the needs of business, leisure, family and individual travelers.

If you are looking for an economical hotel in kalpa but clean and comfortable accommodation while on a personal or a pleasure trip or wanting to put up your officers/staff on official work in Kalpa hotel, then Hotel Apple Pie is the place for you. We also offer long duration accommodation to corporate companies at very special rates. Besides offering spacious and luxurious accommodation at reasonable room tariff in the most prestigious and prime location of Kalpa area, we provide, to the best of our efforts, a very personalized service.

Our simplicity and friendly attitude gives you all the more reasons to stay with us. You will never at any time feel staying in an over bearing, clinical strange environment. It is a family friendly, children friendly & pet friendly place. We have a reputation of providing a safe environment to families and female travelers.

Guests are most welcome to talk to us and discuss about various places in and around Kalpa. Any kind of suggestions or help they need from us regarding Shopping, Health check ups, etc, we are always there.

Hotel Apple Pie - Kalpa

Hotel Apple Pie – Kalpa

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 15 July 2014

Went to Rakcham on Jun’2014 with a hope of getting a room in Rupin river view hotel (without any booking). Mr. Naresh was not available and to my surprise the hospitality in his absence was absolutely disgusting. It was very disheartening to see the behavior of the staff as if they don’t like our presence.
Anyways we came to Hotel Apple Pie and Mr. Aman (owner) warmly welcomed us. He gave us the front room in the 1st floor. The mountain view from the room was absolute pleasure. The food was awesome and service was very prompt (though a little spicy for my daughter). But must say my daughter liked “Honey chilly potato” the most. Mr. Aman is a very enthusiastic and loves to guide travelers.
Initially planned for 1 night but due to excellent hospitality, room and location we extended for 1 more night. Hotel was very neat and clean, hot geyser available, extra blanket, pillow provided to us. Room was quite big and sufficient charging points available (mobile, camera, handycam). Highly recommended for stay in Rakcham. Thanks Mr. Aman for making my stay a beautiful experience.

Room Tip: 1st floor mountain side room

See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family


Hotel Apple Pie - Sangla

Hotel Apple Pie – Sangla


5 of 5 stars Reviewed 27 May 2014

During my May 2014 trip, I first stayed in Hotel Apple Pie in Rakchham (managed by Aman Ahuja). He only suggested me to stay in his hotel in kalpa by the same name and managed by his brother (Mukesh Sharma). Hotel Apple Pie, Kalpa is just opposite to HP Tourism rest house. The cook is from Pauri garwhal and has spent years in Hotel Samrat in Delhi. Excellent Egg Curry and other dishes. Food is good. There is NO room service. You will have to come down to the dining area which is just approx 15 metres. Mukesh bhai is very polite and cordial. Rooms are neat and clean (with TV and geyser). I would highly recommend this place to anyone travelling to Kalpa.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 103. Excellent view. Infact all rooms will have a good view.



3 of 5 stars Reviewed 22 June 2013

We reached Kalpa and were tired of driving around in the narrow lanes, when we saw the board of Hotel Apple Pie and went in to see it. I was traveling with my family and mother.
On the top floor, all the rooms have good views and we took the one near the stairs, the corner one. All the rooms had excellent view of Kinner Kailash and that makes this hotel, a good pick. After we settled down in our hotel, two separate families also reached there and took the rest of the top floor rooms. The only difference being, we reached their ad hoc and got the room in half the tariff.
Apart from that, the service and food were also at par with the kind of hotel this is. Food wasn’t excellent but not bad. Service was average.
The nearby store used to stock everything and for the duration we stayed there, we used to buy many things from that store, including water bottles. We stayed for 4 days.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family



5 of 5 stars Reviewed 20 May 2013

awesome place to stay in small hamlet kalpa….there is no way that you can complain about your stay…everything was so perfact in its place…i went in may,2013 with my son.we stayed in 3rd floor with excellent view of kinner kailash mountain.all the rooms have same view as a matter of fact.
awesome food with touch of home….all made very fresh….excellent cook.
on the top of it,mr aman ahujaa as a solo person in charge was added advantage….
we stayed two nights but it was far too less….u need atleast 4 nights to be fully satisfied….
kalpa is very quie place and persons who likes pollution free atmosphere and quite place will only like it…strongly recommend people to stay at apple pie…no better place than this….

Room Tip: room no 301,302 and 303 are the best…
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 18 September 2012

The serene beauty of nature…was xperienced by me nd my family at Kalpa ….though the roads that lead to Kalpa will give u a cricky xperience…bt the nature’s beauty will b smooth like a cake,,,,and to add to its flavour Hotel Apple Pie works as a cherry on top…
Apple pie serves it best regarding d comforts,infrastructure of each room wd perfection in sanitation…and good fooding…The best thing tat m sure u ll love about the hotel is its big windows tat evry mornin gives u a superb view of the snow covered kinnaur kailash mountain view,,,,awessuuummm view….n chilly climate….ll surely mesmerise u to the utmost…
Not to miss a d person in charge n ofcourse now a freind of mine Aman Ahuja his etequettes nd hospitality and guidance will surely help u to plan ur trip,,,
In all nyc trip…..

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family


“Great place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 October 2014

Great place to stay…view from the room was awesome…the managers and staffs were very friendly…great value for money. I would suggest people to stay here. The upper floor rooms are better, but believe others are good also.

  • Stayed September 2014, travelled with family


Rakcham-A paradise on earth

While traveling from Sangla to Chitkul you will sure come across this breathtaking valley on the banks of River Baspa comfortably hidden away from the modern world . Nestled between mighty snow covered peaks and a lush green landscape,Rakcham   is heaven on earth.

a mesmerising view of rakcham from hotel apple pie

a mesmerising view of rakcham from hotel apple pie


 Rakcham is at an altitude of 2900 meters approx 10,000 ft above sea level. It is a relatively unknown place, located midway between Sangla and Chitkul – the last Indian village before the Tibet Border. The beauty of this small village with a population of 800 is heavenly – please check the gallery pages to get some understanding.

The people of  Rakcham are mostly nomadic and known as Kinnaurs. The men normally tend to the herd of cows and sheep while the women do the farming as also house work. The women known as Kinnauri’s are slim, tall with very sharp features. The people of Rakcham migrate every six months during winter to lower levels and again return during April to sow seeds and tend to crops.

snow cla mountains cover the village view from hotel apple pie

snow cla mountains cover the village view from hotel apple pie


At first glance Rakcham will seem to be a place out from the past – no newspapers, no post office, no internet, no police station, no wine shop, no market – just a couple of shop selling very basic necessities. The place however is blessed with crops, abundant water, and natural beauty. The place is absolutely free of any form of crime.

Winter sets around mid-November and snowfall is about 2-5 feet across the valley. A few villagers , normally who do not possess any herds stay in the valley under extreme hardship.

There are two temples in the village of Rakcham, Kali and Shiva as also a Buddhist shrine. The Kali temple was renovated after a devastating fire in the village few years back which had destroyed the original temple. Throughout Kinnaur you will find a typical blend of Hindu and Buddhist ideology and as such the temples also depict dragons and many fusion characters.

apple pie hotel in rakcham

apple pie hotel in rakcham


Altitude : varies from 3200 meters to 5486 meters.
Annual Snowfall : mean annual rainfall is 1130 mm.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 463.9 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 15°C.
Area : 3,411 hectares ( 34.11 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town is Kalpa.
Approaches : Kinnaur to Kalpa to inside sanctuary.
FestivalsFulaich during first week September

Rakcham was first notified as a sanctuary in 1962 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. This sanctuary is located at high altitude and is a good habitat for the endangered Musk deer. Govind Pashu Vihar sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh falls adjacent to its southern boundary, and little beyond the eastern boundary of the sanctuary lies the Tibetan Plateau of China.

Flora: Forest types include lower western Himalayan temperate forest, upper western Himalayan temperate forest, dry broad leaved coniferous, dry temperate coniferous and dry alpine scrub.

Fauna ( Mammals ): Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Musk deer, Goral, Leopard and blue Sheep

Fauna ( Fish )
Brown Trout.

a view of rakcham village in winters

a view of rakcham village in winters

Hotels in Kinnaur – Season’s delight

A mountainous area, ranging in altitude from 2,320 to 6,816 meters, Kinnaur is one of the smallest districts in India by population. It is famous for the Kinner Kailash, a mountain sacred to Hindus, close to the Tibetan border.Most of the hotels in Kinnaur are closed in winters due to heavy snowfall.The period of snowfall is from december to february.

view from one of the hotels in kinnaur during winters

view from one of the hotels in kinnaur, during winters


Most of Kinnaur enjoys a temperate climate due to its high elevation, with long winters from October to May, and short summers from June to September. The lower parts of the Sutlej Valley and the Baspa Valley receive monsoon rains. The upper areas of the valleys fall mainly in the rain-shadow area. These areas are considered to be arid regions, similar to the climate of Tibet.The hotels in kinnaur remain closed from december to february following the lack of water and irregular electric supply.Kinnaur has three main torist attractions namely Kalpa,Sangla valley and Nako.All these destinations are located at great heights so they recieve a snowfall of even more than 80 ft throughout the season.That is the reason of the 8 month short season of the hotels in Kinnaur.

another view of one of the hotels in kinnaur,kalpa

another view of one of the hotels in kinnaur,kalpa


Due to the Geographical conditions Kinnaur has long winter from October to May (the snowy season) and Summer from June to September. From April to May is Spring and September to October is Autumn.The best hotels in kinnaur can be located in the Kalpa region . Only the Baspa valley, lower region of the Satluj valley and the area south of the Great Himalaya receives monsoon rains, while in the upper areas monsoon showers progressively decreases.Almost all the hotels in kinnaur are now closed due to heavy snowfalland shall reopen in mid march.


The Beautiful Sangla Valley

Sangla Valley or the Baspa Valley starts at Karcham and ends at Chitkul. Sangla is the major town in the valley with having petrol pump, Bank ATMs, Post Office, Restaurants, Bar, mid range hotels and shops. The Sangla valley is surrounded by forested slopes and offers views of the high mountains. Its location in the greater Himalayan Range gives it a milder climate than the plains. Until 1989 outsiders could not enter the sangla valley without a special permit from the Government of India, due to its strategic position on the Indo-Tibet/China border. The Baspa River flows in the Sangla Valley which is rich in apple orchards, apricot, Wall-nut, Cedar trees, and glacial streams with trout. The main villages in the Sangla valley villages include Chitkul, Rakcham, Batseri, Themgarang, Kamru, and Sapni. The nearby Baspa hydel project has been completed in 2009. Besides the natural beauty of Great Himalaya Kamru Fort, Mata Devi Temple & Bearing Nag Temples are the main attractions of the Valley.


A glimpse of Sangla valley from Hotel Apple Pie Rakcham

A glimpse of Sangla valley from Hotel Apple Pie Rakcham


There are several hotels around the town to stay at Sangla Valley. But, if you really wish to enjoy the beauty and charm of Sangla Valley, its better to stay into the wild, as there are several tent accommodation offered by many agencies in the heart of the valley. But, these tented accommodation generally cost much more than the hotel.The best place where you can enjoy the nature as well as catch a view of the whole Sangla valley is Hotel Apple Pie  located in Rakcham village 9 Kms ahead of the main sangla town.


Hotel Apple Pie Rakcham in Sangla Valley

Hotel Apple Pie Rakcham in Sangla Valley



The beautiful Kinnaur


the beautiful kinnaur

The beautiful kinnaur is a mountanious district in himachal pradesh.As it is  always said that mountains have music for those who listen,the beautiful kinner kailash ranges of Kinnaur district always act as an immortal source of beauty for the travellers.

Hotel Apple Pie which is located facing the mighty Kinner Kailash range in Kalpa, is one of the best hotels located in the region as rated by the travellers.The views that it offers can kindle the flame of admiration in any of the persons, even the one who is not a frequent traveller to himalayas. Check out a snap for the view that Hotel Apple Pie Kalpa offers to its guests.Hotel apple pie is located in the beautiful kinnaur.

hotel en route 017

the beautiful kinnaur

Among all the other Hotels in Kalpa, Hotel Apple Pie has an edge over them in comparison to hygiene,food or sleep quality.IT is among one of the budget hotels that proves far ahead of its tag as a budget hotel.It is located in the natures paradise where one can just spend days sitting in front of the  beautiful snow clad ranges.the beautiful kinnaur attracts a lot of travellers from all over the world.

For more gallery and packages of both our hotels, i.e  Hotel Apple Pie Kalpa and Hotel Apple Pie Rakcham you can log on to and contact us any time.No one can help you explore the beautiful kinnaur better than us.

Kalpa , Rakcham Tour packages

Kalpa , Rakcham Tour packages


Day 0- Pick up from Chandigarh and transfer to Rakchham ( Sangla Valley).
Day 1
Arrival in Rakchham.After a small nap time for activities like river crossing, walks through the woods and local sight seeing of the Rakcham Village.After having the lunch in the hotel the students leave for a short activity session near the Baspa river.A walk for 15 minutes takes them to the basin of river Baspa where they can have an activity of river crossing and rapelling. A short trek from rakcham to Batseri can also be organised.

Day 2
After breakfast the students leave for the last motorable village of India before Tibet, Chitkul.Located at an altitude of 3600 mts the village offers various scenic beauties where the students can climb up to the glacier or the top of the mountain fron various trails. They can also have a walk to Nagasthi the first base camp of Indian army located 3 kms from the village.The famous Mata devi temple is also a must watch.Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3
After breakfast departure for Kalpa. Sight seeing of the famous sangla village and Kamru fort will be done enroute.Kalpa offers a mesmerising view of the mighty Kinner Kailash range covered with huge glaciers. Evening free for leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 4
After breakfast students leave to have a sightseeing of the first village of the ancient and famous Silk Route- Roghi.A village build in ancient style is rich in heritage and preserves the culture of Kinnaur. Other activities include visit to the Vishnu Narayan temple and the Buddhist Gompa.The sight seeing of Pangi village shall be done post lunch. Recently the famous bollywood director Imtiaz Ali also shot his movie Highway in Kalpa.
Day 5
Departure for Chandigarh after early breakfast.

A mountainous area, ranging in altitude from 2,320 to 6,816 meters, Kinnaur is one of the smallest districts in India by population. It is famous for the Kinner Kailash, a mountain sacred to Hindus, close to the Tibetan border.
Most of Kinnaur enjoys a temperate climate due to its high elevation, with long winters from October to May, and short summers from June to September. The lower parts of the Sutlej Valley and the Baspa Valley receive monsoon rains. The upper areas of the valleys fall mainly in the rain-shadow area. These areas are considered to be arid regions, similar to the climate of Tibet.
Best Time to Visit
Kinnaur is a beautiful district to visit. Great natural scenes, rivers, valleys, high mountains, lakes and green pastures creates a mesmerizing scenes for tourists. Best time to visit the district is from April to October.
Adventure Tourism
Kinnaur has tremendous scope of adventure tourism. There are many trekking routes in the district. Ski slopes are available at Kalpa and rock climbing can also be started in this district. Walking has been a means of recreation and physical fitness. Trekking is essentially walking. In ancient times people walked through the dense., untouched forests and they walked across unknown passes and mountains in search of grazing grounds and game. Numerous passes connect the two valleys across the range. These passes have legends and even today they are mysterious, challenging and revealing to the world. The valleys have some of the most interesting meadows, view points, lakes and lush green pastures to add to its beauty and mystery. Chir, deodar, blue pine, rhododendrons and junipers covers its slopes up to 11,500 fts. numerous tiny colourful birds dwell in the forest. 

group pix 1

Mesmerising Kinnaur

Kinnaur , a place well known for its natural beauty and the export quality Apples, is located 200  kms uphill from the british capital of the royal state- Himachal Pradesh.Several tourists perch every year on this route to enjoy the majestic beauty of the mighty and snowclad Kinner Kailash and the mesmerising Sangla valley.


Hotel Apple Pie, a brandname that is serving the valuable customers from the past five years, opened a new property in Rakcham( sangla valley) last year keeping in mind its customer’s needs and basic requirements. Hotel Apple Pie located in Rakcham also got very good and flowing response from the travellers admiring nature.


Beautiful Kinnaur Kailash

The Kinnaur Kailash (locally known as Kinner Kailash) is a mountain in the Kinnaur district of the Indian state Himachal Pradesh. The Kinnaur Kailash has a height of 6500 meters and is considered as sacred by both Hindu and Buddhist Kinnauris. This mountain is sometimes confused with the Mount Kailash in Tibet. The Kinnaur Kailash Range borders the district of Kinnaur

Shivling view pic by hotel apple pie kalpa

Shivling view pic by hotel apple pie kalpa

in the south and is dominated by the Kinnaur Kailash (elevation- 6349m) and Jorkanden (elevation- 6473m) peaks. The pass accessible on the trek is the Charang La at an altitude of 5300m. It is considered as the toughest trekk in Himachal Pradesh