Fairs and Festivals – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh , India
Fairs and Festivals – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh , India
Kinnaur is located in the North-Eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. Kinnaur shares its Eastern boundary with Tibet. The Zanskar mountains form the international frontier betweenKinnaur and Tibet. Kinnaur is a tribal area of Himachal Pradesh in true style. The breathtaking Sangla valley offers the visitors the breathtaking view of captivating lush green orchards in the lap of majestic mountains covered with pure and dazzling white snow. The district has a number of valleys varying in altitude from 1000 metres to 4000 metres. The main of them are – The Satluj valley, The Hangrang or Spiti valley, The Ropa or Shiasu valley, The Baspa or Sangla valley and the Tidong valley. Among these, theSatluj valley is the largest river valley of the district and traverses for about 140 km. in the region.
The gushing rivers of Kinnaur abound in Trout, the angler’s prize catch, their waters have over the centuries chiseled beautiful gorges across this picturesque land and nurtured one of the most unique societies on there banks. In the lush land live the descendants of the Kinners, the demi gods of the Hindu pantheon, whose deeds have been immortalized in epics and the poems of ancient Sanskrit poets. It is no wonder that a local tradition maintains that Kinnaur with all its beauty fell from the clouds as a gift from the gods.
Tourism in Kinnaur offers a completely different kind of experience in true tribal sense.Kinnaur has some of the most beautiful valleys on earth full of deep gorges, rivers and breathtaking landscapes. It is like a fairy land. Tourism in Kinnaur offers numerousfamous places i.e. Sangla, Rakchham, Kalpa, Kothi, Nako, Recong Peo, Chitkul, Chango, Morang, Lippa, Nichar, Karchham etc. Many of these places are natural paradises. TheSangla Valley is a breathtakingly beautiful valley.
As in a typical religious place in Himachal, a number of fairs and festivals are celebrated in Kinnaur every year i.e. Lavi fair, Phul Yatra fair, Sazo festival, Phagul or Shuskal festival, Beash, Dakhraini festival, Phulech festival, Lossar festival and Tribal festival. There are a number of beautiful temples in Kinnaur i.e. Chandika temple, Chango temple, Durga temple, Charang temple and Mathi temple.
There is a beautiful Nako lake situated in the Nako village. The location of the village is striking. Tourism in Kinnaur offers a number of wildlife sanctuaries to explore i.e. Lippa Asrang sanctuary, Rakchham Chitkul sanctuary, Rupi Bhaba sanctuary. These wildlife sactuaries are heavens for any wild life lover. Kinnaur is easily accessible from Shimla via Rampur. The road from Rampur to Kinnaur is a thrilling experience.
The supreme natural beauty full of deep gorges, rivers and beautiful landscapes is the prime feature of tourism in Kinnaur which sets it apart from other tourist places of Himachal. It is the prime destination of Tribal Voyage in Himachal and one of the finest places in Himachal to explore.
Delhi to Kinnaur :
Delhi to Kinnaur
this access route leads via Sonipat – Karnal- Kurukshetra – Ambala – Chandigarh – Solan – Shimla – Rampur – Kinnaur
Delhi to Kinnaur
this access route leads via Sonipat – Karnal- Kurukshetra – Ambala – Ludhiana – Jallander – Pathankot – Jassur – Nurpur – Gaggal – Kangra – Hamirpur – Bilaspur – Shimla – Rampur – Kinnaur
Delhi to Kinnaur
this access route leads via Sonipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Chandigarh – Ropar – Nangal – Una – Talwara – Jassur – Nurpur – Gaggal – Kangra – Hamirpur – Bilaspur – Shimla – Rampur – Kinnaur
Shimla to Kinnaur :
Shimla to Kinnaur
this access route leads via Shimla – Rampur – Kinnaur
Chandigarh to Kinnaur :
Chandigarh to Kinnaur
this access route leads via Solan – Shimla – Rampur – Kinnaur
Chandigarh to Kinnaur
this access route leads via Ropar – Nangal – Una – Talwara – Jassur – Nurpur – Gaggal – Kangra – Hamirpur – Bilaspur – Shimla – Rampur – Kinnaur
Air Route :
There is no direct flight to Kinnaur and the nearest Airport is Shimla which can be reached from Delhi. Shimla Airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 kms from city and is connected to Chandigarh, Kullu, Delhi. It has daily flights from Delhi and Kullu. On Tuesday and Thursday Jagson Airlines flies Delhi-Shimla-Kullu-Gaggal and return. Archana and KCV fly between Delhi and Shimla on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Train Route :
There is no Rail service to Kinnaur and the nearest Railway Station at Shimla is connected by a narrow gauge line from Kalka (96Km.)
Important Info :
With drive to kinnaur very adventerous, care is to be taken while driving. Long suspension bridges connect two bank of the Satluj river at many places. The road condition after the flash floods in August,2000 is not the best. With blocks in some places in winters and rainy seasons it is always advisable to get information about the road condition and then start the journey in these months. The other route from Manali-Kaza-Recong peo remains closed in most part of the winters and springs.
Kinnaur is situated 77°45′ and 79°00’35” East Longitudes and between 31°55’50” and 32°05’15” North Latitudes. Kinnaur shares its Eastern boundary with Tibet. On the South and South Eastern sides, it has Uttar Kashi district of Uttar Pradesh. On the Western side lies the Shimla district and on the North and North-West is situated Lahaul and Spiti.
Recong Peo ( altitude 2,760 meters ) – former HQ. was Kalpa ( altitude 2,770 meters )
varies from 2,550 metres to 6,791 meters.
One can travel in a taxi or jeep on National Highway 22 for the entire journey from Kalka to Kinnaur. Some of the parts of journey can be done by long route buses run by HRTC. Distance from Shimla to Kalpa is 244 km., Delhi 590 km., Kullu 267 km.
10,820 sq. km.
+91-1785 or 01785
Pooh 951785, Moorang 951785, Sangla 951786, Bhawanagar 951786
DFO Forest Department
The summer temperatures range between 6° C and 25° C, while the winter temperatures usually remain between -1° C and 0° C. Days from April-Oct are warm, early morning & evenings being colder, light woolens May-July and heavy woolens in rest of the season.
Total population of Chamba is 78,334 (according to Census 2001)
Best time to visit
You’d enjoy the Summer months in Kinnaur because of warm temperatures.
( 2,680 metres ) It is an important village of the Baspa valley situated on the right bank of Baspa river is built on a slope with houses rising one above other with gigantic ‘Kinner Kailash’ peak ( 6,500 meters ) towering from behind is also famous for ‘Kamru Fort’. This fort was the place where so many Rajas of Kinnaur were crowned. The entire place is adorned by soothing saffon fields and alpine meadows.
( 2,900 metres ) Its name has been derived from ‘Rak’ a stone and ‘Chham’ a bridge. The location of the village is striking. It is located on the right bank of the Baspa river. It is said that in the earlier time there was a natural stone bridge over the Baspa river hence the name of the village.
( 2,670 metres ) It is one of the main villages of the district connected by link road 14 km. from Powari beyond Rekong Peo. Looming in front of Kalpa is an imressive view of ‘Kinner Kailash’ directly across the Satluj river. This mountain changes colors several times a day with a change of weather conditions or may be as destined by Lord Shiva his eternal abode. ‘Parvati Kund’ is located on the top of Kinner Kailash. The ancient villages of Pangi, Moorang and Kanum are situated close to Kalpa.
It is also called Koshtampi. It is little below Kalpa proper and it is overshadowed by Kinner Kailash peak. Goddess ‘Shuwang Chandika’ temple is a famous one in the village. The village with its attractive temple, gracious willows, green fields, fruit trees makes an altogether a beautiful landscape.
( 3,662 meters ) It is the highest village in the valley and the existence of lake formed out of the masses of ice and snow above adds to beauty of the village. Situated about 2 kms. above the Hangrang valley road and is 103 kms. from Kalpa on the western direction of the huge mountain of Pargial. Local village deity is Deodum and another Lagang temple with several idols exist here. There is a staying hut for visitors.
Recong Peo :
Reckong Peo is situated at an altitude of 2670 m from the sea level, located 235 km from Shimla. It is the District Headquarter having a panoramic view of Kinner Kailash. Kinner Kailash mountain is regarded as one of the mythical homes of Lord Shiva, here is a 79 feet high rock formation that resembles Sivalinga. This Sivalinga changes the colour as the day passes. Also visible on the stretch is the peak of Raldang (5499 m). Reckong Peo has many hotels and rest houses. There is a Buddhist Monasteries in the Reckong Peo.
(3,450 meters) This is the last and highest village in the Baspa valley in district Kinnaur. It is situated on the right bank of Baspa river. This is the last and highest village in the Baspa valley. There is a road along the left bank from Karchham. There are three temples of local goddess Mathi, the main one said to have been constructed about 500 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. The goddess has a mouthpiece.
(3,058 meters) It is in Kinnaur district and is a collection of four hamlets in pargana ‘Shuwa’ sub-tehsil Hangrang, on the left bank of Spiti river. It is encircled on every side by high hills which is a witness to the presence of a former lake. This village is under the influence of Buddhism, but there are some local Hindu deities too namely ‘Gyalba’ – ‘Dabla’ and ‘Yalsa’.
( 2,591 metres ) This village is situated 39 kms. away from Kalpa on the left bank of river Satluj. The location is very beautiful and approach to this picturesque village is through apricot orchards. The local deity is Urmig and there are three structures dedicated to the deity each existing in Thwaring, Garmang and Shilling. Generally these are empty as the ark of the deity remains in the fort. On a sacred day the ark is taken to the above named places. The ark has got 18 ‘mukh’, made of silver, gold and brass. The 18 mukh represents the 18 days of the great epic Mahabharat.
(2,745 meters) It is in Kinnaur, situated near the left bank of Taiti stream. Three Buddhist monasteries are there, which are dedicated to Galdang, Chhoiker Dunguir and Kangyar. The place is also famous for Ibex found in the nearby forest.
( 2,150 metres ) This village is situated between Taranda & Wangtu on the left bank of Satluj about 5 kms. above Wangtu. The scenery is enchanting. Ghoral , antelopes, black & red bears are seen sometimes in higher ranges.
( 1,900 metres ) The confluence of Satluj and Baspa rivers marks the location of Karchham on Hindustan-Tibet road. It is a beautiful place.
Chandika Temple at Kothi :
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.
Chango Temple :
Chango has three temples. In lower Chango, the red walls of Rinchen Zangpo temple stand out atop a little promontorybut 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.
Durga / shakti Temple :
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 artitectural 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.
Mathi Temple :
This temple is located at Chitkul. 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.
Nako Lake :
This beautiful is located in the Pooh sub-division of district Kinnaur. The lake is surrounded by willow and polar trees. There is a small village on the bank of this lake – and the village seems to be half buried by the lake’s borders. On the water’s northern side, are four Buddhist temples with stucco images and murals. Near Nako is a footprint-like impression ascribed to the saint Padmasambhava. It freezes in winter and people enjoy skating on this lake.
Nako : It is the highest village in the valley and the existence of lake formed out of the masses of ice and snow above adds to beauty of the village. Situated about 2 kms. above the Hangrang valley road and is 103 kms. from Kalpa on the western direction of the huge mountain of Pargial. Local village deity is Deodum and another Lagang temple with several idols exist here. There is a staying hut for visitors.
Lippa Asrang Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 4000 meters to 5022 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 226.3 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 15°C.
Area : 3,090 hectares ( 30.90 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town is Morang.
Approaches : Kinnaur to Morang to inside sanctuary.
It was first notified as a sanctuary in 1962 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. This sanctuary is located on the high altitude area and one of the few in India from where the yak has been reported, though it may well be feral. Musk Deer and Ibex are also present. The area is largely flat, like a huge plateau, and a part of it is barren cold desert.
Forest types include lower western Himalayan temperate forest, upper western Himalayan temperate forest, Kharsu Oak forests, dry broad leaved and coniferous forest, dry coniferous forest, dry alpine scrub and dwarf juniper scrub.
Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Musk Deer, Goral, Ibex, Leopard, blue Sheep and Yak. Species believed to be locally threatened are Musk deer, Leopard, Goral, brown Bear, Ibex, Monal and Himalayan snowcock.
Rakchaam Chitkul Sanctuary :
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.
It 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.
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 )
Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 909 meters to 5650 meters.
Annual Snowfall : mean annual rainfall is 300 mm.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 45 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 20°C.
Location : nearest town is Rampur Bushahr.
Approaches : Shimla to Rampur Bushahr to inside sanctuary or Kinnaur to Rampur Bushahr to inside sanctuary.
It was first notified as a sanctuary on 28th March 1982 and re-notified on 30th June 1982. A remarkably wide variation in altitudes supports a large diversity of habitats and wild life in this catchment area of the Satluj river. The Great Himalayan and pin Valley National Parks are located on its western and northern boundaries, respectively.
Forest types include lower western Himalayan temperate, Kharsu Oak, dry broad leaved coniferous, dry temperate coniferous and Alpine pastures.
Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, barking and Musk Deer, red Fox, Goral, Ibex, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Serow, blue Sheep and Himalayan Tahr.
Fairs in Kinnaur
Lavi Fair :
This fair is held in the month of October or November every at Rampur Bushahr. In ancient, Tibet and Kinnaur had good trade relations and Lavi fair is the outcome of business interest of both sides. People from other areas in general and tribal belt in particular participate in this fair with horses, mules, pashminas, colts, yaks, chilgoza, namdas, pattis, woollens, raw semi-finished wool and other dry fruits produced in the state are brought for selling. It is three hundred years old fair and also a state fair.4 During day time, hectic trade activities are witnessed all over the town. At night, folks dances and music around small bonfires are organised. It continues for three days.
Phul Yatra Fair :
It denotes the start of a closing season in this snow bound valley. Offerings are made to local goddess, in whose honour it is celebrated. The tribal people enjoy, dance, sing and drink in gay mood forgetting everything else for the time being. In Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti some annuar fairs are held which have left deep impression on the community life of the tribals. One of the main features of these fairs is folk dance. Mask dance and lion dance are also very famous.
Festivals in Kinnaur
Sazo or Sajo Festival :
This festival is observed in the month of January. On this day the people take their bath in the natural springs and few even go to Satluj river for bathing if they happen to live near the river. Poltus, rice, pulses, vegetables, meat, halva, chilta and pug are the principal dishes prepared on this occasion. In the morning the family god is worshiped with the food except meat. The hearth is also worshiped near Noon time, the deity is brought out and worshiped with wine and halwa A fold dance is held. Thereafter the deity is believed to have gone to Kinner Kailash.
Phagul or Shuskal Festival :
It is celebrated in the month of February/March. In this festival the sprit of Kanda (Peaks) called Kali is mainly worshiped, the festivals lasts about a fornight and is celebrated all over Kinnaur. Each day of the festival is called by different names and several peculiar functions are held each day. On the last day a feast is prepared and people worship kali on the roof of the houses and then partake of the food. It is believed that after the function and festival are celebrated with full zeal Kali the spirit feels happy and blesses the villagers with prosperity and plenty in the coming years.
Baisakhi or Beash :
It is celebrated in the month of April. The villagers prepare food like Poltu, Halwa and Keyshid. The image of the goddess is brought out of the temple and a fair is held in the Santang. It is an occasion to get together and to dance and drink. This festival marks the end of winter season also. New woolen clothes are worn from the wool spun during the winter.
Dakhraini Festival :
This festival is celebrated in the month of the July. On this day a feast is served. The deity is brought out and the villagers dance before her. Zongor and loskar flowers are brought from the kand peak and their garlands are offered to the goddess. After this these flowers are distributed among the villagers. One or two members from the family where death might have occurred before this festival go to the peak of the hill and ofter some food and fruits to shepherd in memory of the departed soul. A white flag on which some Buddhist mantras are written is fixes there as a sort of prayer for the peace of departed soul.
Phulech Festival :
Celebrated only in Kinnaur region in the month of Bhadon or in the beginning of Asauj. People from each household proceed towards hilltops to collect flowers, which are offered to village deity and afterwards these flower garlands are distributed among the people. Priest makes forecasts about crops and changes in seasons etc. Priest’s words are taken for granted by local people.
Loser is celebrated in the month of December to welcome the new year. On this day in the morning a special preparation of parched barley mixed with butter milk is taken by all the family members and they put on garlands of chilgoza visits to the neighbours and friends are reciprocated and greetings of losuma tashi meaning happy new year are exchanged. While the elderly person betow their losuma shalkid or blessings. Two or three days before the losar festival khepa is observed. On this day it is customary to fetch small branches of a throny bush and place it on the doors. It is meant to ward off evil spirits. On the next day these throny twigs are removed and thrown far away from the village and a feast follows in the night.
Tribal Festival :
Tribal Festival is being celebrated since 1994 from 30 October to 2nd November every year at District Headquarter Reckong Peo and this festival has been declared as State Level festival and has been celebrated since 1987 under different names like Janjatiya Utsav, Phulaich Utsav and also as Tribal Festival. This festival not only depicts the panorama of rich culture heritage of district but also provides an opportunity to the local people to sell/exhibit their horticulture/agriculture produce, handicraft and artifacts. Besides the Kinnauri culture groups, participants from other districts/states also present and perform culture programmes symbolising national integration and brotherhood.
|Durga Chandika – Kothi, Kinnaur|
|Mathi Temple at Chhitkul, Kinnaur|
|Maheshwar Temple at Sungra, Kinnaur|
|Chango Temple at Chango, Kinnaur|
|Rarang Monastery at Rarang, Kinnaur|
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Kinnaur – the Land of Gods – Himachal Pradesh
Kinnaur – the Land of Gods – Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by the Tibet to the east, in the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh, about 235 kms from Shimla is a tremendously beautiful district having the three high mountains ranges i.e. Zanskar, Greater Himalayas and Dhauladhar, enclosing valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries. All the valleys are strikingly beautiful. The slopes are covered with thick wood, orchards, fields and picturesque hamlets. The much religious Shivlinga lies at the peak of Kinner Kailash mountain. The beautiful district was opened for the outsiders in 1989. The old Hindustan-Tibet road passes through the Kinnaur valley along the bank of river Sutlej and finally enters Tibet at Shipki La Pass. And it is not only the scenic beauty which appeals to the young and old alike but also the life styles of the people, their culture, heritage, customs and traditions.
The much honest people of Kinnaur – the Land of Gods – Himachal Pradesh which have strong culture and beliefs generally follow the Buddhism and Hinduism believe that the Pandavas came and resided in the land while in the exile. In the ancient mythology the people of Kinnaur are known as Kinners, the halfway between men and gods. Thousands years old monasteries still exist in the area. Both the Buddhists and Hindus live in perfect harmony symbolising the traditional brotherhood and friendship of the people of both the faiths
The apples, chilgoza and other dry fruits are grown in Kinnaur – the Land of Gods – Himachal Pradesh are world famous. The high terrain here give way to great adventures sports of all kinds. Beautiful trekking routes includes the ‘Parikarma of Kinner Kailash’. Here is also the Beautiful Nako lake and three famous wild life sanctuaries.
Best Time to Visit
Kinnaur – the Land of Gods – Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful district to visit. Great natural scenes, rivers, valleys, high mountains, lakes and green pastures creates a mesmerising scenes for tourists.Best time to visit the district is from April to October
Weather during the year
Due to the Geographical conditions Kinnaur – the Land of Gods – Himachal Pradesh 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. 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.
What to Wear
Summers in Kinnaur requires light woolen clothes while very heavy woolen clothes are required in the winter season
Where to Shop
Kinnaur is famous for its Handloom and Handicraft items like shawls, caps, mufflers, article of wood carving, metal work and silver & gold ornaments . Kinnaur is also famous for apples, almonds, chilgoza, ogla, apricots and grapes.There are many wholesale shops at Kalpa, Reckong Peo, Karchham, Tapri etc. Besides this the co-operative societies, small production-cum-training centres and Khadi gram udyog centres are looking after the local products like gudmas, shawls,wool, neoza, zira, etc. Also there are many retail price shops in every village. Local fairs, mela and festivals are the main source of shopping.
Kinnaur has tremendous scope of adventure tourism. There are manytrekking 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.
Tourist Information Centre
The information regarding tourism can be gathered from the Tourist Information centre located at Deputy Commissioner Office, Recong Peo
Permits for Foreigners
Permits for foreigners visiting Kinnaur are available from the various Offices. These offices include the office of MHA Govt of HP;DM Concerened/ITBP/Spl. Commissioner (Tourism), Govt. of HP/ Resident Commissioner HP,Delhi/DGP,HP,Shimla. The places open for tourists under PAP include Poo, Khab, Sumdo, Dhankar, Tabo Gompa, Kaza, Moorang, Dabling.
The general guidelines include:
The PAP is valid for group tourists consisting of four or more persons only.
The tour needs to be sponsored by recogonised Indian Tourist Agency
Kinnaur – land of Apples
Apples from Kinnaur, known for their natural sweetness, colour, succulence and prolonged shelf life, are grown at an altitude of over 10,000 feet. Among the popular varieties of Kinnauri apples are Royal, Golden, Red Golden, Red Delicious and Scarlet Spur. Major apple belts in Kinnaur district are in Sangla and Pooh blocks which have been worst affected due to flash floods.
Traders say the absence of this crop will put pressure on prices in the coming months. The plucking season in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand begins in July end and the crop hits the market in August. Kinnauri apples hit the market in mid-September when other apple varieties have already flooded the market. While other apples have a shelf life of two months, the Kinnaur fruits have a shelf life of four months.
Mukesh Jaiswal, owner of Rakesh Jaiswal Fruit in Mumbai’s Worli area, said: “Prices of apple have already climbed by 25%-30% this year. We are hearing that production in Kinnaur has been affected though other regions of Himachal have recorded a bumper crop. But going by the trend, prices are likely to remain firm for quality apple this year.”because Kinnauri apple is king of fruits
In Kolkata, prices of quality apple which traders say have come from Shimla cost Rs 170-180 per kg. “We do not see prices falling immediately. The Ramadan month is beginning tomorrow and apple prices surely will remain firm for the next one month,” said Mohammed Irshad, a fruit dealer in Kolkata’s Chandni Chowk fruit market. Added Jagdish Sharma, a fruit trader in Azapur mandi, said “There are reports that heavy to moderate rains have again lashed Himachal. If that affects the apple crop, prices will continue to remain on the higher side this year.”
Apples are largely grown in the districts of Shimla, Sirmour, Kinnaur, Chamba, Manali, Solan and Kullu districts of Himachal. “Barring Kinnaur, apple production is extremely good this year. In fact, it has doubled this year. We are expecting a production of 3 crore boxes (20 kg each) of apples this year,” said Mukesh kumar Sharma. Kinnauri apple is king of fruits
The much-awaited Delicious variety of apples from Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district, known for their natural sweetness, colour and succulence, have hit the markets and are fetching remunerative prices in Delhi and Chandigarh, as also in Punjab and Haryana, a horticulture official here said.
“A box of superior apple variety from Kinnaur is selling between Rs.2,200 and Rs.2,400 ($35-$39) in the Delhi market, which is 25-30 percent higher than apples coming from other districts,” said Jai Chand, a trader at Narkanda apple market, some 65 km from Shimla.
Kinnauri apples are known as per Quality as under
Superior grades like Royal Delicious, Red Chief, Super Chief, Oregon Spur and Scarlet Spur have just started arriving.
The price of a crate increases by Rs.50-Rs.100 in the Delhi and Chandigarh wholesale markets.
Gurdev Singh said the harvesting of apples in Kinnaur has picked up in orchards located at lower altitudes. “In the Chango and Kalpa areas the orchards are at higher elevation and the harvesting there will begin in the last week of this month.”
Apples in Kinnaur are grown at an altitude above 10,000 feet. The prominent apple belts in the district are Sangla, Kalpa, Chango, Nichar and Pooh.
Retailers and street vendors often sell apples from other parts of Himachal Pradesh as Kinnauri apples. But the reality is that Kinnaur apples start coming only in October.
Experts say the normal apple production in Kinnaur is around 2 million to 2.2 million boxes, which is six to seven percent of the state’s total yield.
Apple grower Ramesh Kumar, who is settled in Nako village in Pooh, said the crop is still maturing.
“It will take 10 to 15 days to start harvesting,” he said.
Another apple grower, Jagat Singh Negi, who is settled in Sangla, said most of the crop in the area has been harvested.
Traders in Shimla say apples from Kinnaur start arriving at that time when the crop from other areas in the state is almost over. That is why it commands a good price.
Besides apples, other fruits like pears, apricots, almonds and grapes – both green and black – are Kinnaur’s other major commercial crops.
The horticulture department estimates that the state is expected to produce 25-30 percent less apples this season compared to last year’s bumper production of over 32.2 million boxes.
So far, over 24 million boxes of various apple varieties have been sent to various markets in the country.
Horticulture department surveys say apple productivity ranges from six tonnes to 11.5 tonnes per hectare in the state, against 35-40 tonnes in more advanced countries.
The hill state is one of India’s major apple-producing regions, with more than 90 percent of the produce going to the domestic market.
Apples accounted for 90 percent of the Rs.35 billion the state earned last year from the sale of horticultural produce.
Some of the highest mountains in the world are located in northern India.These are called northern indian himalayas. These are part of the Himalaya mountains. Being the world’s highest mountain chain, the Himalayas is characterized by its great height, complex geologic structure, snowcapped peaks, large valley glaciers, deep river gorges, and rich vegetation.
They were given the name northern indian Himalayas which means “home of snow”, because snow never melts on their high peaks.
The northern indian Himalayas form the planet’s highest mountain region, containing 9 of the 10 highest peaks in the world. Among these peaks are the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8848 m), which is on the Nepal-Tibet border; the second highest peak, K2 or Mount Godwin Austen (8,611 m), located on the border between China and Jammu and Kashmir, the third highest peak, Kanchanjunga (8,598 m) on the Nepal-India border.
The Himalayas can be classified in a variety of ways. From south to north, the mountains can be grouped into four parallel, longitudinal mountain belts,
The northern indian Himalayas have the third largest deposit of ice and snow in the world, after Antarctica and the Arctic. The Himalayan range encompasses about 15,000 glaciers, which store about 12,000 km3 (3000 cubic miles) of fresh water. Its glaciers include the Gangotri and Yamunotri (Uttarakhand) and Khumbu glaciers (Mount Everest region), Langtang glacier (Langtang region) and Zemu (Sikkim).
Owing to the mountains’ latitude near the Tropic of Cancer, the permanent snow line is among the highest in the world at typically around 5,500 metres (18,000 ft). In contrast, equatorial mountains in New Guinea, the Rwenzoris and Colombia have a snow line some 900 metres (2,950 ft) lower. The northern indian Himalayas are snowbound throughout the year, in spite of their proximity to the tropics, and they form the sources of several large perennial rivers, most of which combine into two large river systems:
The western rivers combine into the Indus Basin, of which the Indus River is the largest. The Indus begins in Tibet at the confluence of Sengge and Gar rivers and flows southwest through India and then through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. It is fed by the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej rivers, among others.
Most of the northern indian Himalayas rivers drain the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin. Its main rivers are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Yamuna, as well as other tributaries. The Brahmaputra originates as the Yarlung Tsangpo River in western Tibet, and flows east through Tibet and west through the plains of Assam. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra meet in Bangladesh, and drain into the Bay of Bengal through the world’s largest river delta,the Sunderbans.
The easternmost Himalayan rivers feed the Ayeyarwady River, which originates in eastern Tibet and flows south through Myanmar to drain into the Andaman Sea.
The Salween, Mekong, Yangtze and Huang He (Yellow River) all originate from parts of the Tibetan Plateau that are geologically distinct from the northern indian Himalayas mountains, and are therefore not considered true Himalayan rivers. Some geologists refer to all the rivers collectively as the circum-Himalayan rivers. In recent years, scientists have monitored a notable increase in the rate of glacier retreat across the region as a result of global climate change. For example, Glacial lakes have been forming rapidly on the surface of the debris-covered glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya during the last few decades. Although the effect of this will not be known for many years, it potentially could mean disaster for the hundreds of millions of people who rely on the glaciers to feed the rivers of northern India during the dry seasons. Some of the lakes present a danger of a glacial lake outburst flood. The Tsho Rolpa glacier lake in the Rolwaling Valley is rated as the most dangerous in Nepal
The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is a range that spans ten states of India namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh as well as the hill regions of two states – Assam and West Bengal. The region is responsible for providing water to a large part of the Indian subcontinent and contains varied flora and fauna. The IHR physiographically, starting from the foothills of south (Siwaliks), this mountain range extends up to Tibetan plateau on the north (Trans-Himalaya). Three major geographical entities, the Himadri (greater Himalaya), Himanchal (lesser Himalaya) and the Siwaliks (outer Himalaya) extending almost uninterrupted throughout its length, are separated by major geological fault lines. All these combined are known as northern indian himalayas. Mighty but older streams like the Indus, Sutlej, Kali, Kosi and Brahmaputra have cut through steep gorges to escape into the Great Plains and have established their antecedence.
The Karakoram ranges are the best looking part of India. To the south of the Karakoram range lie the Zangskar ranges. Parallel to the Zangskar ranges lie the Pir Panjal ranges. These three mountain ranges lie parallel to each other in the north-western part of India, most of its area lying in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Some of the highest mountains on earth are found in the region. Many rivers considered holy like the Ganga and Yamuna flow from the northern indian Himalayas.
TRANS-HIMALYAYAS: This Zone is the Northen most area in the country in the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal pradesh. It’s an extension of Tibetan plaeteau around the Himalayas.The Main northern indian Himalayas Ranges are:
Pir Panjal Range Dhaula Dhar Range Zanskar Range Ladakh Range East Korakoram Range Pir Panjal Range: To the south of the main northern indian Himalayas lies the Pir Panjal Range at an average height of 5,000m. From Gulmarg in the Northwest it follows the southern rim of the Kashmir valley to the Banihal pass. Here the Pir Panjal meets the ridgeline, which separates the Kashmir valley from the Warvan valley. The major passes here in Pir Panjal are the pir panjal pass due west of Srinagar, the Banihal pass which lies at the top of the Jhelum River at the southern end of the Kashmir valley, and the sythen pass linking Kashmir with Kishtwar.
Dhaula Dhar Range: To the south of the Pir Panjal lies the Dhaula Dhar range. It is easily visible because of its distinct feature of the snow-capped ridge, which forms the division between the Ravi and the Beas valleys. In the west it divides the Chenab valley and the Tawi valley. Towards the east it extends across Himachal Pradesh forming the high ridges of the Largi gorge and extending towards the south of the Pin Parvati valley before it forms the ridgeline east of the Sutlej River.This part of the northern indian himalayas is the best.
Zanskar Range: It lies to the north of the main northern indian Himalayas. It acts as a backbone of Ladakh south of the Indus River, extending from the ridges beyond Lamayuru in the west across the Zanskar region; there it is divided from the main Himalaya by the Stod and Tsarap valleys, the Zanskar valley. On the east of the Zanskar region the range continues through Lahaul and Spiti. While on the North it continues across the Kinnaur before extending towards west across Uttaranchal. Some of the main passes are the Fatu La, on the Leh-Srinagar road, while the main trekking passes into the Zanskar valley are Singge La, the Cha Cha La and the Rubrang La are.
Ladakh Range: To the north of the Leh lies the ladakh range and it is an important part of the Trans-Himalayan range that merges with the Kailash range in Tibet. Here the important passes are the famous Kardung La, and Digar La, which lie to the north east of Leh.
East Korakoram Range: It is a giant range, which geographically divides India and Central Asia. The range consists of high mountain peaks like Saltoro Kangri, Rimo and Teram Kargri. The Korakoram Pass acts as the main connector between the markets of Yarkand, Leh and Kashgar.
Siwalik Hills: It lies to the south of the Dhaula Dhar, with an average height of 1,500 to 2,000m.It includes the Jammu hills and Vaishno Devi, and extends to Kangra and if you move further east to the range south of Mandi. In Uttaranchal side it stretches from Dehra Dun to Almora before it heads across the southern borders of Nepal.
So these were some of the major mountain ranges of northern indian Himalayas.
Kalpa is a small town in the Sutlej river valley, above Recong Peo in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, in the Indian Himalaya. Kalpa is Inhabited by Kinnauri people and famous for its apple orchards. Apples are a major cash-crop for the region. The local inhabitants follow a syncretism of Hinduism and Buddhism, and many temples in Kalpa are dedicated to both Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses. The average literacy rate of is around 83.75%.One of the famous music director of Himachal Pradesh,Surender Negi, is from Kalpa.
Kalpa has an average elevation of 2,960 metres (9,711 feet). It is located 265 kilometres (165 mi) beyond Shimla on the NH-22 in Kinnaur District. It is located at the base of the Kinnaur Kailash snow-capped ranges. The Shivling peaks rise up to 20,000 feet (6,000 m). Kalpa is among apple orchards, pine-nut forests and the stately deodhars. It is above the town of Recong Peo, the district headquarters of Kinnaur, which has a hundred-year-old Buddhist monastery.
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