Best Itinerary kinnaur & Spiti

 

Best Itinerary Kinnaur & Spiti

 

 

Kalpa Night view

Day 01 – Chandigarh  – Shimla(130 kms).Shimla was the summer capital of The British India and most of the lords of the british empire liked utmost to spend their time here.The architecture of the city is also alike the one designed by the britishers.check in the hotel and relax.in the evening you can have stroll on the famous mall road .overnight at hotel.

 

 

Day-2— Shimla-Narkanda(65 kms) The drive to the upper Himalayas begin after breakfast.The drive to Narkanda shall take you from kufri and fagu, the snow spots of shimla during the winters.U can visit the fun world ,the zoo and enjoy at Asia’s highest go carting ground.A visit to the famous deshu temple is also on the cards where u reach after climbing 500 stairs.Overnight at hotel.

 

chitkul in summers

 

Day-3– After breakfast start your day to visit the famous Hatu peak of narkanda.From here u can have a distant look at the peaks of the  place you shall be travelling in the next few days.After Hatu peak proceed to Sarahan(80 kms) where you can sit idle in the evening and enjoy the peaks with Shrikhand mahadev in the close vicinity.Overnight at hotel.

 

 

 Bhimakali temple

Day 4 –  Sarahan – Sangla/Rakcham (100 kms/ 08 -09 hours) aprox
Early morning walk the Town followed by breakfast. We leave for Sangla in Kinnaur district, and on the way visit Sarahan Bheema kali Mata Temple and enjoy the Front View of Shri Khand Mahadev if weather clear. and later continue drive to Sangla and Reach in time for evening tea to enjoy the crisp twilight zone. Enjoy a dinner and evening at leisure. O/N HOTEL

 

Day 5  - Rakcham – Chitkul – Rakcham

Early morning appreciate the beauty of Nature followed by breakfast. Enjoy the beauty and adventure of Sangla Valley to the full on this day. We drive to Chitkul, a pretty village on the ancient Hindustan – Tibet route. There is also an option to try your hand at rock climbing, Rappelling and River Crossing – extra charges may apply for some of these. Sangla is known for its day hikes. Those looking for soft adventure can join the Raksham walk that takes you along rivers, through meadows and forests and over glaciers. And for the hardier lot, there is the challenging meadows walk that will have you seek a masseuse at the end of the day. Also visit the pretty villages around, and enjoy sitting along the Baspa river. Enjoy a dinner and evening at leisure. O/N HOTEL

 chitkul in winters

 

 

Day 6  - Rakcham to Kalpa vai Peo Market 65 kms

After breakfast transfer to Kalpa enroute visit Kaamru fort n peo market n transfer to Kalpa hotel. Leisure time in the evening with kinner kailash ranges.Kalpa is a very small and famous town as the agreement for the first train that ran bw mumbai and thane were signed here.An abode of the famous kinnaur apples its lush green orchards along with snow capped peaks give immense pleasure to the eyes.overnight at hotel.

Kalpa monastery

 

Day-7 — After breakfast full day tour to the local sight seeing of village kalpa.The roghi village,suicide point,the vishnu narayan temple,kothi temple,the buddha mandir, and the chini gompa.U can also purchase some world class dryfruits like almonds ,walnuts and chilgoza from the rekong peo market.Overnight at hotel

 

Nako

 

Day-8– Kalpa- Nako(104 kms) After breakfast you tend to leave the lush green valleys and enter the raw and barren desert travelling on NH21 further up.The highway stroddles along the mighty sutlej with picturesque villages in and around.From khab you take a turn towards spiti and reach one of the last village of Kinnaur-Nako.In the evening sit besides the Nako lake .Overnight at hotel.

 

 

Gue village

 

Day 9 –  Nako – Tabo –  (60 kms) aprox

early breakfast n visit The famous nako monastery n transfer to Tabo vai Nako lake.Enroute u shall visit the famous abode of The Mummy at Geu.an age old preserved dead body of a monk whose hair and nails still grew,is a belief amongst the locals and we cant abide by that fact .Reach tabo in the evening and at leisure.overnight at hotel.

 

Dhankar monastery

 

Day 10 – Tabo – Kaza (160 kms)

 

Early transfer to Kaza vai Dhankaar monastery n Pin valley.Though kaza is just 60 kms but we will take a few detours to reach there.First we shall visiit the one of the worlds top ten monastries the Dhanker gompa and other The famous pin valley- the starting and ending point of several treks in that region.overnight at kaza

 

pin valley


Day 11 –Kaza Local sightseeing Kii Kibber ,Komic Langcha.Kee monastery  is again one of the best monastries of the region and the komic village is the worlds highest motorable village.A drive to all of the shall definitely be remembered by you during your tour.Overnight at hotel.

Ki monastery 

 

Day-12– Kaza – chandrataal  (90 kms)

 

A drive after early breakfast to chandrataal will be the best drive of your life.The lake located in the upper hills of spiti makes you feel closest to the nature.A sleep in the tents with nature is the best gift a man can get in his entire life.

chandrtal lake

 

Day  13– Kaza – Manali (205 kms/ 07-08 hours)
We leave at dawn for Manali for yet another day of memorable driving via Rohtang Pass. We will drive along and over rivers, cross glaciers, and bump along undulating tracks. It may be dusk when we reach Manali – where we celebrate the journey over Enjoy a dinner and evening at leisure. O/N HOTEL

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Day 14 – Manali – Chandigarh  (320 kms/ 08hrs)
Time to head back to Manali – Chandigarh – Mumbai – or wherever one wants to head to. We part ways with a promise to meet again.

 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year…!!!

Respected Travel partners 
Greetings from Apple Pie Group of Hotels Kinnaur!!!
         Warm Wishes for the NEW YEAR 2016
We send our heartliest thanks for the continuous support and faith that you have showed in our services for both our hotels ( Apple Pie ) Kalpa and Rakcham in 2015.
We have closed both our  properties for the winter season this year and shall reopen them in march next year 2016.We would again seek your support for the next year also.
 
 
 
 
Mukesh K.Sharma
 
Hotel Apple Pie
08860688496,08894579727,08894225558

Kinnaur – Himachal Pradesh

Kinnaur – Himachal Pradesh

 

 

Kinnaur 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 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 here 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.

Places to Visit in Kinnaur

KALPA

Kalpa is a small village at a height of 2960m in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. This place is at a distance of 230 Km from Shimla and at 13 Km from Reckong-Peo the district headquarter of Kinner district. This place is well connected by road only. It is recommended to stay minimum of two nights at Kalpa. Usually tourist arrive late afternoon from distance places like Simla , Sarahan or Sangla so next day stay can give you full day beauty of the majestic Kinner Kailash hills. From Kalpa we can get views of three peaks Roldang 5499m, Jarkanden ( 6473m) and the Kinner Kailash at 6050 m height.

Kalpa Village

Kalpa village is a small village with almost all facilities like post office, hospital, shops and small restaurants. These restaurants are offering Indian and Chinese foods for the tourists. There are many small guest houses inside the village offering rooms. Main attraction is Narayan-Nagini temple and Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar monastery. This monastery was founded by Rinchensang-po ( 950-1055 AD ). Walk along the narrow lanes of this village upto the temple and you will get a good glimpse of Kinnor culture and its color full villagers. Village is surrounded by apple trees and at one side the view of snow peaks makes this village the main attraction of tourists coming to Kalpa. From your hotel you have to use steps to reach the village but take care that you have to climb up again to return so conserve your energy. The steps pass through apple garden and reach the village. If you are scared of climbing up then you can use your vehicle as road is there up to the village end. 

A casual visit to this village will take one hour minimum from your hotel if you visit temple and monastery only. 

SarahanAs sun rises from behind the Jarkanden Peaks so photography of hills during morning time is not possible , however you can take photos as the sun comes out of the peaks and light falls on the valley. Around 11 AM as the sun climbs up and direct sun light starts falling on the peaks and gives beautiful view for the tourists to capture in their cameras. Suicide PointWithin 10 minutes drive from Kalpa village through apple gardens this place is known for its vertical slope and dangers ditch. Roghi Village Beyond Suicide point after 5 minutes drive there is Roghi village. Like other village this village has also one temple and apple gardens are there surround the village. Here also villagers main business is Apple cultivation. 

Airtel mobile signal is available at Kalpa along with BSNL which works in remote parts of Himachal Pradesh.

Road to Kalpa

We left Sarahan at 8.10 AM and reached Kalpa at 1.15 PM. 

The road to Kalpa is on NH22 (from Shimla ) upto Reckong Peo except last 27 KM. Most of the time Sutlej river will be at your left side and the road passes through many hydroelectric projects and dams under construction. After 45 minutes from Zeori we enter into Kinner district. On the way we crossed Tapri town and the reached Rockong Peo the district headquarter of Kinnor district. 

After Reckong Peo we climbed another hill through hair pin bend curve road. On both side of the road there are many apple gardens full with apples. Mostly the apples are Red in color but another variety of apple gives golden color. These golden color apples are the best in taste. You are welcome to take photos by standing below the trees but plucking of fruits is not allowed. 

The best hotel to stay is Himchal Tourism Development Corporation Hotel. The name is Hotel Kinner Kailash. You need to book in advance to get accommodation here. There are different ranges of rooms available here starting from 1000 to Rs 4000. The number of rooms are very less so you need to book in advance through internet or by calling HPTDC office by phone. For detail HPTDC hotel booking procedure read here This beautifully designed hotel has glass windows opening towards Kinner Kailash snow peaks, the restaurant located at second floor offers panoramic view of surrounding hills and valleys. This hotel closes during October -November and reopens in April month because of snow fall. The district headquarter shifted to Reckong Peo as road to Kalpa gets blocked due to snow fall in winter. 

One of the main attraction of Kalpa is the view of peaks, the most popular one is Kinner Kailash Peak at a height of 6050 m. There is a free-standing seventy-nine foot high rock ( in the shape of ShivaLinga ) This sacred shivlinga changes its color during the day with change in color of the sun light. From Klapa this Shivlinga is visible and is one of the main attraction of tourists. To reach the peak one has to join a trekking group for three days. To do a parikrama ( circumambulation ) going around the base mountain will take seven to eight days, this trek starts from Moorang.

Sangla Valley

Sangla is located at a distance of 214 KM from Shimla and it is 8 to 12 hours by road to reach Sangla. Usually tourist arrive here from Sarahan. You can come directly fromShimla to Sangla. After visiting Sangla valley you can go to Kalpa a three hours drive by road. However you can change your plan as per your requirements. Sangla to Kalpa is 51 Km
Karcham to Sangla is 18 Km

While traveling from Shimla on NH 22 you need to take right side diversion at Karcham. From Karcham Sangla is 18 KM. While traveling from Karcham to Sangla the river Baspa will be at your right side and the same road continues after Sangla till Chitkul the last village inside India before the Indo – Tibet border. 

If you are returning from Sangla to Shimla then you will pass through these places. 

Karcham ( You will join NH 22 here )
Tapori ( Hydroelectric Project Area )
Wangtoo ( From here Rampur is 62 Km and Shimla is 192 KM )
Bhavanagar ( Rampur is 50 Km from here )
After this you will enter to Shimla district 
Zeori ( Rampur 23 KM and Shimla is 153 Km . Sarahan road will be at left side) 
Rampur ( Shimla is 150 KM )
Narkanda ( 2 hours only from Shimla, go for Hatu peak if you have one extra hour ) 

Kamru Forteress at SanglaTo visit the Sangla village you need to walk down from the main road. There is a temple of Bering Nag and a Buddhist Monastery located in the same campus. After this you can go down upto the Baspa river and there is a bridge to cross the river. At the other side of this hanging bridge there is a heritage village of Batseri.

On the upper side of the main road there is a five storied fortress of Kamru. This tower like structure is visible from the main market and from the road before Sangla and on the way to Chitkul. This village remains snow covered during winter six months. 
Baspa river at  Sangla
The main source of income for the villagers is Apple plantation and tourism. From April month till November the villagers work in Apple plantations and tourism related business.

As Kinnaur district is a tribal area, the locals are permitted to prepare local wine by using Apple for their own consumption. Apple growing has the main contribution to the local economy. Kinnaur apple is famous in all parts of India. These apples are packed in trays and then inside boxes. One box can have 100 to 120 apples. Each exporter has its own boxes.

Chitkul – The Last Village

Chitkul is at a height of 3450 Meter. This is the last village of India to the side of Tibet border and this beautiful village si also by the side of Baspa river. This village is located at a distance of 28 KM from Sangla. Tourist stay at Sangla and go for half day trip to Chitkul. It will take one hour to reach Chitkul from Sangla and you can plan for one or two hour stay there and return. So, if you are starting at 9 AM from Sangla, then you can return before 2 PM to Sangla. Now there are hotels and guest houses available at Chitkul also to stay. 

While traveling to Chitkul valley, river Baspa will be at your right side. On the way you will pass through Rakcham village. There are several camp sites located within the apple gardens by the side of Baspa River.

Baspa river

This river will be at your right side while travelling towards Sangla and Chitkul. Sanglavillage is located by the side of this river. 

From the parking area you have to go down a bit to reach the river bed. It is better to walk a bit towards the village end and then walk down to river as you can avoid the stiff inclination of the steps. Baspa river joins Sutlej river at Karcham 28 Km from Sangla

Go for a walk inside the last inhabited village of India before the border. There is a temple of goddess Mathi at the center of the village. Total population of the village is around 700. 

Wheat fields are there around the plane areas surrounding the village. When we visited, villagers were busy in cutting the wheat cultivation and transporting them back to the village. 

Carry your woolen clothes with you even in clear weather conditions to face the cold wind blowing here. Click the image at the side to see the large road map indicating places in the tribal circuit of Himachal Pradesh

 

Nako

This is a small and beautiful village located in Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. This village remains cutoff from Shimla district due to snow fall in winter seasons. Tourists start coming here once the roads are opened from Reckong Peo. Peo remains open throughout the year. Being in a border, inner line permit is required for foreigners to enter into Nako. By the side of the village there is a lake known as Nako Lake. Like other villages of this area there is a Monastery at the center of the village. You can go for a walk to visit the Nako lake and the village after reaching Nako. The road passes through narrow lanes of the village and connects to main road. 

There are many hotels and guest houses in this village, some of them are constructed in traditional way with local materials, they are popularly known as Home stay. Price of these home stay guest houses are less and available at a range of INR 350 /- per day. Normal guest houses are available at a price of INR 750/- . Extra bed are at a range of INR 100 to 150/-. Room rent may vary.  These tents are promoted on Eco tourism concept. Tents are having all basic facilities with attached toilet but without TV facility. In Nako even good hotels does not have TV facility inside rooms. 

Many foreign tourists visit Nako and go for trekking around this place. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarahan , Himachal Pradesh

Sarahan , Himachal Pradesh

 

 

Sarahan, a beautiful hamlet located in the Sutlej Valley, is a major tourist destination situated in the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. This place offers visitors the opportunity explore nature at its best. Placed at an average altitude of about 2165 m above sea level, the place is popular for its apple orchards, pine forests, small streams, rustic settings and slate roofed houses.

Sarahan , Himachal pradesh

Bhimakali temple – Sarahan , Himachal Pradesh

 

The Gods were generous when they have gave Sarahan (2165m) its settings. Located halfway up a high mountain side, the road to Sarahan winds past flowering Pine trees that give way to stately Oaks. Dozens of small streams rush past. The fields and orchards that surround the small villages with their slate roofed houses, compose pictures of pastoral perfection. Above Sarahan, a many deodar trees rides the slopes and higher still, encircling the Bashal peak, are trees of smooth birch and variety of wild flowers and rare medicinal herbs. This sparsely populated tract is steeped in ancient legends and here is the famous Bhimakali temple regarded as one of the Fifty One sacred Shaktipeethhs. The temple’s unusual architecture and wealth of carvings have made it a resplendent example of what is loosely called the Indo-Tibetan style. Deep down the alley flows the river Sutlej and across lies the snow-clad Shrikhand peak.

Saharan is the base for numerous treks and is the gateway to Kinnaur. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers and the temple complex attracts a variety of admirers. Here is a place that offers extraordinary travel experience.

There are several myths and folklores associated with Sarahan. As the legend goes, the king of Kullu declared war on the neighbouring kingdom of Bushair. The king of Bushair won the war and killed the king of Kullu. He then brought the decapitated head of the dead king to Sarahan and laid it out for people to see. When the dead king’s family asked the king of Bushair to give them their king’s head so that they could carry out the last rites, the king declared that he would only grant their request under three conditions. One of the conditions was that the people of Kullu would have to promise to never challenge his rule. Another condition was that the land that was seized by him would be retained.

According to the final condition, the image of Ragunath; the chief god of the region, which was taken away from Sarahan would not be returned. The three conditions were accepted under the term that the ruler of Bushair would celebrate the festival of Dussehra. The king accepted the terms and thus Dussehra became a major festival of the region. After this, the image of Raghunath was placed alongside that of Goddess Bhimakali.

 

ACCESS : The nearest railway station (176 km) and airport (198 km) is at Shimla, where taxis and buses are available. By Car, Sarahan is 6 hours drive from Shimla. The route is on NH – 22 upto Jeori, from where the road bifurcates to Sarahan.

 

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. The summer temperature is warm but pleasant and light woolens/cottons are recommended.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

BHIMAKALI TEMPLE COMPLEX : This historical temple is a multistoried structured building, a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architecture. The tall tower like structure and unusual roof of the temple dominate the complex. The centuries old temple is now locked and in the newly built temple, the goddess Bhimakali is portrayed as a maiden and as a woman. This temple complex includes other temples such as Narsingh shrine of Bhairon and Lord Raghunath.

BIRD PARK : Near the temple complex is a pheasant breeding centre. It also houses the State bird Monal which is of a great attraction.

 Sarahan weather

It is advised that trips to this place should be planned between the months of April and November. However, tourists can also travel to Sarahan during winters as the climatic conditions remains favourable for sightseeing.

BHABA VALLEY : 50 km from Sarahan, a beautiful valley along Bhaba river. Link road to valley originates at Wangtu. It has a beautiful landscape, reservoir lake, alpine meadows and is best famous for trek route to Pin Valley in Spiti.

 

 

Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama Trek – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh

Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama Trek – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh

 

Kinnaur is the most scenic but less known district of Himachal Pradesh, located on the Indo-Tibet border. It is surrounded by Tibet on the east, Garhwal Himalaya trek on the south, Spiti Valley on the north and Kullu on the west. The Sutlej River, which rises on the southern slopes of Kailash Parvat near Mansarovar in Tibet flows through the Kinnaur valley. Due to the proximity of Kinnaur to Tibet, the life style and religion of its inhabitants had been influenced by Buddhism, mostly in the northern and central regions, although the majority of the people practice Hinduism.

Set within the Greater trekkings in Himalayan belt it boasts of the highest mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Close to the border with Tibet, entry to Kinnaur was restricted even for Indian nationals till 1993 and foreigners still have to register themselves with Inner line permit. Kinnaur valley comprises of the lower valley of Spiti and Satluj gorge, the two rivers race through valleys of The Satluj and The Spiti. Sutlej river which has its origin (common to the Indus and Bhramaputra rivers) in Lake Mansarovar beside the holy Mt. Kailash in Tibet.

Kinnaur holds three of the world’s grand mountain ranges – the Zanskar, the Greater Himalaya and the Dhauladhar, Mount Kinner Kailash (6’050 m) dominates this region, it has religious significance for a huge “SHIVA LINGAM” the representation of Lord Shiva which is a 79 feet vertical rock formation that resembles a Shivalinga and changes color as the day passes. This is one of the mythical abodes of Lord Shiva.

The circuit around the whole range attracts many pilgrims every year. The Parikrama or circumambulation begins from Kalpa via Triung valley and back to Kalpa via Sangla valley. Drive up to Thangi and the actual trekking begins from here.

To reach this forbidden land, India’s northern tip, before July, we travel through the Hindustan – Tibet highway, the ancient silk route following the Satluj. The Spiti river joins the Sutlej from the west and runs parallel with the Great Himalayan Range, the natural boundary between India and Tibet (China). In July it is possible to enter Spiti from the north, crossing Rohtang Pass (3980m.) into Lahaul and Kumzum La (4550m).

Kinner kailash parikarma

Kinner kailash parikarma

 

 

ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival Dehli

Reception at the air port and transfer to the hotel, Overnight stay is in the hotel.

Day 02: Dehli to Shimla (1900m).

Leave for Shimla early in the morning by train. After 12 hours we will reach Simla (The queen of the hills). Shimla is capital of the Himachal Pradesh and one of the most famous hill stations for the vacation, round the year. Stay overnight in the hotel.

Day 03: Visit Shimla

After breakfast climb to the Jhaku hill to visit the Hanuman temple (the monkey God, museum and advance study hall, back to hotel for lunch. Its a free afternoon to visit the mall. Stay overnight in the hotel.

Day 04: Simla to Sarahan (1920m) 190 km.

After breakfast, drive via Kufri, Narkandha and descend to the Rampur, erstwhile Himalayan kingdom of Rampur Busheher. Continue to Sarahan the summer capital of the Rampur Busheher. Pay a visit to a 1500 years old temple and get a magnificent view of the Shir Khand peaks. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 05: Sarahan to Recongpeo – Kalpa 2290 m Guest house/Camp.

Today we will move to Recongpeo the district headquarters of Kinnaur. A monastery is built on the top of the town; the majesty of the Kinner Kailash Mountain is in direct vision from Kalpa this is regarded as one of the mythical abodes of Lord Shiva.

Day 06: Recongpeo to Lamber (2896 m) 12 km Trek

We will drive to Thangi followed by a gradual trek along the stream till a beautiful campsite of Lamber. Overnight stay is in Lamber.

Day 07: Lamber to Charang (3500mtrs) 12 km Trek

This day we will trek from Lamber to Charang. The trek goes through different terrain via Surting shepherd house.

Day 08: Charang to Lalanti (4421 mtrs) 11 km Trek

This day we will trek from Charang to Lalanti. Lalanti is a beautiful place for camping with varieties of wild flower.

Day 09: Lalanti to Base of Charang (4550 m) 6km Trek

We will trek from Lalanti to Base of Charang. This trail goes through Moraine and boulder upwards till base camp, camp on glacier field on the moraines.

Day 10: Base to Chhitkul. over Charang pass (4950 mtrs) 9 kms. Trek

We do a two hour steep track over rocky terrain till the pass. There is a beautiful steep descent till Chhitkul, last village of Baspa valley before Indo-Tibet Border. Put up a camp near village.

Day 11: Chitkul to Sangla

Located in Baspa Valley, the most beautiful valley of Kinnaur dominated by Kamrufort, visit the fort and village followed by an overnight stay in a camp.

Day 12:

We will travel back from Sangla to Rampur. Stay overnight in a hotel.

Day 13:

On this day we will return back to Shimla. Put up in a hotel for the day.

Day 14:

Leave Shimla for New Delhi by train, 470 km. O/N in hotel

Day 15: Departure

Arrive in New Delhi, transfer to hotel, day at leisure, and evening transfer to International airport for onward flight.
 

 

The Great Himalayan National Park , Himachal Pradesh , India

 

The Great Himalayan National Park , Himachal Pradesh , India

 

OVERVIEW

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India. Initially constituted in 1984, GHNP was formally declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of 754.4 sq kms. In 1994, two major changes were made in land use around the Park. A buffer zone of 5 km from the Park’s western boundary, covering 265.6 sq km. and including 2,300 households in 160 villages, was delineated as an Ecozone. Most of the population (about 15,000 to 16,000 people) in the Ecozone are poor and dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods.

The second change was the creation of the Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (90 sq km) around the three villages of Shagwar, Shakti, and Marore. On the southern edge of the GHNP, another Protected Area (PA) was declared, known as Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary. This covers 65 sq km and is without habitation. More recently, in 2010, both the Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries were added to GHNP, but will not be formally incorporated until a process known as settlement of rights has occurred. Thus the initiated merger of Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries with GHNP will be followed by a process of settlement to relocate inhabitants and make the area free of traditional pressures, which may take some time. The total area under Park administration (National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Ecozone) is 1171 sq km, which is together referred to as the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA).

In 2010, an area of 710 sq km of the Parvati river catchment contiguous to the northern boundary of GHNP was initially notified as the Khirganga National Park, adding significant biological diversity, conservation value, and physical protection to GHNP. The boundaries of GHNP are also contiguous with the Pin Valley National Park (675 sq km) in Trans-Himalaya, the Rupi Bhabha Wildlife Sanctuary (503 sq km) in Sutlej watershed and the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary (61 sq km), adding additional protection and conservation value and opening up extended wildlife corridors.

ABOUT THE PARK

CLIMATE

The climate is typically the Western Himalayan temperate and alpine type. There are four distinct seasons recognized for GHNP: spring (April-June), rainy/summer (July-September), autumn (October-November) and winter (December-March). Precipitation is moderate over most of the year and abundant during monsoon from mid-June to mid-September. During winter, the precipitation is in the form of snow even in lower elevation (1,560 m) and higher elevation areas experience heavy snowfall of over 2 m depth.

Mean annual rainfall recorded at Niharni and Sainj in Sainj valley for the years 1992-1994 was 1155.7 mm and 1158.3 mm respectively. The maximum annual rainfall recorded recently was 1298 mm, which is not significantly different from the previous records. The ambient temperature varied from -10 to 40 C, January and June being the coldest and hottest months of the year respectively.

ECO-TOURISM

The Great Himalayan National Park offers the causal hiker and serious trekker a wide range of experiences in the natural wonders of the Park. Trails range from relatively easy day walks in the Ecozone to challenging week or longer treks through arduous and spectacular terrain. GHNP ranks as one of the best national parks in the world and reveals its beauty, diversity, and depth through time spent in exploration.

At GHNP, there are numerous habitats for exploration: from lush forests of oak, conifer, and bamboo, to gentle alpine meadows; from swift flowing rivers to high elevation glaciers. The terrain and geology are diverse. If one is lucky there are opportunities to observe endangered species of the Western Himalayas in their natural habitat.

 

The Ecozone is an area adjacent to the Park, which contains villages that have historically had some economic dependence on the resources of the land incorporated into the Park. The formal designation of the Park boundaries and the resulting loss of these resources has economically impacted these villages. In recognition of this adverse economic impact, various programs have, and are being, developed by the state government of Himachal Pradesh, NGO’s (non-government organizations), and the villagers themselves to create alternative sources of economic well-being.

The Ecozone offers and Kullu region offers excellent opportunities for bird watching, wildlife viewing, religious pilgrimages, cultural tours, and viewing local crafts and craft creation. There are options of rafting, climbing, fishing, attending a village festival, viewing local architecture, and sacred groves. The Park itself has two facilities for tourists: a tourist center at Sai Ropa and an Information Center at Larjee.

 

BIODIVERSITY / ANIMAL

MAMMALS

Among the large mammals, there are several species of herbivores that are characteristic of the Park: the Himalayan Goral, a small goat-antelope found in the lower forests, the Himalayan Tahr a wild goat, and the Bharal, or Blue Sheep above the tree-line. These mammals are prey for Common Leopards (in the forest zone) and Snow Leopards (above tree-line). Himalayan Black Bears inhabit the forests, while Asiatic Brown Bears are found in the alpine meadows.

Blue Sheep
Males are handsome with slate blue fur and black chests; weight about 60kgs, unlike smaller females. Prefers grassy slopes near cliffs from 3500m upwards to the limits of vegetation. Live in herds of about 5 to 20.
Blue Sheep

Blue Sheep

Himalayan Brown Bear
Usually herbivorous feeding on grass and herbs. Some become carnivorous killing sheep, gloats or ponies. Males may grow to 1.7m in length; females are smaller.
Himalayan Brown Bear

Himalayan Brown Bear

Snow Leopard
One of the most beautiful of the large cats with handsomely marked coat. Inhabits the highest inner portions of the Park contiguous with the Pin Valley National Park. Regular sightings of snow leopard are reported. First confirmed sighting in GHNP in Tirath, the headwater of Tirthan river, in July 1997
Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Himalayan Tahr

Himalayan Tahr

Himalayan Tahr
A wild goat which lives in the steepest precipices. May go up to 5000m altitude. Males have a distinctive, dark, shaggy ruff and a long mantle of paler hairs: they weigh up to 100 kg; females about 60 kg. Live in groups as large as 20 to 30
Musk Deer

Musk Deer

Musk Deer
Member of deer family though different appearance. Does not have any antlers. Males have backward-curving tusk-like incisors in the upper jaw. Unlike other deer, they have a gall bladder and a uniquely developed scent gland in the abdominal region which produces valuable musk. In some parts of GHNP they reach a relatively high density of 6 to 9 Musk Deer per sq. km. Rated high on the endangered species list. Hunted nearly to extinction for its musk.
At the low to middle altitude in Tirthan, Sainj and Jiwa valleys (altitude of about 2000 to 3,000m) the following animals are found:
Serow
A goat-antelope which is heavily built and of about 1m height. One of the least studied mountain animals. Solitary life in moist gorges with thick vegetation; moves with amazing speed.
Serow

Serow

Rhesus Macaque
Common monkey of northern India. The Himalayan populations are larger, with longer fur than those in the plains. Large troops live near villages and forests. Mingles with humans, creating mischief. Has heavier winter coat in winters.
Rhesus Macaque

Rhesus Macaque

Barking Deer
Also known as Muntjac or Ribfaced Deer. Adult male 50 to 75 cms high to shoulders. Antlers small with short brow-tine. Females have bristly hair in place of horns. In GHNP seen in thickly wooded hills from 1,500 to 2,500m altitude.
Barking Deer

Barking Deer

Goral
A goat-antelope with yellowish gray or brown coat suffused with black. One of the best known Himalayan animals. Very well represented in GHNP. Lives in small groups. Best seen on grassy ridges at dawn and dusk. Throat has distinct white patch. Height at shoulder is 65 to 70 cms. Horns about 13 cms. Goral prefer elevations of 1000 to 3000m.
Ghoral

Ghoral

Certain mammals in GHNP prefer a wide altitude range, including:
Himalayan Black Bear

Himalayan Black Bear

Himalayan Black Bear
Associated with mixed broad leaf and conifer forests. Adult males weigh up to 180 kgs before hibernation; head-body length of 1.6m. A creamy white V pattern marks the chest. Well adapted for tree climbing. Can become carnivorous. Villagers close to GHNP dislike this animal as it destroys their maize crop and sometimes kills cattle.
Common Leopard

Common Leopard

Common Leopard
A sleek and agile cat with a tawny, reddish yellow coat marked with small close set black rosettes. Average length is about 215 cms. Lives in forests as well as in open country. Sighted up to 3,500m.

BIODIVERSITY / PLANTS

TREES

Trees largely predominate the temperate belt of GHNP. The conifer species are widely distributed at various altitudes (e.g., blue pine, cedar, spruce, and fir) in the successive low to high altitudinal zones. Each of the upper coniferous belt has its characteristic oak which provide acorns for birds and rodents. The white-oak is associated with Pinus roxburghii and blue pine; green-oak with fir and spruce. Brown-oak mainly forms the pure community at the treeline.

Deep Dark Brown Oak Forest in Sainj Valley, 3,400 m

Deep Dark Brown Oak Forest in Sainj Valley, 3,400 m

Fir Forest in Sainj Valley

Fir Forest in Sainj Valley

Khorli Poi Birch Forest Tirthan (3,300m)

Khorli Poi Birch Forest Tirthan (3,300m)

A number of lichens and fungi occur on the oak trees which in turn provide food material for mammals and birds. Himalayan yew is most abundant in the fir forest where they give an appearance of an old forest and provide a distinct cool microclimate. Rhododendron arboreum dominates between 1500-3000 m with a tendency of preference for the lower elevation on the north side. Four species of Maple occur with a wide range of altitude from 1500-3500 m. Aesculus, alder, poplar, birch, and willows are common near the streams.

Blue Pine Forest

Blue Pine forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rivers and Lakes – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh , India

Rivers and Lakes – Kinnaur , Himachal pradesh , India

 


Satluj

The Satluj-This is the principal river of Kinnaur almost dividing the district into two parts. It runs within the Himalayan mountains for about 450 kilometers and the first part of its course is west-north-west. When it enters Kinnaur, it generally takes south-westerly direction. Within the District the length is about 130 km. Its source is supposed to be at a great elevation on the southern face of the Kailash range whence it flows into the sacred lake Rawan Hard. As far as the village of Khab it is almost a razing torrent. At Khab it receives the Spiti river where the bed of stream is still above 2,589 m high from the mean sea level. The Satluj descends from about 3,050 m (the point of its entrance in the district), to 1,220 m at Chaura flowing almost the whole way between narrow cliffs and therefore, there is no open ground worth describing all along its bank.The water of the river is more or less discoloured.Cultivated fields in terraces are generally at considerable height from its banks and thus immune from the turbidity of water which largest in June, July and August. The average discharge is about 2,000 cusecs during the winter and 100,000 cusec during June-July. The tributaries of the Satluj in this district are the Spiti, the Ropa, the Taiti, the Kashang, the Mulgoon, the Yula, the Wanger, the Shorang and the Rupi on the right bank and the Tirung, the Gyanthing, the Baspa, the Duling and the Solding running on the left bank.

Spiti

It is the second major river of the district which has its source far north on the eastern slopes of the mountain ranges which run between Lahul and Spiti. The river is formed at the base of the Kunzum Range by the confluence of Kunzum La Togpo and the streams Kabzima and Pinglung. It flows eastwards till Kaurik and then turns southwards to join the Satluj river at Khab at an altitude of 2589 meters. Spiti is joined by several feeders which meet the river both at right and left banks. Chaladogpo, the Yulang, the Lipak and the Tirasang are its main tributaries. The only mentionable tributary on the left bank is Chaladogpo existing between Chango and Changriang, whereas on the right side are the yulang, the Lipak and the Tirasang.

 

Baspa

The Baspa river, the another feeder of the Satluj, rises on the north eastern declivity of the outer Dhauladhar of the Himalaya. It is a big and valuable stream, running smoothly down a famous valley. It is bounded on the south-west by the Dhaola Dhar and on the north-east by the huge Raldang peak of the Great Himalaya. The channel of the river is wide. At Chhitkul its width is roughly twenty meters, lower down, the width is from twenty-three to twenty-five meters. After coursing in a north westerly direction it falls into the Satluj at Karchham.The Baspa is next to Spiti in size and is about seventy-two km in length. Its entire course lies within the district. As compared to other rivers the Baspa is fairly turbulent and frequently changes its course thereby doing extensive damage to the cultivated fields on its bank.It receives the various streams and streamlets on both of its banks. On the left side mentionable tributaries are Zupkia, Thatang, Bering and Rukti and on the right Suthi. This is the most inhabited valley and there are now permanent bridges at many places. An outlandship fish species known as brown trout (salmo fario) is found in this river.

Nako Lake

This beautiful lake is high altitude lake 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.

Fairs and Festivals – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh , India

Fairs and Festivals – Kinnaur , Himachal Pradesh , India

 

Sazo

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 Suskar

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 Beesh

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

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.

Flaich Ukhayang

It is a festival of flowers celebrated in the month of September. This festival is celebrated through the Kinnaur District on different dates. Generally people celebrate it on the hill peaks near their villages. The village deity led by band is carried to the place of in procession. One he-goat is sacrificed. A fair is held throughout the day. Flowers of shuloo which have been brought from peaks for this purpose are woven into garlands. At the end of the fair these garlands are offered to the deity. Immediately after that the people accompany the goddess to the village adorned with flowers. The people sing and dance on the return journey.

Losar

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

Tourism in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India

 

Kinnaur :

photo : Kinnaur rakchham villageKinnaur 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 TibetKinnaur 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 valleyThe Ropa or Shiasu valleyThe 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.

Tourism in Kinnaur

photo : Kinnaur and Satluj RiverThe 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.

photo : Para-gliding at KinnaurTourism 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 landTourism 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.

photo : KothiAs 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.

photo : Nako village and lakeThere 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.

Kinnaur Access Routes

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 Quick Facts

Location
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.

Headquarter
Recong Peo ( altitude 2,760 meters ) – former HQ. was Kalpa ( altitude 2,770 meters )

Altitude
varies from 2,550 metres to 6,791 meters.

Important Distances
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.

Area
10,820 sq. km.

STD Codes
+91-1785 or 01785

Local Codes
Pooh 951785, Moorang 951785, Sangla 951786, Bhawanagar 951786

Police Assistance
+91-1785-222210

Fire Station
+91-1785-222219

Ambulance
+91-1785-222319

DFO Forest Department
+91-1785-223358

Climate
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.

Population
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.

Kinnaur Famous Places

photo : Sangla Mountains ViewSangla :
( 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.

photo : Rakchham VillageRakchham :
( 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.

photo : Kalpa VillageKalpa :
( 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.

photo : Temple at KothiKothi :
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.

photo : Nako Village and LakeNako :
( 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.

photo : Circuit House at Recong PeoRecong 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.

photo : Chitkul RoadChitkul :
(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.

Chango :
(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’.

Morang :
( 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.

Lippa :
(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.

Nichar :
( 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.

Karchham :
( 1,900 metres ) The confluence of Satluj and Baspa rivers marks the location of Karchham on Hindustan-Tibet road. It is a beautiful place.

Kinnaur Famous Temples

photo : Chandika TempleChandika 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.

photo : Chango TempleChango 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.

Kinnaur Famous Lakes

photo : Nako LakeNako 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.

Kinnaur Wild Life Sanctuaries

photo : IbexLippa 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.

Flora
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.

photo : Musk DeerRakchaam 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.

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.

photo : Snow LeopardRupi 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.

Flora
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.

Kinnaur Fairs and Festivals

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.

photo : Dakhraini FestivalDakhraini 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.

Lossar :
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.

Tribal Circuit of Himachal Pradesh

Tribal Circuit of Himachal Pradesh

Tribal Circuit is located in the magnificent and beautiful State of Himachal Pradesh. You can enjoy the scenic landscape of river valleys, snow capped peaks, high passes, icy lakes, and have a look at the glaciers. The place is full of temples and you might come across priests, monasteries, lamas, and yaks.

Some of the places that are included in this circuit are Shimla, Sangla, Kalpa, Tabo, Dhankar, Kaza, and Pin Valley and others.

Tribal Circuit

Kinnaird

Located in Himachal Pradesh, it is known to be the land of beauty, where everything you see will mesmerize you. The beautiful mountain terrain, remarkable valley, orchard farms, and cold desert mountains are some of the things that will have enchanting affect on you. This place is also quite well known for flora and fauna, which is nowhere else. There are quite a few valleys that have always attracted tourists from all over the country.

Kalpa

Kalpa is another place in this circuit located at the height of 2578 meters above sea level. Here the tourists can enjoy the view of magnificent peaks and mountains. Every site is beautiful and will steal your heart. Recong Peo, Kothi, Riba and Sangla valley are some of the interesting places that are worth visiting here.

Shimla

Shimla is a beautiful hill town that is located at the height of 2788 meters above sea level. It has been quite famous since British era. There are many beautiful hotels, valleys, and tourists places that are worth visiting here. Due to pleasant climate, it is still the most favorite destinations’ of the country. It is usually chosen by honeymooners and picnickers. The Kinner Kailash range and other mountain ranges make it more memorable. One of the spectacular scenes that you can never miss here is the one where the sun rays touch the peak of snow capped mountains. The closest airport to this place is like 267 kilometers away from this place. Apart from that you can always hire private taxis and also board State transport to reach this place. You can also reach this place via Kalpa –Manali or Rohtang Pass route. The winters here are extremely cold, so the perfect time to visit the place is in the beginning of the year.

Kaza

This peaceful and beautiful place is located at the height of 3600 meters above the sea level. Also it is located on the banks of the famous River Spiti. The name has been given by both India and Tibet, due to the tie up between both of them.  It is one of the coldest regions, so you need to be very careful while planning to visit this place. The place is surrounded by beautiful mountains and peaks that makes it all more interesting and worth visiting. The valleys, snow covered mountain peaks, and green valley all are beautiful and attract people always. Since ancient times, this place is believed to be a place where Gods and Goddesses resided. The beauty of the place and its majestic scenic beauty authenticate this version. Some of the places that are close to it are Manali, Kulu, and Shimla. So you can plan an extended holiday and visit all these places at the same time. The climate here is extremely cold during winters, and barely gets any rainfall. The region gets water from melting snow, and during winter the temperature sometimes goes down the freezing point. So if you are planning to visit this place take along with you good warm clothes that will keep you secured. Some of the interesting places that are worth visiting here are Tabo, Key Gomap, Dhankar, and Chander Tal Lake. This lake is known to be one of the most beautiful lakes in whole Himachal Pradesh.

Keylong

This is another place that is located at height of 2250 meters. The place is quite exciting and has good numbers of mountains, peaks, and valleys that look beautiful throughout the season.  This place can be easily reached through roadways and it is quite close to Manali, which is 115 kms away from this place. It can be reached by air also whereby the nearest airport is located 175 Km away at Bhuntar. This place experiences heavy snow fall during June and thus the Rohtang pass remains close during this time.