While traveling from Sangla to Chitkul you will sure come across this breathtaking valley on the banks of River Baspa comfortably hidden away from the modern world . Nestled between mighty snow covered peaks and a lush green landscape,Rakcham is heaven on earth.
Rakcham is at an altitude of 2900 meters approx 10,000 ft above sea level. It is a relatively unknown place, located midway between Sangla and Chitkul – the last Indian village before the Tibet Border. The beauty of this small village with a population of 800 is heavenly – please check the gallery pages to get some understanding.
The people of Rakcham are mostly nomadic and known as Kinnaurs. The men normally tend to the herd of cows and sheep while the women do the farming as also house work. The women known as Kinnauri’s are slim, tall with very sharp features. The people of Rakcham migrate every six months during winter to lower levels and again return during April to sow seeds and tend to crops.
At first glance Rakcham will seem to be a place out from the past – no newspapers, no post office, no internet, no police station, no wine shop, no market – just a couple of shop selling very basic necessities. The place however is blessed with crops, abundant water, and natural beauty. The place is absolutely free of any form of crime.
Winter sets around mid-November and snowfall is about 2-5 feet across the valley. A few villagers , normally who do not possess any herds stay in the valley under extreme hardship.
There are two temples in the village of Rakcham, Kali and Shiva as also a Buddhist shrine. The Kali temple was renovated after a devastating fire in the village few years back which had destroyed the original temple. Throughout Kinnaur you will find a typical blend of Hindu and Buddhist ideology and as such the temples also depict dragons and many fusion characters.
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.
Festivals: Fulaich during first week September
Rakcham was first notified as a sanctuary in 1962 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. This sanctuary is located at high altitude and is a good habitat for the endangered Musk deer. Govind Pashu Vihar sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh falls adjacent to its southern boundary, and little beyond the eastern boundary of the sanctuary lies the Tibetan Plateau of China.
Flora: Forest types include lower western Himalayan temperate forest, upper western Himalayan temperate forest, dry broad leaved coniferous, dry temperate coniferous and dry alpine scrub.
Fauna ( Mammals ): Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Musk deer, Goral, Leopard and blue Sheep
Fauna ( Fish )