Kinnaur Valley Adventure

No one would ever call you a poor mathematician if you say that the total number of houses in the village of Chitkul is not more than two dozen and people inhabiting them not more than 800.

Be it taking on a journey on one of the most treacherous roads in the world or watching beautiful landscapes full of Himalayan lakes and helmets, the Kinnaur Valley Tour offers you a chance to be part of this valley. Landscape starts changing as soon as you start your journey along the Sutlej River (upstream) until you reach a place called Karcham, where a connecting road branches out from the NH 22 to take you into the Sangla Valley.

Cultural and traditional heritage this place holds is more than 1000 years old. Temples and monasteries that stand unmoved in their places since centuries are the witnesses of great natural turmoil that took place in the Greater Himalayas to give origin to this heavenly place. Snow-capped mountains standing tall guard its inhabitants against all uncalled for travesties. The priceless gift of mother nature in the form of pure environment, crystal clear water, fertile land, and picturesque landscapes make Kinnaur a must-visit place on earth.

Region: Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Season: March to November

Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days

Cost: On request

Day Plan

Day 1: Chandigarh to Kotgarh (210 km, 7 hrs)

Day 2: Kotgarh to Sangla (147 km, 6 hrs)

Day 3: A trek to Sangla Kanda and back (5 hrs)

Day 4: Sangla to Chitkul (22 km, 1 hr

Day 5: Chitkul to Sarahan (105 km, 6 hrs)

Day 6: Sarahan to Chandigarh (246 km, 7 hrs)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Chandigarh to Kotgarh (190 km, 6 hrs)

kotgarh

Kotgarh, Shimla

Our person will be there to pick you up at Chandigarh in the morning who will take you on a joyride through the Himalayan Express Highway and NH 22 into the heart of the Himalayas. Initially, we drive along the low hills and eventually gain an altitude of 6500 feet. Beautiful road snaking through forests of pine, deodar and oak trees offers glimpses of small beautiful villages on the way. We reach Kotgarh by evening, which is our halt for the night.

Day 2: Kotgarh to Sangla (147 km, 6 hrs)

Sangla, Kinnaur

Sangla, Kinnaur

After breakfast, we take a narrow road descending through orchards of apples and cherries, until we reach the left bank of Sutlej River. We drive along the Sutlej for 80 km. The journey is full of excitement and thrill as gushing water paints the muddy river white. The Mother Nature reveals its first marvel as soon as we reach a deep gorge at a place called Taranda. The road roofed by multiple rock tunnels ushers you into Kinnaur valley.

We cross a bridge and leave the Sutlej River at a place called Karcham – gateway to the Baspa valley. Now we start chasing the Baspa River upward and reach a beautiful village called Sangla – a place to feel the transition in the rich and vibrant culture of Kinnaur. Sangla is a broad valley on the right bank of Baspa River. It is surrounded by the forest of pine, deodar, and Himalayan birch. Cliffy golden mountains toward the north guard the village and its inhabitants. They are so steep that even snow refuses to cling onto them.

To south, snow-capped mountain range overlooking green forests and beautiful waterfalls seeping out of its chest makes your stay an ideal getaway for landscaping under the clear blue sky in the Baspa valley. You will enjoy listening to the story Mother Nature wants to whisper in your ears. We will halt at Sangla for the night.

Day 3: A trek to Sangla Kanda and back

Sangla Kanda, Kinnaur

Sangla Kanda, Kinnaur

After a quick breakfast, we will take a small descent towards the Baspa River and start a gradual uphill hike on the left bank of the valley after crossing a bridge connecting the two slopes. The trail initially goes through a thick forest of pine, Himalayan birch, and deodar trees. There are terraced fields and small huts on the way. Magnificent landscape starts to unfold as soon as you ascend a narrow trail shadowed by boulders and trees leading to Sangla Kanda. Lush green meadows offer a panoramic view of the Baspa Valley and the snow-clad mountains when you reach the top. A small beautiful lake at the top pretends to be a mirror while reflecting the majestic Kinner Kailash peak in its crystal clear water.

We spend a few hours exploring the area and enjoying the tranquility in the crisp chilling mountain air. We start our journey back on the same trail as soon as the sun starts to play hide-and-seek behind white mountain crests in the evening. We call it a day in a hotel at Sangla.

Day 4: Sangla to Chitkul (22 km, 1 hr)

Chitkul, Kinnaur

Chitkul, Kinnaur

Next morning you’ll wake up to a lovely morning sun greeting you in Sangla. As you see the sun’s rays lighting up shady areas of the mountains and valley, we start moving towards Chitkul – more popularly known as ‘the last village’ in India towards the Indo-Tibetan border – after having breakfast. It’s also the last village of the Baspa valley at an altitude of 3550 metres.

We cross the beautiful village of Rakcham on the way. Green forest dots both sides of the valley. It is a fairy tale journey on this trail. There are numerous streams and bridges on the way. As we gain an elevation of about 500 m, blind curves, and rocky mountains finally give way to this beautiful little Himalayan village surrounded by cliffy mountains on one side, and a forested mountain with snowy tops on the other side.

We check into a hotel/guest house here and then spend the day strolling along the banks of Baspa River or going fishing. There are plenty of short walks around.

Chitkul is the starting point of many famous treks like Rupin and Lamkhaga. We return to the hotel/guest house by evening and relax.

Day 5: Chitkul to Sarahan (105 km, 6 hrs)

Bhima Kali Temple, Sarahan

Bhima Kali Temple, Sarahan

We wake up to a lovely day at Chitkul. After breakfast, we start our journey back on the same route until we reach a place called Jeori, where we leave NH 22 to take another connecting road leading to Sarahan. This place is our halt for the night.

Day 6: Sarahan to Chandigarh (246 km, 7 hrs)

Drive back to Chandigarh and the tour terminates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this trip for me?

A: If you are crazily in love with the Himalayas, then this trip is for you. If you have never felt how driving through the world’s most treacherous road and standing on the world’s highest inhabited village feels like, then this trip is for you. Ear-deafening noise coming from furious Sutlej and calmness and beauty of Sangla Kanda will get you high.

Q: How is weather out there?

A: Temperatures might be as low as 0 °C or even lower at Sangla, Kanda. And, the only mantra to enjoy this trip is to be well equipped. It’s perfectly fine to fill your bag with an extra pair of woolen socks, cap, warm jacket and thermals.

Q: Can I bring my spouse/friend with me?

A: Of course, you can. We will be visiting many beautiful villages, lakes, and temples during the course of our journey; which implies, we will be having a wonderful time during the trip.

Q: Is there any trekking involved in the trip?

A: Yes, on the thrid of the trip.

Q: What is the maximum altitude we will hit?

A: 11,500 ft (3,500 m) at Sangla Kanda

Q: What about the level of physical fitness?

A: A person with reasonable fitness can join the group. Still, it is always good to be fit when going to high altitudes.

Q: Does physical fitness protect against altitude sickness?

A: As suggested it’s always good to be physically fit when you plant to go in high altitudes. But there is no evidence that people with high physical fitness level don’t fall prey to AMS (acute mountain sickness). Rather they might challenge themselves to exert more, hence increasing the probability of becoming AMS victim.

Q: Can I drink alcohol at high altitude?

A: Drinking alcohol at high altitudes is a practice you should avoid in all possibilities, because alcohol can obstruct your breathing, directly hampering acclimatization process of your body. Furthermore, alcohol may cause dehydration.

Q: Should I take Diamox when going to high altitude?

A: There is no need to take Diamox until or unless your body has enough time for acclimatization. We have planned the trip in stages to offer your body sufficient time for acclimatization during the ascent. Hence taking drugs in the mountains need to be avoided. You should consider taking Diamox only if you are gaining altitude very quickly (flying to high altitude locations), that too only if you have no history of allergy to the drug.

Cancellation Policy

In the event of cancellation of tour/trek/adventure activity/services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive the information in writing (email), and cancellation charges would be as follows:

  • 30 days or more prior to the departure date: 90% of the total package fee refundable
  • Between 21-30 days prior to the departure date: 60% of the total package fee refundable
  • Between 20-11 days prior to the departure date: 30% of the total package fee refundable
  • Less than 10 days prior to the departure date: No refund
  • No show: No refund
  • No refund will be made if a participant is unable to complete the tour/trek/adventure activity owing to medical conditions or any other reasons, after starting the tour/trek/adventure activity

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