Kinnaur Valley Tour

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.

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 NH22 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 witness 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.

High passes, lowlands, small and long flights of bridges connecting two ends of the open valley at places have been our companions for years on our journeys to this most beautiful land. We have been driving through these picture-perfect roads and Himalayan villages for years. Willing to share one of our most memorable travel experiences with you, we have designed this road trip in a way that you get a chance to explore Kinnaur inside out. From local delicacies to rich Kinnauri culture, you will get a chance to live the rural life.

Be it standing in front of the holy Kinnaur Kailalsh, or watching confluence of Sutlej and Spiti River at Khab, you will experience it all firsthand and take home lovely memories and myriad adventure stories you have lived in real time.

Tour Highlights

  • Drive through one of the most treacherous roads in the world, well-accompanied by extended landscapes and beautiful Himalayan lakes
  • Visiting century-old temples and Buddhist monasteries
  • Watching confluence of Sutlej and Spiti River

Region: Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days

Cost: Rs 14,800/- per person

Requisite group size: 04 Pax (min)

Day Plan

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

Day 2: Kotgarh to Rakcham (160 Km, 6 hrs)

Day 3: Rakcham to Chitkul and then drive to Kalpa (70 km, 4 hrs)

Day 4: Kalpa to Nako (100 km, 4 hrs)

Day 5: Nako to Sarahan (180 km, 7 hrs)

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

Detailed Itinerary

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

Kotgarh

Kotgarh

We will start our journey from Chandigarh in the morning 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 ft to reach Shimla. Beautiful road snaking through forests of pine, deodar, and oak trees offer glimpses of small beautiful villages on the way. We reach Kotgarh by evening, which is our halt for the night. Overnight stay is at a cottage amidst apple and cherry orchard.

Day 2: Kotgarh to Rakcham (160 km, 6 hrs)

Rakcham, Kinnaur

Rakcham, Kinnaur

After breakfast, we take a narrow road descending through orchards of apples and cherries until we hit the NH 22 to drive along the right bank of Sutlej River. We drive along the Sutlej for about 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 Taranda to see a deep gorge on the left-hand side of the road. The road roofed by multiple rock tunnels ushers you into Kinnaur Valley. We take a right at Karcham, where connecting road branches out from National Highway 22 to lead you into the Sangla Valley.

Rakcham is a beautiful village at an altitude of 3050 m in Sangla Valley. This place has the charm of its own. Green forested lands and high mountains beautify the landscape on either side of the glacial water of the Baspa River snaking through Sanlga valley. Rakcham is the place for an overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 3: Rakcham to Chitkul to Kalpa (70 km, 5 hrs)

Chitkul

Chitkul

After breakfast, we drive to the last village of India. We continue our journey for another 20 minutes to reach the last inhabited village near Indo-Tibet border called Chitkul – 13 km from Rakcham. This place is at an elevation of 3450 m. So don’t be surprised to see big snowflakes falling from the sky in the month of May or October as soon as you raise your head to look up. This place is the starting point for some popular treks leading to Rupin and Lamkhaga Pass. We spend the morning hiking along the river and enjoying a blissful day in solitude. After lunch, we drive toward the village of Kalpa. Kalpa is more famous for the views it offers of the snow-covered Kinner Kailash Ranges. This is the place for an overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 4: Kalpa to Nako (100 km, 4 hrs)

Nako Lake and Nako Village, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Nako Lake and Nako Village

Today we drive along the Sutlej River until we reach a place called Khab. Khab is the place where Sutlej and Spiti River meet. From here, the road ascends until you reach the place called Nako at an elevation of 12000 ft. Nako is a picturesque village with a lake in the center offering reflections of snow-covered Manerang Ranges. This place is the basecamp for climbing Reo Purgyil – the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh. We then proceed further to reach Tabo village by evening for an overnight stay in a camp/homestay/guest house.

Day 5: Nako to Sarahan (return journey, 187 km, 7 hrs)

Bhima Kali Temple, Sarahan

Bhima Kali Temple, Sarahan/Image Courtesy: Jagjit Singh

As this trip covers exclusively Kinnaur Valley, we take a U-turn after enjoying a lakeside view at Nako. We will drive back on the same road until Jeori then take a left to drive for 17 km to reach Sarahan. Sarahan is a small Himalayan hamlet home to a beautiful temple of Goddess Bhimakali. The place amidst apple orchards offers views of great Himalayan ranges and Shrikhand Mahadev peak at 5227 m (17150 ft) named after Lord Shiva. This is the place for an overnight stay at a hotel.

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

In the morning, after breakfast, we bid farewell to the lovely valley and drive through Chandigarh to Delhi.

Tour cost includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis
  • Transportation on all days of the tour
  • Meals
  • Qualified tour leader
  • Vehicle: Innova or equivalent

Tour cost does not include

  • Additional food or beverages ordered, room service, porter
  • Insurance
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusion list

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 Nako Lake will get you high.

Q: How is weather out there?

A: Temperatures might be as low as 0 °C or even lower at Nako. 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: No. All destinations you are visiting are accessible by the vehicle. At a couple of places, you might have to take short walks, but they cannot be categorized as treks. Anyone with reasonable fitness level can do most of the activities during the trip.

Q: What is the maximum altitude we will hit?

A: 12,000 ft (3,662 m) at Nako village

Q: What about the level of physical fitness?

A: A person with reasonable fitness can join the group because there is no trekking involved throughout the trip. 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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