Himachal Pradesh /Kinnaur District
Himachal Pradesh is one destination that is overlooked quite often, but a tour of this area is definitely worth the research. One top spot on a trip here is the Kinnaur Kailash (locally known as Kinner Kailash), which is a mountain in the Kinnaur district of the Indian state Himachal Pradesh. The Kinnaur Kailash has a height of 6,500 meters and is considered sacred by both Hindu and Buddhist Kinnauris. It is one of the mythical abodes of Lord Shiva, often confused with the Kailash in Tibet. One can undertake the holy pilgrimage of Kinner Kailash from this place and return to Kalpa in 7-8 days or travel onward north through Manali or traverse to Spiti or overland to Ladakh. There are no direct flights from Delhi but you can enter via Delhi to Srinagar airport/Shimla with a drive which takes you into the Sangla Valley of Kinnaur.
Himachal Pradesh is the place to go for memorable nature experiences, and there are many spots perfect for exploring and appreciating the beauty of the area. For example, the Sangla Valley is said to be one of the most beautiful places in the country, and is sure to be remembered fondly. With its vast views and colorful landscape, the Sangla Valley is a must-see while visiting Himachal Pradesh.
While much of the Himalayas offer greater heights, the terrain there is high desert with no greenery except sparse trees planted by the local peoples. In Kinnaur and Sangla Valley, specifically, the terrain is surrounded by magnificent peaks with lush orchards of cherry, apricot, and apple trees in the foothills. Many of the views are reminiscent of Japan as one hikes along, although the entire range has a splendor like no other. The route follows the Sutlej river in Sangla valley. While there, stop in Kalpa, a beautiful village located in the backdrop of Kinner Kailash Mountain range.
What to Do:
Begin in Sangla, then to Chitkul, Nako Lake and end in Kalpa. Kullu, Manali and the north region can be an extension as well as a trip to Ladakh. We offer 6 day itineraries, as well as 2-3 weeks and 56 day itineraries to traverse the Himalayas.
Wildlife Sanctuaries: There are three wildlife sanctuaries worth seeing on your tour, namely Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary, Rakcham-Chitkul Sanctuary, and Rupi-Bhaba Sanctuary. All house wide varieties of wildlife, and species like yak, ibex, leopard, red fox, ghoral, musk deer, blue sheep, brown bear, and Himalayan black bear can be found here.
Reckong Peo: To get a panoramic view of Kinner Kailash, you must visit Recong Peo, the district headquarter of Kinnaur, which is 260 kilometers from Shimla.
Chandika Temple: This temple, located in the village of Kothi, is dedicated to goddess Chandika. She is worshipped with great reverence among the locals. It is believed that she was the daughter of demon devta Banasur who presided over Kinnaur.
Chitkul: This is the highest village of Baspa Valley with a few especially easy 2 hour hikes.