Exploring Kinnaur in Early wintersHimachal Pradeshtipstop destinations 17th January 2018
Kinnaur is rightly termed as the land of the gods, because the place is so beautiful that you would believe that gods would definitely chose this place to reside. My journey to Kinnaur is full of wonderful experiences and beautiful destinations. You can reach directly to Reckong peo from Delhi by HRTC direct bus service, it takes around 18 hours for the journey however the journey is full of beautiful views, you can otherwise complete this journey in two parts, one from Delhi to Shimla and then Shimla to Reckong peo, after taking a day’s break in Shimla. If you take the direct bus from Delhi, ISBT Kashmiri gate, you will reach Reckong peo at around 2:00 PM the next day and the ticket will cost around 1000 INR.
After reaching Reckong peo, you can look for a place to stay you will find many choices there but I chose to stay in Kalpa which is just a few kilometres away, but the view is better. I found a really nice hotel, Tab Exotic with a perfect view of Kinner Kailash, and since it was November I got myself a room for 1000 INR and the rooms were pretty good for this price. I took the rest of the day enjoying the view from the hotel, watching the moon come up behind the snow-capped peaks and later on sitting by the bonfire.
Next Day after breakfast, I decided to go for a trek to Chaka Lake, the trail goes through apple orchards for first kilometre and then it was a feet of snow, I managed to trek for two hours beyond which the level of snow got so high and that it was impossible to walk. I just stayed there for a while enjoying the sun in midst of a white snow field with a beautiful view of Kinner Kailash Range.
After reaching back to the Hotel in another hour, I decided to leave for Rooghi Village. I hired a car since its about 10 kilometers, so the journey began again on thin roads and even better views, we took a good long break at the suicide point and clicked some stunning pictures and the started the journey to Rooghi village. It’s a small village and it would take you back in 1990, you would feel like you have travelled back in time, and coming from Delhi I felt that the whole place was empty.
It was a Sunday and I hardly saw 3-4 people on the street, I explored the village a little more, walked into a temple, the architecture was phenomenal, the whole place was made out of wood, it was a local festival going on so everyone was gathered in the village, they offered me meat prepared in the temple along with locally brewed alcohol (which was infact quite strong to stomach). By the time I returned from Rooghi the sun was almost setting and I went to explore Kalpa a little more, went to monastery located at the centre of the town, then went to another temple, which was again a fine architectural feat. I returned to my hotel around 8:00 PM and everything was quite visible because of the moonlight.
Next day I got up and went to explore Reckong peo, which is the administrative place of Kinnaur region, so it was like a big town with a big market, so if you want to shop that is the place for you.
From there on I hired a jeep to go to Sangla and Chhitkul, I headed back on the same road to till Karcham and from Karcham there is a diversion going to Sangla and Chhitkul, the road runs right next to the Baspa River. Traces of snow were now everywhere, the road get a little bumpy at some parts otherwise it’s all perfect to drive on, you can ride in shared jeeps and there are buses running between Sangla/Chitkul and Reckong peo.
I reached Sangla by 4:00 PM I went on to Kamru fort straight ahead going through the whole village visiting temples and other old architectural buildings. After spending an hour at Sangla I started moving towards Chhitkul, you have to pass through an ITBP checkpoint, where you must register yourself, so don’t forget to carry an ID card. By the time I reached Chhitkul the sun had already started going down, I checked into my hotel, Kinner Heights Chitkul, it was a very decent hotel and I again managed to get it at a bargain considering the off season, I settled in and went on the terrace to watch the sunset, which was a delight to my sore eyes, off course it was chilling outside and the wind was making it hard for me to stay out of my room but the view kept me out.
The next morning it was bright and sunny, I walked out visitng the village, went to have a meal at the last Indian Dhaba and then went on to explore the Baspa valley which was under the blanket of snow. Post afternoon I started my return journey to Reckong peo, and from reckon peo I continued my Journey back home to Delhi via Shimla which took around 20 hours.