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Apple Blossom, Kinnaur


Popular Destination


Located in the dizzying heights of the Himalayas, with passes that remain closed for six months linking them with the rest of the world, Kinnaur, Spiti & Lahaul were till now a forbidden land. Only a chosen few were granted permission to visit this secret world, officials, Moravian missionaries who settled here in 1853 and a few mountaineers. Now this area has been opened for the daring and adventurous to discover what had been hidden from the world for centuries.
From the riotous green of the Sangla Valley filled with orchards of apricots, peaches, chilgozas and apples to the magnificent desolation of the Hangrang Valley, Mother Nature’s portrait is an ever-changing one in Kinnaur. This land lying on the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, ringed by the majestic mountain of the Himalayan and Dhauladhar range is the land of plenty. The gushing rivers of Kinnaur abound in Trout-the angler’s prize catch, their waters have over the centuries chiseled beautiful gorges across this picturesque land and nurtured one of the most unique societies on their banks. In the lush land live the descendants of the Kinners-the demi gods of the Hindu pantheon, whose deeds have been immortalized in epics and the poems of ancient Sanskrit poets.

Temperature: Temperature can drop to below freezing point during winter.
Best season: April to October.
Clothing: Light woolens in summer and heavy woolens in winters.
Where to stay: Kinnaur has accommodation to suit most types of budgets and tastes.
HPTDC guest houses provide a comfortable stay at reasonable prices. Rest houses and camps are also available.
Details are available from local tourist offices.

By Road: The route is on NH – 22 (The Hindustan Tibet Road). Buses and Taxis are available at Shimla and Rampur. One can also reach Kalpa via Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzam Pass – Kaza (400 Km).
Regular bus services are available linking it to the other towns like Manali, Delhi and Haridwar.

By Rail: Nearest Railhead (244 Km) is Shimla.
By Air: Nearest Airport (267 Km) is Shimla.
How To Get Around: Local buses operate regularly. Taxis are also available

Places to visitKm
  1. Writers, Poets and Peace lovers will find heaven at Kothi.
  2. Watch 18 faced Ark from the Mahabharat era in Morang.
  3. Take in a beautiful view of Forests and Monasteries at Lippa.
  4. Explore the scenic beauty of Nichar.
  5. Visit the temples of splendid Sangla Valley.

Tribal Festival
This festival is organized in the last week of October to the first week of November at Reckong Peo (Kinnaur). Variety of cultural programmes organized.
Better known as ‘Baisakhi’ in the rest of north India, this festival comes in April every year on the first day of the month of Baisakh- the date varies, but is normally around 13th April. Special foods are prepared, the deities are taken out of their temples and a small fair is usually held in every village.

Phulaich/Flaich or Ookhayang
Perhaps the most unusual of Kinnaur’s festivals – and certainly its most charming, this among other things, commemorates the end of summer and the onset of winter. While Kalpa has the most vibrant celebrations, the festival carries its colours to every part of the district-including the Sangla Valley. Every village sends out its members to collect flowers from the hill sides and these are then gathered in the village square. It is a time of festivities and traditional dances. This is normally celebrated in September/October.

STD Code1786
Deputy Commissioner
Kinnaur (Reckong Peo)
Tourist Information Centre, Shimla0177-2654589, 2654589, 2832498
Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shimla0177-2625924, 2625864, 2625511
Fax: 0177-2625864, 2625864
HPTDC’s Marketing Office, Shimla0177-2652561/2658302
Fax: 0177-2652557
Tourist Information Centre, Shimla0177-2654589, 2654589, 2832498
Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shimla0177-2625924, 2625864, 2625511
Fax: 0177-2625864, 2625864
HPTDC’s Marketing Office, Shimla0177-2652561/2658302
Fax: 0177-2652557
Permits for Foreigners Travelling through Kinnaur to Spiti are issued by Resident Commissioner of Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Bhawan, 27, Sikandra Road, New Delhi- 110001Ph: 011-23716574/23716125
Deputy Commissioner, Shimla-171001Ph: 0177-2655988/2653535
Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur, Reckong Peo-172107Ph: 01786-222252
Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul and Spiti, Keylong-175132Ph: 01900-222501
Deputy Commissioner, Kullu-175101Ph: 01902-222727
Additional District Magistrate, Shimla-171001Ph: 0177-2657005
Additional District Magistrate, Kinnaur, Pooh-172111Ph: 01785-232222
Sub Divisional Magistrate, (Urban), Shimla-171001Ph: 0177-2657007
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Rampur-172001Ph: 01782-233002
Sub Divisional Magistrate, NicharPh: 01786-253201
Sub Divisional Magistrate, KalpaPh: 01786-222253
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Kaza-172114Ph: 01906-222302
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Keylong-175132Ph: 01900-222225
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Udaipur-175142Ph: 01909-222224
The permits are issued for groups of four or more persons and the tour needs to be sponsored by a recognised travel agent.

Travelling to Kinnaur,Lahaul and Spiti?
Drink plenty of fluids and eat regularly to avoid dehydration and altitude sickness. Petrol pumps on the route are at Shimla, Theog, Narkanda, Rampur, Powari, Recong Peo, Kaza, Keylong, Sarchu and Manali. If driving, essential spares and extra fuel are recommended, a sturdy vehicle is suggested. Government hospitals are at Recong Peo, Kaza and Keylong. Dispensaries are available elsewhere. Prescription medicines and sun screen lotion should be carried along. If crossing the high passes, good health is essential. The best time to travel to these areas is between April and October. While planning your trip, it is suggested that you check on general road conditions and confirm if the high passes are open to traffic. Foreigners visiting the upper reaches of Kinnaur and Spiti require a permit. For details regarding this, please contact any office of Himachal Tourism.

Literacy Rate

This village is situated 39 Km away from Kalpa on the left bank of river Satluj. The location is very beautiful and approach to this picturesque village is through apricot orchards. The local deity is Urmig and there are three structures dedicated to the deity each existing in Thwaring, Garmang and Shilling. Generally these are empty as the ark of the deity remains in the fort. On a sacred day the ark is taken to the above named places. The ark has got 18 ‘mukh’, made of silver, gold and brass. The 18 mukh represents the 18 days of the great epic Mahabharat.

Sangla Valley
This valley starts 57 Km short of Kalpa which has been named after a beautiful & populous village Sangla. Sangla is situated on the right bank of Baspa river 17 Kms. from Karcham. Journey from Karcham onwards is enjoyable and adventurous throughout the valley. The natural scenery all around and the eternal snow view are picturesque and charming. It is also known as Baspa Valley since Baspa River flows through this area. This is the most charming valley in the entire District of Kinnaur. A temple dedicated to Nages god is worth a visit & other places are Sapni, Rackchham, Kilba, Kamru Fort which can also be visited. There are post offices, banks, rest houses for the convenience of the visitors.

This is the last inhabited village in the valley and past this, come vast-snow fields and high mountains-and acres of rocky terrain. It also has temples dedicated to the local goddess, Mathi.

Bhawa Valley
From Wangtu, a road turns off to Kafnu. And here begins one of the most beautiful trek routes in Himachal. To the east, the Bhawa valley leads to the Pin valley in Spiti and to the west, the routes moves to Kullu through the Parbati valley.

Hangrang valley
With Chango and Nako as entry points, this has some strenuous treks.
Charang Ghati With Chitkul and Thagi as the two end points, this is again a trek route.

Reckong Peo (2,290 m), Kalpa (2960 m)
From the Hindustan Tibet Road, the turn-off for Reckong Peo is at Powari (1990m) and 7 km at the end of a climbing side-road, this is the district headquarters of Kinnaur. It faces the majesty of Jorkanden (6473 m) and the Kinner Kailash Mountain (6050 m). The latter is regarded as one of the mythical homes of Lord Shiva and by-its side is a 79 foot high rock formation that resembles a ‘Shivalinga’ that changes colour as the day passes and is visible to the bare eye on a clear day.

The ‘Parikrama’, circumbulation around the base of the mountain is a seven to eight day trek. Also visible on the stretch is the peak of Raldang (5,499 m).

Half an hour’s drive from Reckong Peo, takes you to Kalpa which was once known as Chini. This still has a traditional ambiance and much of the old architecture. The Narayan-Nagini temple is an exemplary example of local craftsmanship. There are a couple of Buddhist monasteries at Kalpa- including the Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar gompa said to have been founded by Rinchensang-po (950-1055 A.D.) Himachal Tourism’s hotel ‘The Kinner Kailash’ is available at Kalpa.

Nako (3,662 m): This is one of Kinnaur’s most picturesque hamlets. It has a small lake and has an important Buddhist monastery and a couple of small temples. A footprint-like impression on a rock is ascribed to the saint Padmasambhava. Nako is also the base to reach the Tashigang monastery and the start for the trek to the Pargial Peak. Nako is 115 km from Powari.
Well known for its local brews, it is a picturesque village. It is 16 km from Powari.
This is a complete monastic village and its Buddhist monastery is of considerable significance and dates back of time of Rinchensang-po. It is 40 km from Powari. This is located at the base of the Nessang valley and is on one of the old trade routes that led to Tibet.

Kamru Fort, Sangla (Kinnaur)

A kilometer above Sangla village stands the tower-like fort of Kamru. This wood and stone structure was the original seat of the rulers of Bushair. Kamru is a dense cluster of houses and is surrounded by fields and orchards – and incidentally, some of the finest apples of Himachal come from here. The main gate of Kamru has an image of the Buddha-whose blessings are sought before entering the confines of the village. A series of low gates through the hamlet lead to the tower that rises five stories high. It serves as an excellent example of an architectural style that is unique to this part of the world. The stronghold has an image of the Hindu deity, Kamakhya Devi (Kamakshi) installed in the upper storey. This image is said to have been brought here several centuries ago from Assam. The village also has a fifteenth-century temple of Badrinath.

One of Kinnaur’s larger settlements, this also has an old Buddhist monastery. It is 72 km from Powari.
Leo (2,438 m)
This is a small village with an old temple dedicated to the local deity, Tangtashu.
Chango (3,058 m)
This is just before the start of Spiti and is surrounded by high hills.
Chango is famous for the quality of its apples that grow in its aridity and low temperatures.
Situated on the road to Rohtang pass, a picturesque spot, Kothi is 12Km from Manali. A PWD rest house is situated on a ridge overlooking a narrow valley with a very good view of mountains and valleys. A large number of films (movies) have been filmed at this place and is the ideal resting resorts of poets, writers and the lovers of peaceful environs.

Situated near the left bank of Taiti stream. The village can be approached from Kalpa by the old Hindustan Tibet road to Jangi-Lippa-14 Km. Ibex are said to be found near the forest. The three Budhist monasteries here are dedicated to Galdang, Chhoiker Dunguir and Kangyar.

This village is situated between Taranda & Wangtu on the left bank of Satluj about 5 Kms. above Wangtu. The scenery is enchanting. Ghoral , antelopes, black & red bears are seen sometimes in higher ranges.