Thinking about a break? If not you should be thinking about it, because everyone deserves a break. Like a interval in a movie, it’s time to take a break from your movie called “Life”.
“The Mountains are calling and I must go” a phrase you’ll only understand when you visit the Mountains. I am not asking you to scale one, it’s just time to hop on your motor vehicles and head towards the Mountains. It’s time for Himachal and it’s time For Sangla, Kinnaur.
Himachal you read and Shimla you thought. I know that. Today I am gonna tell you about a Small tribal hamlet Kinnaur and it’s most beautiful Valley the Sangla Valley.
Kinnaur district is one of the 12 districts of the State of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a small tribal Hamlet bordering Tibet. It’s famous for its beautiful breath taking sceneries, jaw dropping roads and the most delicious Apple’s. Apple’s of Kinnaur are often Compared with the likes of the Apple’s of New Zealand and Washington. It’s geographical conditions give it an added advantage of growing Apple’s. Like a Cherry on top of a pie the snow covered Mountains rest over the Dense forest. It’s people are known for their beautiful green Cap and it’s tribal Culture. Such is the beauty of the place that it’s often compared to the the very famous Switzerland
Sangla Valley or the Baspa valley is situated in Kinnaur district of the state of Himachal Pradesh. It’s distance from New Delhi is around 580 kms and stands tall at an altitude of 2.600 metres above the sea level. There are a good number of State operated buses from Delhi To the district HQ Rekong Peo. You need to Stop at Karcham and then board another bus to Sangla. There are also a good number Of buses available from Chandigarh sector 43 bus stand to Rekong Peo. You again need to get down at Karcham and board another bus to Sangla. The total time taken by buses is Around 10 hour’s to reach to Karcham and then another 80 to 90 minutes to Sangla.
As You enter through the Valley you get the view of lush green Forest’s and big Apple tree’s. The name Baspa Comes from the river Baspa that flows through the valley. There are plenty of mid range Hotels and guest House’s offering room’s at an affordable price. There are two Govt. Rest House’s owned by the PWD and the Electricity Board respectively. Little Restaurants and Dhaba’s are good in number’s. There is a Liquor shop open till 11 in the night. Many Hotels also provide Liquor on demand on a little higher price. The tourist season opens in April and goes on till mid October. The best time to visit Sangla is June and July.
The journey from Karcham to Sangla is in itself a roller coaster ride. This old Indo Tibetan road has got it’s mentions in Discovery channel’s world deadliest road’s. Once you travel through it you’ll know why. The roads are full of hair pin bends and hair raising paths. Once you travel for 70 minutes through the road you get the first glimpse of the valley and you would already be mesmerized.
Yes you read it right the name is Azaad kashmir due to it’s similarities to kashmir and it was never captured so it got the Name Azaad kashmir. The way is through the Sangla market downwards through the main village towards the River Baspa and the and across it towards kashmir. There is quiet a big Trout Farm there which you can visit and gain some knowledge or you can just beside the river on the rocks and enjoy the view.
Sangla Kanda :
Sangla Kanda is basically an easy 10 km Trek from Sangla village to Sangla kanda. The approximate time taken to complete the trek is nearly 4 hour’s. It’s an easy trek and you don’t need to have an great experience to do it. Either you can leave early in the Morning and be back by the same evening or either you can head towards the summit after lunch and camp there overnight. Reaching the top is the most beautiful experience in itself and the view is mesmerizing and there is a small natural lake out there to make you feel even better. Watching the overnight sky with all those star’s is like a scene from a movie. They are close yet too far
WHERE TO GO??
Sangla has many places to offer you to go and Visit. After a Good overnight Rest and a healthy breakfast in nature’s lap. It’s time to move. The first destination that you should start from is by visiting the nearby Kamru Village. Kamru is famous for it’s Kamru fort which is believed to be the Home of 10000 dieties(Devi Devta) An exotic Image of Lord Buddha on the Fort’s Main Gate and an Image of Kamkhya Devi are the unique features of this fort. The image of Kamkhya Devi, supposed to have been brought from Assam, is installed on the third floor. There is also a 15th century shrine of Lord Badrinath, which hosts a light every three years.The Kamru fort is a quiet sentinel. Along your way back you can visit the Local Dieties ie: Lord Baddri Vishal ji’s Temple which is very beautiful in itself.
BATSERI, RAKCHAM AND CHITKUL :
The next morning should start early with 3 destinations in mind. Batseri, RAKCHAM and CHITKUL.
Bstseri has an good approachable road at a distance of 5 km from the main Sangla market.It is one of 109 villages in Sangla Block that offers amazing view of the great Himalayas and gives a relaxing experience to the guests. The main attraction is the temple of the local diety Sh “Badri Narayan Ji”
The carved wooden Badri Narayan temple at village Batseri is a beautiful temple which is clean and peaceful, rare qualities to be found in a Hindu temple. The temple is to the left as one enters the village. Enter the village after you cross the small bridge on river Baspa. There is a small steep climb and then you enter Batseri. It is a mandatory visit each time you go to Sangla.
Save the best for the last. CHITKUL is the last inhabited Village on the Indian side before the Tibetan mountain range start. The distance between RAKCHAM and CHITKUL is 10 km. Converting it into time taken to reach it equals to 30 min of Car ride. If I would have to narrate what CHITKUL is I’ll just say it’s the picture perfect location or it’s the ideal post card location. Unlike the other village’s of Sangla Valley there are no Apple farms out there because of it’s altitude of 3.500 meters above the Sea Level. You can visit the Buddhist temple and also look into the old CHITKUL House’s which have wooden roofs or slate roofs which you must have not seen any where. A visit to the local temple is also mandatory as other parts of Sangla. You can further go ahead and just relax and enjoy the breath taking locations
How To plan :
Delhi > Sangla::Day 1
Sangla > Kamru Fort > Sangla Market > Azaad Kashmir:: Day 2
Trek to Sangla Kanda and Back:: Day 3
Sangla> Batseri > Rackham > Chitkul > Sangla:: Day 4
Sangla > Delhi Day 5
You can Add 2 more days if you take a halt in Chandigarh or Shimla
What To have :
Winter clothing, spare tires and Good condition car’s.
There is A State Bank of India ATM in Sangla and but is Advisable to be loaded with cash early.
A driver with a driving experience of driving in the Mountains is Mandatory.
Things To Buy:
The famous Green Cap or any other local jewelry.
Local wine for the wine Lover’s
Tasting local food is mandatory, after all we all need a break from butter chicken
Getting your hands on the famous Chilgoza is also mandatory.
RAKCHAM is the second last Village on the Indian side before the mighty mountains of Tibet start. It’s at a distance of 14 km from Sangla, probably the best 45 minutes ride of your life. Once you reach RAKCHAM places to go are on you. Feel free and roam around like a free Bird. There are 2 Govt rest houses and a few small and Good private rest House’s. You can sit at the river bank and enjoy the serenity of nature. The beauty of the place is it’s cleanliness which are rare in Indian Tourist spot’s.
NETWORK AND COVERAGE:
The mobile phone network is good in Sangla having good signal strengths of BSNL,Airtel,Aircel and Vodafone. Your 3g Airtel network would work perfectly fine in Sangla. You’ll have weak signal’s in Rakcham and probably no Signal in Chitkul