Abode of God
If you are looking for an off-beat experience during your visit to Himachal, Kinnaur might just be your go-to place! It is located about 235 km away from the state capital Shimla, on the popularly acclaimed Hindustan-Tibet road at National Highway 22. Snugly sitting at a height ranging between 2,320 to 6,816 m, it renders a gracious view of the Kinner Kailash. Now steadily growing as one of the populous districts of Himachal, it attracts a great number of tourists and travelers with ample provision for accommodation and leisure facilities.
What may come as an obvious impression on visiting Kinnaur is the wealth of Tribal customs and the deep-rooted faith that the inhabitants have for their motherland. There exists a peaceful existence of both Hinduism and Buddhism here with beautiful temples and monasteries dotting the landscape of Kinnaur. Needless to say, it is rich in history, with forts and structures built for the mythological legends. It is a location looked up by many Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva and also where the Pandavas spent their exile.
Apart from the truly auspicious value that this destination has to offer, it is a thriving example of the wonders that nature has in store, not just for the humankind but also for the healthy habitation of flora and fauna. You will find the rich green of the clustered trees and meadows juxtaposing the rugged and snow-capped mountain ranges. Not only is it pleasing to be engulfed into the heliodon of such a view on all sides, but it also fills your heart with a sense of peace and much-needed tranquility. The valley is divided into 2 parts.
- The lower Kinnaur - includes Sangla, Chitkul, Reckong Peo and Kalpa
- Upper Kinnaur - includes the area around Nako village
The Kinnaur valley is embellished by the presence of Satluj, Baspa and the Spiti river flowing its way through the entire stretch. Time spent at Kinnaur is tailor-made to pull you away from the fast-paced city life and spend some quality time rediscovering yourself!
Visiting Kinnaur is like discovering a treasure box with limitless exciting adventures for you. The geographical location of Kinnaur presents itself with opportunities for adventure sports like trekking, wildlife safari, and boating. The 'Parikarma of Kailash' is one of the most exciting routes for trekking with stimulating pathways. You can enjoy a thrilling boat ride at the Nako lake and even go wildlife sighting at any of the three wildlife sanctuaries that Kinnaur houses, that are home to a wide range of flora, and fauna.
- Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary
- Rachan-Chitkul Sanctuary
- Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary
At Kalpa, which is Kinnaur district's finest location, is a favorite spot for soaking the beautiful view of sunrise and sunset. In addition to the scenic pleasure, Kinnaur is famous for the delicious apples that are grown and harvested in the home ground. Your trip to Kinnaur is incomplete without a little indulgence into these sweet apples coupled with a glass of salted tea, called "cha".
With all things said, Kinnaur is one of those rare beauties where the journey itself is the destination. The way to reach Kinnaur is itself posed with multiple opportunities to create cherished experiences at every turn.
Top things do in Kinnaur
How to reach
There are buses that run regularly from Delhi and Chandigarh. They run on a daily basis and can take you to different parts of Kinnaur.
You can also get taxis from the nearest airport or railway station, both of which are located at Shimla.
How to Reach by Flight
The Dehradun airport lies 154 km away from Kinnaur. The next closest airport is the Junnarhatti airport in Shimla which is at a distance of 267 km from Shimla. You can avail taxis and even buses from the airport premises.
How to Reach by Train
If you choose to travel by train, the nearest station is the Kalka railway station that is located 356 km from Kinnaur. You can take a bus or cab to Kinnaur.
How to Reach by Bus
Himachal Pradesh Transport Corporation (HRTC) has regular bus services to take you to different parts of Kinnaur. There is a direct bus service from Shimla to Kaza via the Satluj valley route and it takes roughly 24 hours.
There are at least 4 bus routes in Kinnaur connecting Reckong peo with Shimla on a daily basis. There are other services that go to Nichar, Sangla and Pooh.
How to Reach by Road
Kinnaur is well connected by road with cities like Shimla, Chandigarh, and Delhi. Higher ground vehicles are preferred for the travel. There are two routes to travel to Kinnaur.
- You can take the route from Delhi/Chandigarh to Solan-Shimla and then to Nakanda-Rampur leading to Kinnaur Valley
- Alternatively, you can take the route from Solan-Chail-Kufri_Narkanda to reach Kinnaur valley.
How to travel within
You can travel around Kinnaur in hired cabs or local buses that move even with the challenging roads. There are some routes that are hard to be covered by vehicles. Such routes are a good opportunity for small treks.
If you are in search of an authentic experience when in Kinnaur, it is advisable to mingle and enjoy what the inhabitants of Kinnaur have to offer. They are people who are grounded in behavior and will readily welcome you with warmth. The smiling faces and the humility shared among them is sure to restore your faith and also help you around when traveling around Kinnaur. If you are lucky, they might even give you a taste of their homemade beverages like Angoori-grape alcohol and Shudang - wine. You can also find these in some of the well-known eateries around the town along with scrumptious local meals. Some of the frequently visited eating joints are:
- Little Chef's restaurant - Multi-cuisine
- Hotel Srikhand - Indian cuisine
- Hotel Mehfil - Indian cuisine
- Sherma sweets
Things to keep in mind :
- Keep your phone charged or carry a power bank with you always. Electricity is not always reliable. Phone networks are also not very promising at all places.
- Travel with an experienced driver
- Carry light woolen clothes and be prepared for a sudden change in temperature.
Day 1 :
- Take a pitstop at Narkanda and continue towards Chitkul. You can visit Kamru fort and Nages temple on the way
- Continue towards Chitkul. Spend some leisure time here enjoying the hill station
- Head to Kalapa. Tourist attractions here include suicide point, villages of Roghi and Kothi
Day 2 :
- Kapla to Sarahan
- Visit Bhimakal temple and bird sanctuary at Sarahan
- Sarahan to Chail - Enjoy the sunset from Kali ka Tiba at Chail