Kinnaur

Destinations Covered: Kinnaur sightseeing – Rupin Passand Kinnaur Kailash – Borasu Pass – Nathpa Jhakri Dam – Manirang and Reo Purgyil
Kinnaur Tour Duration: 03 Day / 02 Nights

Introduction

Kinnaur is a destination to enjoy the heavenly abode of the Himalayas where rest the Gods and Goddesses of Hindu mythology. Kinnaur is very thinly populated. In fact, it is the second least populated district of Himachal Pradesh after Lahaul Spiti. It is situated about 235 km from the popular tourist the summer capital of Shimla. This district is flanked by Tibet in the East and the mountain slopes of Kinnaur are covered by thick forests, fruit orchards and picturesque quaint villages.

Kinnaur is largely popular for Kinnaur Kailash the peak of which is famous for its natural rock Shivling. The woods are fragrant and tranquil with hosts of juniper, fir, pine, cypress and rhododendron and the oak, chestnut, maple and apple, birch magnolia and apricot at lower altitudes. Yaks, dzos, Himalayan black bear and small ponies are all that you can find in these deserted mountain valleys. The sky-high mountain ranges of Zaskar and Himalayas enfold the valleys of Sutlej, Spiti and Baspa in their cavities.

How to reach Kinnaur

Kinnaur by Air

The cities connected to the city of Kinnaur by air are Shimla with Jubbarhatti Airport which is about 42 km away and Dehradun with its Jolly Grant Airport. Daily/regular flights are available from Delhi to Shimla and Dehradun. Kinnauris well connected to the major Indian cities of Amritsar, New Delhi, etc.

Kinnaur by Bus

Kinnaur has a road network that is connected to all major cities of India. Kinnaur can be reached via Shimla and Rampur. Kinnaur can be reached through Lahaul and Spiti. The road via Nako is landslide prone and is advisable to avoid.

Kinnaur by Railways

The nearest Railway Station to Kinnauris Shimla. Shimlais about 244 km away from Kinnaur.

Places to visit

  • Rupin Pass: Rupin Pass is a gorgeous high-altitude mountain pass across the Himalayas. It lies on a traditional shepherd and hiking route and is very popular among hikers.
  • Kinnaur Kailash: The Kinnaur Kailash is the majestic mountain in the Kinnaur district that rises to a height of 4650 meters and poses as a sacred destination to both Hindus and Buddhists.
  • Borasu Pass or Bara-su is another high mountain pass located on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and is situated very close to the Tibet border.
  • The Nathpa Jhakri Dam is surely an exotic tourist destination for the travellers in Kinnaur. This is a concrete gravity dam built across the Satluj River. It produces immense hydroelectric power and supplies a 1,500 megawatts underground power station with water.
  • Manirang is unique as it is one of the highest mountains in the Indianstate of Himachal Pradesh. It lies on the border between Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti. It also contains the high-altitude Manirang pass near its peak. This pass served as one of the early route of trade between Spiti and Kinnaur. Now, however, motorable roads have been built.

  • Reo Purgyil is also sometimes known as Leo Pargial and Leo Pargil. This is also a stunning mountain peak at the southern end of the Zanskar Range in the Western Himalayas.

Things to do

  • Enjoy thrilling hiking expedition, rock and mountain climbing, river sojourn and river-side camping expeditions.
  • Attempt the most difficult of treks, the Kinnaur Kailash Trek, up the Kinnaur Kailash Mountain till the Shiv Lingam. The pilgrim trek starts from Tang Ling Village and ends in Sangla. The trek varies from 8-10 km till 32 km that takes about 2 days to get completed.

  • Go for an adventurous trek across the rugged and wild terrain in the Borasu Pass or Manirang Pass or even through Malling Nala. Reo Purgyil at the end of Zanskar Range also makes for a thrilling trekking expedition. The entire region makes for an excellent and thrilling trekking expedition.

Where to stay (Best 5 Hotels)

Kinner Villa: It is a situated on a hill top and is accessible through a never-ending uphill drive. The property has large spacious rooms. The rooms are well furnished and the hotel is surrounding by magnificent apple orchards and the view of the balcony is mesmeric with the Kinnaur Kailash visible at a distance. There is a large parking facility. The quality of food is good and service is prompt. The hotel maintains quality facilities and upkeep of the hotel is very good.The hospitality is enjoyable and this hotel can be termed as the best hotel in Kalpa.

Hotel Aucktong: This property makes for a comfortable stay and memorable vacation. The rooms are tidy and very spacious. This hotel offers the beat rooms in the top most floor. It is located in Kalpa, Kinnaur. The staff is very courteous and helpful and makes a nice homely stay. The meals are well laid out and have a lot of variety.The entire staff is quite friendly and takes care of the guests very well to make them feel pampered. It is a perfect destination to stay with friends and family and the enthralling view from the balconies fills every heart with beauty and thrill.

Prakash Regency: This property makes for a comfortable stay in very spacious rooms that are well maintained with good interiors. The décor of rooms are tastefully done and there is a wide array of choice in the meal spreads. The staff is trained and competent and offers prompt service. They are polite and helpful. Maintenance of the property is good and restrooms are very clean. Tasty meals are served and are quite reasonably priced. This hotel is suitable for both family and corporate stay. The best part of this property is the mesmeric view of the apple orchards and snow-capped mountains all around. It can be termed as the best hotel in Sangla.

The Sun n Snow Cottage: This is a HPTDC Hotel in Kalpa. This is a very decent property with good, clean and spacious rooms. The ambience of the hotel setting is nice and the ambience is okay for family stay. The cottages are very reasonably priced and there are options of mid-budget and luxury rooms too. The view from the balcony is breath-taking.

Igloo Nature Camp: The camp is built in the midst of serene nature and is an exceptional camping site. It is a popular staying option among young and dynamic adventure seekers. It is designed to create unforgettable memories for all travellers. It welcomes all guests by a warm hospitality and makes every stay memorable in the heart of Himalayas. Located in Sangla, this property is specially created for the lovers of hills and valleys.

How to go around

The entire region of Kinnaur is can be traversed by road in private cabs and vehicles or trekkers might have the pleasure to trek across to all tourist destinations. Buses are both state-run and private ones. Private taxis can be hired to go around. Tour and travel operators run private tours for sight-seeing for the benefit of tourists and travellers travelling to this remote part of the Himalayas and adjoining regions from various parts of the country and beyond.

Fests & Fairs

  • Sazo: This festival is celebrated in the January month. On this day, people take bath in natural springs or in Satluj River. Poltus, rice, pulses, vegetables, meat, halva, chilta and pug are the main delicacies prepared on this festival. In the morning, the family god is worshiped with food. The hearth is worshiped atnoon. The deity is offered wine and halwa. A fold dance is performed. It is believed that thereafter the deity has retired to Kinner Kailash.

  • Phagul ro Suskar: This festival is celebrated in February or March. In this festival, the spirit of Kanda (Mountain Peaks) called Kali is worshiped. The festivities continue for a fortnight and are celebrated with full regalia all across Kinnaur. Each day of the festival is known by distinctly separate names and each day is celebrated through unique customs and rituals. Feast is prepared on the last day of the festival. Goddess Kali is worshipped on the roof of the house and then the devotees indulge in feast. The Goddess is satiated and is believed to bless the villagers with prosperity and happiness.

  • Baisakhi or Beesh: This festival is celebrated in April when the villagers prepare dishes such as Poltu, Halwa and Keyshid. The deity is carried out of the temple and a fair is held in the Santang in her honour. The people meet to celebrate, dance and drink. This festival marks the end of winter and to mark itnew woollen clothes are worn by the local people, which is prepared from the wool produced during the winter.

  • Dakhraini: This festival is celebrated in July in which a feast is served. The deity is brought out and the villagers perform in front of the Goddess. Zongor and loskar flowers are brought from the Kand Peak and their garlands are woven out of them which are then offered to the goddess. After the ritual these flowers are distributed among the devotees. Members of families who have experienced death ritualistically travel to the peak of the mountain to offer food and fruits to shepherd in memory of the departed soul. A white flag with Buddhist mantras etched on them are fixed at the site as a mark of peace forthe departed souls.

  • Flaich Ukhayang: It is a beautiful festival of flowers celebrated in September throughout the Kinnaur District. Dates might vary from one place to another. This festival is celebrated on hill top near their villages. The village deity is carried out in a procession. A lamb is sacrificed andfair is held. Flowers of shuloo pluck from the hill top are woven into garlands to be offered to the deity. People accompany the goddess to the village after adorning themselves with beautiful flowers. The people sing, dance and make merry on their return journey.

  • Losar: Loser is celebrated in December in a spirit to welcome a brand new year. On this day,a special dish of parched barley mixed with butter milk is prepared and consumed by the family members and they wear garlands of chilgoza and visit the neighbours and friends. They greet each other with losuma tashi which means Happy New Year. The elderly people bless by losuma shalkid. Two or three days before the Losar,Khepa is observed when people fetch small branches of a thorny bush and place it on the doors to ward off evil spirits. The next day these thorny twigs are removed and a grand feast follows in the night.

  • Tribal Festival is being celebrated since 1994 from 30 October to 2nd November every year at District Headquarter Reckong Peo. This festival has been declared as the State festival and was previously celebrated under different names like Janjatiya Utsav and Phulaich Utsav. This festival upholds the rich cultural heritage of the district and provides an opportunity to the local people to sell and exhibit their horticulture or farming products, handicraft and artefacts. Besides the local cultural groups, participants from other districts and states also participate and thus symbolises national unity, harmony and brotherhood.

Climate

Most of the district of Kinnaur enjoys a temperate climate because of high altitude. Winters and long ranging from October to May and summers are short ranging from June to September. The lower altitude valley regions such as Sutlej Valley and the Baspa Valley receive monsoon rains and thereby moderate rainfall during the rainy months of June, July and August. The upper regions of the valleys do not receive much rainfall as it is in the rain-shadow area. Thus these areas are arid and have a similar climatic pattern as the neighbouring regions of Tibet. The landscape of Kinnaur is similar to Tibet and rest of Central Asia.

Ideal Itinerary

Kinnaur Itinerary (3D/2N)

Day 1Kinnaur sightseeing – Rupin Passand Kinnaur Kailash

Reach Kinnaur, the beautiful and arid stark mountain beauty. Get escorted to the hotel of your choice and after relaxing and getting refreshed go for a sightseeing tour to discover hidden jewels of Kinnaur.

  • Enjoy the beauty of the Rupin Pass, a high-altitude mountain pass across the majestic Himalayas.
  • Next reach for the famous peak of Kinnaur Kailash and revel in the beauty of the majestic mountains. Take a pilgrimage to this sacred destination.

After a power-packed day full of varied sightseeing adventure, return to the peace of the overnight stay at a choicest hotel in Kinnaur.

Day 2 Borasu Pass, Nathpa Jhakri Dam, Manirang and Reo Purgyil

Day2 will involve a joyful sightseeing in and around Kinnaur

  • Journey through the Borasu Pass located on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and experience the proximity to the Tibet border.
  • Visit the Nathpa Jhakri Dam for an exotic tourist destination. The concrete gravity dam built across the Satluj River is worth a visit.

  • Explore Manirang with its Manirang Pass carry the legend of being the ancient trade route between India and Tibet.

  • Visit Reo Purgyil, another stunning mountain peak at the southern end of the Zanskar Range in the Western Himalayas.

After a fun-filled day of travel and tour return to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 3 Departure from Kinnaur

Start of your Day 3 in a frenzy and prepare for a visit to some mystic caves and dense deep woods of the Deotshidh Forest.

  • Visit and be enamoured by the mysterious and ancient Vyas Cave of Bilaspur. Go around the banks of the River Sutlej where the caves are located and get familiarised by the mythological stories wrapped around the caves and statue of Vyasa Dev.
  • Go for a relaxed walk across the enchanting Deotshidh Forest. Trek across jungle paradise and find some cosy private moments to click gorgeous photographs and enjoy serene mountain beauty. Take in the beauty of solitude.

Time to bid adieu to Kinnaur and catch up with some local shopping to carry back memoirs and mementos!

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