Kinnaur, India @ Content
Writer : Tour Of Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh,
Mr. Debashis Bose,
decided to visit Kinnaur, (Himachal Pradesh),
which is divided mainly in two parts, northern part is dry and arid
with almost no rain and the southern part gets a little of monsoon
rains. The southern part consists of Sutlej & Baspa valleys
and this is where we went. We had long discussions and conducted
some studies before going to these places as it is colder in these
Our group consisted of 32 people with about 16 ladies and except
a very few, all others were senior citizens. We had a young man
as our guide who owns a tourist concern. He is a jolly good fellow
and helped each and every one of us. The people of Kinnaur
are said to be the direct descendants of Gods.
They love ornaments, music and dance and they are helpful to the
visitors and are religious minded. Their culture is a combination
of Hinduism & Buddhism.
A Local Couple
Now, our daily diary :-
We left Uttarpara by local train to Howrah to avail Kalka
Mail at 07.40 pm.
Whole day and night
was spent gossiping with excitement since we were going to
a completely new place.
We reached Kalka at
03.45am, got in the Shivalik Express, started at 05.30am and
reached Simla at 10.20am after passing through 103 tunnels
and picturesque views on both the sides. Breakfast was served
in the train as the cost was included in the fare. We took
our shelter at the Kalibari, as arranged. Earlier, we had
contacted a Simla-based tourist company, whom we met today,
as they had made arrangements for our food, accommodation
and conveyance (5 Tata Sumos), a package programme, as it
is known nowadays, from Simla to Kinnaur and back to Kalka.
We also went around the Simla Mall etc. Our lunch and dinner
was at the Kalibari canteen.
Sun And Shade - Beauty of Mountains
After breakfast, we
went for local sight seeing to Kufri, Fagu and Naldera.
16 km from Simla, at a height
of 2501m is famous for wide views and ski slopes. There is
an enjoyable walk or horse ride to Mahasu peak. Since it was
drizzling, we were not interested in going there.
Fagu – 22
km from Simla, at a height of 2510m, has enchanting views.
Naldera – also 22km
from Simla, at a height of 2044m, has a golf course and picnic
spots nearby. Natural scenery around are tranquil and exotic.
Naldera Golf Club
We started from Simla at 09.00am, had lunch at Narkanda (quite
good vegetarian food) and reached Sarahan at 06.35pm.
by National Highway No.22, is 175 km from Simla and is at
a height of 1850 m. The hilly road passes through Kufri, Narkanda,
Fagu, Rampur and Geori, and on both the sides there are pine
and fur trees etc. Rampur was once upon a time the kingdom
of the Bushahar kings. The residence of the kings is known
as Padam Palace, made
by King Padam Singh. The palace is on the road itself, the
ground floor is made of stone and the first floor is made
of wood. It was learnt that the palace is now closed for the
surrounded by Himalayan snow-clad mountain ranges from east to west,
of which the main peak is that of Shrikhand. Sarahan is popular
for temples of Bhimakali, there are two triple storied temples side
by side, one is older and the other is new.
Bhimakali Temple, Saharan
the temples are made of horizontal stone slabs and wood of
the same sizes. On the second floor, there is goddess Bhimakali,
another form of Devi Durga.
The deity is made of gold, and depicts the Goddess killing
the demon. The goddess was worshipped by the Bushahar kings.
At the entrance of the main gate, door panels are made of
gold and having carvings of religious stories. Inside the
temple compound, there are temples of Nrisingho, Raghunath
and Shrilankabir etc. These temples are decorated with very
fine and beautiful wood carvings. There is a Yatriniwas inside
the temple compound for pilgrims to stay.
We visited the rare bird – Monal's breeding center
which was located on the top of a small hill. From the top
of the hill, we could see the whole of Sarahan - temple, palace
etc and the snow-clad mountains seemed just like picture post
cards. The bird's size was that of kites but these were very
colourful like peacocks. It was quite difficult to photograph
them as they were hiding behind bushes. We left Sarahan at
11am and passed through Rekong Pio, and reached Kalpa
at 06.40 pm covering a distance of 115 km. It's height is
2759m, so naturally it was quite cold.
1st May 1960, district town of Kinnaur was established here but
due to too much cold and snowfall, the district town was shifted
to Rekong Pio, 13 km down, and at the height of 2290m. At Kalpa,
we saw a wide range of snow clad mountain peaks and amongst them,
the center of attraction is the Kalpa peak.
The prominent Kinnaur-Kailash (height of 6050m) looks like a Shivalinga.
It is said that on a sunny day, the colour of the Kinnaur-Kailash
changes along with the movement of
the sun but we could not observe the same, as it was a cloudy day.
was learnt from the local people that every year, mostly in
October, on a particular date, one person from every house
in the surrounding villages meet at a certain place. Starting
at 05.00 am and reaching at Gumpha by 11.00 am, take rest
for the day and night and again start on the second day at
05.00am, reach Kinnaur-Kailash. They offer their puja and
return to the same Gumpha for rest. On the third day, they
begin at 05.00am and return back to their respective villages.
There is one Gumpha at Kalpa also and lots of apple trees
everywhere, now full of apples - mostly red ones, only 20-25
% green ones, and hardly 10% are almost white and known as
golden apples. The golden apples are mostly exported. These
are specially tasty and juicy, though other ones are definitely
better than what we purchase in the local markets.
By 09.45 am we went to a village – Roghi where there is a temple
of Lakshmi-Narayan. Though it was closed, we heard that the temple
had beautiful wood carvings. By afternoon there was rain and we
were confined to our hotels.
We started at 09.40 am from Kalpa and in one hour, we covered a
distance of 57 km. We reached Sangla which is at a height of 2680m.
At Sangla in the north, there are the Kinnaur-Kailash mountain ranges
and in the south, there is the Garwal mountain range. River Sutlej
is flowing aside. The lush green calm and quite Sangla valley is
also known as Baspa Valley.
This valley is also full of apples, peaches, apricot, nuts etc,
and varied flowers. The houses are mostly of Tibetan style (Tibet
is not far away from here). Surrounding the village there are lots
pine and fur trees. Here, there is one temple of Berinag
which is made of stone and wood, and the tomb is of gold. There
is a bank, post-office and hospital in this village. Also there
is a hydro electricity centre and a breeding centre for Trout-fish.
Woodcraft - Chhitkul Temple
02.15 pm, we started for Chhitkul which
is 26km away at a height of 3450m, the last village on the Indo-Tibetan
Border. This village consists of 100 houses with 700 Indians. Here,
river Baspa flows with a murmuring sound through the pine forest
and starts from the Nee-La pass not far away. This side of Nee-La
pass is India and on the other side is Tibet or China. Here
you will find apples, peaches, nuts and lots of Primula, Poppy and
Berch trees. For a nature lover, the exotic, serene and tranquil
atmosphere will be really enjoyable & memorable. There
are two attractions here - the wooden fort and the temple of Devimata.
Both were closed, and we had
to satisfy ourselves by only seeing the wooden carvings. It was
drizzling and hence, quite cold. We had tea in the hotel and went
close to the river bed for clicking some pictures. We returned back
to Sangla at 05..00pm.
Now we were on our return journey and so we thought of home after many
days of travelling from one place to another and the excitement of seeing
We started from Sangla at 08.15 am, had our
lunch at a roadside hotel and reached Simla at 05.15 pm. Many of us had
last minute shopping to do while others went for a stroll in the mall. We
were accommodated in a hotel.
We had our breakfast and took some group pictures on the roof top of the
hotel. We left Simla at 11.30 am and had our lunch at the same hotel in
Narkanda. Reached Kalka at 05.05pm Kalka-Howrah mail left Kalka at
We spent the entire day and night with sweet memories of Kinnaur.
train was late by one and half hours, so instead of 07.00 am, we arrived
Howrah at 08.30am, availing local trains, we reached Uttarpara, and
dispersed for "Home, Sweet Home."
Mobile No. of Mr. Bablu, Guide, Uttarpara – 9903050995 & 9836439995. Nobin, Tour Operator, Simla – 09816026770.
Contributing Traveller: Mr. Debashis Bose
is a 72 year old retired Railway employee whose hobbies include travelling
& tourism, photography and amateur radio. He is a nature lover and prefers
to visit little known places as opposed to big cities with the aim of
enjoying nature in abundance. Before going on his regular tours with
family and friends, Debashis spends time in studying different places and
collecting information about them. On returning from the visit, he
prepares a travelogue, with sketch map & photos, so that he can inspire
others to visit these places and enjoy nature.
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