Himachal Dharamsala Kangra Kullu Chamba Mandi Palampur Shimla
Sujanpur Kinnaur Eco-tourism Pragpur Mcleodganj Pongdam Trekking YOGA





KINNAUR  (Himachal Pradesh)                                  TABO MONASTRY 

The remote tracts of Kinnaur, Lahaul & Spiti are bound together by a rich Cultural tradition, rivers, steep mountains, valleys and passes. All essential Facilities are available at these remote places due to network of motor able Roads. The natural beauty of the region is heightened by hospitable people Who till the recent past lived in secluded isolation. Kinnaur, it is said, fell from the heavens as a gift from the gods. Its people, the Kinners, according to ancient Hindu texts, are halfway between humans and gods. Sarahan, gateway to Kinnaur, is revered as one of the shakti peeths and the seat of power of the Bushair rulers.  
From here one approaches Sangla valley, one of the beautiful sights of Kinnaur, and district headquarters Recong Peo, Kalpa, Kinner Kailash, a mythical abode of Lord Shiva, can be viewed from here.

All Images by Hakam Sharma     

Higher up is Nako village built around a lake with a gompa and foot imprints on a rock of the religious leader Padmasambhava. The stark and forbidding heights of Lahaul and Spiti conceal an ethereal beauty comprising Buddhist monasteries, highpasses, glaciers, lakes and rivers. A rugged road over Kunzam pass leads to Keylong which has willow lined water courses, green fields and a fascinating marketplace.  
From Kunzam pass is the route to the kilometer- long lake, Chandra Tal. Short of Keylong is Gram phoo from where the roads to Kaza, Keylong and Manali meet. Using Keylong as a base, it is possible to visit the 8th century Guru Ghantal gompa with its extensive library of Buddhist scriptures and exquisite thangkha paintings;the 17th century gompa at Shashur and Baralacha, an 8 km long pass where the paths from Zanskar , Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul meet.Sarchu, on the route to Leh, is the last point in Himachal Pradesh and has a tented colony for tourists.

The route that today branches off the national highway (formerly the Hindustan- Tibet Road) from Theog and leads to the Pabbar valley is a journey into a pristine world.Fed by melting glacial snows, the Pabbar river rises in the Chanshal range, just south of Kinnaur. Before finally draining into the Tons at Tiuni, its waters are enriched by streams such as the Andhra, Pejore and Shikri.The places in the Pabbar valley route add to the region's natural charms. There is Jubbal with a well-maintained palace designed in the 1930s by a French architect who combined European architecture with the indigenous style. Hatkoti, on the Pabbar's banks, has the shikhar-style Mahishasur- mardini temple dating back to the 7-8th century. The adjoining Shiva temple has remarkable wood carvings. The temples in and around Rohru, again alongside 1he Rohru, are highly venerated and the valley has many attractive spots, including some for angling.Some distance away is Chirgaon with a trout hatchery .Snowclad Chanshal above Pabbar valley has some excellent ski slopes while the villages Of Dodra and Kwar are thick with rhododendrons, cedar,birch, medicinal herbs, Waterfalls and gushing streams.



Recong Peo : (2670m) located 240 kms from Shimla, 7 kms from Powari and 13 kms from Kalpa. Recong Peo is the Headquarter of the district Kinnaur. Provides fine view of the Kinner Kailash. 

Kothi :Just 3 km from Recong Pea. Kothi has an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Chanadika Devi. Set against a backdrop of mountains of deodar the temple has an unusual ard1itectural style and fine sculpture. An exquisite gold image of the goddess is enshrined in the sanctum. 

 Sangla Valley: If a landscape had the powers of casting spells, then the Sangla Valley would be a magician-extraordinary. Once seen, it is a place that can never be forgotten. Even the rushing waters of the Baspa river, that flows through its 95 km length, seem to absorb some of the magic and slow down to savour its Snow-framed beauty. 2 km from Sangla is the fort of Kamru (3000m) its tower like architecture, resembles that of the Bhimakali complex and this was the original seat of the rulers of Bushehar;Chitkul (3450) is the last village of the Valley and beyond lies Tibet. The area is well known for its saffron farms and the Baspa river is an excellent place for angling for trout. The Hotel shrikhand acts as the perfect base to visit the enchanting valley. 

Rlba (2745m) ; Just 18km from Powari on NH-22 is Riba, famous for its vineyards and local wine " Angoori" that is made from the grapes.

Jangi (2790m) : 26 km from Powari, the inner border is located here beyond which foreigners require permit to travel upto Tabo. From this point the famous Kinner Kailash Parikarama 
Trek starts touching Morang. Thangi and Kunocharang villages and entering Chitkul village in sangla Valley. From here one can drive to Leh in the neighbouring state of Jammu and Kashmir. This road is being increasingly used by tourists to Leh for the past 5-6 years. If Kinnaur is "god's gift," then Spiti is the place "where the gods live." The gompa at Tabo is called the "Ajanta of the Himalayas" as it has exquisite frescoes and stucco statues. The monastic complex here has nine temples, 23 chortens, monks' and nuns' chambers. Tabo's sanctity, in transHimalayan Buddhism, is next only to Tibet's Tholing gompa. Further above is Kaza, the base to visit the Hikim, Komik and Langja monasteries. En route from Tabo is Dhankar gompa, a masterpiece of local architecture as also castle of the ruler of Spiti. Still further is an important monastery at Ki and Kibber (4,205 metres above sea level) is the region's highest permanently inhabited village connected by a motorable road. 

Puh (2837m) : Lush green fields orchards of apricot vineyards and almond trees, are to be seen on the route of Puh. Just 58 km from Powari along the NH-22, Puh has rest house and hotel facilities.  

Nako (3662m) : 117 km from Kalpa. In Hangrang valley is the largest village above sea level. 
It is also famous for Nako Lake which has boating facilities in summer and during winter 
its frozen surface is used for ice skating. Buddhist monastery is located here.  

KAZA: (3600m) Once was the capital of Nono the chief of spiti, Kaza situated at an altitude of 3600m above sea level on the left bank of Spiti, presently is the Head quarter of spiti Sub Division. This beautiful place has buddhist monastery and Hindu Temple.  

HOW TO GET THERE: Nearest Airports are at Kullu (Bhunter) 250 km and shimla 445 km. Kaza  
can be approached by road from shimla (May to October) and from Manali 200 km via  Kunzum Pass (June to October).   

The Tourist Lodge Kaza is an ideal base to make sorties to discover the beautiful valley of spiti.

Climate: This region is called as cold desert and not having monsoon.  
In winter the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woollens are required, in summer the weather
remains pleasant when light woollens are advised.  
Address. Tourist Lodge, Kaza-172114, spiti Sub Division, H.P. Tel. : (01906) 222566. 
Accommodatian: 4 DBRsand Tented Colony with 5 tents.Facilities Spacious rooms having attached bath with running hot and cold water. Parking within  premises. Restaurant. 

Sangla Valley In Kinnaur


Images  by Raju  R K Studio Kalpa