Region: Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
Season: March to November
A journey through lush green forests and apple orchards along the banks of River Sutlej and Baspa to the place where habitation virtually ends on the Indian side of Indo-Tibet border.
Chitkul, the village with snow-capped mountain ranges overlooking green forests, beautiful waterfalls seeping out of its chest, and thrilling curvy roads leading to the destination every traveler must aspire to be.
Day 1: Chandigarh to Kotgarh (190 km, 6 hrs)
Our person will be there to pick you up at Chandigarh in the morning who will take you on a joyride through the Himalayan Express Highway and NH 22 into the heart of the Himalayas. Initially we drive along the low hills and eventually gain an altitude of 6500 feet. Beautiful road snaking through forests of pine, deodar and oak trees offers glimpses of small beautiful villages on the way. We reach Kotgarh by evening, which is our halt for the night.
Day 2: Kotgarh to Rakcham (160 km, 6 hrs)
After breakfast, we take a narrow road descending though orchards of apples and cherries, until we reach the right bank of Sutlej River. We drive along the Sutlej for 80 km. The journey is full of excitement and thrill as gushing water paints the muddy river white. The Mother Nature reveals its first marvel as soon as we reach a deep gorge at a place called Taranda. The road roofed by multiple rock tunnels ushers you into Kinnaur valley.
We cross a bridge and leave the Sutlej River at a place called Karcham – gateway to the Baspa valley. Now we start chasing the Baspa River upward and reach a beautiful village called Sangla – a place to feel transition in rich and vibrant culture of Kinnaur. Sangla is a broad valley on the left bank of Baspa River. It is surrounded by forest of pine, deodar and Himalayan birch. Cliffy golden mountains toward the north guard the village and its inhabitants. They are so steep that even snow refuses to cling onto them.
To south, snow-capped mountain range overlooking green forests and beautiful waterfalls seeping out of its chest makes your stay an ideal getaway for landscaping under the clear blue sky in the Baspa valley. You will enjoy listening to the story Mother Nature wants to whisper in your ears.
We continue our journey 10 km uphill and reach the picturesque village of Rakcham. This is our halt for the night.
Day 3: Rakcham to Chitkul to Sarahan (108 km, 6 hrs)
Rakcham is a beautiful village at an altitude of 3050 m. This place has a charm of its own. Green forested mountain beautifies the landscape on either side of blue waters of the Baspa River. We continue our journey for another 20 minutes to reach the last inhabited village near Indo-Tibet border called Chitkul – 13 km from Rakcham. This place is at an elevation of 3450 m. So don’t be surprised to see big snowflakes falling from the sky in the month of May as soon as you raise your head to look up. This place is the starting point for some popular treks leading to Rupin and Lamkhaga Pass.
We spend morning hiking along the river and enjoying a blissful day in the solitude. We start our journey back on the same route in the afternoon until we reach a place called Jeori, where we leave NH 22 to take another connecting road leading to Saharan. This place is our halt for the evening.
Day 4: Sarahan to Chandigarh (268 km, 8 hrs)
At an elevation of 2313 m, Sarahan is a small village with a breathtaking view of snow-capped Baspa ranges. The place is famous for a beautiful wooden temple dedicated to goddess Bhimakali. We will make an early morning visit to the temple, have breakfast, and then say goodbye to the mighty Himalayas with a promise to visit them again.
Time to bid farewell!