Chaka meadows hike4 min read

Blog by Pawan Ranta

Hidden deep beneath
the winter snow,
mountain flowers
begin to grow.
Who will wake
when lilies bloom?
Who will appear
when spring is finally here?

Wild himalayan flowers. Enroute Chaka meadows , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Wild himalayan flowers. Enroute Chaka meadows

Chaka meadows hike is for the ones in tireless twenties wanting to savour the spectacle of Kinner Kailash mountain range from close or for the ones in late forties when knees begin to protest against the gradient and you start appreciating the least challenging of the mountain trails. The trails starts from a point on Kalpa Roghi road near charming Kalpa ( Chini village) which is around 10 kms from district headquarter , Reckong Peo.  One don’t need any prior trekking experience but a sound pair of lungs. I would say it’s a modest trek with great returns. The hike is steep though. We started hiking from a trail near hotel Rakpa Regency which leads to Chaka Meadows. Early morning start is advised because it gets quite arduous when the sun starts hitting on face and suddenly you start feeling the backpack load.

Wild flower enroute Chaka meadows , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Wild flower enroute Chaka meadows

Sitting by the stream , en route Chaka meadows , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Sitting by the stream , en route Chaka meadows

A good trek is not measured just by the physical coordinates of cool heights attained and scenic ridges traversed. Perhaps more crucial is the inner satisfaction that derives from walking with companions who stay agreeable under testing conditions and whose sympathies remain as a warm afterglow. The marvelous sunrise from the Kinner Kailash mountain  , breathtaking views of the mountain range and beautiful views of Kalpa village are major highlights of the hike.

Chaka meadows , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Chaka meadows , Kalpa

Wild flower enroute Chaka meadows , Kalpa , Kinnaur,
Wild flower enroute Chaka meadows

Old house , enroute Chaka meadows , Kalpa , kinnaur
Old house. It is store house used in summers only during sowing season. In winters people descend to their homes in Chini village.

Small foot bridge , En route Chaka meadows , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Small foot bridge , En route Chaka meadows

The trails is around 3 kilometers long and it runs along a stream. It passes through fields of Chini villagers and Cedar forest below the meadows.  It’s a day hike and one can comfortably descend back to the Kalpa – Roghi road in evening.

In winter

Winter offers some of the prettiest, most serene trail adventures you can ever hope to have. Cleary sky ,  little or no crowd and  snow laden peaks  are some of the perks that comes with a winter hike.  Unlike in summers when you need to start early in morning ,  one can start to hike in late morning in winters.  Hiking in winters has its inherent dangers. So one is advised to carry good gear and dress in layers.

Views from Chaka meadwos , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Views from Chaka meadows

 

Raldang peak framed! Enroute Chaka meadows trek , Kalpa , Kinnaur
Raldang peak framed!

Hiking along the stream, Chaka meadows trek, Kalpa , Kinnaur
Hiking along the stream

Frozen stream , en route Chaka meadows trek
Frozen in time and space

Chaka meadows Kalpa | Kinnaur in winters
Snow covered fields of Chaka meadows. These fields remain under the snow for 4-5 months. In summers people of Chini and surrounding villages of Kalpa climb up to their fields in Chaka Kanda and work here for 2-3 months. Imagine working in these fields in such beautiful surroundings.

Ice covered stream | Chaka meadows Kalpa | Winter in Kinnaur
Ice covered stream

Walking besides the singing stream | Chaka meadows Kalpa | Winter in Kinnaur
Walking besides the singing stream

Winter snowscape , en route Chaka medows Kalpa  | Winter in Kinnaur
Winter snowscape , en route Chaka medows Kalpa

Chaka meadows trail , Kalpa  | Winter in Kinnaur
There is no other trail which has such amazing views of Kinnaur Kailash mountain range.
Chaka meadows trail , Kalpa

Chaka meadows hike, Kalpa | Winter in Kinnaur
Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

Her majesty , Mt Raldang (5499m) | Chaka meadows hike Kalpa | Winter in Kinnaur
Her majesty , Mt Raldang (5499m)

Singing stream. Chaka meadows hike Kalpa. | Winter in Kinnaur
Singing stream. Chaka meadows hike Kalpa.