Chaka meadows are mountain meadows high above Kalpa village of Kinnaur. It is an easy hike recommended for the ones in the tireless twenties who have just started their trekking journey, or for the people in late forties — a time when knees begin to protest against the gradient and you start appreciating the least challenging of the mountain trails.
Kalpa To Chaka Trek
The Chaka (some pronounce it as Chakka) is the quintessential Himalayan mountain meadow — some people call it Chaka peak, but there is no peak as such — located at an altitude of around 3800 m above sea level.
The trails start from a point on Kalpa-Roghi road above the charming Kalpa (Chini village) which is perched at 2,960m high above the AMSL and about 10 minutes (10km) drive away from the district headquarter, Reckong Peo.
One doesn’t need any prior trekking experience for Chaka hike but a sound pair of lungs. I would say it’s a modest trek with great returns. The inital hike hike is steep though.
We started hiking from a trail near the hotel Rakpa Regency which lead us along a stream (flowing down straight from Chaka itself) to Chaka Meadows. Early morning start is advised for this hike as it gets quite arduous during daytime when the sun starts hitting on the face and suddenly you start feeling the backpack load.
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.
Distance from Kalpa
The trail is around 3 kilometers long and it runs along a stream. It passes through fields of Chini villagers and spruce and cedar forest below the meadows. Chaka is a day hike and one can comfortably descend back to the Kalpa – Roghi road in the evening.
Chaka-Kalpa Trek During Winter
Winter offers some of the prettiest, most serene trail adventures you can ever hope to have. Clear sky, little or no crowd and snow-laden peaks are some of the perks that come with a winter hike. Unlike in summers when you need to start early in the 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.
Blog by Pawan Ranta