Kalpa-Charang winter walks | Winter in Kinnaur7 min read

Winter in Kinnaur |  Kalpa-Charang winter walks by Saurabh Tiwari

Hi friends! After a long delay, finally posting pics of our winter trip to Kalpa , Charang & the Rangrik Monastery. Charang is last village on the Indo-China Border. The last ITBP post is located in this village. For the city folks the village offers a complete escape from the busy city life. No network coverage — bosses can’t call you. For comfort trip seeker , I will recommend Charang only during summers. In winters, with temperature plunging to about -15 ºC & heavy snowfall blocking all the roadways for weeks — the place is  either for the brave hearts or for ignorants like us. 

We reached Reckong Peo early in the morning and headed for beautiful Kalpa/ Chini village. We strolled there for an hour or two and visited Kalpa Buddhist monastery and newly built Narayanas temple. We spent rest of the day at friend’s place in Peo and took rest after 12 hrs enduring journey in Chandigarh-Peo HRTC bus.

View of Pangi village from Kalpa , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur]
View of Pangi village from Kalpa , Kinnaur

Unnamed peak on Kinner - Kailash mountain range[Winter in Kinnaur]
Unnamed peak on Kinner – Kailash mountain range

Newly renovated Kalpa Narayanas temple[Winter in Kinnaur]
Newly renovated Kalpa Narayanas temple

View of the valley , Kalpa , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur]
View of the valley , Kalpa , Kinnaur

Roof of the Kalpa temple , Kinner Kailash peak (6050 m) in background [Winter in Kinnaur]
Roof of the Kalpa temple , Kinner Kailash peak (6050 m) in background

Chini village , Kalpa , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur]
Chini village , Kalpa , Kinnaur

Chini temple , Kalpa , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Chini temple , Kalpa , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Unnamed peak on Kinner Kailash mountain range[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Unnamed peak on Kinner Kailash mountain range

Snowy mountain tops above Barang village , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Snowy mountain tops above Barang village , Kinnaur

Jorkanden peak and adjoining peaks on Kinner Kailash Mountain range [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Jorkanden peak and adjoining peaks on Kinner Kailash Mountain range

Hiking to Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Hiking to Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur

Snowball fighting on Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Snowball fighting on Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur

Chini village Kalpa , Kinner Kailash mountain range in background [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Chini village Kalpa , Kinner Kailash mountain range in background [Winter 2015]

Chini village Kalpa , Raldang peak (5425 m) visible in background [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Chini village Kalpa , Raldang peak (5425 m) visible in background

Snow covered fields of locals from Chini village [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Snow covered fields of locals from Chini village

Hiking to Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Hiking to Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur

Raldang peak (5425 m ) , Kinner - Kailash mountain range , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Raldang peak (5425 m ) , Kinner – Kailash mountain range , Kinnaur

winter road to Kalpa , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Kalpa – Roghi road , Kinnaur

Strolling in Kalpa football ground , Winters 2015 [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Strolling in Kalpa football ground , Winters 2015

Snowballing and Killing time , Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur , [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Snowballing and Killing time , Kalpa football ground , Kinnaur

Now coming to our next day experience I consider this as an achievement.Trekking on steep slopes for 20 km on snow for 8 hrs continuously. With no one to your rescue walking endlessly with those baby steps on snow…having no idea that we will be alive in the next 1 hr or not. We missed the early morning Peo – Thangi bus and had to take another bust which dropped us near Akpa check post around noon. We started walking along the highway , reached Moorang around 1PM and took a taxi to Lambar ( the last motorable stop).  

World's most treacherous road , National Higway 05 , en route Moorang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
World’s most treacherous road , National Higway 05 , en route Moorang , Kinnaur

Walking the Himalayas , near Moorang bridge , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Walking the Himalayas , near Moorang bridge , Kinnaur

Moorang fort , Tidong valley , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Moorang fort , Tidong valley , Kinnaur

Moorang village , Tidong valley , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Moorang village , Tidong valley , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Slippery road near Moorang on National Highaway 05 [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Slippery road near Moorang on National Highaway 05 [Winter 2015]

Moorang bridge , Tidong valley , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Moorang bridge , Tidong valley , Kinnaur

We started the trek from Lambar at around 3PM and reached Charang at about 11 pm. In the 20 km stretch there were only three of us walking continuosly.Because in that extreme weather a comma means full stop. If you stop you will freeze within minutes. At about 5 pm there was complete darkness…and even a slight sound nearby will flash images of snow leopard or wild bears in your mind. Trekking in the night without a torch..the only thing to our rescue was the moonlight and the marks of the steps of the ITBP jawans on the snow…which kept us hopeful that we are heading in the right direction. Each one of us was having plenty of dry fruits but none of us was having the energy to stop & take those out of the bag. We were three friends Pawan Ranta, Amandeep Dhiman & myself. There is one ITBP post on the way to Charang which served as a base camp to the post at Charang. There after travelling for about 14 km we got some warm water to drink. That warm water was like ‘amrit’ and we thought that “ab hum bach jayyenge”. We stayed there for 15 to 20 minutes & then about 8 pm we started our trek to Charang with new hope & determination…but then again after travelling for about 1 km we were regretting that why we didnt stop there & request those ITBP jawans to allow us to stay there till morning. Now again , we were at the mercy of the mountains.We were not able to even speak….we were just moving & moving. During the complete trek I was reciting God’s name and was hurling abuses & curses at Pawan who gave the idea of that trek. After travelling for another 6 km, there in the dark near the entrance of the Charang Village, were Sonu bhai, our saviour standing there in the dark waiting for us. Sonu bhai took our backpacks and gave us a new hope. And again we said ” Ab to lagata hai bach gaye”. Sonu bhai offered us shelter in their house offered food & saved our lives.  Raante credit goes to you also. We sat near the bukhara and ate food thanking God for the keeping us alive. I started chanting my daily mantras thanking God.

The trails to Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
The trails to Charang , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

In Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
In Charang , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

View of last ITBP check post and Rangrik Tungma monastery , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
View of last ITBP check post and Rangrik Tungma monastery , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Halting place , en route Rangrik Tungma monastery , Charang Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Halting place , en route Rangrik Tungma monastery , Charang Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Waiting for the sunshine , Charang Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Waiting for the sunshine , Charang Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Trail to Rangrik Tungma monastery , Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Trail to Rangrik Tungma monastery , Charang , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Charang village , Tidong valley , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Charang village , Tidong valley , Kinnaur

Hiking to Rangrik Tungma Monastery , Charang [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Hiking to Rangrik Tungma Monastery , Charang [Winter 2015]

Dogs in Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Dogs in Charang , Kinnaur

Prayer flags in Rangrik Tungma monastery , Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Prayer flags in Rangrik Tungma monastery , Charang , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Chorten , a Buddhist stupa , Charang Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Chorten , a Buddhist stupa , Charang Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Charang snowscape , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Charang snowscape , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Prayer flags , Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Prayer flags , Charang , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Searching for network in Charang , Kinnaur[Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Searching for network in Charang , Kinnaur

The next dawn gave us a new hope & we visited the Rangrik Monastery and offered prayers and visited the last ITBP post on the Indo China border.

Walking with the wind , returning from Charang , Kinnaur [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Walking with the wind , returning from Charang , Kinnaur [Winter 2015]

Singing stream , Tidong [Winter in Kinnaur 2015]
Singing stream , Tidong [Winter Kinnaur 2015]

Walking along Tidong stream while returning back from Charang , Kinnaur [winter 2015]
Walking along Tidong stream while returning from Charang , Kinnaur [winter 2015]

Oh! I have written such a long story….I know many of you wont read but I know that many more will read. The story is to keep my memories on records.

5 thoughts on “Kalpa-Charang winter walks | Winter in Kinnaur<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">7</span> min read</span>”

  1. Pingback: Kalpa-Charang winter walks | Winter in Kinnaur – Raacho Trekkers Timeline

  2. Is there road connectivity to Charang village? I want to go to the snout areas of Gara, Lamber and Racho glaiers.

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