Kinnaur In Winters: Road Trip To Kalpa & Chitkul

It may be off the beaten track, but for those seeking a unique experience, a road trip to Kinnaur in winters is well-worth it.

Kinnaur got connected to the rest of the world when a road through Tranda Dhank(cliff) – a sheer rock face – was built during colonial times (1850s) by Lord Dalhausie when he was governor general of India.

The road now is called the old Hindustan Tibet(HT) Road. It is often termed as the most treacherous road in the world that passes through Narkanda, Rampur Bushahr, and along the Satluj river, it reaches Khab – where a road diverges to Spiti valley – and ends at Shipki-La pass on Indo-Tibet border.  

While the Spiti valley is eponymous with “middle land”  the land between India and Tibet – Kinnaur is the middle land between Spiti valley and Mahasu region(Shimla, Sirmaur, Siraj and Solan). 

Experience Snowfall in Kalpa, Chitkul & Charang village

Kinnaur is the middle land for its distinct syncretic religious practices, culture and customs.  In winters it is a wonderland for its unmatched snow carpeted landscapes and valleys. 

Snow-clad Charang village of Kinnaur
Charang village against the backdrop of might trans Himalayan range.

While the winter period in Kinnaur is mostly known for sub-zero temperatures, cold wave conditions and heavy snowfall throwing life out of gear – life never comes to a standstill here. Winters actually opens a new vista for hikers, backpackers and road-trippers. 

Winters In Kinnaur Guided Tour Summary 

ExperienceSnow hiking, Buddhists monasteries and temple visits, driving on snow, village walks and local food. 
Fixed Departure Schedule24 December 2020,  21 January 2021 & 11 February 2021
Days8D/7N
Max Altitude:3500m(Charang village).
Pick-up locationISBT Shimla
Drop off locationISBT Shimla
CostDetails on Email/Whatsapp
Kinnaur In Winters Tour Highlights

Winter drive Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Shimla & drive to Sarahan(160 km)

Reach Tutikandi(Shimla ISBT) by early morning. Our team member will be waiting to pick you up at the taxi stop, ISBT Tutikandi. After breakfast, leave for Sarahan.

Drive through Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda and take in snow draped peaks of Dhauladhar and Kinnaur-Garhwal mountain ranges. Take a halt at Rampur Bushahr – erstwhile capital of princely state of Bushahr – and visit the Padam palace. It was built more than a century ago. From Jeori town, we would take a detour of around 30 kilometers toward Sarahan. 

Reach Sarahan by the evening. Overnight stay at HPTDC hotel, Sarahan. 

Day 2:  Drive to Ralli village from Sarahan(75 km)

Sarahan is a beautiful village located in the lesser Himalayas. It is renowned for the Bhimakali temple, which was built 1500 years ago in Kath-Kuni Pahari temple architecture. We would take in the stunning views of the Srikhand Mahadev peak (5150 meters). While not actually close enough as it seems, the spectacular Srikhand Mahadev mountain range appears as if it is just an arm’s length away. Visit the bird sanctuary of a near-extinct bird species – Jujurana(Western tragopan). 

Drive to Ralli village and check-in to Bhutto Homestay, Ralli. 

Day 3: Drive from Ralli to Sangla, Rakcham and Chitkul. Return to Ralli village(90 km)

After breakfast and a brief about the route & attractions we’ll leave for Chitkul – the last village on Indo-Tibet border and Kinnaur-Uttarakhand border. We would drive back to Karcham and crossover to Baspa valley. Reach Sangla by noon and stop for lunch.

Hike to Kamru village. Visit Kamru fort and temple. Return to Sangla town. Visit Sangla village monastery and Bering Nag temple. Resume the drive and leave for Chitkul. Visit Rakcham village en route. Visit Chitkul temple and take a walk across the village. Drive back to Ralli village. Overnight stay at Bhutto’s Homestay. 

Day 4: Ralli to Nako village. Drive back to Moorang village of Tidong valley(170 km)

On day 4, we would drive straight into the Hangrang valley of Kinnaur – bordering on the Spiti valley of Lahaul & Spiti district. After breakfast and a brief about the route and region, we would head toward Pooh on NH 5. At Khab – the confluence point of Satluj and Spiti river – we would drive over the Khab bridge and enter into the Hangrang valley. 

Nako lake & village in winters
Nako, Kinnaur

Reach Nako by noon. Visit Nako monastery and Nako lake. Drive back to Moorang village. 

Day 5: Moorang to Charang village drive. Return drive to Ralli village(90 km)

After a visit to Moorang fort and village we would be heading towards Charang village – the last village of Tidong valley.  A narrow single lane road connects Charang village to National Highway 5.

Driving on icy roads in Kinnaur
Icy roads of Tidong valley
Snowy landscape of Charang village of Kinnaur
Charang village vista

Reach Charang by noon. Hike to Rangrik Tungma monastery. It is hailed as the one of the oldest monasteries of Kinnaur. Drive back to Ralli village. Overnight stay at Bhutto’s Homestay. 

Day 6: Ralli to Kalpa village. Drive back to Ralli village(50 km)

Snow-clad Kalpa village of Kinnaur
Snowy landscape of Chini village of Kalpa

On Day 6, We’ll drive into the heart of Sairag valley of Kinnaur. At Powari Jhula point, we would take a left turn and after a circuitous ten kilometers drive, we would reach Kalpa – a place offering the most stunning views of Kinnaur Kailash mountain range.  After lunch, we would head towards Roghi village and visit Roghi suicide point en route.  Drive back to Ralli. Overnight stay at Bhutto’s homestay. 

Snow-clad Chini village of Kalpa valley
Snow-clad Chini village of Kalpa, Kinnaur

Day 7: Ralli to Narkanda(150 km return journey).

Drive back to Narkanda. Reach Narkanda by noon. After lunch, we would take a detour to Hatu peak. Visit Hatu temple. Drive back to Narkanda. Overnight stay at HPTDC hotel, Narkanda.

Day 8: Narkanda to Shimla(60 km return journey)

Drive back to Shimla. The adventure ends here. 

Cost Inclusions:

  • 7 Nights accommodation as per the itinerary.
  • Dedicated Tour guide & Vehicle on sharing basis
  • Meal plan on MAP basis.
  • All sightseeing and overland journey by an air-conditioned 4WD car. 
  • Permit Charges.
  • Fuel and toll charges.

Exclusion:

  • Any expense incurred during home city to Shimla travel or vice versa. 
  • Any services/expenses not included in the inclusion section.