Kinnaur is famous for the Shivlinga which lies at the peak of the Kinner Kailash Mountain. The beautiful Sangla Valley is lined up with orchards, peaches, apricots, apples, and chilgozas. Kinnaur lies on the ancient trade route between Tibet and India. The picturesque Hangrang Valley, the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Himalayas, the rivers of Kinnaur and wild life sanctuaries and the Nako lake have made the place famous.
Location of Kinnaur
One of the twelve districts of Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur is located at an altitude ranging between 2,320 to 6,816 m. This extremely beautiful district of Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by three majestic mountain ranges namely Zanskar, Dauladhar, and Greater Himalayas. It also encloses valleys of Baspa, Sutlej an Spiti and their tributaries.
Places to see in Kinnaur
Recong Peo: To get a panoramic view of Kinner Kailash, you must visit Recong Peo, the district headquarter of Kinnaur and 260kms from Shimla.
Chandika Temple: This temple located in the village of Kothi is dedicated to goddess Chandika. She is worshipped with great reverence among the locals. It is believed that she was the daughter of demon devta Banasur who presided over Kinnaur.
Chitkul: This is the highest village of Baspa Valley and is famous for three temples dedicated to the local goddess Mathi. The temples were constructed nearly 500 years ago.
Maheshwar temple: This temple in Sungra has some excellent wood panels on either side. On the eastern walls of the temple are images depicting Vishnu avatars and symbol of Hindu zodiac sign. It is believed that Bhima attacked the Sungra Maheshwar temple with a boulder which was deflected to one side. The boulder now lies on one side and shelters alpine trees in this region.
Chango temples: Chango is famous for three temples one in lower Chango, one in Upper Chango and one in a nearby village which has a large prayer wheel and clay idols.
Ropa: Ropa is famous for its Durga temple also known as Chandika temple.
Rarang monastery: Tashi Choeling monastery is located just outside Rarang on the Thopan side. It was built as a result of post -1960 Tibetan influences from the Drugpa sect.
Nako: This is famous for the beautiful Nako Lake which has boating facilities during summer. The frozen surface can be used for ice skating during winter.
Key Gompa: Key Gompa is the largest monastery in Spiti Valley which was established in the 11th century. This place also houses a number of Buddhist monks and nuns.
Puh: 71ms from Recong Peo, Puh is situated above NH 22 which has all the modern facilities and grape orchards, almond, pine and apricot trees. Dabla is the local god who is worshipped here and has neither a dwelling nor possesses an ark. A pole with a small idol is set on the upper portion and decorated with Yak tail hair and colored pieces of cloth.
Kinner Kailash: One can undertake the holy pilgrimage of Kinner Kailash from this place and return to Kalpa in 7-8 days.
Morang: Situated at a height of 2591 m above sea level, this village is situated 39kms away from Kalpa on the left bank of Sutlej. Three temples dedicated to local god Urmig are situated here.
Ribba: Located 14kms from Moorang, Ribba is situated between Purbani and Rispa villages. This is famous for grape vineyards and orchards.
Rakchham: Situated at an altitude of 2900 m, Rakchham is located on the right bank of the Baspa river.Rakchham derives its name from "Rak" a stone and "Cham" a bridge. It is one of the most beautiful villages of Baspa Valley.
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Three wildlife sanctuaries namely Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary, Rakchham-Chhitkul Sanctuary, and Rupi-Bhaba Sanctuary houses wide varieties of wildlife. Species like Yak, Ibex, Leopard, red Fox, Goral, musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Brown Bear, Musk Deer, and Himalayan black Beer are found in these sanctuaries.
Accomodations Hotels in Kinnaur
Private hotels are available at Kalpa, Recong Peo, Sangla and Chango. You can also avail PWD, Forest and Electricity Board Rest houses in Kinnaur.
Best time to visit Kinnaur
April to October is best time to visit Kinanur.
How to reach Kinnaur
By Air: The nearest airport is Shimla. Buses and taxis are available at Shimla and Rampur.
By Rail: Te nearest station is Shimla connected with Kalka in a narrow gauge line.
By Road: Kinnaur is well connected by road from Shimla. You need to take NH -22 to reach Kinnaur which bifurcates to Kalpa from Powari.