Kinnaur is a dream destination for each one of us specially after watching the the iconic
rock tunnel videos on internet. I always wanted to visit Kinnaur to experience the feeling to pass through the dangerous motorable roads.
So with this though in mind, we started on this road trip from Noida,quite unplanned with no bookings in hand. May be for first time.
In this video I will discuss what route we followed
how much time it took us to reach, and what were the road conditions
The route to reach Kinnaur
Noida- Chandigarh- Shimla- Kufri- Narkanda- Sarahan- Sangla
Day 0 – Ambala Cantt
So Day 0 we started from Noida around 4:30 PM and stayed overnight in Ambala Cantt .
Day 1 – Day 6 Fagu
Day 1- we left from Ambala around 9’0 clock and the next halt for us for theog, which is around 48 mins of drive from Shimla. Theog is quite peaceful location, usually people take stay in Shimla or Kufri but we chose Theog because of its remote location. The route we followed was via Chandigarh and then Panipat ->Karnal ->Yamuna Nagar ->Solan->Chail ->Shimla
Ambala to Theog is around 173 kms, and since we had our stay booked , we were not in hurry. It ideally takes around 5 to 6 hrs to reach. Afternoon around 4 PM, we reached Theog. From our homestay, we used to get a lovely view of vallley.
After spending a week in Theog, the plan was to move further and explore Kinnaur Valley, a dream location that every traveler wants to kick off from their bucket list.
Day 7 Sarahan
So Saturday morning around 7:30 AM we left for Sarahan. Theog to Sarahan is around 133 kms which should ideally takes max 4 hrs to reach. Route goes as Theog – Narkanda -Rampur -Jeori- Sarahan. The entire route goes through NH5 and hence the road condition was good. The best part is you see apple trees all throughout the route.
Afternoon around 1:30 we checked in to our homestay. Sarahan is gateway to Kinnaur, although most of the people know it as an stopover place, I stayed here for a week. And in my experience I loved this small village, I was staying quite close to Bhimkali temple and main market. And how beautiful this place is, you will see in another video.
Exploring Kinnaur Valley
So now the plan was to explore Kalpa, Sangla , Chitkul and Reckong peo. If you see on google maps, from kharcham route diverges for Sangla and Kalpa. From Sarahan to Kharcham is around 65 kms but this 65 kms is not a straight road, mind you this comes under one of the dangerous motorable roads.
So it makes no sense that one day we visit Chitkul and return to Sarahan and then some other day visit Kalpa. Bcoz those 65 kms upto Kharcham had to be covered again.
Day 8 – Sangla
So we started from Sarahan around 7.30 in the morning, for Sangla and on the way booked a simple place for overnight. Also we talked to hotel owner and asked him to arrange a local taxi for Chitkul. Bcoz we decided not to drive upto Chitkul.
Sarahan to Sangla is around 82 kms and we reached around 11:30 into our hotel. We didnt stoped much on the way, apart from 15 mins for breakfast. If u want to know how this road was? Is it ok to self drive through those rock cut mountain road and how was our experience, I have created a seperate video. You can watch whole route yourself, the video is quite detailed.
Sangla to Chitkul
After talking to couple of local taxi owners, we left for chitkul around 12 PM and by 2 PM, we reached. Chitkul is really a abeautiful place. standing at the last village of Indo Tibet border is a great experience in itself. We had lunch in the Akhri Dhaba , clicked some memorable pictures and by around 3:30 we were ready to move back. Read detailed Itinerary to Chitkul here.
In Chitkul temp goes below 0 in night and also couple of weeks back it snowed there. We reached Sangla back by around 5. And rest of the time we explored Sangla village on foot, which is the best way to know people and the place.
Day 9 – Reckong Peo
Next day we checked out,around 7 in morning and left for Kalpa. So we traveled towards Kharcham and from here route diverges. The road upto Kalpa was way better than anywhere else in Kinnaur. The total distance to cover was around 38 kms, by 8:30 AM we reached Reckong peo and checked into our hotel.
Reckong Peo – Kalpa – Reckong Peo
Now from reckong peop, kalpa was around 17 km. We checked online, there was a temple and a monastery we wanted to explore. From Reckong peo and Kalpa, we get beautiful view of Kailash. The road upto kalpa was also good, although full of steep turns and elevation gain. So we explored Narayan Nagini Temple , near by monastery and simply walked into the village, it was a beautoful place to be at. The kinner kailash in backdrop and Kalpa village filled with autum colors leaves, just made our day.
Day 10 – Day 13 Sarahan
It was now time to return back to our hotel in reckong peo. Next day we traveled back to Sarahan, and spent rest of the week there.
Day 14- Solan
On our way back, we halted overnight at Solan, at an homestay. This homestay was right on the main highway and the property had a beautiful view of the city at night. Sarahan to Solan is around 222 km and it takes around 7 hrs on road.
Day 15 – Noida
Solan to Noida is around 346 km and it takes around 7 hrs on road.
That is how I explored Kinnaur Valley through self drive. Check out the videos I shared, many are already released and many are on the way.