10 Reasons why Kinnaur Kailash is a Different Experience

10 Reasons why Kinnaur Kailash is a different experience

Kinnaur Kailash is a traveller’s paradise and attracts nature lovers from across the world. Famous for trekking, the location also houses some of the most picturesque and beautiful villages of Himachal Pradesh. Some of them are so heavenly beautiful that even Bollywood is opting for these locations. Wondering what makes Kinnaur Kailash so special? Here are 10 reasons you need to know.

1. The Trek to Kinnaur Kailash

If you are a trek person, then this trekking route would be a memorable experience for you. You can start the trekking from Tangling village, 15 km from Reckong-Peo. This 38 km trek (up-down) should be however avoided, if you have no previous experience in trekking. The whole route is based on rocky moraines, glaciers and dangerous crevasses. Every halt has various mythological beliefs and folklores associated with it. The entire ‘Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama’ can be completed within 7 days. Local people trek to Kinnaur Kailash (19,849 ft) in September to offer pilgrimage to the holy ‘Shivling’ (Lord Shiva), a vertical 79 ft long granite rock at the height of 18,000 ft. The best time to trek to Kinnaur Kailash peak is between May to October.

Kinnaur Kailash Holy Shivling

Kinnaur Kailash Holy Shivling

2. Amazing Sunrise View

The sun rises behind the Jarkanden peak and creates an out-of-the-world sight. The change of colours in the sky, the flight of birds and the different phases of the sunlight as it rises will leave you spell-bound. It is exceptional and you just can’t afford to miss it.

Sunrise at Kinnaur Kailash

A phase of the outstanding Sunrise at Kinnaur Kailash; The sun rises behind the Jarkanden Peak.

3. Breathtaking Beauty of Nature

You will be enchanted with the nature galore here as you start your journey towards Kinnaur Kailash. Whether you head towards Kalpa, Tangling, Pooh or Rarang, breathtaking beauty of nature will sweep you off your feet. Be it the meandering Sutlej, the pine, cedar and oak trees, the majestic mountains, snow – it is so pure, so magical!

Villages adjoining Kinnaur Kailash

Kalpa: A Delight for the Non-Trekkers

4. Seasonal Delight

It’s ready to offer delightful variations of nature in all seasons. Come summer, you get sunny pleasant weather with the right amount of chill in the air. Come during the monsoons (June-July-August), you get a greener palette of the place, playful clouds, hail, heavy downpour, ear-cracking thunder claps and a more raw version of nature. Come September-October, you get great weather, apples, flowers and fresh snow on the mountain tops. Come November, you get chilling cold winds, whiter peaks, bare apple orchards and a more rugged version of the mountain village. Winters (December-January-February) are too beautiful in their own way but definitely, it’s not the best time for tourists to enjoy all aspects of the place.

Kalpa during different seasons

Kinnaur Kailash in different seasons; (Top – Bottom: Kalpa village during winter, summer and monsoons)

5. Apple Orchards

Just as we, the people of the plains, have flower plants in our gardens, here people have apple orchards! You will find golden apples, green apples and red Kinnauri apples in abundance. The experience is incomparable if you visit here during August-September when it is yielding time. You will be overwhelmed with the sight of apple bunches on the branches that are unable to sway in the winds due to their weight. Expect to smell apples in the air during this time. Heaven! Add on: Try your hand in apple picking with the locals.

Apple Orchards

Apple Orchards

6. Purifying Spiritual Music in the Air

No matter when you are visiting, as the sun sets you will be transported to an unearthly habitation. The winds waft hypnotizing strings of music that originates from the drums, clarinets and the chorus at the Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar Monastery in Kalpa. And if you can endure the chilling winds after evening, try to visit the monastery in the evening. It simply creates magic!

Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar Monastery

The Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar Monastery with the golden coloured roof at Kalpa

7. Delightful Amalgamation of Culture

It offers a delightful confluence of Hinduism and Buddhism in all spheres of life and lifestyle. The ancient Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar Monastery and Narayan-Nagini Temple are popular spiritual places of visit. The architecture of the temple has a visible Tibetan influence. The local people include a mixed populace including Tibetan descendants. A number of Kinnauri tribes also inhabit in adjacent villages that are still practicing their ancient culture. They can be seen observing various festivals like Fulekh in August, ‘Buddha Mahotsav’ in September and Phulait in November that gives an insight of their culture.

Narayan Nagini Temple, Kalpa

The Narayan Nagini Temple at Kalpa showcasing Tibetan influence in its architecture

8. A Visual Treat for Non-Trekkers

What if you don’t want to include the trek to Kinnaur Kailash during your visit? Fair question. So, will it be a waste of time? Not at all. Stay in Kalpa and enjoy the heavenly beauty of the locale. Opt for hiking to explore the place and be assured that you will have one of the most satisfying hiking experiences in your travel history. Also, Kinnaur Kailash won’t disappoint you because you can see it clearly in front of your eyes. Take out your binoculars, make good use of your cameras and enjoy every bit of it without the hectic trek to 18,000 ft.

Kinnaur Kailash 'Shivling'

The view of Kinnaur Kailash ‘Shivling’ from Kalpa, Pooh and Rarang (zoomed-in view)

9. Picturesque Reckong-Peo

Either you visit before your tryst with Kinnaur Kailash or later, this place will give you a feel like the Darjeeling mall. With amazing mountain views, pine, fir, cedar trees, apple orchards and grape vines, you will feel as if it is a beautiful picture frame on the walls of your room. Markets, hotels, hospitals, bus stands, schools all give a perfect cut out of the local lifestyle, both natural and forced. You can visit the Mahabodhi Monastery that was created as a memoir of the visit of the Dalai Lama in 1992. Reckong-Peo becomes the hotspot when roads to Kalpa and Kinnaur Kailash are closed during the winters.


Reckong-Peo, the headquarter of the Kinnaur District

10. Roads to Pump Up your Heart Rate

The road that you’d have to take to reach Kalpa is terrifyingly beautiful! The roads are not wide enough. The mountains sometimes form an umbrella of rocks just above the road and you will be left awe-struck. The rocky terrain will engulf you with its rugged beauty while your heart beat will arise once you attempt to peep at the other side of the road!

Road to Kalpa

The Road to Kalpa

Did that sound exciting? If recently any of you has watched the Valentine release of Bollywood, ‘Sanam Re’, you must have fallen for the exotic locations if not the film, I am sure. Well, one of the locations is this! Go ahead, make a plan and visit Kinnaur. It’s worth it.

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1 Response

  1. January 23, 2017

    […] The snow-capped peaks, spectrum of colours during sunrise and sunset, apple orchards, Himalayan hamlets, monastery and a treacherous trekking route – the trip to Kalpa was fulfilling for a variety of reasons. The sunrise moment at Kinnaur Kailash is an experience of a lifetime. […]

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