This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Divyakshi Gupta, the Quirky wanderer!
Today's destination: Roadtrip to Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh.
Kinnaur is one of twelve administrative districts in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The district is divided into three administrative areas – Pooh, Kalpa, and Nichar(Bhabanagar)– and has five tehsils (counties). The administrative headquarters of Kinnaur district is at Reckong Peo.
Nearest Airport: Jubbar Hatti, 244km
Nearest Railway Station: Shimla railway station
Prerequisities - N/A Packing - Pack warm clothes as the winters tend to be colder in the mountains!
Also recommended to carry medicines for altitude related illness.
Time of the year - September! The apple picking season!
Length of the itinerary: 2 weeks
Itinerary Highlights: - This trip was headed by Doreen, who is a seasoned traveler and expert tour leader.
You can reach out to Divyakshi for more details about Doreen's tour groups.
- The trip is kicked off at Chandigarh from where Divyakshi and her group head out in 3 vehicles.
First stop is at Fagu, which is a quaint village ahead of Shimla.
- Fagu serves as a pitstop for the overnight stay. Lodging at the HP tourism hotel - Appleblossom. (http://hptdc.in/index.php/the-apple-blossom-fagu/) - Head off from Fagu the next morning with short stops at Rampur, one of the bigger towns and centers of commerce in the area. Carry on towards Sarahan to retire for the day.
- Sarahan is a small village on the way to Kinnaur and offers beautiful views of the Shrikhand Mahadev mountains. Lodging at The Shrikhand (http://hptdc.in/index.php/the-srikhand-sarahan/) which has amazing views of the mountains!
- Make a visit to the much revered Bhima Kali temple and be wowed by the architecture! This also offers great view of a valley of flowers (not the Uttarakhand one!) on the way to the temple!
- Divyakshi also gets a chance to visit bird pheasentry, that preserves some rare species of birds.
- Finally enter Kinnaur on NH22, yep the (in)famous National Highway 22! Welcome to Kinnaur!
- Make sure to take the blessings of Taaranda devi while entering the stretch! Enjoy the lovely views of the valleys, mountains and the Baspa and Sutlej rivers!
- First stop at Sangla, stay at the lovely luxury experience at Kinner camps (http://www.kinnercamps.com/), surrounded by Deodhar trees and a minute away from the river banks! The place is run by the lovely host, Mr. Dalip Negi! Must NOT miss!
- Make a visit to the Badrinarayan temple in Batseri, and enjoy the lovely architecture. If you are there in early September, do not miss the celebrations of the Phulaich festival, an annual celebration of the Kinnauris.
- Batseri village is a small walk from Kinner camps where you can go visit apple orchards!
- A day trip to Chitkul village - th last village on the Indo-Tibetan highway after which the China border starts! Enjoy time out on the banks of river Baspa, buckwheat fields, berries and more!
- Also visit the Kamru fort, an old fort that was used by the erstwhile rulers of Himahchal and has a beautiful Kamkya devi temple as well!
- Leave Sangla to go to Kalpa, the next pitstop of the journey. Lodging at the Grand shambala (http://thegrandshambala.com/), enjoy the hospitality by the host Mr. Prithvi Negi!
- Local trips include a visit to the makers of kinnauri shawls, juice factory, authentic kinnauri jewellery, the Suicide point!
- Enjoy apple picking sessions, yoga facing the mountains, the library where the only sound is of nature, and a hip cafe at the Grand Shambala!