Kalpa is a hamlet located in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is settled at the base of Kinnaur Kailash mountain and in the valley of river Sutlej. This heavenly town is perched at a fearsome altitude of 9,711 ft with Reckong Peo, the headquarters of Kinnaur district, right below it.
Kalpa is famous for apple orchards since it is the major cash crop of the town. The locals follow an amalgamation of Buddhism and Hinduism. The town overlooks the summit of Kinnaur Kailash, which is mostly snow-capped throughout the year.
The Shivaling rock that changes colour at different times of the day, located on the Kailash mountain is also visible from Kalpa. This serene town is relatively an off-beat destination, hence making it a fantastic travel destination, especially if you enjoy visiting tranquil places.
How To Reach Kalpa
By Air: Jubbarhatti Airport of Shimla is the closest airport to Kalpa, located at a distance of around 270 km. The airport is connected to many major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, etc. Here onwards, the journey to Kalpa should take about 10 hours by road, either in a taxi or a bus.
By Train: Shimla has a small railway station, through which the popular toy train travels. It is connected to Kalka through a narrow guage track. The ride is about 96 km covered in roughly 7 hours. Therefore Kalka is the nearest rail head to Kalpa that connects to cities like Chandigarh and Delhi.
By Road: The HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) have regular buses travelling from neighbouring cities like Punjab or Delhi. Along with that, there are intracity buses as well that take you around the place. Going to Kalpa by road is the best bet since the journey itself will take you through the enchanting natural vistas of Himachal Pradesh.
Best Time To Visit Kalpa
The ideal time to visit Kalpa is the summer months of April to June as the temperature dances between 8 degree Celsius to 24 degree Celsius during this period. Carrying light woollen clothes should suffice during this season.
Irregular monsoon rains and freezing winters with temperature dipping to almost -20 degree Celsius, make these seasons unfavourable to visit.
PC: Gili Chupak
Kinnaur Kailash, locally known as Kinner Kailash, is a sacred mountain with an altitude of 6050 m. The mountain is considered sacred because of the 79 ft tall rock formation, that supposedly looks like a Shivalinga. Mount Kinnaur Kailash is a popular spot for trekking, especially as a pilgrim trek.
There are two main trails for trekking. One of them is a simpler 8-10 km trek, with a night to be spent in caves before heading to the Shivalinga. The other trek is relatively harder and takes two or more days to complete since it covers a distance of 32 km.
PC: Sumita Roy Dutta
Sangla is a city in Kinnaur district of Baspa Valley. Sangla produces some of the world's best quality apples! Apart from the rich natural beauty of the meadows and saffron trees of Sangla, there are a few places of interest here.
A major tourist attraction at Sangla is the Bering Nag Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It attracts a lot of people during the months of August to September, because of the Fulaich Fair - a flower festival, that happens every once a year.
Dances are performed and many colourful stalls come up during this time. It is also a festival celebrated to remember the ones who have passed away.
PC: Ashish Gupta
Kamru Fort is an ancient regal wooden fort, built at an altitude of 2,600 m. It is now turned into a temple with Kamakhya Devi as the deity. It is located just 2 km from Sangla. The fort also houses almost 36 crore gods and goddesses!
A statue of Lord Buddha welcomes all the visitors at the entrance. The balcony of the fort offers a view of the magnificent ranges of the Himalayas.
PC: Ashish Gupta
The Baspa River begins from the Baspa Hills and later merges with River Sutlej. This serene river is the reason for the formation of Baspa Valley, which is a home to the locals of Tibetan culture.
A unique boat made by the locals that looks similar to a basket, takes you through the river and gives you the view of all the breathtaking hills, trees and mountains that surround the region. Glacier formations around the river add to the scenic beauty.
The river happens to be a favourite spot for anglers' since fishes of great variety is found here.
PC: Sukanya Ray
Built on the slope of a mountain, the Roghi Village is located just 8 km from Kalpa. The village gives a spectacular view of the Kinnaur Kailash range. It portrays the simplistic lifestyle and traditions of people living in Himachal Pradesh.
The road from Kalpa to Roghi village is dangerous since it is a cliff-hugging road. However, nothing usually stops adventure buffs to get there because of the enchanting view.
PC: Krishna G S
Kothi village is nestled at the base of Rohtang Pass. Just like Roghi, Kothi village also offers the mesmerising views of the snow-capped mountains, along with the view of River Beas that flows through deep gorges in this region.
Kothi is a perfect site for camping, if you wish to trek to Rohtang Pass. The beauty of this village has attracted many movie directors to shoot scenes of their movies.
PC: Rajarshi MITRA
Suicide Point gets its name due to the perilous furrows and steep vertical slopes of the cliff. It is found on the way to Roghi from Kalpa. However, it is a viewpoint from where one can witness a view that will leave them spellbound.
Mountain ranges covered with snow at the peaks and the untouched natural beauty surrounding it can be witnessed from this point. You can just stop here on the way to Roghi village.
PC: Supriya joon
Surrounded by palm trees and deodar trees, Batseri Village is located on the left of the River Baspa. The village is filled with unexplored nooks and corners that tourists and photographers try discovering.
One can view the Himalayan ranges from this village as well. Apart from the vistas of nature, Batseri houses a temple dedicated to Lord Buddha.
The village is a good place to buy artefacts and local handicrafts. You can also buy locally famous items like handmade shawls and Kinnauri caps.
PC: Nitinram Velraj
Chaka is a distinguished mountain peak, located at 4,572 m above sea level. Due to this, it is a famous spot for trekking. On the way to the summit, you can witness a beautiful lake and numerous natural springs.
The upward trek might take about 2 to 3 hours to complete, while the downward trek should take around 1.5 hours. It is advised to start the trek early in the morning to avoid trekking after sunset. Local guides can be hired for the trek, for a better experience.
PC: Nick Irvine-Fortescue
Sapni Fort is a classic example of an architectural marvel, built by Raja Padam Singh of Rampur. This seven-storeyed building is created by merging two buildings in one. The fifth floor of the fort houses a Kali Temple.
The fort is located close to Sapni village, and can only be reached by foot. Sapni Fort is mostly visited to witness its beautiful architecture. It has an excellent woodwork and carvings made on the door and window frames.
PC: Nick Irvine-Fortescue