Himachal Pradesh literally means 'abode of snow' and rightly so; the place is stunningly beautiful with its cool weather and snowy mountains. It is a paradise for travellers, backpackers, adventurers and is the most preferred place for vacations in India. The lofty mountains with their snowy peaks, sprawling valleys, rolling meadows, thick deodar forests, glistening streams and waterfalls, add to the charming beauty of Himachal Pradesh.
What adds more to the enticing beauty of Himachal are the friendly people, unique culture and the vibrant festivals. One such festival is the Ukhyang or Phulaich Fair of Kinnaur, commonly known as the Flower Festival. Adorned with apple and apricot orchards and home to the majestic Kinnaur Kailash range, the quaint Kinnauri villages come together with gusto to celebrate the Phulaich Fair.
Phulaich Fair: The Flower Festival
PC: Official website
Every year, in the month of September, the Flower Festival is held in the Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh. Most travellers plan a trip to Himachal around this time, as the best way to learn about people, places, food and cultures is through festivals. Also, September is an ideal month to visit Kinnaur region.
The temperature is pleasant with sporadic showers. The valleys and meadows are dotted with vibrant flowers. Phulaich is celebrated to remember the deceased loved ones. A group of villagers climb the mountain top to collect a specific Ladra flower, while other group plays a certain pahadi music on the drums and a bugle.
Garlands, rice and wine are offered to the deceased loved ones as a sign of remembrance and respect. The villages are buzzing with villagers, visitors from nearby villages, travellers and tourists. Colourful stalls are set up. Many cultural events, like folk dance and folk song performances are carried out. While some of the performances have religious significance, others are for recreation and entertainment.
How To Reach Kinnaur
PC: Gili Chupak
Reckong Peo and Kalpa are major places that are connected with cities, like Shimla, Delhi and Chandigarh. The best way to reach Kalpa or Reckong Peo is by road, as these places have no airports or railway stations.
However, these places are connected with Shimla. Shimla can be reached by a narrow gauge mountain railway that connects with Kalka in Haryana. Shimla also has a small airport connecting it with Delhi.
The best way to reach Kinnaur, therefore, is to first reach Shimla by bus, train or flight, and then travel by road to Kalpa or Reckong Peo. The distance between Shimla and Kalpa is about 225 km, and Shimla to Reckong Peo is approximately 228 km.