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Thursday Feb 22, 2024

Explore the Unexplored in Kinnaur-Kailash

If it is a holiday in the hills you are dying for, Kinnaur-Kailash must feature on your bucket-list. It is a mountain in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. There are enough trains to the railway station closest to Kinnaur located in Shimla, some 244 km away. You will find multiple options for road transport from Shimla to Kalpa – the main village of Kinnaur. Upon reaching Kalpa, embark on a world of adventures. The mountains of Kinnaur will greet you with open arms.

The Heights of Kinnaur-Kailash: A Trekking Outing

Towards the south of the Kinnaur district, lies the Kinnaur-Kailash Range. The highest points here are the peaks of Jorkanden and Kinnaur-Kailash. For adventure-seekers and nature-lovers, this is a destination which does not disappoint. There are many trekking opportunities at Kalpa to explore the adjoining hills and dales. From the base camp at Tangling, it will take you around two to three days to scale the Kinnaur-Kailash Shiv Lingam.

This is a sacred site situated between Mount Kailash (not to be confused with Mount Kailash in Tibet) and Mount Jorkanden. Considered to be the winter abode of Lord Shiva, Hindu pilgrims visit it during the month of January to scale this monolithic rock-face of religious significance.

The Kinnaur-Kailash Shiv Lingam trek involves passage, in some parts, over slopes of steep gradient. Depending upon your level of preparedness, the trip offers between a moderate to a difficult intensity of trekking. Get a local guide on-board to choose relatively easy paths of access.

You will not regret your decision. Local guides can also alert you to the points of highlight along the way – like the Charang La Pass. Spectacular views of the Garhwal Valley and the Sangla Valley will greet you from the Charang La Pass. Keep your camera handy at this stage. Capture a few memories on film as you go through one of the most difficult treks that the Himachal has to offer.

For a View without the Toil

Stay at Kalpa, the most scenic village in Kinnaur surrounded by beauteous apple orchards. Wake up to the most magnificent views of the Kinnaur-Kailash Range which can be seen at a distance. One does not have ‘to climb a mountain to know that it’s high’, as Paulo Coelho observed. View it from Kalpa. Plan a picnic outing at the surrounding apple orchards and lush valleys. Rhododendrons, junipers, blue pines and deodars cover the nearby mountain slopes – quite the picturesque setting for all solitude-seekers! Suicide Point, Roghi Village and the Hu-Bu Lan-Kar Monastery are some of the other sites of interest close by. Plan day-trips to tour these places.

Shopping at Kinnaur-Kailash

What is a holiday without a spot of local shopping? Pick up woollen shawls, caps, tweeds, socks and mittens when you shop at Kinnaur. Buy apples, almonds and apricots. ‘Chilgozas’ are pine-nuts, which are also easily available. Regional handicrafts like ‘gudmas’ are blankets made from the wool of the local ‘giangi’ sheep. Wood carving, metal work, gold and silver ornaments are also very famous from the region.

Travel back from Kinnaur-Kailash with a bounty of goodies and a treasure-trove of experiences. On your train ride back home, you will find yourself richer by far.

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