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Sep13

Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

Sangla Valley is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful valleys in the country which is why it makes a popular destination among tourists. Set on the banks of Baspa River, one can enjoy the exceptional views of the Himalayas from the valley. The scenic villages of Sangla let you experience the simplistic lifestyle of Kinnaur.    Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

Sangla is where Rupin Pass trek ends. Chitkul, another scenic village near Sangla is where Borasu Pass Trek ends. Therefore, to make the best of your time, here are all the Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul .

Kamru Fort

Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul- Kamru Fort

Located in the picturesque Solang Valley, Kamru Fort is a portal to a bygone area. The unique 3-storey wooden fort is a 15th-century architectural marvel. The fort has now been developed into a temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. The idol of the goddess is placed on the third floor and is said to have been brought from Guwahati. The temple has a huge religious importance among the locals. Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

Bering Nag Temple

Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul- Bering Nag Temple

One of its kind, Bering Nag Temple holds a religious importance among people. The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagas, a form of Lord Shiva. It is constructed with wood and can be considered as an architectural marvel from olden times. Every year in months of August and September, Phulaich Fair is celebrated in the temple which makes it all more interesting attraction. It is 2 km from Sangla Village. Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

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Chitkul Village

Chitkul Fort

Chitkul is a small hamlet in this region of Himachal Pradesh. The interesting fact about this village is that it is the last inhabited village near Indo-Tibetan border. The beauty and charm of this village are no less than a fairyland. It is located 20 km from Sangla. There is even a temple of a local goddess, Chitkul Maathi, which holds huge importance for people from Kinnaur district. This village experiences heavy snowfall in winters.

Baspa River

Baspa River

Sangla Valley is inhabited on the side of mighty Baspa River. The river is surrounded by the gigantic Himalayan ranges. The views around the banks of the river are to die for. One can find a variety of fish in the freshwater of the river. There are even baskets hanging above the river which are used as a mode of river crossing by the villagers. Have a little ‘you-time’ sitting by the side of the beautiful river contemplating about life.

Tibetan Wood Carving Centre

Tibetan Wood Carving Centre

In case you are looking for a souvenir to take back from your trek, Tibetan Wood Carving Centre is the place to be. You will find object made from wood with intricate carvings in Tibetan Style. There is a display of an array of beautiful objects that are also available for sale. The center is located on the outskirts of Sangla near the Saffron Farm. It is one of the popular sightseeing places in Sangla.  Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

Batseri   Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

view of kalpa

Batseri is another hamlet in this region which is famous for its scenic beauty and local handicrafts. The village is located 8 km from Sangla. What makes it a must-visit are the Himachali shawls and Kinnauri caps. Trout Farming is also prevalent in this region which is not to be missed. Also, get pine nuts and chilgoza from the village.  Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

Brelengi Gompa   Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul- Brelengi Gompa

When you are in Himachal, you ought to visit the monasteries here. Brelengi gompa is a beautiful monastery near Sangla that you can visit. It was established in 1922 by the Mahabodhi Society to perform the Kalachakra ceremony. There is even a 10 m high statue of Lord Buddha near the monastery. A lot of people visit this fine Buddhist monastery to seek peace and solace.  Places You Must Visit Around Sangla and Chitkul

ref: bikatadventures.com

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Sangla Valley
Mar20

High up in Himalayan country, price crowned with lofty peaks in Kinnaur lies Sangla, one of the most picturesque valleys of Himachal.

It originates around the Chung Sakhago pass, sick on the border with Tibet. The Baspa river has carved out this beautiful 95 kilometer long valley stretch, before converging into the Sutlej river. According to local legends Baspa is referred to as a brother of the Sutlej.

Among its scenic settings lie sprinkled habitations of the noble tribes. These tribals hold onto age-old pagan Hindu Buddhist beliefs, worshiping the peaks around. They believe that the gods reside in them. Sangla happens to be the main village in this valley.

To reach Sangla one needs to travel on the highway, beyond Shimla, past the hill station of Narkanda. You then need to descend into the Sutlej river valley. After negotiating the deep gorge beyond Rampur one reaches Karcham, which marks the confluence of Sutlej with Baspa.

Negotiating hairpin bends hanging dangerously over cliffs in the steep gradient, the 17 kilometer diverging road from Karcham into Sangla valley, with the Baspa roaring several thousand feet below is something of a shock. This road is not for those with a weak heart or unsteady hands on the wheel.

Chitkul

Beyond Sangla village, the valley opens up. Chitkul with its lonely ambience happens to be the last inhabited village in the valley. In sharp contrast to the rugged mountains around, the flora in the valley is lush. Well chiseled terraced fields with fruit laden orchards, forests of oak, cedar, blue pine, alpine shrub and pastures, amidst snow covered perennial peaks conjures up an image of a Shangri-La. The rich pools of trout fish in the icy cold waters of Baspa will seduce any angler. As if in a trance you will choose to forget the stressful and ordinary life that you lead otherwise.

Home to a rich cultural life, the people in the valley are simple and hospitable. Despite inroads of alien influences they retain much of their traditional dress, music and dance. Farmers still till the land with devotion, and shepherds in search of greener pastures cross high mountain passes with their flock of sheep. The ancient traditions of wool-weaving employs many, as Kinnauri shawls and woollens are much sought after.

Quaint little houses, temples, gompas and chortems (Buddhist temples and shrines) dot the countryside from Karcham to Chitkul. The pastoral villages with ancient folklores beckon visitors. Some villages worth a visit include Sangla, Rakchham, Kamru and Chitkul.

Sangla village, in the shadow of the mighty Raldang peak of the greater Himalaya range, is built on a slope with roofs of the houses rising one above the other. This village has some of the most beautifully carved wooden temples in the valley. These ancient monuments are decorated with prized horns of Ibex, Bharal and other animals that have been hunted or sacrificed over the centuries.

Kamru village is a brief stop away from Sangla. The village is compact and cozy. Some of the finest specimens of Kinnauri architecture and craftsmanship on wood adorn the Badri Nath, Bhimakali and Buddhist temples of Kamru.

In a commanding position, on the protuberance of a hill just above the village stands the famous five-storied old hill fort of Kamru. The erstwhile royal family of Bushair estate traces its lineage to this house. The enthronement ceremony of these former rulers is still said to be preformed at this ancient fort. Built of dressed stones, bound at small intervals with wooden rafters, the fort is a lofty square structure. A room in the fort houses an idol of Kamrakh or Kamakhya Devi.

At the western extremity of a glen in the valley is the striking village of Rakchham. From its base a huge mass of bare rocks, which rise abruptly in numerous black spires above the village, give it a dramatic setting.

The isolation of Chitkul is haunting. The over thousand year old Pramukh Buddha statue, housed in a Buddhist temple here, is a masterpiece of metal craft. Beyond Chitkul lies the vast rarefied Himalayan expanse which pilgrims out on a mount Kinner Kailash Parikrama sometimes trek.

Fast Facts

The 226 kilometers from Shimla to Sangla is a ten-hour journey by road.

Important Distances

Delhi – Shimla by road 380 Km
Shimla – Rampur 131 Km
Rampur – Karcham (1899M) 76 Km
Karcham – Sangla (2621M) 18 Km
Sangla – Chitkul (3435M) 28 Km
Rampur – Sangla 94 Km

ref: theoktravel.com

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Undiscovered Sangla Valley
Mar06

This summer explore the best kept secret of Himachal Pradesh. The colourful summer and the snowy mountains in this part of the world will surely make your trip a memorable one, a vacation that will make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed for sure.

We have handpicked this region in the lap of beautiful Himalayas. Sangla is surrounded by towering mountains on all sides, with apple orchards all around , it is situated on the banks of the Baspa River. A comfortable stay with the view of snow covered Himalayan peaks makes this destination a unique one. Experience the warm hospitality and savour the unparalleled beauty of this region on this Tour. The evenings will also be special as they will be spent besides the crisp crackling of a bonfire.

This vacation will surely be “the change” you needed from your regular rushed routines. You’ll be back with loads of memories and a new you! So what are you waiting for? Get to explore the unknown secret of Himachal.

Highlights

  • Stay in exclusive and cozy resorts that offer unsurpassed views and hospitality.
  • Get to see breathtaking vistas of Kinnaur.
  • Visit the last town on the old Indo-Tibetan trade route; Nagasthi and get to see the Nagasthi outpost.
  • Hike to Hatu Peak and visit the Bhimakali temple, which is one of the Shakti Peethas.
  • Enjoy a glacial walk at Rakcham
  • Explore Shimla, its beautiful architecture and markets.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Kalka to Shimla

Pick up from kalka railway station to hotel at shimla. o/n at shimla hotel.

Day 2 : Shimla to Sarahan

Shimla to Sarahan on the way covering kufri, fagu,. Narkanda, rampur. O/n at sarahan hotel.

Day 3 : Sangla Valley, Kamroo Fort and Rakcham

Drive to sangla valley. Afternoon visit kamroo fort drive to rakcham. o/n at hotel rupin river view.

Day 4 : Chitkul

After b/fast drive to chitkul the last village of the valley. Evening back to same hotel.

Day 5 : Kalpa

Drive to kalpa. O/n at rolling rang resort / royal voyages kalpa.

Day 6 : Rogi and Chini Village

Visit rogi and chini village. O/n at same hotel kalpa.

Day 7 : Rampur / Narkanda

Drive back to Rampur / Narkanda. o/n hotel.

Day 8 : Back to Kalka

Drive back to kalka to board train

ref: infinitejourneys.in & himalayadiscovery.com

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Kinnaur Valley
Feb24

Continuing on towards laying the foundation of comprehensive Travel Guide for Spiti Valley and as discussed in the last article Hindustan Tibet Highway, first let’s cover the lower Kinnaur Valley in depth before going further towards upper Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley. The lower part of Kinnaur Valley is also very much visited by many people during summer time due to ease of accessibility from Shimla/Delhi/Chandigarh and less crowd or offbeat location. By lower Kinnaur, I mean that I will be covering Kalpa, Sangla Valley and Chitkul in this travel guide and may be upper parts like Nako, Chango, Ropa, Hangrang can be covered in time to come, if required.

Kinnaur Valley is one of the 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh which is known for its apples & orchards, beautiful small hamlets, beautiful meadows surrounded with thick dense woods and not to forget the ever adventurous roads. One of the road to Sangla Valley was also got popularly featured by the name Ledge in Discovery Channel as Deadliest Roads in the World … This adds just the right charm of adventure in the trip. In winters, the presence of snow makes it just a jaw-dropping experience to be in Kinnaur Valley where the major attractions is the breathtaking view of Kinner Kailash, a mountain sacred to Hindus, close to the Tibetan border. The beautiful meadows in Sangla or Baspa Valley and Chitkul which is considered the last village in India where one can reach from Kinnaur side, are also covered commonly on a trip to this part of Himalayas.

Location

Kinnaur Valley is located in the Northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh about 235 KMs from state capital, Shimla.

Altitude

Kinnaur Valley has a mountainous area, ranging in altitude from 2,320 Mtrs to 6,816 Mtrs (7,610 ft to 22,362 ft) where Kalpa is located at an altitude of 2,960 Mtrs (9,710 ft) and Sangla Valley is located at an altitude of 2,696 Mtrs (8,900 ft). Chitkul is the highest in the lot at an altitude of about 3,450 Mtrs (11,320 ft).

Season for Traveling to Kinnaur Valley

You can visit this beautiful valley throughout major part of the year but in winters things get very tough and heavy snowfall makes it inaccessible sometimes too. But, apart from peak winters Kinnaur Valley including Kalpa and Sangla Valley can be visited rest of the year without much fuss. It is important to note that monsoon is not the right time to be in Kinnaur Valley due to common landslides and worse roads, so in any case avoid monsoons My favorite time is Autumn or Fall when monsoon just resides away and you might still see some apple orchards loaded with apples with clear skies in the background. Also, Chitkul becomes inaccessible at the time of peak winters, so please avoid going there in late winters without knowing the weather conditions. One snowfall can trap you for months in Chitkul :)… In case you are going in Apple Season, that is around Late July or August in Kinnaur Valley then be ready for massive mess of trucks traffic too along with rains.

How to Reach Kinnaur Valley

Below is the most general route to Kinnaur Valley from Delhi that most people usually follow. You can reach Kinnaur on the second day with overnight halt at Narkanda or anywhere far from Shimla or Chail. The route to Kinnaur Valley from Delhi along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Delhi – Shimla (360 KMs) – Narkanda (420 KMs) – Rampur (488 KMs) – Karcham (566 KMs) – Reckong Peo (587 KMs) – Kalpa (595 KMs)

Road from Karcham bifurcates towards Sangla Valley and Chitkul as: Karcham (566 KMs) – Sangla (582 KMs) – Rakcham (596 KMs) – Chitkul (610 KMs)

ref: devilonwheels.com

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Places to visit in Chitkul-sangla
Jan31

“Chitkul – the name itself sounds like the twitter of birds”. Located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, where the Indian roads come to an end and is the last inhabited village close to the Indo-Tibet border. Surrounded by tall deodar trees, this village is mostly covered with snow during.

The village is filled with small huts and houses made of wooden planks and number of Buddhist temples located in and around the village. This place can be best explored during the month of June. Tourists go for trekking the hilly areas near a place called. Chitkul is surrounded by fields of wild yellow plants and lush vegetation that provide the most refreshing experience to tourists who look or an escape from their busy lives. The culture of Chitkul is fascinating and captivating. Come and be mesmerized by the intoxicating culture of Chitkul.

1. Last Dhaba of India-Akhiri Dhaba

India ka Akhiri Dhaba

Situated on the banks of Baspa river in the Baspa valley lies the last dhaba of India near the Indo-Tibetian border in the Chitkul valley. It is located at a height of 3500 m and it serves delicious local cuisine and snacks for the hungry travelers.

There is a huge sign board put up near the Dhaba describing it as the last dhaba of India. The sign board says ‘Hindustan ka Akhiri Dhaba’, The food is tasty and the people are very friendly. Do visit this Dhaba when you are in Chitkul.

2. Rejoice at Baspa River Banks

Baspa Valley

One of the most scenic beauties of Himalayas is the Baspa Valley which is also called the Sangla valley. It is a 9 hour drive from Delhi. It experiences moderate climate during summers and cool climate during the winters. One of the most picturesque villages in the Himalayas can be found here. Rafting the Baspa River is a popular activity.

Baspa Valley is loaded with culture, history and nature. The valley is filled with dense oak and pine forests, which is the essence of the natural beauty of the valley. The valley is a good attraction for trekkers and campers. Tourists can enjoy crossing the river in a basket, which is a unique kind of ride here. April to October is regarded as the best time to visit Baspa River because the climate is mild and soothing. As compared to other rivers the Baspa is fairly turbulent and frequently changes its course. An outland ship fish species known as brown trout (salmo fario) is found in this river.

3. Mathi Temple, Chitkul

Mathi Temple

The Mathi Temple is dedicated to goddess Shri Mathi, who is the local goddess of the people of Chitkul. The beautiful temple consists of the goddess made up of walnut wood and covered with clothes and decorated by a tuft of the tail of yak. The temple is said to be about 500 years old.

This temple has three shrines, the main one said to have been built by a resident of Garhwal.The goddess is on square ark made up of walnut wood and covered with clothes and decorated by a tuft of the tail of yak.Two poles called bayanga.Then that are inserted and the Goddess is carried out at times. According to a local legend, the Devi undertook a long and arduous journey before settled in Chitkul village. When Mathi Devi finally settled in Chitkul, the village found great prosperity and she continues to be worshipped with great fanfare. Every year lots of people visit this temple.

4. Chitkul Fort

Chitkul Fort

Chitkul is the last inhabited village of India situated at a height of 3500 m, 24 km from Sangla near the Indo-Tibetian border. This village remains unaccessible during the winter and is covered in a blanket of snow all through the winter. The Chitkul fort looks like a watchtower. Covered in intricate wooden carvings the fort is one of the main attractions of this small village after the Chitkul temple complex.

5. Hydro flour mill in Chitkul

Hydro flour mill

Chitkul might be the last and highest human settlement on the old trade route but it has some pretty interesting places to see. One of them is the Hydro power flour mill which is used by the villagers who are very proud to have it. It has been created in a small settlement and hydro power is used to operate the flour mill.

ref: traveldglobe.com

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Sangla Valley
Jan24

Having heard so much about the beauty of the Baspa river and Sangla Valley, I had made sure to venture this side on my first trip to Spiti, back in 2011 or 2012 and again in the subsequent years. After having visited Ladakh & Spiti in the winters, I think 2017 will be the year when I visit Sangla Valley & Kinnaur in the snowy cold weather.

The drive till Karchham hadn’t even given me a whiff of an idea of the greenery that existed in this fabled valley. After traversing the NH-22 till Karchham (Also spelt Karcham), a road bifurcates for Sangla near the dam site.

First up came Sangla, the biggest town in Sangla Valley and also the administrative headquarters as far as work matters are concerned. It is an uninspiring town full of concrete buildings but was popular earlier because of limited accommodation options in the other villages of Rakcham & Chitkul.

Sangla

Sangla is 18 kms away from Karcham and the natural beauty of the valley in on full show after that. There is a big market at Sangla, a comfortable looking PWD rest house, a HPSEB Rest House and a few dhabas and restaurants.

The lush green valley with the Baspa river flowing below is the true delight of Sangla Valley. The road leads to Rakcham village, which was given the honour of a Modern Village in 2010 and the President’s prize was also bestowed upon it. Wooden houses appear very pretty in the landscape and a few newly built hotels are also visible. The distance of Sangla to Rakcham is only 12-13 kms and I hoped that the pretty road will never end.

The Baspa river ambles along a wooded valley past picture perfect villages surrounded by forests of deodhar, pine and birch. Pretty fields are flanked by snowy mountain peaks in the Sangla Valley. The road is quite adventurous and has been carved from a mountain and clings to a cliff for most of the journey.

Smooth peaks shone brightly in the sun at the end of a non-existant road. The most beautiful stretch of the Sangla to Chitkul road came between Rakcham to Chitkul where a waterfall flows on the road itself, surrounded by a gorgeous green forest and boulders spread intermittently. We made a stop instinctively and clicked some photographs. It was a memorable time spent in the love of nature.

There are lots of apple trees in entire Sangla Valley and among the crops grown are millet, potatoes, buckwheat etc. The pine nuts (chilgoza) of this area are quite famous for their high nutritive value. During April, Sangla Valley is a riot of colours of various blossoms and also during September when the crops are ready to be harvested, pink is a dominating colour in the fields (maybe due to the buckwheat crop).


The houses in Chitkul are all made out of wood and all seem to have notable carvings. There are influences of both Hinduism and Buddhism in the village. We visited a brilliantly carved temple and saw a few local Kinnauris wearing some flowers on their hats. The non-existant clouds of the afternoon had decided to come with a vengeance in the evening creating beautiful patterns in the sky.

There was a signboard with ‘Hindustan ka aakhri dhaba’ that was the first thing I noticed after entering Chitkul. My friends were looking for some maggi joint but the dhaba could not be found (ha ha). I also remember trying to buy my first Kinnauri hat in Chitkul, after having tried the same with a local in Kinnaur. We rushed towards the open green fields and clicked many photographs with the snowy peaks in the background.

The walk on Baspa river bed from the small hamlet of Batseri to Rakcham or Chitkul is a slightly longer hike but is absolutely worth it for the grand feeling of being among nature’s bounty. It also allows one to have a closer look at nature and the fields and apple orchards of Baspa Valley.

Chitkul

There were very few guest houses in Chitkul at the time of my first visit and I recollect seeing a few buildings to be constructed as hotels. After the next visit, I was quite surprised to see a major change in Chitkul when it had become a full fledged town catering to groups of tourists. I remember staying in a small guest house once in Chitkul where the rest of the tourists were from Israel and the villagers had learnt to make Shakshuka & Falafel!

Chitkul (at 3450m) is also popularly known as the last village on the India – China border, although the border is around 80 kms away. One is permitted to go to the ITBP check post that is around 3 kms from Chitkul and is an hour’s trek on narrow paths by the meandering Baspa river. It remains one of my best memories of spending time in this fairytale village. Indeed, it is only on walks where we are with our thoughts and time seems to stand still at that moment.

ref: travelshoebum.com

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Sangla Valley rooms
Jan16

Sangla Valley is located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the country. In Tibetan, the term Sangala means “pass of light” which refers to the valley receiving sunlight during the day. To get here, tourists must make their way to either Delhi or Chandigarh. From Delhi, Sangla Valley is more than 500kms away. From Chandigarh, it is around 350kms. Whichever city you choose to make your way to Sangla, you will have to pass through Shimla. From Shimla it is another 6-8 hours away. Visitors were prohibited to enter this region before because it was situated close to the Tibetan border; 25 years on and this valley has been explored by many enthusiasts. Spread over an area of over 40kms, it’s a magnificent sight to behold. Snow clad mountains surround you and you get to see the Kinner Kailash peak. The Baspa River flows through the valley and that is why it is also known as the Baspa Valley.

Sangla Valley

Things to do in Sangla Valley

Camping – Stay at the many camps that are situated on the Baspa River banks. Camps such as Banjara, Kinner, Igloo Nature, Baikunth Adventure Camp, and the Sangla Valley camps offer tent and cottage accommodation. The camps itself will organize various adventure activities for you.

Walks – Enjoy undisturbed walks across the valley where one gets to admire the plethora of flora and fauna including orchards, cedar trees, and fir trees to name a few. These walks can be done in a day.

Adventure activities such as rappelling, rock climbing, river crossing are provided by the camps.

Treks are a good option if one wants to cover the valley and the surrounding areas. One can get to see the beautiful Kinner Kailash peak up-close during the trek. A trek one should attempt is the Rakcham trek. There is a glacier trek which will take you to the snowy regions of the mountains.

Opt for a yoga retreat. There are some camps and tour operators who organize yoga retreats. What better way to do your yoga when surrounded by gorgeous mountain views.

For those who love angling, the Baspa River is renowned for their trout. The river has crystal clear waters and one can easily spot the trout. For those who do not want to indulge in angling, then gazing at the beautiful shoals of trout is a great experience.

There is a monastery close by which you can visit.

The Kamru Fort is over 800 years old. It houses the famous Kamakshi Devi Temple.

The Bering Nag Temple is dedicated to the snake of Lord Shiva.

A beautiful Tibetan wood carving centre has exceptionally beautiful carvings of different things.

The Fulaich Fair is held every year between August and September. It is a festival of flowers. There is much fanfare involved including traditional dances and songs. The Kinnauris wear their traditional costumes and perform certain rituals for their departed loved ones.

Sangla meadow is a pretty spot that offers views of the Kinner Kailash.

There is a trout farm which has been created by the Ministry of Fisheries. Here, one gets to observer the beautiful trout floating in huge tubs.

There is a saffron farm located on the outskirts of the town.

Visit nearby places such as Chitkul which is the last town on the Indian border, after which the Tibetan border begins. Also visit Batseri, Karchem, & Kalpa, all of which are located close to Sangla.

A trip to the Baspa Dam Reservoir is a must as it offers beautiful views of the placid waters of the river.

Try the apples that are grown here. They are extremely sweet and juicy. Visit the Sangla Market and buy local spices and if you can find it then try to buy some of the traditional clothes. Taste some of the local food here. Since it a tiny town, the shopping and facilities are very basic.

As mentioned there is accommodation available at the many camps here in Sangla. For places to stay in Sangla and other surrounding areas you can book our hotels at best price.


To get to Sangla one can hire cabs or take a bus from Chandigarh, Delhi or Shimla. The best time ot visit is between March and October. The other months are when Sangla receives heavy snowfall. Also, during the rainy season, one needs to be careful because sometimes this region has cloudbursts which result in extremely heavy rainfall. However, this only happens occasionally.

ref: india.com

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