Himachal Pradesh iterally “snow-laden province” is a state in northern part of India. Situated in the Western Himalayas, it is bordered by states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the southwest, Uttarakhand on the southeast, and Tibet on the east. As its southernmost point, it also touches the state of Uttar Pradesh. The state’s name was coined from the Sanskrit—Him means ‘snow’ and achal means ‘land’ or ‘abode’. Himachal is in the western Himalayas. Covering an area of 55,673 square kilometres (21,495 sq mi), it is a mountainous state. Most of the state lies on the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. At 6,816 m Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain peak in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector.The state is spread across valleys. About 90% of the state’s population lives in rural areas. Many perennial rivers flow in the state with numerous Hydro-Power plants producing surplus electricity that is sold to other states. Tourism and agriculture are also important constituents of the state’s economy.
The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej, and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
Himachal Pradesh has around 463 birds, 77 mammalian, 44 reptile and 80 fish species. The Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Pin Valley National Park are the national Parks located in the state. The state also has 30 wildlife sanctuaries and 3 conservation reserves. Kalap Kinnaur Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector. Himalayan Destination is one of the best Kalpa Kinnaur tour and travels operator, who organize Kalpa Kinnaur Tour.
Shimla or Simla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is a very popular holiday-retreat during the summer months and is well-known for its Victorian architecture, which is reflected in certain areas of the Mall and The Ridge. It is also a famous holiday spot for honeymoon. The elevation of Shimla is 2276 m above from the sea level.
Set amidst beautiful hills and mystical woods, Shimla is one of most aesthetically planned cities in India. An erstwhile summer capital of British India, this town’s captivating natural beauty, and the atmosphere are bound to leave any tourist overwhelmed. The well-knit roads, impeccable cleanliness, and an efficient administration make for a perfect combination for any tourist destination in the world. This town has colonial-style buildings alongside the historic temples and the amalgamation of the worlds leaves everyone visiting this region spellbound. Within this city, one must visit the Mall Road, The Ridge, Institute of Advanced Studies and Jakhu Temple. Shimla is also used as a base to cover other nearby places like Chail, Kufri, Naldehra, Mashobra, Tattapani and Narkanda. The Toy Train to Shimla from Kalka passes through beautiful hills, valleys and is one of the most beautiful train routes in the world. From Kalka to Shimla Toy train route passes through 108 nos of tunnels makes more attractive.
There are quite a few theories regarding the origin of the word Shimla. Locals insist that the name originates from Shyamali Devi, a re-incarnation of the fearsome Goddess Kali.
Solan, located on the Punjab-Himachal Border, Solan lies on the lower ranges of the Himalayas and is more of an industrial town with various industries. Solan is a more low-key hill station ideal for travelers looking just some time away from city rush. A beautiful city in Himachal Pradesh, Solan has ancient temples and monasteries that attract hundreds of tourists and devotees every year. Being set in the backdrop of majestic hills adds and quaint charm to these centers of worship. This city also has a 300-year old fort located at the top of a hill which is in ruins but has an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the countryside. The Shoolini Mata Temple and jatoli Shiv Temple are must-visits for both devotees and tourists. One of the most famous monasteries in this region is the Yundung Monastery, which must be visited by everyone travelling to Solan.
Solan has one of the oldest breweries in the country and is popularly known as The Mushroom Capital of the country owing to the amount of Mushrooms produced every year. Solan is also called as The City of Red Gold as it produces bulk quantities of tomatoes.
The Mall, is the main shopping centre of Shimla. This shopping centre has a good number of banks, restaurants, post offices, clubs, bars and tourists offices. There is a famous theatre of Shimla called Gaiety Theatre. The Mall is also the main meeting place for the people of Shimla. Statue of Mahatma Gandhi just outside Christ Church located at the heart of the Mall.
The Ridge, built at the top of the town at 2230m, The Ridge is the center of Shimla’s cultural and social life – an excellent place to view the surrounding mountains.
Christ Church, The Ridge (Near Municipal Library). Open every day, services Su 8:00AM-11:00AM. Constructed in 1846, this is the second oldest church of the North India. The stain-glass windows, representing charity, faith, patience, hope, fortitude and humility, and 19th century organ are particularly impressive. The fresco that surrounds the chapel window was designed by Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling’s father.
Lower Bazaar, The Mall (Below Central Section). Shops Open Mo-Sa. The Lower Bazaar is home to the city’s less expensive hotels, cheaper restaurants and stores, and a congested wholesale vegetable market. Although less opulent than its upper neighbor, the Lower Bazaar retains an old worldly charm and is an excellent place to try some Shimla specialty dishes, like Uradh Dal with rice or Shepard’s Pie. It also sells clothes and household items.
Viceregal Lodge, The Mall (A top Observatory Hill), Open every day (Only the entrance hall and gardens are open to the public). This lodge is now part of the Institute of Advanced Studies. An imposing British-raj mansion built under the guidance of Lord Dufferin in 1888. Manicured British style gardens surround the mansion on three sides, while the fourth side is a place to relax and watch the sun dip below the Himalayan foothills. The teak-paneled interior is impressive, and well worth a viewing. This lodge is a 1 hour walk from the end of the mall, near the Oberoi hotel.
Tara Devi Temple, is named after one of the many forms of Goddess Kali. This well-maintained temple is located at the top of a steep hill about 11 kms from Shimla bus stand. There are stunning views of Shimla town and the Himalayas. This is a perfect location for people who are looking for some rest and peace at a high altitude, around 6070 ft. The temple is very clean with a beautiful flower garden surrounding it.
Chadwick Falls, 7 km away from Shimla, the inviting spot of Chadwick Falls is a premier travel destination. A trip to the Chadwick Falls during the monsoons will be an unforgettable experience. Located in an incredible landscape, the place is home to some old shrines that are sites of immense significance for pilgrims.
Dorje Drag Monastery, Sarasvati Garden Estate, Kusmuti. A monastery in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Thubten Evam Dorje Drag.
Kufri, in Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most sought after holiday destinations, and more so for couples, because of its proximity to Shimla and relatively higher altitude which makes it a place with snow all through the winters.
Kufri is just about 10 km from Shimla and is quite a retreat if you’re in Shimla and snow is something which excites you. While there’s not much to see in Kufri as such, but the panoramic views and temples after a bit of trekking are worth the time. Kufri itself is mostly treated as a spot for the tourists visiting Shimla and it is advisable to club sightseeing in Shimla or nearby areas like Chail, Mashobra, Naldehra or Narkanda as well if you intend to visit Kufri. Also, Kufri is a relatively crowded and popular attraction as almost everyone visiting Shimla comes here.
Kufri Amusement Park located at 8500 ft. above sea level offering adventure activities like Burma Bridge Crossing, Flying Fox, Commando Net, Rock Climbing etc and also activities like Boating, Bump’em Cars, Rides, Indoor Golf and a number of virtual reality, redemption & video games. Other attractions include Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Shopping, Telescopic View etc. The food at the restaurant is excellent.
Chail, is a quiet hill station close to Shimla, known for the world’s highest cricket ground and the heritage hotel, Chail Palace, in the midst of pine and deodar trees. Surrounded by lush greenery and mesmerizing views from such a great height, known as a hiker’s paradise, Chail is bound to give a tourist a memorable travelling experience to a tourist. This place is famous for having the world’s highest cricket and polo grounds and has a luxurious resort situated on three hilltops. Once the summer capital of The Patiala, the palace has now been converted into a hotel and a tourist destination. This is the quintessential destination for tourists looking for a calm and relaxed vacation away from the more bustling and crowded tourist destinations in this state. Being the summer capital of the majestic kings of Patiala, the most famous place to visit in Chail is their palace which has now been converted into a heritage hotel. One must also visit the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary and the famous cricket ground.
Narkanda, surrounded by forests and woodlands, Narkanda is a quaint little town in Shimla district which is popular for skiing in winters.
Situated at a height of 9000 feet, this town attracts tourists for its ethereal natural beauty and its beautiful apple orchards. Surrounded by tropical forests and majestic hills, this is one place that tourists to Himachal Pradesh should not miss. Narkanda also has a lake called the Tannu Jabar Lake which is one of the most important tourist attraction here. There also exists a temple near the lake which is a must visit for all tourists and devotees coming here. Narkanda also has various trekking routes which all adventure-seekers should go for. Narkanda has a beautiful hill called Hatu Nag which one can trek up to. This hill offers a panoramic view of the town below and all adventure lovers travelling to this town should try it. One can also go for skiing during the winters.
Mashobra, is a lush green expanse in Himachal Pradesh, tucked away at a height of about 7700 feet, ensuring minimal human obstruction in the course of nature to provide you with the most pure and liberating experience of your lifetime.
Mashobra’s proximity to Shimla makes it a perfect alternative for people who are looking for a peaceful little hill-station. With just about enough resorts and enchanting natural bounty, come to Mashobra if you have a for a lazy weekend outing or a week-long vacation.
Sankat Mochan, A popular Hanuman temple is located here. We get an excellent view of Shimla from the temple. It can be reached by car or on foot.
Rampur, is located an average elevation of 1021 m (4429 feet). Rampur is one of famous place en-route Kalpa-Kinnaur. It is a very beautiful place situated at the bank of the river Satluj. The city is nearby to popular places like Jhakri, Sarahan Busahr, Green valley Dhar Gaura and Shraikoti to name a few. The city is also the home to Asia’s Largest Hydro Power Project – The Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station built by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.(formerly known as Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation) at Jhakri and world’s deepest Surge shaft at a Shah (22 km from Rampur).
Sarahan, a beautiful hamlet located in the Sutlej Valley, is a major tourist destination situated in the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. This place offers visitors the opportunity explore nature at its best. Placed at an average altitude of about 2165 m above sea level, the place is popular for its apple orchards, pine forests, small streams, rustic settings and slate roofed houses.
Once in Sarahan, one beholds a range of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and one of them is the Shrikhand Peak. The rather peculiar thing about Shrikhand peak is that it is only one whose tip remains uncovered with snow. In the evening, sunrays adorn the peaks and the sight is simply stupendous.
It is the site of the Bhimakali Temple, originally known as Bhimadevi Temple, dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali, presiding deity of the rulers of the former Bushahr State. The temple is situated about 170 kilometres from Shimla and is one of 51 Shakti Peethas. The village is known as the “gateway of Kinnaur” it being near the old Indo-Tibetan Road. Seven kilometers below (17 km by road) Sarahan is the river Satluj. Sarahan is identified with the Shonitpur mentioned in Puranas. Sarahan Bushahr has been the summer capital of Bushahr kingdom, with Rampur Bushahr considered the winter capital.
The Bhimakali Temple houses the “Kuldevi” (the presiding deity of the dynesty) of Bushahr Kingdom. The Bhimakali Temple contains both Hindu and Vajrayāna Buddhist statues and decorations which reflect the trade through here between India and Tibetan regions through ancient Indo-Tibetan Road. The traces of old Indo-Tibetan road still passes through Shalabag near Sarahan. It also shows Kushan influence in its architecture and possibly some of the images in it are Kushan (1st to 3rd centuries CE).
There are two adjacent temple buildings. One is old and resurrected, and the other is relatively new. The temple is built in an Indo-Tibetan style of architecture, is called Kath kuni Architecture. Alternate rows of grooved and interlocked stones and wood provide strength to the walls. Thick walls with lower roofs found in typical mountainous region buildings provide warmth during winters. Bushahr kings are believed to be dynastic priests of the Bhimakali temple, and used to reside in temple premises before moving to palace 100 meters from the temple.
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. From here Kinnaur Kailash, considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva, can be seen. Kinnaur, is about 235 km (146 mi) from the state capital, Shimla, located in the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh bordering Tibet to the east. It has three high mountains ranges, namely, Zanskar and Himalayas that enclose valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries.
Sangla Valley / Baspa Valley, starts at Karcham and ends at Chitkul. Sangla is the major town in the valley with a petrol pump, Bank ATMs, Post Office, Restaurants, Bar, mid range hotels and shops. Sangla is a scenic and popular hilly area that is located in the Baspa Valley of Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh, beautifully nestled in the lap of the Himlayas. Situated close to the Tibetan border, Sangla is surrounded by forest slopes and mountains. This valley is located at the distance of 30 km from the Tibetan border and stretches from Karcham where the Baspa River in the east joins Satluj. In Tibetan language, the word ‘Sangla’ means ‘Pass of Light’. The villages in this place feature houses and temples that are built in Kinnauri wood and stone style. The serene Sangla valley is flanked by thick forests of Himalayan cedar and known as an abode to alder, spruce and the unusual birch. The place attracts every tourist with its beautiful Temples, Gompas, and friendly habitants.
The valley is surrounded by forested slopes and offers views of the high mountains. Its location in the greater Himalayan range gives it a milder climate than the plains. The Baspa River flows in the Sangla Valley which is rich in apple orchards, apricot, Wall-nut, Cedar trees, and glacial streams with trout. Travelling to Sangla offers one the opportunity to take in the pleasant view of the region dominated by pine nut orchards, cherry trees and apples. The glacial streams and the villages in this region like Karchham, Chitkul and Batseri add charm to its beauty. The main villages in the valley villages include Chitkul, Rakcham, Batseri, Themgarang, Kamru. Besides the natural beauty of Great Himalaya Kamru Fort, 14th Century Lord Badri Nath Ji Temple , Mata Devi Temple & Bearing Nag Temples are the main attractions of the Valley. Kamru Fort in this region is also one of the prime attractions of Sangla, which is an ancient fort but now it has been converted into a temple which is dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi. Other attractions of this region include Kanda Trout Farm, Sapni, etc. Moreover, the popular festival ‘Fulainch’ is also celebrated with zest and many tourists crowd the region during this time to enjoy this annual flower festival.
Sangla Valley is a part of Kinnaur and inhibited by Kinnauris. The main livelihood is agriculture while apples are a major cash crop here. The most significant achievement of this region which is worth laudable is that this area boasts of growing the world’s best quality apples. The weather along with the soil are both conducive to its exclusive and superior variety and quality. A part of the population also depends on tourism. The valley remains closed for six months during winter (from December till may) when the snowfall is heavy. The old Indo-Tibet road connects Sangla to The National Highway 05 at Karcham.
Chitkul, is a village in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, located at an elevation of 3450m above from sea level. It is the last inhabited village near the Indo-China border. The Indian road ends here. During winters, the place mostly remains covered with the heavy snow and the inhabitants move to lower regions of Himachal. Potatoes grown at Chittkul are one of the best in the world and are very costly. Chitkul, on the banks of Baspa River, is the first village of the Baspa Valley and the last village on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route. It is also the last point in India one can travel to without any special permit.
Kalpa, is a small town in the Sutlej river valley, above Recong Peo in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India, in the Indian Himalaya. Inhabited by Kinnauri people and famous for its apple orchards. Apples are a major cash-crop for the region. The local inhabitants follow syncretism of Hinduism and Buddhism, and many temples in Kalpa are dedicated to both Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses.
It has an average elevation of 2,960 metres. It is located 265 km from Shimla on the NH-5 in Kinnaur district. It is located at the base of the Kinnaur Kailash snow-capped ranges. The Shivling peaks rise up to 20,000 feet (6,000 m), that changes its color at different points in the day. Kalpa is among apple orchards, pine-nut forests and the stately Deodhars. It is above the town of Reckong Peo, the district headquarters of Kinnaur, which has a hundred-year-old Buddhist monastery.
In Reckong Peo where travelers must stop to get their Inner Line Permits to continue upwards to the Spiti Valley, which is a small ancient part of what used to be Tibet. Spiti Valley is also called Mini Ladakh.
Jalori Pass, is located at a height of 3,120 meters (10,236 ft). It connects Tirthan Valley with Shimla district, Kinnaur district & Kullu district as well as Kullu districty with Kinnaur district directly.
How to reach Jalori Pass
There are two ways that you can reach Jalori Pass; one via Shimla; and the other one via Mandi. It actually makes it possible to complete the trip in the form of a circuit. You can start from Shimla and exit via Mandi; or vice versa. Both the routes are almost the same in terms of time and distance and are both equally scenic. You can either drive by your own car or motorcycle; or travel by public transport. The best and most convenient way would be to bring your own vehicle; but if that was not an option, then modes of public transport like Buses, Shared cabs, private taxis too are available on the route.
For the sake of explaining the routes below, assuming Chandigarh as your starting point. However, even if you were coming from a different city, going through the information below will at least give you a fair idea on how to reach Jalori Pass.
Reach Jalori Pass from Shimla, side is mostly preferred by motorcycle enthusiasts, or people who want to do the journey in the form of a circuit. You can start from Shimla, cross Jalori Pass, exit at Tirthan Valley and then return home via Mandi. Route of the Journey will be as mentioned below.
Chandigarh to Kandaghat to Shimla to Narkanda to Kingal to Anni to Khanag to Jalori Pass
Traveling this way, the total journey will be of around 285 km, depending on where you started from Chandigarh. This is necessarily a 2 days journey with a night halt at either Shimla or Narkanda. It cannot be completed in a single day unless you drove non-stop for around 15 hours. It will just make the journey too tiring and it will not recommend also.
Starting from Chandigarh, you will turn on the Himalayan Expressway and reach Shimla. There is some road widening work happening on this stretch so traffic may be a little slow. After Shimla, continue driving for another 2 hours and stay in Narkanda for the night. If you got late somewhere or wanted to, you can break the journey in Shimla as well.
Shimla / Narkanda to Jalori Pass, your have to drive on Day 2 will be of a total of about 7 to 8 hours so you will have some time for sightseeing as well. There are a few tourist places in Narkanda that are worth visiting but for you, Hatu Peak will pretty much be the only one. You can start early in the morning and take a drive to Hatu Peak. There is a motorable road all the way to the top so you can bring your car or motorcycle along. Visiting Hatu Peak takes around 2 hours from Narkanda.
After Hatu Peak, have breakfast in the town and start driving towards Kingal. Do not forget to tank up at the petrol station at Narkanda. From Kingal, you will then take the road towards Anni and then climb up the Jalori Pass.
Once you cross Jalori, you will enter into the beautiful Tirthan Valley. There are several hotels here where you can stay for the night. Towns like Shoja, Jibhi, Banjar, and Gushaini are all well-known tourist places and good enough to stay.
Seruvalsar Lake or Sirolsar Lake or Serol Sar Lake, is a high altitude lake in the Seraj Valley. The lake is located at an altitude of 3,100 m and is accessible via Jalori pass. The trek for this lake starts right from the top of the pass and is usually a prime attraction of Jalori Pass or Tirthan Valley trip.
If trekking to the lake was on your itinerary then you have two choices. There is a camp site next to the lake where you can stay for the night. So either you can drive up to the top of the pass, leave your vehicles there, trek to the lake and stay there for the night or you can cross Jalori Pass, reach Tirthan Valley, rest for the night and then trek to the lake on Day 2. This also means that you will have to climb up the pass from the other side once again the next day. If you were going to do that, then it will recommend that you stay in Shoja itself. It is the first town that you reach once you descend from Jalori into Tirthan Valley.
Reach Jalori Pass from Mandi, if you want to reach Jalori Pass via Mandi, then the journey will be exactly the other way around and route as mentioned below.
Chandigarh to Swarghat to Bilaspur to Sundernagar to Mandi to Larji to Banjar to Jibhi to Ghiyagi to Shoja to Jalori Pass
Traveling in this manner, the total distance around 285 km and this too will be a 2 days journey. The only difference is that your second day will be spent entirely in sightseeing in Tirthan Valley; and visiting Jalori Pass. This is, in fact, a great way to travel if you had Sirolsar Lake in your itinerary and you were short on time.
Starting from Chandigarh city, take the bypass that will have you exit on Chandigarh Manali highway. You will then start climbing up the hills and will arrive at Mandi traveling via Bilaspur and Sundernagar. After Mandi, continue driving another 38 kilometers towards Manali. Just before Aut Tunnel, there is a road that goes towards the small town of Larji that you will have to turn on. You must not enter the tunnel and take the exit towards your right. Stop for a minute and ask the locals if you weren’t able to locate it.
Once you reach Tirthan Valley, you can stay at Gushaini, Banjar, Jibhi or Shoja. It will recommend that you break the journey in Banjar or Gushaini. Next day, make a day trip to the top of Jalori Pass; trek the lake and return to your hotel by evening.
Jalori Pass Weather
Due to its high altitude, the weather at Jalori Pass is always very cold. The wind speed at this altitude is always high and you will start to feel the chill within a minute of stepping out of your vehicle. But as you start to descend towards either Shoja or Anni, it will start to feel more of a pleasant cold rather than the unbearable type.
Weather in this region remains pleasant between April to June and then in the months of September and October. November till March are the months of extreme cold when the entire valley remains buried under a light sheet of snow. Monsoon arrives in July and lasts throughout August. It rains around here quite a lot and sometimes enough to trigger landslides. The road at Jalori Pass is a badly broken dirt trail which turns into a slushy nightmare after it starts to rain.
Best time to visit Jalori Pass
As winter and monsoon can spoil your trip or restrict to reach Jalori pass but more specifically as below –
Jalori Pass in January to March, you cannot cross Jalori Pass in this season; but you can travel to Tirthan Valley from Mandi side and enjoy some snow there or you can only drive till Anni from Shimla side; and Ghiyagi from Banjar side (or Shoja if snow was less). Jalori Pass will access officially from end of March (generally declared open).
Jalori Pass in April, great time to visit. Jalori Pass will be open; and weather will be pleasantly cold.
Jalori Pass in May, Another good time to visit with slightly warmer days and roads all open.
Jalori Pass in June, Same situation as of May with even warmer temperatures. It is a great month for trekking and camping trip.
Jalori Pass in July, not a good time to visit with Monsoon in full swing. A lot of slush on the road making it tough to cross. It can rain anytime anywhere.
Jalori Pass in August, worst month to plan a trip because of the monsoon season. Landslides in this area are common. Scenery and vistas at this time, however, will be at their best.
Jalori Pass in September, another best month to visit this Pass. Monsoon will be gone but it will still be lush green valleys all around. September has all that monsoon can offer but without the risk of the rain.
Jalori Pass in October, again a good month to visit but with very cold weather. It is a great time if you want to see the golden orange in the trees that the autumn season brings.
Jalori Pass in November, this is not a good time to visit. Weather will be very cold, the scenery will be dry and dull; and there won’t even be any snow around.
Jalori Pass in December, Jalori Pass gets closed in December and cannot be visited.
Jalori Pass Road Condition
The condition of the road about 5 km on both side of Jalori Pass is really bad. There is no Tar anywhere and it is a dirt road all the way. On top of that, it is also bad and broken. If it rained, the entire stretch will turn into a nightmare for sure with all the slush. To make things worse, the climb is also very steep.
The road, however, is good for rest of the way while traveling towards Jalori from either Shimla or Mandi. It is only around Jalori top that the condition worsens.
Best Vehicle for Jalori Pass
It will entirely depend on your driving skills actually. Because locals are drive around in a Maruti Alto without any difficulty. Just make sure that your vehicle is in good condition and the person in the driver seat knows how to maneuver a car on steep climbs and sharp turns. If you can get an SUV, it would be the best vehicle but may give a little trouble on narrow roads.
Snow at Jalori Pass
It snows at Jalori from late December to February but not too much. If visiting in January, you can drive as far as Ghiyagi or Shoja and then start walking towards the pass. Go as far as you can and you will definitely find snow on the road.
Petrol Pumps / Mechanics
Petrol stations too will remain available at several places on the route. Just full your tank done at Mandi (or at Narkanda or Anni if coming from Shimla side) and it will be sufficient to get you back after driving around in Tirthan. You will also be able to find mechanics at almost all towns in Tirthan Valley but only for minor fixes. For anything major, you will have to bring back your vehicle to Mandi.
Bank / ATMs
There are banks and ATMs in almost all the towns in Tirthan Valley. You will easily be able to withdraw cash in Banjar and Gushaini. Even while driving there via Aut, you will continue to come across Banks and ATMs at regular intervals.
Hospital / Medical Assistance
There are hospitals available in Mandi, Aut, Banjar and Gushaini as well. To be on a safer side though, carry some basic medicines like for flu, fever, stomach ache etc.
How To Reach Kalpa-Kinnaur
By Train, the nearest broad gauge head is at Kalka – a four- to seven-hour journey from Delhi. After that, take the mountain train from Kalka to Shimla, it takes time around four hours. This railway track has recently been granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The view is stunning, with the line passing through an amazing 103 tunnels. Then you have to explore Kalpa-Kinnaur by road only from Shimla.
By Road, it takes only 2 hours from Kalka to Shimla and takes 6 hours from Delhi to Shimla by car. Govt. & Pvt. bus services are also available from both Chandigarh & Delhi to Shimla. Then you have to explore Kalpa-Kinnaur by road only from Shimla.
If hiring a private car, ensure that the driver has experience driving in hilly regions and is not deprived of sleep.
By Air, The nearest airport is at Chandigarh, it’s about tthree hours away from Shimla. Then you have to explore Kalpa-Kinnaur by road only from Shimla.
Best Time To Visit Kalpa-Kinnaur or Kinnaur Valley
In general, the roads to Kinnaur Valley remain open all around the year, barring few days of heavy snowfall on Hindustan Tibet Highway, especially near Narkanda. There is no high mountain pass that falls on the Hindustan Tibet Road, so even in winters, there isn’t much issue about closing the road. However, certain factors should be kept in mind depending on the month you plan to visit Kinnaur Valley.
Kinnaur Valley in March & April, is that time of the year when the snow starts to melts and flowers in apple orchards bloom in the spring season. This is the perfect time to see snow capped peaks of the Kinnaur region and enjoy the colors of the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas.
The road to Chitkul also opens by the second week of March, and the Baspa river emits some beautiful colors of water too. You can even hike around to get to the snow and play with it, especially in March. Regarding Kinnaur Valley weather in the spring season, the nights and early mornings are a bit cold while the rest of the day is cool to warm. There aren’t many tourists in Kinnaur Valley before May. Hence, months of March and April are a very nice season to travel to Kinnaur Valley.
But the main problem in this season, snow starts melt, so the road does get blocked often due to snow slides and landslides. Also, the roads are in not so good condition. You should also expect slush on roads and occasional rainfall/snowfall too.
Kinnaur Valley in May to July, The months of May and June along with the middle of July are the peak season to visit Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley. The road from Manali to Spiti Valley also opens by that time, so a lot of people come down as well from that route.
Mostly all the link roads to various sightseeing places or remote villages in Spiti Valley as well as Kinnaur Valley are open during this period and hence, you can plan your visit without missing any places of sightseeing in Kinnaur.
In June, you may face good pre-monsoon showers in Kinnaur Valley and not to forget the tragic flash floods in Kinnaur district (June’13). So, the weather in Kinnaur and other parts of the Himalayan Destination is somehow becoming unpredictable nowadays. Hence, recommended that you always check the weather updates before embarking on the journey. But leaving all arguments, this period is considered as one of the better times to travel to Kinnaur Valley.
If you are traveling further to Spiti Valley then suggest you follow the golden rules of “Leave Early, Sleep Early” very strictly to avoid heavy water flow in water crossings during this period.
Kinnaur Valley in Monsoon or August, is the time when the monsoon is in full flurry in Kinnaur Valley and lower Himachal region apart from other parts of Northern India. In this period, roads are almost in a bad state as compared to the rest of the year in Kinnaur Valley. If you are traveling to Spiti Valley, keep in mind that Spiti Valley falls under the Trans Himalayan Region which is generally rain shadowed. However, already told you the weather prediction is not possible in Himalayan region and also Spiti Valley facing many natural incident in recent past.
Please keep in mind, this time shall be avoided, as much as possible. If still, you want to embark on the journey to Kinnaur Valley in monsoon time then you should have enough buffer days in hand to face intermittent delays or even cancellation of the trip.
Around August, even Apple season starts too in lower Himachal and Kinnaur. So, crop transportation creates some messy traffic jams owing to a high number of trucks that ply on the Hindustan Tibet route to transport the apple crop but it is not a major issue.
Kinnaur in September to November, as the monsoon season goes away, the road starts to get better. Autumn or pre-winters is the time which is one of the favorite time to visit Kinnaur Valley. Especially late September or early October, when the fall or autumn season is at its peak, you will enjoy the road trip to Kinnaur at its fullest.
The colors of the valley are surreal and blooming with orange leaves on the trees, enhancing the beauty of magnificent backdrops by many levels. The aqua colors of water in the river add jewels to the pristine beauty of Kinnaur Valley. The temperatures become warm in the day time with cool to cold nights. So, carrying woolens clothes and light jackets is highly recommended.
If you are going further to Spiti valley, then you can also get your hands on super delicious Spiti Apples around Tabo or Hurling and even in Kaza at the house of locals. Do not miss to taste them or buy them. The roads are in the best conditions as compared to the rest of the season with minimal roadblocks. However, if you are a snow lover, then this is not the time for you as most of the snow melts away from the peaks by this time of the year.
Kinnaur in December to February, is when winter starts to set into Kinnaur Valley. The road to Chitkul closes down till middle of March due to heavy snowfall and even at times, the road to Sangla gets closed for a prolonged period. But Kalpa is the best place to enjoy winter in Kinnaur Valley. If you plan to visit higher Kinnaur Valley like Nako, Hangrang, and further, then while traveling, you need to go through lots of hardships of ice on the roads, lack of electricity, extreme winter conditions with sub-zero temperatures. Also, only basic facilities and food will be available in most places in Kinnaur. Sometimes you need to use boiling water in hotels as even pipes tend to freeze, so running water in the toilet becomes difficult to get.
If you need modest adventure, have some buffer days in hand and loves to enjoy snow or snowfall in abundance then Kinnaur Valley is a less risky option than more harsh & unforgiving Spiti Valley in winters.
When to visit Kinnaur Valley?
It will suggested that if you love a mix of some snow, colors and blooming flowers, then go for the spring season, March & April. Otherwise, visit Kinnaur Valley in summer if you want to beat the heat of plains and camp beside the river away from the mad rush of tourists. And, if you love vivid colors and apples in apple orchards, go for late monsoon or autumn months. Finally, if you love tons of snow and want to make snowmen then visit Kinnaur Valley in winters.
Is April the right time to visit Kinnaur Valley?
March & April or spring season, is one of the best times to visit Kinnaur Valley because the weather is pleasant, flowers are in the valley, and there is such a mix of snow in the backdrops and beautiful vistas.
Which is the best month to visit Kinnaur Kalpa-Sangla region?
March & April and September & October months are one of the best months to travel to places in Kinnaur like Kalpa, Sangla Valley or Chitkul Valley. In the spring time, you will see beautiful flowers and snow in the valley while in the autumn season, you will find the best of road conditions and beautiful colors.