One of my most stunning journeys in the lower Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh was through the Sangla Valley of Kinnaur.
All along gushes the mighty Baspa River. Home to postcard mountain villages with wooden huts. Sparse population, incredible landscapes, a feeling that you’ve arrived at the end of the world.
In the Sangla Valley lie Rakcham and Chitkul – the last village of India before Tibet. I’ll let these photos, taken during my trip to Kinnaur, speak their thousand words.
THE DRAMATIC LANDSCAPE OF RAKCHAM VILLAGE
through which gushes the Baspa River. On the left lies the Sangla Valley, and on the right, the Baspa Valley. A rickety river bridge connects the two.
LIFE IN THE HIMALAYAN VILLAGES OF SANGLA VALLEY
is slow and beautiful. Rakcham village mostly consists of mountain shepherds and farmers. Rakcham is known for the highest quality potatoes and vegetables in India.
THE WOODEN HUTS OF RAKCHAM
complement the village’s idyllic landscape. Surrounded by potato fields, pine forests and the dramatic rise and fall of the peaks of the Himalayas.
ON THE HIKE FROM RAKCHAM TO BATSERI
rolling meadows with colorful wild flowers, small streams and pine forests lie against the imposing backdrop of the mighty Himalayas. Making Sangla Valley home to one of the most picturesque hikes in Himachal Pradesh.
THE SURREAL LANDSCAPES OF SANGLA VALLEY
keep you company through the villages of Rakcham, Batseri and Chitkul. Convincing you that Himachal Pradesh is home to the country’s most gorgeous countryside.
THE BASPA RIVER, A TRIBUTARY OF THE SUTLEJ
gushes through the Sangla Valley. With such force as you might never have seen a river before. As though protecting with all its might, the most precious secrets of the Himalayas.
CHITKUL, THE LAST VILLAGE OF INDIA BEFORE TIBET
is surrounded by almost bare mountain slopes in stark contrast to the lush vegetation within the village, including fields of wild yellow plants.
SHEPHERDS TAKE THEIR CATTLE
deep into the mountain to graze. One face of the mountain lies in India and the other in Tibet. They also carry produce and other necessities for the army settlements close to the border, which was peaceful (and open) before China’s atrocities on Tibet began.
LIFE IN CHITKUL VILLAGE
is slow and scenic, like the rest of Sangla Valley. The locals herd their cattle and tend to their farms all day. There is a sense of acceptance that their daily life could be disrupted at any point, given Chitkul’s proximity to the border.
THE ROAD TO TIBET
unfortunately ends at the army checkpost of Chitkul, which is how far civilians are allowed to go. Imagine if we could still trek all the way into the forbidden land from this border!
What are your impressions of Sangla Valley in Kinnaur?
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Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.
You can use Windows Live Writer for blogging. I think you don’t use it now. Very easy to post and upload images if you use a laptop/desktop. You will be addicted to once you are comfortable to it. It should be more useful to you as you often upload high res images (I’ve made many photo blogs in just a few hours because of WLW).
Thanks Vik. To be honest, I love the WordPress interface to post new blog posts. Don’t think I’d want to switch!
What a stunning place!
It was, Debra!
next time i pack my bags its kinnaur.
Awesome! Let me know when that happens!
absolutely beautiful !
Thanks Aziz, glad you thought so too!
Baspa river flowing through Baspa or Sangla valley is a tributary to the Satluj River. Beautiful photographs.
My bad, I remembered wrong! Editing it in the post. Thanks for pointing it out! And glad you liked the photographs.
The photographs are wonderful. A couple of things on the write-up: 1) Baspa isn’t aka Sutlej, the former is a tributary, and Sutlej Valley is distinct; 2) trekking past Chitkul–there are hiking paths that connect to Yamnotri in U’Khand.
Thanks for pointing those out, Rohit. I don’t know why I remembered Baspa otherwise. Shall edit it in the post!
Wow.. its magical, its seducing, its serene, its divine.
The pictures did speak for themselves and spoke more than in thousand words.
And yet the pictures don’t do it complete justice! You have to visit for yourself for evidence 🙂
true that! 🙂
I keep getting updates of your travelogues from FB after a long time I could visit your page.Awesome..Love all the pics and description.
Good to see you here again, Chitra! Glad you’re just in time to see a glimpse of one of my favorite regions in India 🙂
Ah… bliss is the word. Marvelous shots. The narration made me want to visit this beautiful place.
Thanks Ruprekha! Hope you’re packing your bags then 😉
I love your photo essays. Thank you for these beautiful shots and descriptions!
Thank you! I’m glad you do. Kinnaur is really such a beautiful region to spend some quiet time 🙂
Tempting images 🙂
Thanks KG! Hope that means you’re going there soon 😉
Thanks for sharing! Would make sure to visit this place as soon as possible. 🙂
There are so many places in our country which are still not revealed to most of the crowd. And I guess, that’s why they are still naturally beautiful and amazing locations.
You’re absolutely right, Rekha! Sometimes I feel guilty blogging about such places :p
i think you r gifted with devine energy which inspired you and help to take though decision i would like to visit there with my Baby-Wife i will try my best to make possible it
Haha, thanks Patel! Let me know how your trip goes 🙂
i started to read your blogs recently.. you really awesome, your travelling inspired me and i too planned to explore the world as much as i can. thanks for the eye opening.. my hearty wishes for your TBEX visit.
Hi Suresh, so good to hear that! What places are on your list? Let me know if you need any recommendations 🙂
Love Himachal, all these places are so so special
By the way when you get your long shots sitting on hilltops shot, has it never happened that the guy ran away with the camera 🙂
I’ve read about u in news paper(GUJRAT SAMACHAR). I’ve planned to visit spiti vally this august. how is climate there in aug?
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hey Shivya ……… Lovely capture…… wow wow wow 🙂
You could definitely see your skills in the work you write.
The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you
who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all
times go after your heart.
The pics are just surreal!! Can we get more details about the journey so that we can plan as well 😀
Hey! Your pictures are beautifully captured. I’ll be going to Kinnaur in June. Thanks for sharing!
Hey!! i have been going through your blogs lately as i also like to travel solo.. can you just update me more about kinnaur . did u stay in kinnaur or in villages too? how did u managed the accommodations. your pictures have seduced me to explore this place!
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Hey shivya! Was missing Himachal and going through your earlier posts! Beautiful again is all I have to say! Also wanted to know, if you remember, can you tell at which place exactly was the image 5 clicked?! Thanks a lot!
Three times I visited Sangla velly. Every time I found new places to visit. Once I visited in sep. It is great to watch apple orchards there. Again planing to go there in next summer.
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í juѕt lσvє kínnαur
hey…..really good to know your love for travel and belief in yourself…i have a little thing in common…me and my husband have left our lives of mumbai and have now almost shifted to mountains…you have beautiful pictures of chitkul..and thats where we stay the most…we started a hotel there..samaa resorts…and are absolutely loving our life there…!! good going..happy travelling…feel free to connect with us..
Beautiful pics Sivya. I am planning to visit Sangla Valley next month. Hopefully will capture all of these in my cam.
I am planning to visit Chitkul next week. I am driving from Hyderabad and I want to know is this a good time to visit Sangla valley. Which month did you visit?
Surreal landscapes. 🙂