Majestic mountains, green valleys, meandering rivers, orchards and vineyards define the valley of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. Since it shares its border with Tibet the influence of Tibetan culture is strongly felt here. Kinnaur is also known as the ‘Land of fairytales’ and remains snow-clad for six months, quite like Spiti and Lahaul. Divided into two main valleys — Sangla Valley and the Hangrang Valley, Kinnaur is divided into three administrative areas, Pooh, Kalpa, and Nichar.
Sangla is a great destination for paragliding, angling and rafting. Kalpa is one of the most beautiful villages in the region and shouldn’t be missed. Most villages of Kinnaur lie at high altitude, some as high as 4,000 m and each village has its own presiding deity. Kinnaur and surrounding valleys are famous for trekking and other adventure sports. DO READ 17 fascinating reasons why you must visit Sangla Valley
Greater Himalayan Ranges from Kinnaur
‘Parikarma (revolution) of Kinnaur Kailash, abode of Shiva, is among the popular trails. Bhaba Valley and Sangla Valley treks are other popular trails. Kinnaur and surrounding areas were believed to be part of Magadha kingdom and then the Mauryan empire during 6th century BC. It subsequently came under the influence of the Guge kingdom of Tibet between the 9th and 12th centuries. Kinnaur was divided into seven regions, known as Sat Khund. Many small chiefs of this area fought among each other for power. Several forts from this time, like Labrang, Moorang, and Kamru are evidences of this conflict. CHECK OUT Escape the Delhi Smog and Head to Kinnaur, Which Has Cleanest Air in India
Mughal emperor Akbar conquered the area and made the valley a part of his Empire. The valley was known as Chini Tehsil then. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, its dominant role in the region lapsed and it was merged into the then Mahasu district.
Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary is one of the places you must visit.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KINNAUR
Hotels in Kinnaur arrange for buses, cars and travel guides for tourists. Most options are inexpensive. Budget hotels can cost around Rs 300 per night. Mid-range ones can go as high as Rs 1,000. Some hotels also arrange for camping. The better hotels also offer services like wi-fi, swimming pools, spas and sauna and charge anywhere around Rs 2,000.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN KINNAUR
The salted tea called Cha is a local favorite. Sattu, made of parched barley flour, is another favorite dish here. Most locals are non-vegetarians, mutton and lamb delicacies are the specialties here.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KINNAUR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Kinnaur is as given below. The best time to visit Kinnaur is also specified.