Why Go To Kalpa:
Stunning views of Kinner-Kailash range, Orchards, Temples, Amazing Walks!!!
How to Reach:
230 km from Shimla to Powari on NH 22 (Hindustan-Tibet Road)………….Left turn to Recong Peo (10 km)……………. Recong Peo-Kalpa (5 km)
Elevation: 2960 m (9710 ft)
Date of Drive: 3rd April 2012
Got up to a stunning morning in Sangla. Picked up shoes. Dressed up and went for morning walk. On the one side was snow clad mountains with riot of colours spread all over. Cool fragrant breeze. Meandering Baspa river. Merrily chirping birds. Lazy, healthy, innocent mountain dogs. Beautiful, charming, briskly walking Kinnauri women. Bells ringing at far away temple. There was magical atmosphere. Memories for lifetime.
A cup of tea later. Me and lalpari was ready for another amazing drive. The destination of the day was Kalpa. Drive from Sangla to Karcham is a single road along the Baspa river. The drive is beautiful and lively but not for weak heart. After crossing the bridge at Karcham about 16 km from Sangla I was again on NH 22, Hindustan Tibet Road. The road from Karcham to Powari was in mess and needed very cautious drive. There is a turn to the left just after Powari which leads to Reckong Peo. Reckong Peo is bustling business town and headquarter of Kinnaur district.
Parked the car. Walked up to PNB atm for cash. It was not working. Walked into PNB branch for help. Got the cash immediately, courtesy Mr Roop Lal Chauhan officer from Ner Chowk.
Had lunch from a punjabi dhaba which was very ordinary. Then drove towards Kalpa.
From Reckong Peo views of Kinner Kailash were stunning. There were lots of local people in Reckong Peo. They looked neat, healthy, beautiful in local kinnauri dress. Kinnauri women looked slim, sharp, beautiful and extrovert.
Checked up HPTDC Hotel Kinner Kailash, Kalpa which has stunning views of the mountain range. Preferred Hotel Shivalik though as it was recommended by hotel people at Sangla.
Kalpa is a picture postcard village with apple, apricot orchards all around. Like Sangla surroundings in Kalpa are very colourful.
Earlier Kalpa used to be called Chini Bangla. Buddhist lamas and hindus live here very peacefully.
Meandering streets of Kalpa are full of old world charm.
Being an ex employee of Punjab National Bank, I was very happy to see PNB branch in Kalpa. Staff of PNB was very happy to meet. I also met Mr Umesh Kumar Suman officer of the Bank from Hoshiarpur who was posted here after promotion.
In the evening Mr Suman took me to his room and introduced me to some of his friends. First time in my life I went to some buddhist lama’s home, One of his buddhist friends gave me home distilled apricot booze.
I took leave of them and decided to have long walk. The road was clean, green and lonely. I thought there must be a bend nearby. Kept walking for some time. The road became more and more lonely. It was getting dark. I kept on walking though, hoping there must be a bend closeby.
It was twilight and I had already walked around 4 km. I was thinking, what should I do. Go back on the same road or move on in search of the bend. Kept on. It was pitch dark now. No light. No torch. My cell phone had no light. No soul around. Strange noise was coming from the woods. No human sound. Shadows of plants and trees were looking like some prowling giants.
What should I do….walk back 4 km or move on?
I saw some light far away. My gut feeling said there was some bend around. Fear was setting in. Shadows and strange sounds kept on drawing my attention. All of sudden dimag ki batti jal gayee. Got an idea sirji.
Started singing Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor songs. Slowly but surely singing was getting louder and walking brisker. I was singing even louder Zindagi ik safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana………..
With brisk walking…singing was getting even louder. With louder singing my walking was getting even brisker. I was now singing loud and walking fast. Fear was gone and Lo and behold….there was a bend too. I turned on the bend and what a bend it was. A few minutes later was in my hotel room…..enjoying apricot drink.
What a day it was……………………………………………………………………………….Stunning!!!
4Th April 2012
Got up to a beautiful morning with stunning views of Kinner Kailash range from the hotel room. Took tea and went for a morning walk. The atmosphere was blissful. Riot of colors spread all around. Smiling and dancing flowers. Green, cool, moist grass. Budding flowers on fruit trees. Cool breeze blowing. Birds chirping merrily. Lazy serious looking mountain dogs basking in the Sun. Snow clad Kinner Kailash mountain range changing colour with each passing moment. It was magical.
It was 4th and last day of the trip to Chitkul and Kalpa. Before leaving for 425 km drive back home, decided to drive to village Rogi and have a walk around.
Rogi was just 4 km drive/walk from Kalpa. Its a narrow fearsome single road with breathtaking scenery. On the right side are cliffs laden with apple and apricot trees while on the left is a deep gorge with snow clad Kinner Kailash mountain range in the backdrop.
Rogi is a sleepy little village which remains snowbound for six months in winter. It is dotted with smart wooden old style houses with apple, apricot and other fruit trees filling the vacant spots. Ladies are seen working in fields and at homes while children can be seen playing gully cricket. Men are usually seen smoking or chit chatting at squares.
After spending around two hours in Rogi, time was up for drive back home. Began at 11am from Rogi.
The landscape from Rogi to Kalpa and then from Kalpa to Reckong Peo was awesome. The view of Kinner Kailash keep on changing with each turn.
The road from Kalpa to Recong Peo and then to Powari was a steep descend. Powari to Karcham road was really really bad.
Had a wonderful time driving from Rampur to Kufri….this part of the road was amazing. Kufri to Pinjore was again good. There was huge traffic, though after Pinjore.
It became dark at Pinjore. Since I enjoy drive through the night, had nice time driving all the way to Ludhiana. Reached home at 12 midnight. Had food at home with my wife and went to very sound sleep.