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Awestruck by Sangla Valley
Jul 04, 2011 06:25 PM 6912 Views


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There are few places in the world that makes you happy the moment you step foot in it, Sangla Valley is one of those rare places. Tucked away in one of the most remote corners of the country is a beautiful valley surrounded by huge mountains, dotted with apple orchards and filled with such warm and happy people.

Sangla Valley is located in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The valley is accessible by road from Shimla and Narkanda and the views on the drive make up for patches of bad road. The main village of Sangla has loads of small hotels and restaurants, along with the souvenir shops. A little away from the villages are the camps run by various groups, we stayed at Kinner Camp. We were given a traditional welcome in the camp, and then shown our Swiss tents. It was basic accommodation with two cozy beds and a clean attached toilet. The view from the camp is something that the information on the net about the valley had not prepared us for. The mountains in front of us were covered with lush green pine trees and the top of those mountains were covered in snow. We could hear the river gushing down the valley and we decided to take a hike after our basic but seriously delicious lunch. The hike down the camp took us to a trail that runs close to the Bapsa River, when we crossed a rickety wooden bridge and hiked uphill across the river, we found a village that looked like it had been taken right out of a fairytale and placed there. The village of Batseri was super clean, well laid pathways with apple orchards on both sides and locals dressed in traditional kinnauri attire greeting us with a smile. The village has a wooden temple that has intricate carvings and that too representing all faiths. We were amazed about everything in Batseri. We came back to the camp to relax and twilight and night in Sangla is as beautiful as its days. We were lucky to have clear sky and full moon and the scene infront was magical. The moonlight on the snow mountains is mesmerizing. The staff of Kinner Camp is so hospitable and their food is superb and that makes the experience even more pleasant.

The next day we went to check Kamru fort, an ancient fort nestled on a hill top. It took us about 20 minutes to climb up to the fort. The path is a little steep and there are quite a few steps. The entire way is through an authentic Himachali village, with beautiful wooden houses. We stopped at every 5 step to admire the view around us. Once we reached the top, we were handed a cap and a read thread that we had to tie around our waist to enter the temple inside the fort. It was one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to. Our next stop was Chitkul, the last Indian village in that area. The drive is fantastic and the village itself is very picturesque.

Words seriously cannot describe how scenic Sangla is, but what makes it more beautiful is its people. I definitely recommend Sangla to everyone, it’s a must at least once.

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