Next in your itinerary for Spiti Valley via Kinnaur would be Kalpa, the prettiest of all
Chitkul to Kalpa
Kalpa might just be the loveliest stop in your itinerary to Kinnaur & Spiti Valley. Chitkul to Kalpa is a 63 km journey but might take you close to 4 hours in the monsoon. Expect anything from river streams, slush, and waterfalls coming onto the roads when it rains; or else, visit it in summers. Winters in the region are of course a poet’s dream; very nippy though. Once there, soak in what is perhaps the most beautiful scenery in the Indian Himalayas.
What to see & do in Kalpa?
Other than the 100 year old Buddhist monastery, Kalpa has a very ornately-built Chandika Devi Temple. Built mostly out of wood and stones, it has beautifully carved doors and insides. Not to forget, the backyard of this one will get you even more stunning views of the Kinner-Kailash range. You can loiter around there for hours without a complain; right by the post office in the same line, you will find Jyoti Eating Corner. The cook there, whom we referred to as aunty all the time, doles out fluffy pancakes, waffles and other divine food. Assuming that she too developed a fondness for me, she would get me tiny portions of homemade apple wine as well. Don’t forget to binge on plates of momos as well.
While many evenings can be spent in photographing or simply gazing at the night sky in Kalpa, including picking apples in crop season, soaking in the landscapes is perhaps the best of it all. I can find no words that would be apt enough to detail the beauty here, so I’ll simply sign off with these words for Kalpa, “I think, every time I’m on the mountain, I’m just so thankful to be there.”
Where to stay in Kalpa?
There are a lot of hotels in Kalpa, tariffs ranging between INR 500 – INR 5000, depending on the amenities you seek. Even the lower range hotels come with basic facilities, which is rather surprising for a place so remote. The government-run circuit house in Kalpa is a favourite of mine; you need to book it well in advance. Book here.