A small hill town located in the state of Himachal Pradesh,Kalpa, is a definite treat to the senses. It is located at a distance of 240 kilometres from Shimla. This pristine town is situated in the lap of the Kinnaur Kailash at an extremely high altitude of 3000 metres from the sea level. The place remains cold throughout the year, with vast stretches of snow in the extreme winter months.
Positioned close to the Sutlej River Valley, Kalpa lets its visitors experience the best of nature’s sanctity. Numerous waterfalls and hillslopes in the locale are bound to leave you mesmerised as you slowly weave your way to this small town. Earlier it served as the District Headquarters of Kinnaur before it was shifted to Reckong Peo.
Kalpa came into prominence in the wake of the British Governor General Lord Dalhousie’s visit in the 19th century. The Narayan-Nagani temple is a beautiful example of the local craftsmanship of the artists. There is a couple of Buddhist monasteries at Kalpa including the Hu-Bu-Ian-Car Gompa, which is said to be founded by Rinchensang-Po Kalpa is the legendary winter home of Shiva according to local legends.
Best Time to Visit Kalpa
Kalpa experiences moderate climate throughout the year. The winters beginning from October to May are long and freezing while summers are quite short from June to September. The village, however, faces very unpredictable rainfall during the monsoon season. With summer temperature ranging from 8 degree Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius, while the winters are freezing with minimum temperature dipping as low as -15 degrees Celsius to – 20 degrees Celsius. Thus, it is better to visit the town in the pleasant summer months.
Summer (April – June): Summer season might be your best pick to explore Kalpa. The heat is moderate, with a temperature range of 7 to 20 degrees Celsius. The days are pleasantly warm, while the nights can turn a bit cold. The weather is usually cold, but summers are the most preferred season for one to plan a trip to Kalpa.
Monsoon (July – September): The rains in the territory are torrential in nature, and their pattern and distribution are highly unpredictable. The area is prone to landslides during the monsoon season and disruption of the transportation system in the area is frequent, which could prove problematic for the weary traveller.
Winter (October – February): The winter months in Kalpa experience extreme temperatures, with the temperature often dropping below the freezing point. The area is fully covered in snow, making it impossible for one to explore Kalpa. It is thus not advisable to pay a visit to this beautiful place during the winter season.
How to reach Kalpa?
Kalpa, is a small town located at a high elevation, thus it has a limited number of transportation options. Travelling by road might be your best pick to reach Kalpa, as the way can be direct and you’ll get to enjoy all the scenic beauty which falls on your way to the destination. Other transport methods like flights and train can also be undertaken by the tourist according to their needs.
Kalpa by Flight-
The nearest airbase to the village of Kalpa is Shimla Airport (almost 276 km). The airport is connected to many major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, etc. Cabs and taxis are easily available from outside the airport to Kalpa.
Kalpa by Road-
The road might be your best pick to reach Kalpa if travelling from a city not that far off. The roads are conveniently built and save the tourists from the hassle for opting more than one mode of transport. The road to Kalpa has a beautiful scenic landscape and will thus make this journey an affair you’ll always remember. The HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) have regular bus services from the neighbouring states like Delhi, Punjab, etc. Travellers can also take private owned buses from Delhi to Kalpa. There are several intra-city bus services you can avail from various neighbouring cities within the state.
Kalpa by Train-
Nearest railway station to the village is again, Shimla (244 km). It is one of the major stations connected to several major cities including Delhi. Hire a taxi or take a bus from here for Kalpa.
PLACES TO VISIT IN KALPA-
- Kinnaur Kailash
The Kinnaur Kailash is a mountain in the Kinnaur district of the Indian state Himachal Pradesh. The Kinnaur Kailash has a height of 6050 meters and is considered as sacred by both Hindu and Buddhist Kinnauris
- Roghi Village
The beautiful Roghi village is situated 8 km away from the town of Kalpa and is surrounded by lovely gardens and village houses. This place is popular for its apple orchards and ethnic village life, which includes temples, monasteries, Kinnauri style buildings, etc.
- Trek to Chakka
The Chaka peak with an altitude of 15000 ft above the sea level is an amazing trek up the hill along the gurgling water channel.The uphill journey is almost 2-3 hour long while it will take about 1.5 hours going downhill.
- Basteri Village
Situated almost 8 km from Sangla, Basteri Village is place where you can shop some interesting local handicrafts. Handmade shawls and Kinnauri caps are the most famous items in the village.
- Kamru Fort
This fort is a perfect place for a glimpse in to the artistic legacy of past. Now converted in to a temple, it is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kamakhya Devi. The fort comprises of wooden balcony with a large idol of the goddess is placed on third floor. The fort welcomes its visitors with a huge image of Lord Buddha on the main gate.