Sangla valley located approximately 220 kms from Shimla is a must visit location for any tourist coming to Himachal Pradesh. It is a 40 km long valley astride river Baspa starting from Karcham and ending at the last Indian village of Chitkul along Indo-Tibetan border.
The drive from Shimla is long but the road is well maintained. The beautiful valleys and the pine covered hills flanking the road make the drive very enjoyable.
We decided to take a night halt in village Karcham on the banks of river Sutluj. It is a small village but no less in beauty to any other locales of Himachal. Our small cottage overlooked the river. We had the entire place to us as no tourists halt there. We spent our entire evening enjoying the prevalent peace disturbed just by the sound of flowing river and the mountain breeze.
We started from Karcham for Sangla valley at 7 am in the morning. The day was clear and the warmth of the bright sun most encouraging. The road is narrow but in a good state of maintenance and overlooks the picturesque valley. The Baspa river flows along the road all the way till Chitkul the last Indian village on Tibetan border connected by road.
Starting from an altitude of approx 1800m we reached Sangla located at a height of 2621m and in another hour, we had reached 3500m (Chitkul). The natural beauty of the valley is so absorbing that one does not realise the change of altitude in such short span of time.
The Sangla Valley…..
Unlike the wide-open Kashmir valley, Sangla is narrow with the valley floor covered with apples orchards. It was Oct first week and the apple trees were laden with fully ripe fruits ready to be plucked. The best of the Kinnauri apples are the produce of this valley. The high snow-covered mountains flanking the narrow valley add to natural beauty. September- October are the best months to be in Sangla as the weather is lovely and apples all around.
When the surroundings are beautiful and the company of your choice the time just flies. One did not realise when the bright sun slid behind the mountains giving way to the cool night. The nights have their own distinct beauty in the hills especially when the sky is clear. The starlit sky, the pure cool breeze, the rustle of the leaves and the natural fragrance all so alien to the city dwellers are so normal here.
I have prepared a slideshow of some beautiful pictures of the valley for your viewing pleasure.
It is not without a reason that Himachal is known as ‘Dev Bhoomi” the land of God.