Kinner Kailash: The heavenly abode of Lord Shiva
Kinner Kailash is often spelled as Kinnaur Kailash, but it is locally called Kinner Kailash. Tucked in the beautiful valley of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. Mount Kinner Kailash (6050 m) is one of the five Mount Kailash in India. Legend says that Lord Shiva inhabited this mountain and still does while controlling the universe from this very spot. This mountain holds a very sacred place in religion and thousands of pilgrims flock to the valley to get a glimpse of the mountain and perform the Parikrama (circumambulation). Earlier, the parikrama was around 200 km, but lately, for the convenience of pilgrims who do the hard work of walking around the Mount Kailash for good karma and out of devotion, the Parikrama has been cut short. It begins from Kalpa through Triung Valley and takes pilgrims back to Kalpa through Sangla Valley.
Religiously highly significant, Mount Kinner Kailash is home to the “SHIVA LINGAM,” is a 79 feet vertical rock formation that has been touted to appear like a Shivlinga. People believe that this rock formation is indeed Lord Shiva and changes its colorful appearance all day long. Out of many sacred abodes of Lord Shiva, Mount Kinner Kailash is believed to be one.
Some facts of Kinner Valley :
Located on the Indo-Tibet border, earlier, people couldn’t enter the Kinnaur valley (not even Indian nationals until 1993). Everyone follows strict regulations at the area, so foreign nationals need to register through an inner line permit. Several believers take this dangerous and fierce trek to reach the grand Mount Kailash and enjoy a passionate and enduring adventure purely out of devotion. It is the land of tales and legends, and once you are there, the view is undoubtedly worth the hard work of trekking all the way to the Mount Kailash. It gives striking views of the snow-cold desert mountains, abundant green valleys and extensive fields of stunning orchard flowers.
The spectacular landscape is undoubtedly worth the trekking, and if you love adventure, trekking through Sangla valley and Hangrang Valley will be rewarding.
The best time to visit the Mount Kailash is from May to the months until September.
Your first three days to rich Thangi for Kinner Kailash trek :
If you are flying from overseas or Delhi will be your first stop. If you are flying in from Delhi itself, then your first day will include traveling to Chandigarh and then Chail. Your tour operator will manage a road trip to get you to Chail from Chandigarh so make the most out of the day and enjoy yourself for real on the driving trip. The vegetation at Chail is beautifully dense. Go forest hopping for Deodar and Silver Fur trees and enjoy a nice meal at the local food joints on coming back. People say that back in the 19th century, Chail belonged to the Maharaja of Patiala. Chail has the highest pitch of India.
Chilgoza Apple Orchard :
Once you are in Chail, your journey to Kalpa begins. You will be driving through Kufri, Narkanda, and Rampura on the metalled roads, passing through dense forests while on your way to Kalpa. If you go in the right season, then you will get the beautiful fragrance of Apples which will surely entice you. It is also home to some fantastic apple and chilgoza orchards in all over the world. Get lost in nature and let nature revive your energy with breathtaking panoramic view of around 6000m high Kinner Kailash range. Stay overnight in Kalpa, take the pleasure of the Bon-fire and enjoy your stay at the campsite.
Kinner Kailash Trek itinerary :
The trek starts from Thangi. Take a ride from Kalpa to Lambar which will involve a beautiful drive to Thangi (2966 m) covering 65kms over 3hrs. It is where your trek begins to soak in the views and memories for the adventure yet to come. You will be trekking to Lambar (2896 m) by moving in the Northeast direction and enjoy camping at night. Enjoy the great trek on your first trekking day. Eat a sumptuous dinner at the campsite, under a bare night sky.
Day 2 :
As the sun comes up on the day fifth, prepare for your Lambar to Charang trek. It will take you to four hours of trekking to get to Charang. The path that you will be covering will involve so much to see and embrace, such natural beauty that it will hypnotize you. The camp is set up nearby the stream so spend the night in the campground and recharge your batteries for the next day.
Day 3 :
On the sixth day of the trek, you will be walking up from Charang to Lalanti. The trek will be around 6 hours covering 8 km. Feel free to enjoy the grand meadows at Lalanti and check out the beautiful high altitude flowers. The place looks like wrapped in a heavenly cape of yellow and red flowers below a vast blue sky surrounded by lofty Mountains with mountain rivers humming aside. Camp nearby the stream and relax for the night to get your energy back for the next day’s trek.
Day 4 :
On day seven of the trek, your destination will be Chitkul. You will be trekking from Lalanti to Chitkul following a descending path. Reach Chenab river and then walk up to the Bindrabani. Check out the serene and stunning views of numerous virgin peaks and hanging glaciers en route. Spend the night in Bindrabani and soak in the dark beauty of the place in your time there.
Day 5 :
Following the ride on the day eight, your day eight will take you from Chitkul to Tabo. The drive will introduce you to the cross country landscape, and you will meet the river bed of Sutlej River then your path will blend into an unmetalled stretch of a concrete road. Once you reach the Tabo, you will notice the beautiful and exciting views of the snow-clad peaks. Like usual, you will spend overnight at the Tabo camps and enjoy homecooked dinner there.
Day 6 :
Your day nine will be at Tabo as you will visit the Dhankar (3870 m) & Tabo Monasteries (3050 m). The Dhankar Gompa is around 40 Kms from where your camps are located making room for a pleasant and brief visit and some sightseeing. The Gompa lies over the valley, and if you happen to be a fan of architecture, then this tour will be sacred for you. The Dhankar Gompa bears testimony to the extraordinary local design. You will also visit the Tabo monastery which more than a thousand years old and highly famous all over the world. Tabo is called the most massive monastic complex in the entire Spiti region where you will find striking frescoes even on caves.
Day 7 :
As trek comes to an end in the remaining days, your day ten will take you to Losar form Tabo. Enjoy the 5 hours long drive and see the incredible Ki monastery (4116 m) and Kibber village. The locals and the place is a fantastic blend of Hindu and Buddhist cultures so is worth a visit. Ki Gompa has a labyrinth of rooms and even doubled as a fort long time back. If you want to see the Thankas, then visit the Gompa and get refreshed with the beautiful village.
After the Kibber village and Losar, your next destination would be Manali. You will reach Manali by driving through the Kunzum Pass (4551 m) and (Rohtang Pass 3978 m). What follows is a hotel stay so appreciate your luxury time in Manali. The trip back home to Delhi will be through an AC Volvo coach bus.
Summary of Kinner Kailash trek :
Place | Kinnaur district
Starting point | Thangi
Trek length | Approx 60km.
Time of trek | 10days.
Difficulty level | Easy in first half and gets difficult as you approach the destination
Mode | foot with wooden stick support
Essentials | Power bank, poncho, move/voilini, toiletries.
Terrain | trekking through rock surface, lose rocks
To see | Water cascades, clouds, clear blue skies
Definitely, Do’s | Night star gazing, Bhajan by travellers.
Don’ts | Rush to cover the distance. avoid trekking at night.
Note | Please don’t litter