You may have heard of the Sangla Valley, although it is one of the lesser-known places in the Himalayas. For the unversed, Sangla Valley is inhabited by the tribal people of Kinnaur. Sangla Valley is in Himachal Pradesh, one of the top contenders when it comes to hill stations in India. You can visit Sangla if you have a religious bent of mind, or if you are in love with adventure. This Baspa Valley wonder will simply blow your mind, once you land there. The place offers the best Himachal experience, with views of the Baspa River.
Most tourists who visit Sangla have a penchant for snow, hills, camping, and a love for unadulterated nature. Sangla is at an altitude of 8,900 feet above sea level. You can find nature’s bounty in the region, complete with orchards, apricot trees, cedar trees, and glaciers, flowing past you. Sangla also boasts of two cultures of that of Buddhism and Hinduism, presiding at one spot. Sangla means ‘pass of light,’ and it is rightly called so.
Background of Sangla Valley
There are very few records of the historical background of Sangla Valley. Most people believe that this very region was earlier known as Kanaurra. The Kingdom of Magadha ruled over the place in the past. Then, sometime in the 6th B.C., the Mauryans occupied the region. Some of the records state that the place was divided into seven parts or the ‘sat khund.’ Later, the Guge Kingdom of Tibet also ruled over Sangla between the 9th and 12th centuries. After the Mughals left their control over Sangla, it again got renamed as Chini Tehsil.
Popular Tourist Attractions of Sangla Valley
The Sangla Valley is another name for Baspa Valley. It is located at a distance of 223 km from Shimla. Sangla is basically, the name of the largest village in the valley, that overlooks the Baspa River. Both Sangla and Chitkul are a part of the Kinnaur tourist circuit. The distance between Delhi and Sangla is 563 km approximately.
So, most people from Northern India frequent these places, on weekends and extended ones as well. The Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district is a haven for temple seekers, history buffs, adventure seekers, and litterateurs. The calmness and serenity that resides at such higher altitudes, can make the writer’s pen go from strength to strength while penning down great stories. You can also choose to just laze around and watch the clouds move around.
If you want to witness the festivities at Sangla, you should head there in March. The festival of Holi, is celebrated in this beautiful valley with huge aplomb. People are often laidback, but spring to life, during the two-day celebrations. You can also choose September-October and April-June as the other two windows to visiting Sangla Valley. The best spots around the place are listed underneath for you to explore:
- Sangla Meadow or Kanda
- Kamru Fort
- Bering Nag Temple
- Tibetan Wood Carving Centre
- Saffron Farms in Sangla
- Rakchham glacial trek
- Batseri Village
Apart from the most popular ones listed above, you can also visit the quaint villages for a first-hand experience of the laidback village life.
Activities That You Can Indulge in Sangla Valley
You can try out and engage in various activities in Sangla Valley. There is something for everyone.
- Angling – You can engage in trout fishing and angling in the Baspa River. The water is crystal clear, so you can spot the fishes easily. Moreover, you will find trout in abundance in the clear waters of the river.
- Trekking – It is another very popular activity that tourists and adventurists engage in Sangla. Moreover, you can choose from different trekking routes with different difficulty levels. The terrains and routes are Himalayan terrain, Sangla Kande Trek, Rupin Valley Trek, Rakchham glacial trek, and Charang Chitkul Trek. You can also embark on a guided tour towards the Kinnaur-Kailash peak.
- Camping – Travellers often camp along the banks of the Baspa River. There are several adventure groups, that arrange accommodation and amenities in tents, over here. So, you do not have to do it all by yourself.
- Adventure Sports – The rocky terrain and undulating landscape are the perfect spots to try rappelling, abseiling, rock climbing, and ziplining over the river. This is not for the fainthearted, though. You can engage in these, even if you are a novice.
- Fulaich Festival – You can experience the local culture at the flower festival. It is held every year from August to September. At this festival, the local Kinnaur women dress up in their traditional attire and perform folk dances. You can also dance your heart out, with them.
Orchard Tours – You can soak in nature, through the orchard tour in the valley. Check out the apple trees, walnut trees, and plum trees, bearing the tasty fruits. You can also buy them, fresh from the owners and munch on them.
How To Spend a Few Days in Sangla Valley?
The Sangla Valleys offer numerous natural as well as manmade wonders. You can start with the Bering Nag Temple, which is right in the centre of the town. The temple is open all day, and you can visit it at your convenience. It depicts a calm synchronization of Buddhist and Hindu cultures. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. You can then head to Kamru Fort, located around 3 km away. It is a must-see, as the fort goes back a few thousand years in history. The Tibetan Wood Carving Centre is another spot, within the place, that you cannot miss. Many tourists also spend time, sitting on the banks of the river Baspa, which is only 3 km away from the town. You must visit the Saffron farms as well, which are always bursting with colours.
You can head to Sangla Meadows to catch surreal views of the snow-clad mountains around the place. There are many apple orchards and green meadows around you, as well. Head to Batseri Village, which is just 8km from Sangla. The place is too clean for words and one of the attractions. See deodar and palm trees line your pathway across the village. The Brahma Kamal flower is also found at Batseri.
Rakchham Village is located around 15 km away from Sangla, and offers the perfect halt for a day trip. You can also be a part of the Rakchham glacial trek. Apart from the attractions within the town, you can also head to Chitkul village, which is 18 km away. It is one of the best parts of the Sangla tour. Moreover, it is also the last inhabited village before the Indo-China border. It is calm and serene, and just perfect as a relaxing getaway.
How To Reach Sangla Valley?
If you are travelling by road to Sangla, from Delhi, it will take 13 hours.
The nearest airport from Sangla, is Jubbarhatti Airport in Shimla. Air India also has direct flights from Delhi to Shimla. You can book a cab from the airport to Sangla.
You can also choose to reach Kalka Railway Station in Shimla. After which, you can book a bus or cab to Sangla. Cabs and taxis are readily available.
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs regular buses from Delhi and Shimla to Sangla.
Places To Stay at Sangla Valley
You will find lots of accommodation options in Sangla Valley. There are guest houses, homestays, hotels, as well as resorts there. If you want to experience the mountains and the starry skies, camping will be another good option for you. Hotel Apple Pie is one of the top hotels in Sangla. Lakeview Resort, and Shruti Guest House are the other top places, where you can stay.