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The position of Sangra Valley which is nestled in the grander Himalayan range gives it a mild climate than the plains. Until 1989 outsiders were not allowed to enter the gorge without an exceptional license from the Indian Government, due to its strategic position with China and Indo-Tibetan border. The Baspa River flows in the Sangla Valley which is rich in varied glacial streams without trout, cherry trees, royal red apples and pine nut orchids. The main villages in the gorge comprise Batseri, Chitul, and Rakcham. The close Baspahydel-project has been completed in the year2009.
Sangla Valley is a significant part of Kinnaur and is inhibited by inhabitants Kinnauris. The foremost livelihood is agriculture while apples are main cash crop here. The major part of population earns from tourism. The gorge remains sealed for approximately six months during the winter season when there is heavy snowfall. The ancient Indo-Tibet road connects Sangla to the NH 22 at Karcham.
This gorge begins 57 km short of Kalpa which has been named after an attractive and populous village called Sangla. Sangla is situated on extreme right bank of River Baspa and is 17 kms away from Karcham. The local people have their own distinct culture and dialect, the Kinnauri language. Trip from Karcham headlong is pleasant and audacious through the valley. The natural sights around the region with the eternal snow views are attractive and delightful. It is also known as Baspa Valley since Baspa River flows through this area. This is one of the most charming valleys in the whole District of Kinnaur. A holy temple devoted to Nagesh god is worth a visit & other places are Kamru Fort, Sapni, Rackchham, Kilba, which can also be visited. There are rest houses, post offices, and banks for the convenience of the tourists.
At an altitude of 2,700 meters, the Sangla valley is surrounded by towering mountains. Long walks to discover the amazing fauna and flora of the valley, trekking to view snow capped Himalayan peaks ,angling for trout, experiencing some of the local culture and traditions, rock climbing, rappelling and dive crossing are only some of the delights that Sangla valley can offer to the tourists. The tourist spot is open between Mid March to October. However temperatures may vary with the seasons. May to September have pleasant days and cold nights while March, April and October are pleasant days and during night, the temperatures may dip to 2 to 3 degrees.
There are many other places to visit around the Sangla valley including the Chitkul, the last border on Indo-Tibet border and just 3 km short of last border outpost civilians are allowed to visit. This lies on the Hindustan-Tibet trade route which is not in use now. There is Sangla Meadow. A complete day walk in the green pasture of Sangla meadows is an unforgettable experience. The Baspa River flowing along the Sangla valley is a great place for trout fishing. The Batseri village is an excellent example for great hill architecture. The local Deity temple is a must see location here. There is a glacier just above the Batseri village. During the months of March, April and May one can hike up to glacier point and can even play in snow. The Mastrang forest is a lovely little stretch of woods and also a adventurous one. Kalpa offers an unmatched view of Kinner Kailash peak and is well known for its apple and chilgoza plantation.
How to Reach
The closest airport is at Shimla. Shimla is connected with Delhi and Kullu. From airport a taxi or a SUV can be preferred to reach Kalpa.
The nearest railhead is at Shimla and is around 244 km for Kinnaur. The station receives a train from the Kalka station and this is an alternate and popular route.
The road route from Shimla to reach Sangla takes around 8 hour of drive. For first time drivers, it may take around 10 hrs. From Chail/ Shimla to Karcham (the turnoff point on NH 22) is 221/209 km. Take a right turn at Karcham and around 18 km down the road, one can hit Sangla.