Solo Backpack Trip to Spiti Valley – Day in Kalpa

Kalpa Temple door

“Kalpa” is a small town in the Sutlej river valley, 3 km from the main city – Recong Peo. This place is famous for its apple orchards. Kalpa has 83.75% literacy rate which is highest in the region. The city has recently started getting more visitors because the much acclaimed “Highway” movie was shot in this village. Another interesting fact is that India’s first ever voter Shyam Saran Negi belongs to Kalpa.

Kalpa Village

Picking up from where we left, Davika helped me reach Kalpa and introduced me to an amazing experience where I covered a distance of 61 km’s in a poultry farm truck. It took us 4 hours to reach Kalpa, I stayed at her home for that night as Davika & her husband insisted that I shouldn’t be outside. As anyone would, I also found it a little strange – how can somebody be so generous? However, one thing which I learned from this trip is “Trust”, especially when you are traveling alone. There are good people. And you will meet them when you trust them. As per my host’s suggestion, I woke up at 4 the next morning and visited a local temple called “Golden Kailash”.

Kalpa Sunrise

“Golden Kailash” – Yes, the view is true to its name! For Literally for the golden color, you must see Kailash Parvat from here. The view from Kalpa is breathtakingly beautiful. It was as good as sitting in the lap of the mountains with the entire range of snow peaks in front of your eyes. The most amazing part was that Shivling rock on the Kailash mountain changes its color at different times of the day.

Kalpa Sunrise with Flag

If you are interested in Kinner Kailash Yatra, this is the place it starts from.

Kalpa Temple

Go by my suggestion. If you want to shot the entire Kailash range, find a spot from Kalpa temple. It is situated on a hilltop, hardly 15 min walk from the main village.

Kalpa Temple door

Kalpa temple is the best site to see ancient wooden architecture. This place is also called Kothi. Made to worship Goddess Chanadika Devi, it is set against a backdrop of mountains and groves of the deodar. The unusual architectural style, fine sculpture, an exquisite gold image of the goddess enshrined in the sanctum, makes this place a must visit. A view that will stay in my memory for my entire life.

Kalpa temple wall structure

A piece of modern wooden architecture at Kalpa Temple.

Kalpa Kailash View

Yes! You get to cross this peak while trekking Mount Kailash.

Kalpa Temple view

It’s like the peak is calling you to the top! I have decided to go up there, one day! Have you ?

Kalpa kailash parvat

This is Kinnaur Kailash at a height of 6050 meters. ‘Kinner Kailash’ is considered as the winter residence of Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva conducted a meeting of all Devi-Devtas at the top of Kinner Kailash in the month of January. The Trekking to Kinner Kailash starts in July and ends in August, i.e. 10 days before Janmashtami. Government and private institutes make special arrangements for food and shelter. The Kinner Kailash Trek is a two-day trek, starting early morning finishing with a stay in a Goofa at night. Start the next day to reach the Shiva ling point at about 9 AM and thereafter, begin the return journey.

Kalpa Shadow

Recong Peo to Kinnaur Kailash is 15 km trek which takes 2 days for the return journey. The route as above; Recong Peo (Powari) to Goofa – 12Km, Goofa to Parvati Kund – 1.5 Km, Parvati Kund to Kinner Kailash – 2.5 Km.

Kalpa Mantra pillers

Hinduism is the main religion in the district followed by Tibetan Buddhism. These two religions have somewhat blended together to make the place house, both Hindu & Buddhist temples.

kalpa Valley View

Due to its high elevation, the temperature drops in Kalpa up to -20 degrees in winters. June to Sep is definitely a good time to visit this place or be on Kailash Yatra. Oct to May? Forget it!

Kalpa to nako Road

Morning 4.30 – 9 am was the most enjoyable time for me in Kalpa village. I walked back to the main road and delicious chicken momos with tea made it worthwhile. I had to catch a bus at 12.30 from Reckong Peo to the next stop “Nako” – A road to the desert. Davika helped me yet again, by helping me reach Reckong Peo bus stop from Kalpa. I bid farewell to this wonderful family and started my journey.

Kalpa to nako Road

I learned during the journey that I should approach people without hesitation. On my way, I interacted with co-passengers and filled my journey with memorable moments. While traveling alone, remember it is very easy to be not alone!

Kalpa to nako Road

Recong Peo is the only bus stand where you get a reservation for Bus seats, that too if you reach at the counter on time. Next journey to Nako, was towards the mountain deserts. Nako is 103 km from Rcong Peo and the valley starts getting deserted as you go ahead.

Kalpa to nako Road

Roads became more difficult to drive. The weather started getting tougher. Normally it takes 4 hours to reach Nako but we took 6. This was the bus where I made 6 friends! We started and ended our Spiti tour together.
A lot to come during the next destination, especially live sheep shearing experience and Nako Hills. Stay Tuned.

Here is my Itinerary for Solo Backpack trip to Spiti Valley

Published by

Atul Khandar

From Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand to the mighty Himalayan Range, from the Glaciers of Gangotri to standing at 18,500 ft face to face with the revered Sagarmatha, I have travelled the length and breadth of the mountains exploring them on foot. But I am not finished yet, there is still much to see and experience. Photographer | Avid hiker | Budding Film Maker | Entrepreneur

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