Kalpa, how does it sound? Some new word….. Right? Yes, it is new, but, not just a word. It’s a place still unexplored like many other places in India about which very few have heard. Located in the Valley of Satluj River, and above Recong Peo in the kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, is the small town Kalpa situated at the height of 4300 meters, which was also one the favorite places of the British colonists in the past. The inhabitants of this place are called the Kinnauri. It comprises of the Hindus and the Buddhists. It is famous for its apple orchards which is the main cash crop in the region. Another attractive feature of this town is that it is surrounded by vineyards all around. And, looked northwards from the town, there lays the towering Kailash range.
The sight looks beautiful in the early mornings as the rising sun rays touches the snow peaks and gives it a golden look. One special feature of the Kailash when seen from Kalpa is, it changes its color throughout the day as the sun rays fall differently on them at different period of time. When it was the main town, it was called chinni. This beautiful and unexplored destination is said to be the winter home of the Hindu god Shiva. Stories say that the god used to come to this place to practice hashish. In the starting months of the year that is in the months of January and February the kinnaur gods meet here for the annual meeting with the lord.
Situated on the national highway, Kalpa is well connected and accessible by road. The roads are well maintained as they are the main transport route to supply to the army men at the borders. On the journey towards Kalpa, 60 kms from Shimla starts the Satluj River. 100 kms from there is the beautiful town of Rampur. Moving forward, we reach the village called Sarahan. The total distance of Kalpa from shimla is 259 kms and from Sangla its only 51 kms on the NH-22. On the journey towards Kalpa, Rekong Peo can also be seen. The road trip is full of beautiful scenery.
Kalpa has a temperate climate from April to October. Light woolens are recommended. The temperature at night is also low and sometimes even windy.
The major attractions of Kalpa are its apple orchards and its vineyards. These vineyards have an enemy. The wild bears. However the sheepdogs are good at their task of keeping these bears away from the yards. Pine nut forests can also be found. Another major attraction of the region is the temple of the god ‘Narena’. Bengalis from all corners of the country gather here and pray to the lord.
The places nearby that can be visited are:
Kothi: 3 meters above the recong peo, lays the temple dedicated to goddess Chandika Devi. The temple has a beautiful architecture and is surrounded by deodars on all sides. The beautiful image of gold of the goddess is exotic.
Morang: in the Tukpa Pargana of Tehsil Morang, there lays the largest village named morang. It is a village surrounded by mountains on three sides except the western part of the village. The village has an ancient fort which is said to be built by the pandavas.
Recong peo: to reach Kalpa, it’s necessary to cross recong peo. It has stunning views of the Mount Kailash. A place where everyone would like to get a picture clicked.
Kappa offers a variety of Himachal food. From vegetarian to non-vegetarian, its main cuisines are Tibetan and Punjabi. Some famous foods that it offers are Chouck, Pateer, Dham, Poldu, Indra, and so on. The food served is full of spices such as cardamom, red chilies and cloves.
There are a number of hotels in the region, which have a mid priced accommodation and also provide the tourist with all the necessary services.
Hotel Kinner Villa
This is the most favorite hotel in the region. It provides facilities like guest parking, bonfires and many more.
Kinner Kailash Cottage
It is a two storied British style cottage where people can get an old feel of the British times and enjoy the facilities provided by the hotel.
HPTDCs Hotel Kinner Kailash
This Himachal Tourism’s Mid-Priced Deluxe hotel is also one of the most famous hotels in the region which also provides many facilities.
Other places are:
Hotel Golden Apple Kalpa
Hotel Rakpa Regency
Hotel Monal Residency
Hotel White Nest
The prices of these hotels vary dependent on the off-season and peak-season.
SHOPPING IN KALPA
Kinnauri shawls, caps from the emporium and the tiny dry fruit known as ‘chilgoza’ can be bought in the region.