Colors of Himachal : Kalpa, Chitkul in Monsoon

Day 3 :Kalpa to Chitkul ( 65 Kms)
The best part of Kalpa is the sunrise time, when sun rays touch Mt. Kinner Kailash and its snowy peak looks golden orange in color. Although the weather was cloudy that morning and we could not see the sunrise. Only me, Baadal and my bro woke up. We were lucky enough to see Kinner Kailash for sometime.

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Kalpa is an ideal place to spend few days around in nature. But unfortunately we didn’t have days in hand and had to bid goodbye with a promise to return again. By the time we got ready and had breakfast Kinner Kailash was again engulfed in clouds.

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Our destination today was Chitkul which is around 65 Kms from Kalpa. We started moving down towards Peo.

Probably rehearsal for Independence Day Celebration

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Views while moving down

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Ankush and Baadal leading ahead

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Raj and my bro coming

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We then moved on NH22 till Karcham and met Satluj again. After Peo there are bad roads and at times no roads, the distance is measured in terms of time and not in Kms. :twisted::twisted:

The Mars land
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Raj and Bro ahead with Shongtong bridge at distance

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And the bridge

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Back to pure black tarmac for few minutes :D

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We moved towards SH for Sangla-Chitkul road. Today also the roads were deserted with very few souls around. The road till Sangla is pretty dangerous with steep climb and with no safety barriers around and it is not definitely for faint hearted.:shock::shock: But atleast the roads were not dusty and as we climbed higher, temperature kept reaching pleasant:p

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After crossing Sangla, we had break at roadside. See the helipad near Sangla in river bed. That time I was surprised to see its location as in case of floods the helipad will be in water for sure. After the recent Uttarakhand floods, I believe the location of helipad should be changed.

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Once we cross Sangla, there are some camps in valley midst flowers, apple farms along the beautiful stream of Baspa river. And our abode was one such camp that day. After unloading our luggage, first time we were on bikes without our backpacks and it were such a relief :grin::grin:

From there till Chitkul at 3500 mts, the view is nothing less than a fairytale world. At every corner we get different views for a photo-break. It is really difficult to describe the beauty of that place in words. After stopping at couple of places we realized that pillions have to click pics on the move only. Probably the place needs more time to explore.

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Couple of times we had to cross water streams flowing over the road. I believe this crossing remains there all throughout the year and turns into black ice in winter.

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On the way we found camps located in even more beautiful locations

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Once you reach Chitkul, you see there is very wide valley where you can see far distance snowy peaks. Being there in monsoon time, the value was full of greenery with potato farming. Yes Chitkul exports one of the best quality potatoes to the outside world. For civilians like us it is the last village on India-China border as the road ends here. But the border area is still far from this village where army control is there. The pics are self explanatory;);)

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We had a long photo break at this turn

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Finally we reached Chitkul :D

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All group members clicking photos around :D

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The famous potato farms of Chitkul

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Being a wide valley, wind speed is high in this area and chill in the air makes the Maggie even more tastier :twisted:.

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With last rays of sun going away from Chitkul, we moved back to our camps. By night temperature drops here drastically. Thankfully we had bonfire at our camps.

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Day 4 – Chitkul to Narkanda ( 185 Kms)

Just to add, our initial plan was to stay at Rupin River View Hotel, but the camps alongside river drew our attention yesterday. So we stayed the camps which were behind Rupin River View Hotel on other side of Baspa river. Last 2 days were really awesome as we were able to see some beautiful places. But with heavy hearts we had to move from Chitkul. After 1st day it was again going to be a long day on roads or shall I even call all part of it roads :D:D. But on one side the tough journey to Kalpa and Chitkul and many such places is really good and really worth it. If these places become easily accessible then the beauty of nature will be destroyed by irresponsible tourism. The air conditioners of the best brands stand nowhere near the freshness and chilly side of air at such places.

The camps where we stayed

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Beautiful farms around the camps. Feels like mini Kashmir :)

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This time we were more mentally prepared for the bad stretch. But still the most dangerous road is below on this route. Full of slippery dust and seems to prone to landslides :(:(

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Our Good Bye Shot at Cave roads
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By later in the afternoon around 4 PM we had our lunch break at Rampur. We liked the lunch food at HPTDC Satluj Cafe but since we late after lunch hours, the service was really slow.

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We left the hot weather of Rampur and moved on to the chilly weather of Narkanda. On that route, there is River view point. Nice place for a short break and has temple as well. When we were about to reach Narkanda it started raining really heavily. Even with raincoats on, we were drenched by the time we reached hotel :( . Room heater at that time looked one of the greatest invention by man at that time :grin::grin:. After having delicious dinner at HPTDC Hatu Hotel we called it a day.
 
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