Kinnaur or Kullu? Confused! Help

#1 May 12th, 2010, 14:34
Join Date:
May 2010
Location:
Bangalore
Posts:
28
  • piratexpress is offline
#1
Hello All,

I've been trawling this forum for weeks now, as I was planning my HP holiday, and its essentially come down to two choices for our trip to HP.

We are starting on June 12th, and have 7 nights and 7 days (excluding travel to Kalka and back). We plan to hire an Indica (we are 2 of us) at Kalka.


Option 1 Kinnaur: Kalka - Shimla - Sarahan - Sangla - Rampur - Kalka

Option 2 Kullu Valley: We plan to stay in Naggar and Solang Valley for 2 nights each and do short day trips around the region. We have also kept aside 2 days and 1 night for a trek to Chandratal.

We are looking to do a bit of hiking and easy treks; and would also very much like to get some river rafting, and some other activities in. My partner is a photography enthusiast, and I want to sit in some place quiet, calm, peaceful, read a book and take in the gorgeous scenery.

Especially for the last two reasons we were very keen on Kinnaur, but it looks like they have no rafting or other adventure activities (except trekking/hiking) so we are leaning more towards Kullu now. However, I'm afraid the Kullu Valley isn't going to give us the peace and quiet and solitude I was imagining. (The demands one has of a holiday, I tell you! ;-)


Given this absolutely confused state we are in, I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there any rafting or other adventure activities apart from trekking/hiking in Kinnaur?

2. Will Kullu region be very crowded, or is it reasonable to expect that most families would have gone back home since school reopen by mid-june? Especially if we stay in Naggar and Solang (or any other small town or village with accommodation options)

3. How difficult is the Chandratal trek in June? We are both young and healthy and reasonably fit, and my partner is a good trekker; however, I'm not much of a trekker (more of walker), and have never trekked at that altitude before.

4. Are both options feasible in an Indica? Especially the Rohtang - Batal stretch?

Thanks in advance!

P.S: Our other option is to go to Manali for 2 days, go rafting and ballooning and such stuff there, and then drive to Sarahan and spend the rest of the holiday in Kinnaur. While this is the perfect blend, I'm concerned we might end up spending too much time on road, and will be packing too much into 7 days. What's your opinion on this?
#2 May 12th, 2010, 20:32
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
dehradun
Posts:
1,031
  • vikramkyy is offline
#2

welcome

hi piratexpress--welcome to indiamike..

your second option is nice just need to you with same route by covering--all places like--Kalka - Shimla - Sarahan - Sangla ----add--kalpa--tabo--kaza--kunjumpass--batal--chandratal--manali--

hope you will find that route very nice peaceful and less crowded in june... best for photography--


and if you have done trekking before then you can trek chandratal easily....
#3 May 12th, 2010, 21:16
Join Date:
Dec 2007
Location:
New York
Posts:
2,584
  • ashwinnaagar is offline
#3
Kullu valley is great if you stay in naggar or solang...but i would vote for kinnaur.
#4 May 12th, 2010, 21:59
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,991
  • kshil is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post
1. Are there any rafting or other adventure activities apart from trekking/hiking in Kinnaur?
Haven't yet heard about rafting in Satlej/Baspa/Spiti river, so not sure, let's see what others say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post 2. Will Kullu region be very crowded, or is it reasonable to expect that most families would have gone back home since school reopen by mid-june? Especially if we stay in Naggar and Solang (or any other small town or village with accommodation options)
At any day Kullu is more crowded than Kinnaur/Spiti in general ofcourse some nice unexplored place could be there in Kullu too. The reason probably is easier access than Summer holidays. Also expect much foreign tourist in Kullu and Dhauladhar region.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post 3. How difficult is the Chandratal trek in June? We are both young and healthy and reasonably fit, and my partner is a good trekker; however, I'm not much of a trekker (more of walker), and have never trekked at that altitude before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikramkyy View Post and if you have done trekking before then you can trek chandratal easily....
I think the answer depends more on year than month, not every year June would be same. The Year plays significant role specially in start and end of the season, you can be more confident about July and August though across years.

See June 2007 blog here

Then again in June 2008 here

Now see a trip same time in June 2009 here and I am sure you understand what I mean here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post 4. Are both options feasible in an Indica? Especially the Rohtang - Batal stretch?
I don't think it's recommended specially if it is early June, Gramphoo-Batal is (in)famous and loved by people who likes off roading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post I'm concerned we might end up spending too much time on road, and will be packing too much into 7 days. What's your opinion on this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikramkyy View Post hi piratexpress--welcome to indiamike..

your second option is nice just need to you with same route by covering--all places like--Kalka - Shimla - Sarahan - Sangla ----add--kalpa--tabo--kaza--kunjumpass--batal--chandratal--manali--

hope you will find that route very nice peaceful and less crowded in june... best for photography--
Yes 7 days the whole circuit I believe you would be more on Car.

But definitely less crowded and good photo opportunity if weather God is with you.

Cheers and have a nice trip.
#5 May 12th, 2010, 22:54
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
New Delhi, India
Posts:
483
  • username_x is offline
#5
Haha .. as usual .. a detailed answer by Kshil for everything Kinnaur/ Spiti ..

Well .. I'll just add a few points more. You already seem to have done a good amount of research, so you already know what I am about to tell you (even if you wish it was otherwise) .. everything you wrote down is not possible. Period. You can either go to Kullu-Manali or Kinnaur or spend too much time on the road. For a seven days holiday, I don't think that there is a fourth option.

If you go to Kullu, you do not get peaceful place etc. Though there may be some relatively lesser known places near Kullu which can give you a nearly crowd-free experience. If you get to go to Chandratal lake, that itself should make up for what you missed in Kinnaur. Plus you'll get adventure sports too, so I'll recommend this option.

If you go to Kinnaur, do include Chhitkul as well. But Kinnaur will all be about photography and relaxing peacefully. No adventure sports etc. There are a few treks which you can undertake.

If you make a round trip, you'll at least be on the road for 4 of 7 days, provided you travel in the day time only. That will give you no time for most of the things you planned. Although, it should give you great photographs. But it depends on the passes and all being open and everything.
#6 May 13th, 2010, 17:20
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Location:
India
Posts:
102
  • ashmeet1 is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post Hello All,

I've been trawling this forum for weeks now, as I was planning my HP holiday, and its essentially come down to two choices for our trip to HP.

We are starting on June 12th, and have 7 nights and 7 days (excluding travel to Kalka and back). We plan to hire an Indica (we are 2 of us) at Kalka.


Option 1 Kinnaur: Kalka - Shimla - Sarahan - Sangla - Rampur - Kalka

Option 2 Kullu Valley: We plan to stay in Naggar and Solang Valley for 2 nights each and do short day trips around the region. We have also kept aside 2 days and 1 night for a trek to Chandratal.

We are looking to do a bit of hiking and easy treks; and would also very much like to get some river rafting, and some other activities in. My partner is a photography enthusiast, and I want to sit in some place quiet, calm, peaceful, read a book and take in the gorgeous scenery.

Especially for the last two reasons we were very keen on Kinnaur, but it looks like they have no rafting or other adventure activities (except trekking/hiking) so we are leaning more towards Kullu now. However, I'm afraid the Kullu Valley isn't going to give us the peace and quiet and solitude I was imagining. (The demands one has of a holiday, I tell you! ;-)


Given this absolutely confused state we are in, I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there any rafting or other adventure activities apart from trekking/hiking in Kinnaur?

2. Will Kullu region be very crowded, or is it reasonable to expect that most families would have gone back home since school reopen by mid-june? Especially if we stay in Naggar and Solang (or any other small town or village with accommodation options)

3. How difficult is the Chandratal trek in June? We are both young and healthy and reasonably fit, and my partner is a good trekker; however, I'm not much of a trekker (more of walker), and have never trekked at that altitude before.

4. Are both options feasible in an Indica? Especially the Rohtang - Batal stretch?

Thanks in advance!

P.S: Our other option is to go to Manali for 2 days, go rafting and ballooning and such stuff there, and then drive to Sarahan and spend the rest of the holiday in Kinnaur. While this is the perfect blend, I'm concerned we might end up spending too much time on road, and will be packing too much into 7 days. What's your opinion on this?
Option 1 would be the best.

You can add Kalpa and Sarahan to your trip to make it more enjoyable and meaningful.

If you are fond of natural beauty you may add Chitkul to your trip, which is 20-25 Kms from Sangla and is a great place. Trekking routes beyond Chitkul are also available, which you will be informed at there itself.
#7 May 14th, 2010, 01:23
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,991
  • kshil is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by username_x View Post Haha .. as usual .. a detailed answer by Kshil for everything Kinnaur/ Spiti ..
Just giving senior members some rest , Each of them spent so much time just answering my queries for last 3 months, I just think how they have done it month after month, hats off to them, and that's why IM is here. I really wish people should study/reserach of his own to some extent before asking things. Otherwise Maha gurus would start loosing interest from the forum

Reading Deepak Shanon's "Exploring Kinnaur Spiti", he wrote that no Rafting possible in Spiti river from Sumdo onwards and Sutlej from Shipki to Rampur atleast, Almost everywhere you would find category 6 rapids. But Spiti upstream upto Attarago is good for rafting, not sure if you can get it arranged, Call Spiti holiday adventure to see the prospect, then I would suggest skip, Kinnaur and Kulu both, move to Chandratal and then to Spiti, trek/hike/rafting all may be possible. Spiti would be less crowded than even Kinnaur I guess and 7 days would be ideal for that area. Give a thought

Mostly the rafting starts from Kiato, a place between Losar and Rangrik and goes till Tabo/Sumdo. You can choose a specific leg.
Some sample itineraries are here and here too.
#8 May 14th, 2010, 21:46
Join Date:
May 2010
Location:
Bangalore
Posts:
28
  • piratexpress is offline
#8
Thank you all SO MUCH for the detailed responses! I really appreciate that people have taken the time out for this.

I've finally decided to go ahead with Kinnaur. One of the main reasons being that if Chandrataal is inaccessible/ difficult to access when we go this year, that would make for a very disappointing trip. Moreover, if we need to hire a jeep and trekking guide, it makes more economical sense to do so when we are going in a bigger group than just two of us.

So Kullu Valley will be for another holiday, when we go with friends. This time we'll go to Kinnaur and have a relaxed vacation and take in the gorgeous mountain scenery.

Would appreciate feedback on the Kinnaur trip schedule:
Day 1: Kalka - Shimla
Day 2: Shimla - Sarahan
Day 3: In and around Sarahan
Day 4: Sarahan - Chitkul
Day 5: Chitkul - Sangla
Day 6: In Sangla
Day 7: Sangla - Rampur
Day 8: Rampur - Kalka

Specfically,
1. I've heard mixed reviews about Sarahan. Is it worth it staying there on Day 3 or should we go to Chitkul directly on Day 3?
2. We are stopping at Rampur for a day on our return because we don't want to drive all the way from Sangla to Kalka in one day. Is Rampur a good option, or is there any other town which would serve as a better option for a stopover?
3. We'll have about 3 days in Sangla Valley before we head to Rampur; Is this good enough?
#9 May 14th, 2010, 21:59
Join Date:
Dec 2007
Location:
New York
Posts:
2,584
  • ashwinnaagar is offline
#9
As far as i know sangla-kalka is doable in a day.
#10 May 14th, 2010, 22:32
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
New Delhi, India
Posts:
483
  • username_x is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshil View Post Just giving senior members some rest ..
Your are yourself a .. ahem .. senior member .. ahem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post Would appreciate feedback on the Kinnaur trip schedule:
Day 1: Kalka - Shimla
Day 2: Shimla - Sarahan
Day 3: In and around Sarahan
Day 4: Sarahan - Chitkul
Day 5: Chitkul - Sangla
Day 6: In Sangla
Day 7: Sangla - Rampur
Day 8: Rampur - Kalka

Specfically,
1. I've heard mixed reviews about Sarahan. Is it worth it staying there on Day 3 or should we go to Chitkul directly on Day 3?
2. We are stopping at Rampur for a day on our return because we don't want to drive all the way from Sangla to Kalka in one day. Is Rampur a good option, or is there any other town which would serve as a better option for a stopover?
3. We'll have about 3 days in Sangla Valley before we head to Rampur; Is this good enough?
I'll suggest you change this itinerary a bit ..

You Day 1 is Kalka to Shimla .. which means you plan on spending some time in Shimla. Any particular reason? It'll be like really crowded then.

Though I've never been to Sarhan .. I have my doubts about what the town has to offer .. could be wrong. There is that temple there .. and it is genrally beautiful too .. but still .. don't know if it warrants a full day. You could also maybe include Kalpa in your plan. The apples must have started blooming again .. so it should be quite beautiful.

Instead of Rampur, halt at Narkanda. Sangla to Narkanda should not be too much. Rampur is a busy little town .. not too much in terms of scenic beauty and all ..
#11 May 14th, 2010, 22:57
Join Date:
May 2010
Location:
Bangalore
Posts:
28
  • piratexpress is offline
#11
Well, Shimla simply because we didn't want to drive all the way to Sarahan on Day 1. I'd figured it would take about 8 hours drive to Sarahan from Kalka and ideally we wouldn't want to drive more than 5hours in a day keeping in mind that we are looking at a laidback and relaxed holiday. If Kalka - Sarahan isn't more than 6hrs, I wouldn't mind going there directly.

Yeah, we could go to Narkanda instead of Rampur.

@Ashwin: How long would the drive from Sangla to Kalka be? Is it a 11-12hr journey?
#12 May 14th, 2010, 23:21
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
Green grass of home
Posts:
1,960
  • Wildhorse is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by piratexpress View Post 1. I've heard mixed reviews about Sarahan. Is it worth it staying there on Day 3 or should we go to Chitkul directly on Day 3?
We stayed several days in Sarahan last August and found it to be a wonderfully relaxing place. There are no particular 'sights' in Sarahan apart from the Bhimakali temple but I found Sarahan as such quite nice. And the garden of the Shrikand Hotel (HPTDC) ist just WONDERFUL! You can have your meals in the garden and enjoy the absolutely fantastic view.
We went for some walks around Sarahan - nothing exciting but just nice. I loved it.

Quote:
2. We are stopping at Rampur for a day on our return because we don't want to drive all the way from Sangla to Kalka in one day. Is Rampur a good option
We used Rampur as a stopover from Manali to Kalpa. I found it awful, mainly because of the noise, the dust, and the heat. There's not much to see as far as I can say, and if it hadn't been to break the journey, we wouldn't have stopped there.

On the way back we made it from Sarahan to Shimla in one day. I don't remember right now how long it took but it was no problem;
I didn't find the trip too long.
#13 May 14th, 2010, 23:28
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
Green grass of home
Posts:
1,960
  • Wildhorse is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by username_x View Post You could also maybe include Kalpa in your plan. The apples must have started blooming again .. so it should be quite beautiful.
Kalpa is beautiful! The perfect place to relax. I loved it. But it might be a little too far since you have only a week.
Unfortunately I don't remember the driving times. We did Manali-Rampur, Rampur-Kalpa, Kalpa-Sangla (with day trip to Chitkul), Sangla-Sarahan, Sarahan-Shimla, and we stayed several nights in each place (except in Rampur).
#14 May 14th, 2010, 23:33
Join Date:
Dec 2007
Location:
New York
Posts:
2,584
  • ashwinnaagar is offline
#14
sangla to kalka takes about 10-11 hrs. Or you could stop over at sarahan while returning...kalpa is a must if you are going all the way upto sangla.
#15 May 15th, 2010, 00:00
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
New Delhi, India
Posts:
483
  • username_x is offline
#15
Sangla to Kalpa is hardly 3 hours .. if I remember correctly.

And from what I read about Sarhan above .. you should definitely visit it.

So .. maybe, some itinerary like this:

Day 1: Kalka to Narkanda (~ 5 hours)
Day 2: Narkanda to Sarhan (~ 4 hours (not sure))
Day 3: Sarhan to Kalpa (~ 4-5 hours)
Day 4: Kalpa to Chhitkul (~ 4-5 hours)
Day 5: Spend at Chhitkul
Day 6: Chhitkul to Sangla (~ 1-2 hours)
Day 7: Sangla to Narkanda/ Thanedar (~7 hours (not sure))
Day 8: Narkanda/ Thanedar to Kalka (~ 5 hours)

Thanedar is also a nice option, since you would have already stayed at Narkanda.

Stay at the HPTDC hotels at Narkanda & Kalpa. I've stayed at Kinner Kailash hotel (HPTDC) in Kalpa. It is wonderful and has great views. Do book in advance though.

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Himachal Travel Report (Simla, Kinnaur, Spiti, Lahaul, Manali, Kullu) - Sep 2009 Nov 21st, 2017 11:28 18 6160 Himachal Pradesh
very confused Dec 28th, 2009 07:08 44 3072 Introduce Yourself
shimla-kinnaur-kullu-manali May 26th, 2009 11:40 1 3499 Kullu and Manali
Bus From Kullu Valley To Kinnaur Jul 31st, 2007 06:52 4 2297 India Travel Itinerary Advice


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success