Once called Chini, the village came into prominence when it was visited by the British Governor — General, Lord Dalhousie (1848 – 56 AD). Dalhousie was also responsible for the creation of the original Hindustan Tibet Road. Within the village visit the Narayan-Nagini temple which is a remarkable example of local craftsmanship and the Hu — Bu — Lan — Kar monastery said to have been founded by the Great Translator, Rinchensang – po (950 – 1055 AD). There are thick forests of Himalayan cedar, the quite legendary ‘deodar’. These woods are garnished with spruce, alder and the unusual birch -the ‘bhojpatra’ tree whose peeling bark served as parchment for ancient lndian texts. Chocolate — box pictures of villages, orchards and ﬁelds dot the area. Across the river, facing Kalpa is the majesty of the Kinner Kailash range. This is a spectacular sight early in the morning as the rising sun touches the snowy peaks with crimson and gold light. Kalpa may well be considered the point where the mountains halt the march of the monsoon winds.
Nearest airport (267 km) and railhead (244 km) is at Shimla. The route is on NH — 22 (The Hindustan Tibet Road) which bifurcates to Kalpa from Powari. Buses and Taxis are available at Shimla
and Rampur. One can also reach Kalpa via Manali-Rohtang Pass—Kunzam Pass—Kaza (400 km).
In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy clothing is required and for summers light woollens are recommended.
- Nichar (2150 m): This lies on the alignment of the old Hindustan Tibet road and is approached by a side road of 16 kms that turns off near Sholding Knud. This has thick forests dotted with orchards and there is a variety of wildlife that includes bears, ghoral and the thar. Among the other temples in and close to Nichar, the shrine dedicated to the deity Ukha (Usha) is an excellent example of local craftsmanship.
- Recong Peo (229Om; 13 km from Kalpa): This is district headquarters of Kinnaur and has the primary marketplace. This is 7 km from Powari that lies on the Hindustan Tibet Road (Powari has the only petrol-pump till Kaza). Like Kalpa, Recong Peo faces the Kinner Kailash mountain (6050 m).
- Sangla (268Om 51 kms): This is the largest village of the bewitchingly beautiful 95 km long Sangla valley through which the river Baspa flows. There are picture-perfect villages surrounded by fields and orchards; there are thick forests – including magnificent ones of peeling birch and there are high snow covered peaks and glaciers. Sangla village is built on both sides of the highway and has the main market of the valley. Surrounded by houses this has is the old temple of Bering Nag.
- Kamru (3000m): The village of Kamru lies at a height above the valley iloorand is 1 .5 km from Sangla village. Here stands its famous tower like fort and temple which enshrines the goddess Kamakshya (Kamakhya) Devi. This wood and stone structure was the original seat of the rulers of the erstwhile princely state of Bushair – they later moved to Sarahan and then to Rampur which lie downstream of the Satluj. With a population of about a thousand people, Kamru is a dense cluster of houses and is surrounded by fields and orchards- The gateway to the village is painted with Buddhist motifs and images.
- Batseri: This lies across the river Baspa is built along a hill slope. With narrow well marked paths, Batseri also displays some of the unusual traditional architectural methods of the area. The recently rebuilt temple of Badri Narayan is an exemplary piece of craftsmanship with superb carvings along its panels and ﬁnely-worked slate roof.
- Raksham (3115 m, 14 km from Sangla village): This is a picturesque village with wood and stone houses and is set before a mass of dark rock and moraine. This rests at the end of a glen with thick forests.
- Chitkul (3460m): This is the last inhabited village in the Sangla valley. The drive to this is along a road that lies close to the river bank. This also has three temples dedicated to the goddess Mathi. The main temple is believed to be around six hundred years old.
- Ribba (2745 m. 16 km from Powari.): Well known for its local liquors, it is a picturesque village.
- Moorang (2591 m. 25 km from Powari): This is an attractive village surrounded by apricot orchards.
- Kanam (2699 m. 40 km from Powari): This is a complete monastic village and its Buddhist monastery is of considerable significance and dates back to time of Rinchensang-po. This is located at the base of the Nessang valley-and is on one of the old routes that lead to Tibet.
- Jangi (45 km from Powari): This has the ‘inner Line Checkpoint’ and is one of the starting points for the trek route, the Kinner Kailash Parikrama.
- Puh (2837m, 71 km from Powari): This is a middling sized village with a market and administrative offices. The area is well known for its apricots and almonds.
- Nako (3,662 m 110 km from Powari): This is one of Kinnaur’s most picturesque villages and is built around a small lake and has an important Buddhist monastery and a couple of small temples. A footprint like impression on a rock is ascribed to the saint Padmasambhava. Nako is also the base to reach the Tashigang monastery and the start for the trek to the Pargial peak.
- Leo (2, 438 m ): This is a small village with an old temple dedicated to the local deity, Tangtashu.
- Change (3, 058 m 115 km from Powari): Surrounded by high hills, this is famous for the quality of its apples.
FISHING : Trout were introduced into the Baspa River a few decades ago and have thrived in its waters. The best time for fishing is the autumn months — September and October.
Among the many trek routes in”the area are the Kinner Kailash Parikrama (this circles the base of peak), the Charang Ghati trek, the several routes that lead from the Sangla valley to the neighbouring state of Uttranchal. The Karcham ~ Sangla Trek via the villages of Sapni and Barua, the Ropav alley trek and the Bhaba valley trek.
THE KINNER KAILASH – Deluxe Hotel
(Open from April to November. 13 kms from Recong Peo)
The hotel complex is strategically located for visiting Klnnaur or traveling ahead to Spiti. This is a newly built hotel with all modern facilities. The design of the hotel has been inspired by the traditional architecture of the area. The Hotel Kinner Kailash faces the peaks of Raldang (5,499m), Jorkanden (6,473 m) and the Kinner Kailash (6,050 m).
ADDRESS: The Kinner Kailash Kalpa, Distt. Kinnaur(HP)—172108,TeI: 01786—226159
KAILASH COTTAGE – Deluxe Cottages
SUN ‘n’ SNOW COTTAGE
Walking distance: 100 mtrs. approx. from the parking and reception of the main hotel.