Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: Lying at a height of almost 3,000 metres is a village which is famous for its apple orchards. This village offers breath taking views of the Kinner Kailash peak, and is shrouded in prayer and cold winds throughout the year.
This village is Kalpa.
Earlier the district headquarter of Kinnaur, the people of Kalpa are a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism. Since the village lies at the foot of one of the most revered peaks of Hinduism, there is a strong link to Hinduism. However, due to its proximity to Tibet, Buddhism is also an important religion. Thus, the people of Kalpa follow a ‘mix’ of both religions, and a healthy syncretism can be found in the day to day lives of the people here.
Located in the Satluj Valley, nearly 15 kilometres from district headquarter Reckong Peo, Kalpa offers a lot of activities that visitors can indulge in. From lazing around to high intensity trekking, from worshipping at various temples and monasteries to munching on juicy apples, Kalpa has something for each kind of traveller.
Things to do:
Visit Roghi village:
Located at a distance of nearly 7 kilometres from Kalpa, Roghi village is known for its simple lifestyle and Himachali customs. A walk in the village is blissful as the views around the village are mesmerising.
An important monastery of the region, it is believed it is at least 600 years old. Numerous Tibetan scriptures, frescos and wall paintings make this place very quiet and holy.
Visit Narayan-Nagini Temple:
Although a Hindu temple, it has been constructed in the Tibetan pagoda style architecture. This reflects the syncretism between the two religions in the region.
Visit the Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar Monastery:
Founded by Rinchensang-po in 1055 AD, this monastery is almost 1,000 years old. The monastery contains very old scriptures that were converted into Tibetan, from Sanskrit nearly a millennium ago.
Since Kalpa lies at the foot of a few majestic peaks, people take part in high intensity treks, that can last for anywhere between 3-7 days. The Shivling trek takes three days, while circumambulation of the Kinner Kailash peak can take upto 7 days.
Best time to visit:
June to August are the months when the region sees maximum tourist inflow, as people come for trekking and to explore the lush green valleys and forests of the region.
The place becomes prone to landslides during the monsoons, and becomes bitterly cold during winters.
How to Reach:
Kalpa is at a distance of around 15 kilometres from district headquarters Reckong Peo. It is located at a distance of nearly 230 kilometres from state capital Shimla. The nearest rail head is in Shimla, and the nearest airport is also in Shimla.
The distance between Chandigarh and Kalpa is 335 kilometres and the distance between Delhi and Kalpa is 581 kilometres.