Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul

Tripoto
16th Jun 2018

Dramatic mountains in Sangla Valley

Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul by Sri Harsha Arangi

Day 1: Chandigarh - Shimla - Narkanda - Hatu Valley

Have you ever seen clouds coming out of trees like smoke coming out of a chimney? That was the view we woke up to! The mist has cleared up and the views gave us a perfect start to the day. We could see apple orchards covered with anti-hail nets. As the name says, they are to protect the apples from hailstorms. That day would be the longest journey of the entire trip, hence we had a quick breakfast at the homestay, and bid goodbye for our wonderful hosts.

Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 1/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
View from the balcony #1
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 2/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
View from the balcony #2
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 3/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
View from the balcony #3

We have started our journey and within some time, river Satluj accompanied us, flowing in the opposite direction. As the day progressed, the mountains became higher, the valleys became deeper. That was like a transition to IMAX. We stopped at a small waterfall by the roadside to take in the beautiful views around. Meanwhile, the driver removed his outers, and took his car for a bath under the waterfall! We resumed our long journey, and half-tunnels also started appearing along the road. We stopped for the lunch at Tapri at 3pm as I was still waiting for my first sight of snow peaks. Tapri is a few minutes behind Karcham, the junction where the road bisects to Reckong Peo(subsequently Spiti) and Sangla Valley, the destination of the day. That is the place where Baspa river from Sangla joins Sutlej.

Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 4/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
River Satluj
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 5/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
On the way
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 6/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Car Wash under the waterfall
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 7/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Roadside waterfall
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 8/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Carved tunnel roads
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 9/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Deep valleys and huge mountains
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 10/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Half-tunnels
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 11/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Mountain streams

After the quick lunch, we resumed towards the next stop - Karcham Wangtoo dam. It was hard to discern as there was a lot of haze, but the towering snow peaks from far away distance started coming into our sight! The haze added to the mystical views and it was absolutely breathtaking! We started our last leg of the day towards Chitkul, with the views only becoming better every minute and with no doubt I can say Sangla valley is one of the prettiest in India. We had a pitstop at Sangla and had hot momos and chai in the wonderful weather. Sangla is the last place on the way to have decent mobile network.

Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 12/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
First sight of snow-capped peaks far far away behind the mist
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 13/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Karcham - The point where Baspa meets Sutlej
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 14/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Karcham dam
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 15/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Karcham bridge
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 16/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Beautiful and dangerous roads leading to Sangla
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 17/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Sangla valley and Baspa river
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 18/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Approaching Sangla village
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 19/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Sangla village center

We reached Chitkul in the late evening, and what a beautiful village it was! It was straight out of fairy-tale, and the pictures are not going to do justice to the atmosphere there! It was the last village on that road, and about 40km away from the Tibetian border. We had a hard time finding our home-stay as it was few hundred meters from the nearest road. They welcomed us with warm tea, and we dumped our luggage and went for a quick acclimatization walk as it was getting dark. They were local kids playing in the mud, and we had some fun time with them. We were wandering around until it became dark, and then came back to the home-stay and sat outside enjoying the chilling weather. We were waiting for our dinner and as were the other guests. In these home-stays, so you typically can't expect the family to serve all the guests at once. We waited for our turn, and had the dinner conversing with the host. He said many foreigners come there, mainly from Israel, as it costs less. That explained the number of foreigners we were seeing on our trip. He told us how the houses are built with alternating layers of wood and stones to keep them earthquake resistant. The dinner was simple with roti, rice, sabji and dal but their hospitality was amazing! We completed the dinner and headed back to our beds. No astrophotography was possible as it was entirely cloudy. Siva and myself again put alarms for midnight hoping for some clear sky. I woke up at 1am and subsequently at 3am, and only to be disappointed for not being able to see a single star, and went back to bed.

Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 20/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Sanlga valley with the views getting better
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 21/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Sangla Valley
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 22/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Mountain traffic
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 23/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
On the way to Chitkul
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 24/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
First sight of Chitkul
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 25/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Dreamy Chitkul #1
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 26/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Canines
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 27/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Cloudplay with the mountains
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 28/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Warm welcome with hot tea
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 29/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Local kids having fun in the mud
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 30/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Kids excited when shown their own recordings by Pravin
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 31/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Selfie with the kids
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 32/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Natural poser
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 33/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Chitkul Fort
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 34/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Street art
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 35/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Getting dark
Photo of Day 2: Narkanda - Sangla Valley - Chitkul 36/36 by Sri Harsha Arangi
Our host

Day 3: Chitkul - Kalpa (WIP)

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