I've fallen in love with Kalpa. The place exudes a certain charm that just cannot be missed especially when the snow-clad mountains of the Kinner Kailash range is so upclose. That's an eternal love for the view of the snow outside the window that will just not fade with time.
The narrow stairway connecting Upper Kalpa to Lower Kalpa is a busy one and if there's any spot in this town where you'd hope to find a helpful local, it's here. We found Totaram. Totaram runs Chini Bungalow in Kalpa and has the same general niceness that, excuse the generalisation, but runs in the blood of the people of this region.
I was intrigued by the name Chini Bungalow and while Totaram was sharing his grief about the newly raised building in front of his hotel that has partially blocked the view of the Narayan-Nagini Temple temple, I found myself busy finding phonetic combinations to make sense of the word 'Chini'.
I asked him, "Why is this guest house called Chini Bungalow?"
Small-talk stopped and a conversation started. He revealed that until a few decades back, the cluster of villages above Recong Peo was called Kalpa. Chini, Duni, Change and other villages were a part of Kalpa tehsil. Reckong Peo, which is know identified as the capital of the Kinnaur region, had not yet received much recognition. Somewhere near Chini the first police station was inaugurated only in 1960s. Until then the peaceful people of this region never really felt a need for a police station and the nearest chowki was in Rampur. As some history books put it, the only supposed criminals here were the occasional eloping couples. A school came up in Chini in the year 1900 much before the other neighbouring villages felt a need for it. Quite interestingly, independent India's first voter, Shyam Saran Negi, also hails from this village.