Top Ten Reasons To Visit Sangla in Himachal Pradesh

The Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is perfect to indulge in some experiential travelling! Among the many gems it has, arguably the most beautiful would be “Sangla”.  Travel to Sangla would offer the travellers unique experiences that revolve around both scenic hikes / walks and cultural exploration. An extra perk is that the region has the most breathtaking views – anywhere you look!
Let us give you “Top ten reasons to visit Sangla” !!!

{Where is Sangla? Click here for the Map}

At 8,600 feet, Sangla is one of the best-kept secrets of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated towards the eastern end of the state, in the Kinnaur district. This region is best reached by road via Shimla – the journey nothing short of an adventure itself. The picturesque sceneries look nothing short of postcard-perfect shots.

But that’s not all. A trip to Sangla is not your usual run-of-the-mill experience. Exploring uncharted villages of this part of the world is just one of the reasons to visit Sangla. Here are some more:

1. Travel along the ancient Silk Route – one of the most important trade routes!
During the mid-nineteenth century, on the orders of Lord Dalhousie, the ancient Western Himalayan Silk Route was revived. It was the Britishers who took it upon themselves to build a better route thus facilitating better trade between India and Tibet. The Shipki La Pass situated in the Kinnaur District was one of India’s cross-border trade posts where trade barter between people from both sides happened. Travelling to Sangla gives you a unique opportunity to travel along the Silk Route – one of the most epic trade routes.

The adventure starts even before you reach Sangla!

The approach to Sangla is full of surprises. The zig-zag nature of the road, as it twists and turns around the mountains is full of surprises. The National Highway is nothing short of an engineering feat! While the towering mountains and deep valleys are a constant, a drive along this road is nothing short of an adventure itself. Keep your cameras ready, you never know your super-shot may be lurking around the corner!

The image below is of “half-tunnel” a popular photo-stop on the route. It’s ok to be “awe-struck” by this interesting structure that I have only seen on this road, but it’s not ok to be “vehicle-struck” while clicking a selfie 🙂
Be careful. The vehicles have a right of way.

The route to Sangla in Himachal Pradesh is beautiful yet known as one of the most dangerous driving roads in the World. The scenic roads is first in the list of Top Ten Reasons to visit Sangla.
Author on the Road to Sangla at unique “half-tunnel”

2. Along your way to Sangla, stop at the Himachali apple orchards!
As you drive from Chandigarh, it is a long and arduous road ahead, 350kms! You would need a stop for a night halt en route to Sangla. One such place to stop at is Thanedar. One might also choose to stop at Kotgarh, which is just 15 minutes away. Thanedar lies on the old Hindustan-Tibet Road and is best known for its apple orchards. The months of summer see the orchards in full bloom (cherry, apples). As you step into one of the orchards, learn about the history of apple cultivation in the Himachal. You can also get to pick apples from the trees if you choose to travel around September. Spend some time here, before you proceed to Sangla.
In fact this place deserves more nights than just one and we can explain how, but for now, let’s stay on with Sangla.
(But if you cannot resist reading about it, please see our independent blog post for your “Apple Holidays”)

The net-covered Orchards of Apples in Thanedar / Kotgarh, Himachal Pradesh. One need to stat overnight at Thanedar / Kotgarh enroute to Sangla from Chandigarh. Beautiful Thanedar / Kotgarh is the second in the list of Top Ten Reasons to visit Sangla.
The net-covered Orchards of Apples in Thanedar / Kotgarh, Himachal Pradesh. Image Credit : Amar Gore

3. Also, take a detour to Sarahan!
The Himachali town of Sarahan is best known for the mighty Bhimakali Temple. The temple is almost 800 years old and houses Kuldevi of the Bhushahr Kingdom. Whether a believer or not, you will surely be captivated by the grandeur and holiness of this temple. The town is surrounded by tall pines and Deodars, and everywhere you look – you will be greeted with blooming wildflowers.
To know more, Click Here

Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan. One needs to take a detour while on the way to Sangla for Sarahan. The temple is beautiful and is third in the list of Top Ten Reasons to visit Sangla.
Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan. You need to take a short detour to visit this beautiful temple. Image : Rahul Bhusari

4. You get to breathe in the cleanest air in India!
That’s right! Still looking for reasons to visit Sangla? Look no further! A recent study conducted by the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences at IIT Delhi revealed that the Kinnaur district has in fact the cleanest air in all of India. This region is surrounded by three gorgeous mountain ranges – the Great Himalaya, Zanskar, and Dhauladhar. The air here is so clean that it averages less than 10% of the national average. Without getting too science-y, let us see how clean the air here is. The PM 2.5 (particulate matter – the stuff that chokes your lungs) in Kinnaur was found to be approximately 3.7 microgram per cubic metre while the national average is 40 microgram per cubic metre.
Read more about this here

Cleanest air in India is arguably in Sangla. For pollution-free environs, we have kept visit to Chitkul at number four in the list of Top 10 Reasons to visit Sangla
Head to Chitkul (a short drive from Sangla) for pollution-free enviraons! Image : Rahul Bhusari

5. Do not worry about the high altitude sickness
When we talk about going to the Himalayas, most people usually feel discouraged given the high altitude of the region. Occasional wooziness follows, making even the mundane tasks tiresome. If travelling anywhere above 10,000 feet (3048 meters), this can cause a range of symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue. That being said, travelling to places that are higher than 10,000 feet should not be a problem when travelled gradually – with enough stops to acclimatize. But for those who do not like the unpleasant sensations that come along, Sangla is a perfect choice!

Sangla is just below the altitude that could typically lead to high altitude sickness. One can hence enjoy without fear or worry in Sangla. That's why we have put this point as fifth in the Top Ten Reasons to visit Sangla.
Enjoy in snow (usually till April / early May) without worrying about High Altitude Sickness.

The town sits at 8,600 feet (2621 meters) making it enjoyable for everyone. Not only do you get to enjoy the stunning Himalayan landscapes, you also do not have to worry about getting altitude sickness.

6. Experience a blend of the rich cultures of Buddhism and Hinduism
The hills and valleys of Himachal Pradesh have seen a beautiful fusion of Hindu and Buddhist cultures and practices. And that can be seen through the presence of many beautiful temples and monasteries in this region. Sangla is very close to the Tibetian border and hence this place sees a strong influence of Buddhism.

There is also a strong presence of Hindu culture in the region. Bering Nag Temple is one such magnificent temple in the Sangla Valley. As you explore the area, you will find that the two cultures are uniquely infused and the people, language, and architecture here stand a testament to the coming together of two unique cultures.

Temple at Batseri. Sangla region has Hindu temples and Buddhist Monasteries. Both religions peacefully coexist here.
Sangla region has Hindu temples and Buddhist Monasteries. Both religions peacefully coexist here. Image : Rahul Bhusari (at Batseri near Sangla)

7. Visit Chitkul – the last village on the Indo-Tibetan border / Walk to the Nagasthi
Chitkul, the last village before the Indo-Tibet is approximately 22 kilometres from Sangla. And it makes for a perfect day trip. Dramatically winding along the Bapsa River, the Sangla-Chitkul Road is one ride you will never forget.

Once here, you can explore the town at your own pace. Of course, a walk along the banks of the Baspa River is not to be missed. The crystal clear waters of the river bouncing off the warm sunlight will keep you enthralled.

Chitkul is also a starting point for many Himalayan treks in this part of the region. A relatively easier and shorter trek is one to Nagasthi. A walk along this enthralling stretch is an incredible experience. Towering glaciers everywhere you look, wild blooms, and lush green will keep you company. A short hike and you reach the ITBP post, beyond which civilians are not allowed. This entire walk is a photographer’s paradise! Remember, that there are no eateries along this route and so it is advised that you carry adequate water and food with you.

Baspa River and snow-clad mountains is the signature image of Chitkul, the last village on the Indian side of the border.
The landscape provided by Baspa River and the snow-clad peaks is the most beautiful that you will ever see. Image : Rahul Bhusari

8. Enjoy chai at ‘हिन्दुस्थान का आखरी ढाबा ’
Also, do not forget to stop at the हिन्दुस्थान का आखरी ढाबा (the last dhaba on the Indian side). This place makes for a fun Insta-moment.
I was thinking of putting this point at #1 in the top ten reasons to visit Sangla list. Then better sense prevailed 🙂

Hindustan ka Aakhri Dhaba at Chitkul (near Sangla) ie the last dhaba / restaurant on the Indian side of the border.
Hindustan ka Aakhri Dhaba at Chitkul. It’s a must image for those on Instagram 🙂 Image : Rahul Bhusari

9. Explore the most tribal part of Himachal Pradesh
Sangla and the nearby areas are cut off from the rest of the world, making them not easily accessible. This has helped preserve the beauty of the region. The valley is ornate with dense green foliage, thanks to the Baspa, Sutlej, and Spiti rivers flowing through it. The locals here are warm – you can easily spot one with a traditional green cap. Their handmade textiles and jewellery are one of a kind. Strike a friendly chat with the locals and they will even oblige to dress you up in traditional attire. One of the best reasons to visit Sangla is to enjoy its remoteness.

10. Home to the finest potatoes!
At Chitkul, they say, you will find some of the best potatoes! Thanks to the clean air, the crops and vegetables that grow here come with a bag full of benefits. The organic potatoes from Chitkul are also some of the most expensive potatoes in the world. If there was ever a competition for the best potatoes in the world, the Sangla potatoes would win hands down, is the claim of proud Chitkulis! 🙂

These are just a few of the reasons to visit Sangla. But most importantly, its unadulterated air and peaceful vibe makes it one of the most best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

Looking for ready itineraries for Sangla? : Click Here

Does Infinite Journeys have fixed departure Group Tours to Sangla? 
Yes, under the banner of Foliage Outdoors, which is our sister-concern, we do have Fixed Departure Tours throughout the year to Sangla. Do see or call +91.9822508986 for details.

Can Infinite Journeys customize holidays for you? 
Yes. Infinite Journeys specializes in customizing your holidays. Infinite Journeys has Travel Advisors who are well traveled and experienced. They will be happy to share their expertise with you to make your holidays memorable.
At Infinite Journeys, we believe that you should never buy a product off-the-shelf when you can have one that is customized for you.

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Author : Rahul Bhusari and Aaditee Kulkarni
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2 Thoughts to “Top Ten Reasons To Visit Sangla in Himachal Pradesh”

  1. Amar Gore

    Every word in this article is true. I visited it with Foliage a couple of weeks ago and can vouch for every reason spelled here. As the article says, it’s hidden jewel in Himachal, very pure and tranquil. I wish I could spend few more days there.

    One reason I would add is the people and the peaceful villages in Sangla. The people are so welcoming and contented. I found peace in them. Village I visited(Batseri) was so neat and clean, I wish I could retire there. I don’t know if that was beautiful nature surrounding that village or small needs of these people, but it was an experience I will never forget.

    1. Infinite infinite

      Thanks Amar.
      Another blog coming up shortly that will have the images (most of them by you) of the great time that we had in Sangla.
      Let’s cycle in Sangla some day 🙂
      – Rahul

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