Sangla is a small town situated in the Baspa Valley of the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh and an escape from reality. It lies in close proximity with the Indo-Tibetan border. Its valley, the Sangla Valley, is inhabited by the Kinnauris and have their own dialect known as the Kinnauri language.
The Baspa river that flows through the Sangla valley enrichens it with apple orchards, apricots, and cedar trees. In fact, the apples grown here are its main cash crop and apple juice is unquestionably in abundant supply!
Things to See and Do In Sangla
Despite its remote location, Sangla has many things to see and do. It houses the most famous temple of the Kinnaur district, the Bering Nag temple, which is a prime attraction here. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is patronized by both worshippers and pilgrims, and well visited by tourists. Popular months for visiting this temple are the months of August to September due to the Fulaich festival. The Fulaich festival is the carnival of flower-watching during which worshippers pray to appease the soul of their dead relatives. Offerings of wine, rice and food are made to the departed which is later distributed among the villagers and the poor.
Other than the Bering Nag temple, you can visit the Kamru fort. Overseeing the orchards and the Sangla Valley, this fort sits at 2600 meters above sea level and offers camera-worthy shots. The fort itself has some remarkable architecture and amazing wooden carvings. There is also a temple located below this fort. Known as the Shri Badri Vishal Ji Temple, this area houses a 15th-century shrine of Lord Badrinath. Surrounding it is Mount Neelkanth and the mountainous terrains of the Himalayan range which creates the serene and peaceful ambiance that entrance most worshippers who visit. If you enjoy trekking, you could even trek to Kamlu village which is only 2 km from the town of Sangla before visiting Kamru fort and its temple.
There is then Chitkul which is a beautiful village a drive away from Sangla. It is 3500m above sea level and on the Tibetan border. It is also the last village from the Tibetan side. Although it is not in Sangla itself, it is just under 30 km away from it and ideal for a half-day trip if you wish to relax within its calm surroundings. Like Chitkul, there are several other villages worth visiting in and around Sangla such as Rakcham which is also a must-see. Once again, trekkers can enjoy a perfect trek route through Rakcham up until Chitkul. All these places offer majestic views of snow-capped mountains, lush meadows, and apple gardens. Rakcham only houses a population of 800 people who migrate to the lower altitudes in colder seasons and return to agricultural activities when these seasons pass.
There is also a Buddhist monastery located in Sangla town with a 10m-high standing Buddha near the monastery. Like the Kamru temple and fort, the architecture here boasts intricate wooden carvings on its walls and roof. Given the close proximity with Tibet, Tibetan-Buddhism influence here is prominent and it is interestingly common to see a mix of Hindu and Buddhist influences throughout this region.
All these attractions and the villages in and around Sangla are easily accessed by road, foot or transport. For these reasons, adventure-seekers, and travelers who seek to rejuvenate their mind, body and spirit still continue to visit it on a daily basis
Featured Photo by travelling slacker