A serene morning in Kalpa

Kinnaur Kailash_Mytravelnama

The serene beauty of the mighty Kinnaur Kailash..early in the morning…

Prologue

The snow clad peaks of the mighty Kinnaur Kailash bloomed with its divine glory with the morning Sun bathing the entire valley. We stood mesmerized, frozen in the morning chill.

Kinnaur Kailash Range

The mighty Kinnaur Kailash Range

The growing early morning daylight spread over the snow-clad peaks, bathed their milky whiteness with an unbelievable elegance way beyond the beauty of the known world hard to describe.

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Sunshine bathing the snow clad peaks of the Kinnaur Kailash

The morning tea and fresh home-made cookies served in the balcony of our cottage at Hotel Kinnaur Kailash never felt better. It was perhaps a perfect beginning for an eventful day.

Hotel Kinnaur Kailash

The Kinnaur Kailash from the hotel restaurant (HPTDC Kinnaur Kailash)

Our Hotel

Many of you must be wondering what is there in a hotel, that we are rolling it out in our travelogue. Hotel Kinnaur Kailash of HPTDC is an exception.

Hotel Kinnaur Kailash

HPTDC Kinnaur Kailash

Kinnaur Kailash…unplugged…

The resort itself is a tourist destination in Kalpa. It is from the balcony of this hotel that you get the 180 degree view of the entire Kinnaur Kailash range. The hotel is built on the slopes of the lush green mountain guarding the Kalpa village with several apple orchards surrounding it on its three sides.

HPTDC KInnaur Kailash

HPTDC Kinnaur Kailash

The aesthetically built hotel featured the admixture of the traditional Kinnauri and modern architectural plans. The hotel view is a view to ponder for an entire life time with the backdrop of the majestic Kinnaur Kailash. The designs of the reception cum restaurant and the presidential cottages are truly breathtaking.

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Our hotel lawn

The grassy velvet in the hotel lawn is a special place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Mount Kinnaur Kailash

Mount Kinnaur Kailash (6050 meters) is worshipped by the Kinnauris as the abode of Lord Shiva. One of the peaks of the mighty range holds a tall monolithic pillar worshipped as the Holy “Shiv Linga”.

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The Kinnaur Kailash Range

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The mesmerizing Kinnaur Kailash range

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Kinnaur Kailash Range …mesmerizing Kalpa..

The other peak commonly known as the Jorkanden peak (6473 meters) lying to the east of the Kinnaur Kailash is most often confused due to its majestic pyramidal structure.

Climbing down to village Kalpa

The village Kalpa was visible from our Hotel balcony with all its glamour and virgin beauty standing amidst the serene green valley.

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View of village Kalpa from HPTDC Kinnaur Kailash Hotel

It was hardly a 500 metres climb down from our Hotel and taking a short cut route through a beautiful apple garden made our downhill climb absolutely mesmerizing.

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Village Kalpa..amazing views

We had to bend down through the apple branches covering our way down. There was silence around us, which was often broken by the cooing of a distant bird.

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Village Kalpa…

It was fun to see hundreds of tennis ball shaped green apples all around us. Further descent down the hill, took us to the front of the “Chini Bunglow” a tourist guest house. With another twenty steps down, we had the entire Kalpa village in front of us.

Village Kalpa

Although it was just 7 am it was pretty clear and the Sunshine was surprisingly bright above us. We soon entered a clearing probably the centre of the village where three roads had joined, namely the Kalpa-Reckong Peo Road, Kalpa-Pangi Road and the other leading towards the famous “Lochawa La-Khang” monastery. The view of the monastery and other huts from this part of the village was truly breathtaking.

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery

Lochawa La-Khang Monastery

The continuous chanting of the “Om-Mani-Padme-Hum” was growing as we approached the monastery taking the narrow village road.

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery….the brass prayer wheels

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery

The view of the Kinnaur Kailash blooming in its full glory behind the monastery welcomed us. Local people were of the opinion that, this monastery was as old as 1000 years. But looking at its present structure, it was difficult for us to understand how old it actually was.

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery….the brass prayer wheels

As compared to other monasteries Lochawa La-Khang is much smaller in dimension and probably that is why it might have earned the name “La-Khang”. The other monasteries of larger dimension in Kinnaur are known as “Labrang” or Gomphas that you can see in Upper Kinnaur.

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery

The monastery was housed on a large rectangular plinth. The compound was bordered by large brass prayer wheels. A soft rumbling sound from these wonderful prayer wheels was orchestrated by the strong morning breeze blowing across the valley.

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery

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The brass prayer wheels

The colourful Tibetan flags were fluttering with their colourful exuberance. The central chamber of the monastery housing the idol of Lord Buddha had an altogether out of the world aura. The wood works on the walls were ancient and simply amazing. The art work was breathtaking and we were sure that none of them were from the recent past. May be the mansion might have been re-layed and re-designed in recent times, but not the interior chamber. It was ancient, mysterious and breathtaking. The shelves contained numerous Tibetian scripts and priceless statues Lord Buddha and Tibetian demigods . The murals and the frescos painted on the walls were simply amazing.

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Lochawa La-Khang Monastery

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Entrance to the Narayan Nagini Temple Kalpa

Narayan Nagini Temple

Like most other villages of the Kinnaur, Hinduism had co-existed with Buddhism. People of Kalpa were no exception to the common tradition of the Kinnauris.

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Narayan Nagini Temple Kalpa

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The Dragon Head

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The Narayan Nagini Temple Kalpa

A few steps ahead of Lochawa La-Khang, we were welcomed by the beautifully wood-crafted door of the Narayan Nagini Temple.

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A beautiful wooden gallery…at the Narayan Nagini Temple Kalpa

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The valley view from Narayan Nagini Temple Kalpa

To the right side of the temple entrance we found the head of a monster like creature resembling the Tibetian dragon. The entire temple was built on a traditional Tibetian Pagoda type of architecture hardly seen in any Hindu temple.

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Exquisite wood works...Narayan Nagini Temple Kalpa

The wood works on the walls and doors were simply exquisite. The conical slate tiled roofs gave a unique pagoda like appearance to the temple.

Devi Chandika Fort

Looking at us with curious eyes, one of the villagers seated nearby asked us to visit the Devi Chandika Fort by taking the stone paved way of the primary school.

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Devi Chandika Temple (Devi Durga)

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Entering the Devi Chandika Temple

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Woodworks at Devi Chandika Temple

This amazing pillar like fort, which is actually worshipped as Devi Chandika Temple (Devi Durga), was totally hidden away from our sight by the household construction works going in the village. There is a marked similarity in the architectural pattern used in the Kamru Fort of Sangla and Devi Chandika Fort Kalpa.

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The beautiful gallery of Devi Chandika Temple

The so-called fort is entirely a tower like structure built from a large stony plinth. The upper floors and galleries were made of fine wood works with a pagoda like conical tiled roof.

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The valley view from Devi Chandika Temple

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The valley view from Devi Chandika Temple

The temple compound gave an exquisite view of the valley and the Kinnaur Kailash range.

The Village and the Apple Orchards

It was almost 8.30am in the morning. We were feeling hungry. We walked down to the centre of the villages and found that most of the shops had already opened their businesses. It was fun to have thupka, hot momos and tea in our breakfast from a local food joint.

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Delicious Thupka

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Village Kalpa view from Devi Chandika Temple

With a nice breakfast we decided to explore the village a little more. We had enough time in our hand as our tour guide called us in the morning that he would be picking us from our hotel for the local sight-seeing tour in and around Kalpa and Reckong Peo by 11.45 am.

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A cute village dog @ Kalpa

Village Kalpa is a sight of simplicity and calmness. Most of the wooden huts were using the traditional Kinnauri style of architecture.

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A picture post card from village Kalpa

The few concrete mansions probably belonged to the rich and others were either used or leased out as guest houses and hotels. You can simply count exactly how many houses is there altogether in Kalpa. We took the Kalpa-Pangi road connector to climb our way back to our hotel.

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Traces of modern life touching the serene beauty of village Kalpa

Epilogue

Soon we were surrounded by apple orchards all around us. The narrow strip of road towards our hotel pierced through the lush green apple and cherry bushes. It was fun to get lost in the perpetual greenery surrounding us.

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Serene Apple orchards @ Kalpa

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Apple Orchards @ Kalpa

The morning was coming to a quick end. With a huge cloud cover chasing us, we had to speed our way up to the hotel…..We could not!! We all had to run for a shelter in the village…and the outcome was just heavenly…a rainbow greeted us…a chilled breeze preached the beauty of this heaven past compare any land we had ever seen in our life…..

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A Rainbow Unplugged at Kalpa (Photo Courtesy: Mr. Nav Negi, Kalpa)


Boarding at Kalpa

Hotel Kinnaur Kailash, HPTDC, Kalpa, Phone: (01786) 226159, On-line Booking through www.http://hptdc.nic.in


Written and Photographed By

Indranil Mutsuddi

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25 thoughts on “A serene morning in Kalpa

    1. Dear Mam…Thanks for your motivation..Its my priviledge to have an eager reader like yourself with us..On behalf of mytravelnama we would appreciate more interactions and suggestions from your end..We would also keep track of your posts in your blog…Thanking you once again..Regards..Indranil

      Liked by 2 people

  1. এ দিকটা আমার যাওয়ার সুযোগ হয় নি, জানি না এ জীবনে আর সুযোগ হবে কী না।অসাধারণ পোস্ট্, খুব ভালো লাগলো।ভগবানে আমার বিশ্বাস বা আস্থা, কোনটাই নেই। তবে সত্যিই যদি ভগবান বলে কেউ থেকে থাকে এবং আমার সাথে দেখা হয়, তাহলে তাকে একটাই প্রশ্ন করতাম—এত বড় হিমালয় যদি তৈরি করলে, তাহলে এত ছোট জীবন দিলে কেন?

    Liked by 1 person

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