Kanda Lake – A Trek from Sangla valley

Soothe your mountain buds in nature’s lap near Sangla village in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India!

No matter how many days we spend in the mountains it will always turn out to be less. When we visited picturesque Sangla valley, we had a to-do list prepared from the well-known travel site Trip-advisor. While on dinner, our hotel staff suggested us to visit Kanda ~ a small village with a lake at almost 2-hour drive or 5-6 hour trek the Himalayas. We decided to give this unheard & hidden spot a shot!!  


We hired a 4X4 cab – a car with gears for front wheels. Why hire?? Because normal cars wouldn’t work on the undeveloped road with steep deadly turns. It was not a unanimous decision yet proved to be a great one on those roads!! If you have some time to spare, but not enough time to trek till rupin pass or even the lake then I highly recommend renting a car from Sangla.  


As we started off the drive and reached Baspa river – a point till where we walked the previous day – we really couldn’t believe that any car/truck could cross those narrow lanes. After crossing the Baspa river bridge, the road turned bumpier and it was more of a walking path rather than the road. As we were moving up the mountain we could see the entire Sangla village right in front of us. 

Few locals also joined us in the back of the truck which actually proved helpful in managing the weight also make the ride less bumpy ~ so the more the number of people the better!!! We also came across some trekkers and families going via Kanda till Reocong Pass and some were coming back to Sangla. After the super-bumpy ride which lasted 2 hours,  we finally reached the base-camp in Kanda for trekkers going to Reocong Pass and the lake right on the back side of the camp. 


There was no direct way to reach the lake, I literally had to cross bushes to reach the starting point of the lake. I must accept I was little disappointed by such less water in the lake and though they should rather call it a pond. But as said something is better than nothing and I was rather loving the fact that we took the lesser known path!! Well, later the locals told us the lake is sort of mysterious and no one actually knows where the water in the lake comes from and where does it go towards…quite intriguing..right??


Have you read How to spend a day in Sangla?

 #Kanda Lake

A gorgeous lake located at an altitude of 3,568 meters, surrounded by snow-capped mountains whose reflection can be seen vibrantly in the algae encompassed water. Locals refer these snow coated mountains as Kailash ~ Residence of Lord Shiva. Stories rotate among the locals that no trekkers or locals dare to go up these Kailash mountains as those who tried in past never came back. So as said, it is not easy to find God 🙂 


Basic facilities are available at the camp for the tourists including food and washrooms. I think no trip is complete without trying local cuisine no matter how simple it is like the tea and Maggi we ordered. Although, the tea was too sweet for me and if you visit there and wish to have tea then I suggest request them to keep sugar low.


P.S.It is advisable to reach Kanda before 12h00 noon as winds turn freezing after that and at the altitude of 3,568 meters, the weather is always unpredictable. It is better to stay safe rather than regretting later!!

#Black River

In the meantime when our tea/snacks were being prepared, we explored the entire hill. A meager river flows at the base of the hill known as ‘Black River’ and it merges in the Baspa river upon reaching Sangla. The river is slightly in black color and is rumored to be cursed. 


After enjoying the snack amid windy weather and scorching sun, we headed back to explore the rest of Sangla. It is the place worth visiting from Sangla and wouldn’t take more than 6 hours by cab or 10-13 hours by trek. I highly recommend visiting Kanda from Sangla. It’s not only about the lake, but the adventurous ride, the view of Kailash mountains and the feeling I get at the top of the hill are enough reasons to visit. 


Have you heard about Kanda Lake near Sangla before? Do share your experience with me!!

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– The Wanderer

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  1. This doesn’t look like India at all, I adore it – the snowy mountains and the sun but yes your tip about it turning freezing after midday is a good one! I love that you decided to visit on a whim, sometimes the places we least expect turn out to be the best!


  2. Kanda Lake and its surrounds look absolutely gorgeous. They definitely look different to what my preconceptions are of what India looks like, but I always forget that India is such a massive country with varied landscapes. Is the weather cooler in this area or still really hot?


  3. What a wonderful trek and so beautiful that most places are remote and not accessible by trucks! Kanda Lake is gorgeous. Amazing to be able to hike to the altitude of over 3’500 meters! You must have had serious wind jackets there and the weather probably turns bad quite unpredictably!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The lake looks gorgeous, with its crystal clear waters. I love such treks, no matter how hard they are, that end up at a point which is so gorgeous that it makes up for the hardness of the trek. And to camp in that kind of destination is an icing on the cake! Thanks for sharing this detailed review, it’ll be very helpful for someone who plans to go for this trek.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you took the time and visited! The views alone are worth the bumpy ride! Did you camped here, too? I’m sure the view during sunset/ sunrise is gorgeous with all those landscape!


  6. I must confess I have never heard of Kanda before but I guess that’s what I love travel blogs more than any other niche: they teach me about new wonderful but hidden places on this Earth. Your photos are so amazing I wish I was there right now. I always loved mountain more than the ocean or the sea, so for me every post about traveling to a mountain area is captivating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never heard of Kanda or the lake, but both look so pretty! I’m not sure I could take 2 hours on a bumpy road, did anyone get sick?! Those snow-capped mountains look awesome too, though I’d never try to hike it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! What a totally incredible suggestion by the dinner staff! I’d have been put off at the thought of a long drive, but from your images it was totally worth it. Thanks for the heads up on the whether situation too, there’s nothing worse than being cold and unprepared at altitude!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This place looks very similar to Switzerland actually, which might I add is my favorite country. The views are absolutely stunning. Sad that there wasn’t much water left in the Lake 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kanda Lake looks heavenly. Sangla Valley is so serene, stunning and a perfect blissful vacation destination. Will keep in mind to hire a 4 X 4 car to reach this place because it is a mountainous drive.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, I’ve never heard about Kanda Lake, but I’m so glad you shared it! Your pictures are simply stunning and it looks so serene! I think it was a wise idea to hire a car. Sometimes getting to those out of the way locations are a little harder than they initially look!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A friend of mine was working on a hydro project in Sangla. That’s when I first heard of the place. A year later I saw the pics when my Gurudev spent a week anonymously in Sangla. The pics of Gurudev in the beautiful snowy Sangla which went viral later were breathtakingly beautiful. I even have one in my room. I have wanted to visit the place ever since. May be some day!

    Liked by 1 person

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