Ditch Chitkul for Sangla Kanda – A trek from Sangla Valley

Soothe your mountain buds in nature’s lap in Sangla valley, Kinnaur Himachal Pradesh, India.

Looking for an unheard destination in the Himalayas? I’m going to tell you how I found a gem of a place in Sangla Kanda Lake which we ditched for Chitkul as a day trip from Sangla valley. Read more how to reach the Kanda lake and trek till Sangla Kanda valley. If you don’t want to skip Chitkul, then here a perfect Chitkul guide for you. 

Don’t miss my Sangla travel guide!

Ditch Chitkul for Sangla Kanda – A trek from Sangla Valley – India | things to do in Sangla valley, India || Sangla Kanda || Kanda Lake || Travel | Travelling | #sangla #kanda #kandalake

No matter how many days we spend in the mountains it will always turn out to be less. When we visited the 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 Sangla Kanda ~ a trek to Sangla hill where there’s 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 place a shot and that turned out to be an amazing decision and it instantly became my one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh!

View from Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

How to reach Sangla Kanda

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. The route for Sangla is rough for a trek as the area is still highly undeveloped. So I recommend having the proper gear and proper clothing. To shield yourself from the biting cold opt woolen clothes, and see which ones to choose from this merino wool comparison

kailash Mountains in Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

As we started off the drive and reached the Baspa river the 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 – read trek – rather than the road. As we were moving up the mountain we could see the entire Sangla valley and village right in front of us.

Must Read – An uphill walk to Kamru Fort, Sangla Valley

Few locals also joined us in the back of the truck which actually proved helpful. It helped to manage the weight making the ride less bumpy, so the more the number of people the better. We also came across some trekkers going from Sangla valley till Reocong Pass and few coming back. After the super-bumpy ride which lasted 2 hours, we finally reached the base-camp in Sangla Kanda for trekkers. The Sangla Kanda lake was hidden somewhere on the back side of the camp. 

Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

How to find the Kanda Lake

There was no direct way to reach the Sangla Kanda lake, I literally had to cross bushes to reach the starting point of the lake. I must accept I was a little disappointed by such less water in the lake and should rather call it a pond. But as said something is better than nothing and I was rather loving 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??

Lake reflection at Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

Suggested read – Best places to visit in Sangla Valley!

Sangla Kanda Lake

A gorgeous lake at an altitude of 3,568 meters, surrounded by snow-capped mountains whose reflection is 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 against these Kailash mountains as those who tried in past never came back. So as said, it is not easy to find God 🙂 

Kailash Mountains Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

Isn’t the lake worth visiting Sangla Kanda??

Sangla Kanda Lake from Sangla Valley Himachal Pradesh India

Basic facilities are available at the camp for the tourists including food and washrooms. No trip is complete without trying local cuisine no matter how simple it is. As it wasn’t lunch time yet so we chose Maggi along with chai(tea). The tea was too sweet and if you also wish to have tea then ask to keep sugar low.

camps Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

P.S.It is advisable to reach Sangla 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 and not regretting later!!

Black River

In the meantime when our tea/snacks were ready, we explored the entire Sangla Kanda hill. A meager river flows at the base of the hill known as ‘Black River‘. It finally merges in the Baspa river upon reaching Sangla valley. The river is slightly in black color, rumored to be cursed, that’s’ named as the Black River. 

black river Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

After enjoying the snacks amid windy weather and scorching sun, we headed back to Sangla valley. It is the place worth visiting from Sangla valley and wouldn’t take more than 6 hours by cab. If you choose to trek to Sangla Kanda base camp then it might take 10-13 hours. I highly recommend visiting Kanda from Sangla valley. It’s not only about the lake! The adventurous ride, the view of Kailash mountains and the amazing feeling from the top of the Sangla Kanda hill are enough reasons to visit. 

kailash mountains-Sangla Kanda Himachal Pradesh India

Have you heard of Sangla Kanda near the famous Sangla valley before? Do share your experience with me!

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78 Replies to “Ditch Chitkul for Sangla Kanda – A trek from Sangla Valley”

  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. Wow, such beautiful scenery! I’ve wanted to visit India forever. This adds a whole new region to my bucket list.

  3. 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?

  4. That looks like an amazing experience! And great photos, too — I can definitely get a feel for how chilly it can be there with those massive snow-capped mountains!

  5. 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!

  6. Kanda looks really beautiful, very lush and green and so striking a landscape. Sounds like the 4×4 was an absolute must for that kind of road but that the trip was still worthwhile. Love the photos!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. A very good write up about a place I had never heard off! However after reading your article and seeing the breathtaking pictures of the valley and the lake, has left me wanting to go! Thanks for sharing!

  13. 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 🙁

  14. 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.

  15. What a nice view. Guess you are in communion with nature. I’d not mind spending some days in Sangla community to explore the community. I’d stick around for more posts on Sangla

  16. 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!

  17. Such a beautiful valley!! I’m actually planning a visit to Sangla Valley this year and your blog will I think will prove to be helpful.

  18. 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!

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