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.
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!
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.
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.
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??
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 🙂
Isn’t the lake worth visiting Sangla Kanda??
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.
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!!
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.
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.
Have you heard of Sangla Kanda near the famous Sangla valley before? Do share your experience with me!
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– The Wanderer