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Sangla Valley Camp – Sangla
SANGLA VALLEY CAMP: For six months every year, the Himalayan valleys of Kinnaur and Spiti emerge from a thick cloak of snow to reveal a different, secret world to man. Your discovery of the lesser-known Himalayas can begin at the Banjara Camp in the Sangla Valley. At a height of 2,700 mts the Banjara Camp & Retreat are surrounded by towering mountains on all sides and is set on the banks of the Baspa river that surges through the valley.
Long walks to discover the amazing fauna and flora of the valley, treks to view snow covered Himalayan peaks, angling for trout, experiencing some of the local culture and traditions, rock climbing, rappelling and river crossing are only some of the delights that are on offer.
The Campsite & Retreat (situated right beside the campsite & opened to guests in May 2009) are in an ideal setting for total relaxation. You could choose between cosy Swiss style tents with attached, tiled bathrooms or go for the spacious, comfortably furnished and tastefully decorated rooms in the retreat - a two storied stone & wood house in rustic style. Of course, there is a well equipped kitchen to dish out great meals and evening bonfires to keep the chill away. There is no experience calmer and more relaxing, than sitting around a riverside bonfire, feeding the senses with the sounds of the gurgling Baspa River and the fresh, crisp mountain air, while also feeding the stomach from a scrumptious barbeque.
Accommodation: 13 fully furnished tents and 12 double rooms. All tents/rooms have attached baths with 24 hr hot/cold water supply.
Best time to visit: The Sangla Valley Camp & Retreat are open from April to October. However, temperatures vary with the seasons. May to September have pleasant days (light woolens) and cold nights while April & October have pleasant days. The night temperature may dip to 5 degrees.
Places to visit around the Retreat:
Chitkul: Last village on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route.
Sangla Meadows: Full day walk to the green pastures.
Rakcham: Beautiful 4 hr walk along the Baspa river to Rakcham village.
Baspa River: This river flowing along the valley is great for trout fishing.
Batseri village: Just across the camp, this village is an excellent example of the great hill architecture. The local devta temple here is a must see.
Reaching Sangla Camp from Shimla:
You would have to take the road route from Shimla to reach Sangla. From Shimla, Sangla is an 8 hr drive (for first time drivers this time may be around 10 hrs).
From Chail/Shimla to Karcham (the turnoff point on NH 22) is 221/209kms. Please take a right turn at Karcham. And at around 18 kms down the road, you will hit Sangla. 6 kms ahead of Sangla you would spot the "Banjara Camp" sign on the right. Take a right turn from here to reach the Banjara Camp parking lot at the base of the hill.
Sojha Retreat – Sojha
SOJHA RETREAT: If you are looking for a holiday that will refresh and revitalise you, experience the magic of the Banjara Retreat at Sojha. This little village is 5 kms from the Jalori Pass that links the Shimla and Kulu districts. The Retreat is a solid cedar wood house surrounded by thickly wooded forests from which you get a panoramic view of the snow covered Himalayan ranges in the distance.
The numerous walks and treks in the surrounding forests and meadows are a special feature of the area and the drive to the resort is a pleasure in itself. Large, fully furnished, comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms are available and the kitchen offers you a variety of treats including freshly baked bread and cakes!
Accommodation: Ten double bedrooms and two family suites, all with attached baths and 24 hrs supply of hot and cold water.
Best time to visit: The Retreat is open right through the year. From April to October it is pleasant in the day and slightly cold at night. Additionally, in July and August there is always a possibility of rain. November through March is a great time to experience the magic of wintertime in the hills with snowfall being a strong possibility and minimum temperatures around zero degrees centigrade.
Places to visit around the Retreat:
Serolsar Lake: 5 km from the Jalori Pass (3223mts). The walk is through thick oak forest.
Raghupur Fort: 6 km walk from the Retreat. The remains are on top of a plateau. The site offers panoramic view of the valleys below.
Waterfall Point: About 1 hr walk from the Retreat. Ideally done early in the morning.
Tirthan Valley: About 30 kms from Sojha. The Tirthan river which flows through the valley is great for trout fishing.
Reaching Sojha from Shimla: At Aut, 29 kms short of Kulu, turn right. After crossing the Beas, drive through Larji and Banjar to reach Sojha. Aut-Sojha is 38 kms.
Or on NH 22 from Shimla to Sangla, turn left at Sainj, (28 kms. ahead of Narkanda). After crossing the Sutlej, drive through Luhri, Ani and Jalori Pass to reach Sojha. Sainj-Sojha is 53 kms.