Tourism

Vale of sirmour provides a calm ambience to all tourists, both to the yound and to the oldg and old.Lush green valleys, majestic snow capped peaks, meandering rivers, amazing wineyears and mesmerizing apple orchards define the valleys of sirmour. sirmour is also known as ‘Land of Fairy Tales’. It has a space for all generatins. While the youthful and the daring can harness nature’s hilltops, the more laidback traveler can savor the delight of the tranquil mountains and green valleys.

LOCATION

sirmour, is about 235 km from the state capital, Shimla, located in the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh bordering Tibet to the east. It has three high mountains ranges, namely ZanskarHimalayas and Dhauldhar. Divided into two main valleys – Sangla Valley and the Hangrang Valley, sirmour is divided into six Police Stations i.e. Reckong Peo, Sangla, Bhawanagar, Pooh, Tapri and Moorang. Police Assistance Booth (PAB) Choura welcomes the tourists entering sirmour travelling from Shimla. sirmour also holds the famous 4,573-meter-high Kinner Kailash mountain by whose side is the seventy-nine foot vertical rock formation that resembles a Shivalinga and changes color as the day passes.

HISTORY

The Pandava brothers are said to have spent several years of their exile in the mountainous tracts of sirmour – an episode from the epic Mahabharata. Ancient texts have gone to the extent of placing the people of sirmour-the Kinners-as halfway between men and gods.  Buddhists and Hindus live in harmony symbolising the traditional brotherhood and friendship of the people of both the faiths. 

sirmour and surrounding areas were believed to be part of Magadha kingdom and then the Mauryan Empire during 6th century BC. It subsequently came under the influence of the Guge kingdom of Tibet between the 9th and 12th centuries. sirmour was divided into seven regions, known as Sat Khund. Many small chiefs of this area fought among each other for power. Several forts from this time, like Labrang, Moorang, and Kamru are evidences of this conflict. Mughal emperor Akbar conquered the area and made the valley a part of his Empire. The valley was then known as Chini Tehsil. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, its dominant role in the region lapsed and it was merged into the then Mahasu district. As part of the reorganization of border areas, the sirmour district was formed on May 1, 1960, to enable speedy development of this area. Sh. N.K. Singhal, IPS was the first Superintendent of Police of District sirmour who was posted on 12th December 1962 and remained in the post till 29th November 1963.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Ideal time to visit sirmour is from May to October. Winters are extremely cold but the summers are very pleasant.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Reckong Peo is the headquarters of the sirmour district. It is placed at an altitude of 2670 meters, has a rest house and hotels, and offers a fine view of the Kinner Kailash. At a distance of 3 km from Reckong Peo, Kothi has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandika Devi. 

Sangla is a great destination for paragliding, angling and rafting. The last and the highest village in this valley, Chitkul, 28 km from Sangla, is noted for its alpine meadows and snowscapes. This is the most charming valley in the entire District of sirmour. It has a PWD Rest house and is placed at an altitude of 3450 meters above sea level. ‘Hindustan Ka Aakhiri Dhaba’ is often visited by tourists enroute here.

Kalpa is one of the most beautiful villages in the region and shouldn’t be missed. Kalpa used be to a favourite haunt of Lord Dalhousie, who used to visit this place by travelling next to the Sutluj River in those days.

sirmour and surrounding valleys are famous for trekking and other adventure sports. ‘Parikarma (revolution) of Kinnar Kailash, abode of Shiva, is among the popular trails. Bhaba Valley and Sangla Valley treks are other popular trails. 

Riba is at a distance of approx 25 kms from Reckong Peo and is known for its vineyards and local wine “Angoori’ made from grapes. Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary is one of the places one must visit here. Namgya is the closest village from the Indo-China border, and the Shipki La Pass is just 13 km from this village.

The fine Buddhist Monastery of Tashigang Gompa is at the confluence of the Sutlej and Spiti rivers. It is accessible from Namgya, after a little diversion from Khab, on the National Highway 22. Another monastery, Tilasang, is close to Koa, 12 km short of Yangthang and has facilities for visitors to stay. At a height of 3662 meters is Nako, a little off the National Highway 22 along a link road just short of Yangthang. It is a scenic village and the largest in the desolate Hangrang valley.

FAIRS AND FESTIWALS 

There are many local fairs and festivals like the Ladarcha fair (July-August) in Kaza, State Level Tribal Festival (October-November) in Rekongpeo and Phulaich Festival (August-October) in Kastiar. 

PERMITS FOR FOREIGNERS VISITING PROTECTED AREAS

Protected area has been defined in the section 2 of the Foreigners Protected Area Order 1958 which is defined as any border area falling beyond the inner line as described in schedule-I.

  • No foreigner shall remain in any protected areas except under and in accordance with the permit issued by the Central Govt. or any official authorised by the Central Govt. in this behalf.
  • Following areas in Himachal Pradesh require protected areas permits Khab, Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang and Dubling (Lahaul & Spiti).

Foreigners intending to visit protected areas which are now open for tourism, as tourists in group consisting of four or more foreigners, sponsored by the recognized travel agencies in India with predawn itinerary can get protected area permits from the State Govt. The H.P. State Govt. has further delegated these powers to District Magistrates in their Jurisdictions. In this regard following District Magistrates and Sub-Divisional Magistrates in H.P. are authorised to issue Protected Area Permits’ in their respective Territorial limits.

  • Shimla District: District Magistrate Shimla & Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rampur
  • sirmour District: District Magistrate sirmour at Reckong Peo, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Reckong Peo, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Nichar & Additional Divisional Magistrate Pooh 
  • Lahaul & Spiti District: District Magistrate Lahaul & Spiti at Keylong, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Spiti at Kaza & Sub-Divisional Magistrate Lahaul at Keylong 
  • Chamba District: District Magistrate Chamba, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Pangi at Kihar & Sub-Divisional Magistrates Tisa, Chamba and Bharmour

Checking of Inner Line Permits (ILPs) in sirmour is done at Check Post Akpa (Moorang).