Rakcham, Sangla Overview

Rakcham is a quaint village situated in Himachal Pradesh about 23 kms away from Chitkul, the last Indian village before the Tibet Border. The scenic little hamlet is located in the enchanting Baspa Valley by River Baspa, which is an important tributary of the Sutlej. The region is covered with dense vegetation throughout the year. The serene snow-capped peak of Kinnaur Kailasha mountains that border the district of Kinnaur can also be witnessed from this little hamlet. A very unique trait of the village is its remoteness. The village is not as populated as many other villages in the region and is disconnected from the rest of the world. There aren't postal services or access to the internet in Rakcham. The local population here mostly survives on crops produced between April and October before the chilly winters strike. The winters are so cold that the locals migrate to low lying areas and return in April to begin farming every year. In short, Rakcham has nothing but few local shops providing daily essentials.

Given that it's secluded, Rakcham is not a tourist hub. However, a small number of tourists visit every year to explore its picturesque beauty, the mountain peaks, the lovely ambience and the culture of Rakcham which is unique to the region. One of the best features of the valley is the beautiful sunrise. The valley is also famous for recreational and adventure activities. So there’s a little something for the adventure buffs too to look forward to when visiting Rakcham. The hamlet is also famous for the apple produced nearby and the saffron farms. Speaking of which, it won’t come as a surprise that the local cuisine also draws several foodies to the region. With so much more to offer, Rakcham is bound to surprise every traveller.

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Things to do in Rakcham

  1. The scenic surroundings of the hamlet of Rakcham provide for a beautiful site for all sorts of rejuvenating outdoor activities. So the tourists who are looking for a place where they can go camping, trekking, hiking, etc. other than just sightseeing are sure in for a beautiful surprise.
  2. The landscape is just perfect for camping, trekking and hiking on the banks of River Baspa in the Baspa Valley. The Rakcham Trek is one of the famous treks in Himachal Pradesh. It covers a distance of 12 kilometres, starts at Sangla and requires walking through the Baspa Valley covering apple orchards, thick pine and apricot trees, lush green meadows with occasional pink stretches of local millet to reach the village.
  3. If one plans a trip during the right season, they can easily walk or hike through the stretch in about three to four hours. The level of this hike is light to medium, so those who have never gone trekking or hiking also can easily opt for this activity if they at least, confidently, know that they can walk for about four hours in a day.
  4. Some more thrilling sports like river crossing and angling also make Rakcham quite famous amongst adventurers. The mountain slopes provide excellent terrain for rock climbing and rappelling.
  5. If these activities sound daunting, there is an easier way to explore the local landscapes just by walking through nature or go sightseeing on foot. Some may also term them as nature walks. The long stretches of undefined trails amidst tall green trees in the pleasant climate of Rakcham are sure to rejuvenate the nature lovers. The beautiful unpolluted weather also calls for Yoga lovers who can enrol in one of the retreats to learn the science of Yoga Vidya and practice it daily to achieve good health and wellbeing.

Best time to visit Rakcham

Rakcham is best explored when the climate is pleasant and clear. So summertime is the best time to visit and explore the beautiful hamlet. Summers begin in March and go on till June. This is when the entire country experiences a substantial rise in the temperature, and most regions experience scorching levels of heat during the peak season. Rakcham, therefore, can prove to be a pleasant escape from the blistering hot regions in India as the temperature hardly ever crosses 30°C during the peak hours of the day during the season. The minimum temperature the region experience during this time of the year is around 7°C so travellers must pack enough woollens to keep themselves warm, especially if they plan to camp out on the banks of the pristine River Baspa.

How to reach Rakcham

This remote village does not have a Railway Station and an Airport. In fact, till a few years ago, the village did not have a bus stop either. The closest railhead is the Kalka Railway Station located in Shimla about 206 kilometres away. Likewise, the nearest airport is at Jubberhatti which is the Shimla Airport situated at a distance of 253 kilometres from the village. Tourists can take a cab ride from the airport or the railway station to reach Rakcham directly. The village is mostly accessible by roadways from other villages and towns located nearby. The closest town is Sangla in the Baspa Valley which is just 11 kilometres away from Rakcham. HRTC buses ply daily between Sangla and Chitkul, halting at Rakcham. These buses ply twice a day, so one can take a day-long trip to explore Rakcham and return to Sangla the same day in the evening or opt for an overnight stay in Chitkul. If one misses the government-run buses, there are private buses too that ply between the villages in the valley. The roadways have improved quite a bit in the past few years. So, if one wishes to, they can hire a cab or drive their vehicle through the valley.

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