Also known by the name of Chanshal Valley, the Chanshal Pass is a refreshingly beautiful destination located in Himachal Pradesh, precisely 160 kilometres in distance from Shimla. Whether you work a tiring desk job or simply want to get away from the pollution and chaos of a metropolitan city, this gorgeous mountain valley is the perfect spot for your weekend getaway -- even if you are a traveller on a budget. Relaxing while watching a peaceful sunrise atop the mountain peaks here will actually cost you less of an expense than visiting fancy restaurants or the mall.
At the incredibly high altitude of 3,755 metres, the Valley is located directly on top of the highest peak in all of Shimla -- the Chanshal Peak. It is a 180 kilometre long road which forms a connection between the town of Rohru (Chirgaon) and the Dodra Kwar Valley. This serene valley has become extremely famous for its scenic, breathtaking views. You will truly feel one with nature no matter what month you decide to visit Chanshal in.
Things to Do
There’s a number of activities you can undertake both on the route to Chanshal Pass and at the top of the wondrous peak itself:
If you seek the thrill of racing against the winds as the panorama of Himalayas unfolds before you, then you cannot miss the opportunity to bike on the way from Shimla to Chanshal Pass. Not only is this a memorable experience for everyone involved, it also entails scenery straight out of some popular movie. You get a chance to enhance the enjoyment of your trip by so much more via biking all the way to Chanshal pass with your friends. Although, remember to pack a jacket that can shield you from the cold!
Any trip to the Himalayas serves those with a knack for photography incredibly well! So if you like nature photography and would love to put your skills to some good use, then don’t forget to pack your camera. The view from the top of the peak, as the sun is cloistered amongst snow-capped peaks far away, is enchanting. Such spellbinding experiences are best captured through a camera. Make sure to pack your camera lens with special care though.
The trek to Chanshal Pass is taxingly steep, and the going gets difficult if you don’t resort to a 4x4 vehicle -- but if you have it in you to obtain thrills from treacherous walks up a mountain, then this is an opportunity to not be missed. Not only will you have the chance to stop and soak in the amazing view of the sky-reaching peaks near the pass, you’ll also get a chance to engage in some photography and natural sightseeing.
Food and Accomodation
The way to Chanshal Pass is littered with countless eateries and dhabhas where you can stop to grab a quick snack. The options here are usually limited because of the lack of supplies, yet the food is known to be of decent quality. If you happen to be travelling on a particularly cold day, then these sites are like oases in a desert where you can obtain some respite through consuming warm beverages and enjoying the view! Additionally, on the peak itself, there happens to one tea stall where you can satiate your thirst after an arduous trek and relax.
Most people who visit Chanshal Pass choose to return on the same day, either to Shimla or to one of the Himachal villages they pass by on their to way to the peak, especially Larot. Yet those that stay opt for setting up camp by pitching a tent and getting cozy inside of it to ward off the chills! It makes for an immensely memorable experience, especially as you get to stargaze at night (in case the sky is not overriden with mist). Note that there’s only one guest house in Larot with just the two rooms available, so it’s not advisable to bank on lodging at the nearby villages when you’re travelling to Chanshal Pass.
If you’re seeking a trip to the Himalayas or already happen to be visiting Shimla, then you should consider giving Chanshal Pass a chance. Not only would its snowy gorgeousness and tricky climb leave you mesmerised, it will also offer you the opportunity to set up camp under the starry night sky and the prospect of engaging in great nature photography! It’s a summer trek that you cannot miss.