Chanshal Valley, also known as Chanshal Pass, located in the heart of Himachal Pradesh. Just 160 kilometres away from Shimla, this refreshing mountain valley is perfect for a weekend getaway without burning a hole in your pocket. Who needs fancy restaurants and malls when you can bask in the glory of nature and witness the most magnificent sunrise from atop the mountain peaks!
Chanshal Pass is not for the faint-hearted. At a whopping altitude of 3,755 metres, it’s located on top of the highest peak in Shimla, the Chanshal Peak. But don’t worry, the breathtaking views are totally worth the tricky climb, which is why it’s become so famous among nature lovers.
Now, when’s the best time to visit you ask? Well, definitely not during winters, unless you want to face countless blizzards and snowstorms, and freezing cold. Summers are a bit tricky too, as the melting ice makes the path extremely slippery, and monsoon season brings streams of rainwater flowing across the uphill path making it difficult to drive. So, late June, early September, and then September to October are the perfect months for your trip.
And now, let’s talk about some pro-tips to make your trip a success. Don’t overpack, but do carry adequate warm clothing, and lots of water bottles to prevent dehydration. And snacks, oh how important are snacks, they’ll make your trek so much easier! Remember to wear shoes that won’t slip over mud and rocks, pack some basic medicinal supplies, and carry extra cash in case there’s no ATM facility available.
As you make your way to Chanshal Pass, there are plenty of eateries and dhabhas where you can grab a quick snack, although the options are usually limited due to the lack of supplies. But on a cold day, these sites are like oases in a desert where you can warm up with some hot beverages and take in the view. And once you reach the peak, there’s a tea stall waiting for you to quench your thirst and relax.
Now, most people return to Shimla or nearby villages after a day trip to Chanshal Pass, but those who stay get to experience the thrill of camping under the starry night sky. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially if you get to stargaze at night (fingers crossed for clear skies). But beware, there’s only one guest house in Larot with just two rooms available, so it’s not advisable to rely on nearby villages for lodging.
To reach Chanshal Valley from Shimla, there are two different paths you can take, with the shorter one being bumpy and unsuitable for bike rides. But if you’re up for an adventure and want to avoid the traffic, start early in the morning to take the alternate paths.