As the summer comes to greet everybody in the month of March, preparation and excitement of Holi begins in most parts of India. Holi is celebrated in different ways all over India. While Holi is known as the festival of colors and is celebrated with colors and joy, it is more about all people coming together and celebrating the joy. Let us take you one such Holi where numerous souls gather together to share, celebrate and embrace the joy and culture while getting painted in colors.
Sangla, a small hamlet located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh is a place where Holi is not just celebrated by revered. Sangla is a beautiful valley located on the banks of River Baspa. High himalayan mountains in the backdrop , the valley is quite popular for its temples, hikes, numerous monuments and rich culture. It is a place where you can just sit for hours while looking at the magnificent vistas with a cup of tea. But, it is during the month of March, when the whole valley is draped in vibrant colors of Holi. Although the valley is ideally quite year around, during Holi people from all the surrounding villages gather together to celebrate the joy. Also, a lot of people from cities come down to experience the Holi at Sangla. Celebrating Holi in Sangla is an experience that will enrich your soul and will leave you with a bag full of memories.
When is the Holi celebrated in Sangla?
Holi in Sangla is a grand festival of 4 days. The joy of celebration is spread across the entire valley right from the oldest mountain to the youngest blade of grass. This year, the Holi festival will begin on 18th March 2019 and lasts for 4 days upto 21st March 2019 which is the night of Holika Dahan. The Holika Dahan is symbol of victory of truth over sin, which offers a great opportunity for people to dress up traditionally, sing and dance around the pyre.
Holi in Sangla is not just a festival but more of a tradition and culture for locals which they have preserved well since a thousand years now. It is an opportunity for them to gather together and celebrate the joy of their age old traditions and culture.
What is special about Holi in Sangla?
The real beauty of Sangla Valley lies in the laid-back lifestyle of the locals and the serene landscape of the valley. It is surely a place where you would want to sit back and relax but surely not during Holi.
During Holi, it seems like the whole valley is vibrating with a different energy altogether. People in town gather together and they dance to the tunes of trumpets and drums. Also, as per the old traditions, people are dressed up as kings, queens and saints who initiate the Holi celebration.
The local wine phasur flows freely and it feels like a different energy is reverberating in the town. The whole town gets draped in colors and it feels like it is not just the people who are full of colors and beats but also the air in the valley. Make sure to try some Childe and other delicacies that are prepared during Holi, while you are here.
Things to do in Sangla
Sangla Valley has a lot to offer to its visitors. If you wish to explore further there are many things that you can do here.
There are numerous hiking trails that go upto places like Sangla Kanda or Raksham.
Kamru Fort is a perfect place to get a glimpse of rich architecture and heritage of Sangla Valley.
There are numerous temples in Sangla which display the perfect architecture and rich wooden carvings. Among them, the Bering Nag temple is the one you must visit to see the marvel of architecture.
Also, if you wish to just sit and rejuvenate yourself, the Sangla Meadow is a perfect place to do so. Vast flatlands full of lush greenery and blooming flowers, surrounded by mighty mountains and beautiful river flowing by is what Sangla is all about.
If you wish to bring home some of the fine architectural artifacts, you must visit the Tibetan Wood Carving Center.
How to Reach Sangla?
Sangla is well connected and accessible from Delhi. Here is how you can reach Sangla
By Air- The nearest Airport to Sangla is the Jubbarhatti Airport in Shimla which is 238 kms away. Taxis and Cabs are available from Shimla to Sangla.
By Rail – There are not direct railways to Sangla. The nearest railway station is Kalka in Shimla. You can take a train to Kalka and go further by taxis to Sangla.
By Road- Reaching Sangla by road is the easiest and most convenient way. There are direct buses from Delhi to Shimla or Reckong Peo from where there are regular buses to Sangla.
Where to stay in Sangla?
There are quite a few guesthouses and camping grounds in Sangla with the increasing inflow of travelers from all around the world.
If you wish to truly stay in a local house and experience the culture while enjoying the beautiful landscape of Sangla, Along the river is a perfect option to do so. Located right next to Baspa river, it is a traditional house with rich architecture and culture that you must experience while you are here.
In the end, Holi in Sangla is something that you must experience at least once in your life. For, it will enrich you in ways you cannot even imagine and leave you with a bag full of memories to take back.