The beautiful hilly Recong Peo (2670m) is the headquarters of the District and 260 km from Shimla. It is popularly known as Peo by the people It faces the mountains of Jorkanden (6473 m) and Kinner Kailash (6050 m). The parikrama of Kinner Kailash where Lord Shiva is believed to be residing takes about seven days. A seventy nine-foot high rock formation in Kinner Kailash is revered as Shivlinga and when covered with snow, it appears to change colours as the day passes from morning to evening. Close proximity with the Tibetan border has given this hilly town a strong Buddhist culture and has over 33 monasteries and ancient temples dotting the region.
Kalpa (2960 m) is 13 km from Recong Peo. It has a gompa called Hu-bu-lan-kar said to be founded by Rinchen Sang - po (950-1055 AD) and a Narayan Nagni temple, an example of local craftsmanship.
From the Hindustan Tibet Road, the turn-off for Recong Peo is at Powari (1990 m) and 7 Kms at the end of a Climbing side-road, this is the district headquarters at Kinnaur. It faces the majesty of Jorkanden (6473 m) and the Kinner Kailash Mountain (6050 m). The latter is regarded as one of the mythical homes of Lord Shiva and by its side is a 79 foot high rock formation that resembles a ‘Shivalinga’ that changes color as the day passes and is visible to the bare eye on a clear day. The ‘Parikarma’, circulation around the base of the mountain is a seven to eight day trek. Also visible on the stretch is the peak of Raiding (5,499 m) – where the spirits of the dead people of Kinnaur are regarded to be live. The Drug-pa, Nyingma-pa and Geluk-pa sects are well established while in 1992, Dalai Lama held a 'Kalachakra' ceremony in a newly built Gompha in Reckong Peo. The whole township has a backdrop of pristine snow capped mountains and hillsides are dense with woods, fruit orchards, picturesque villages and hamlets.
Half an hour’s drive from Recong Peo, takes you to the Kalpa which was once known as Chini. This still has a traditional ambience and much of the old architecture. The Narayan-Nagini temple is an exemplary example of local craftsmanship. There area couple of Buddhist monasteries at Kalpa – including the Hu – Bu – Lan - Kar gompa said to have been founded by Rinchensang-po (950-1055 A.D.). Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travellers paradise - lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf.
Kalpa has all the makings of an Indian Fairyland. At a height of 10,900 feet in Himachal Pradesh, 265 kms ahead of Shimla on the NH22 in Kinnaur District is this hideaway town. It is located at the base of the imposing Kinner Kailash ranges and Shivling peaks which rise upto 20,000 feet, towering above the clouds, kissing the heavens, encircling the area around. Kalpa itself is spread amidst chilgoza forests, apple plantations and the holy deodhars.
Fast flowing Sutlej adds charm to the allmost whole kinnaur district and the scenic beauty surpasses the imagination of a layman.
Best Time to Visit : The best time to visit Reckong Peo is all round the year. Summers are pleasant and salubrious in Reckong Peo. The region offers greenery at its best during monsoons and the waterfalls can be seen at several places. This picturesque site is blessed with sheets of snow during winters. The views from Reckong Peo are enchanting and heavenly from December to February.
Accommodation : Reckong Peo facilitates tourists with good and affordable accommodation facilities. Some standard hotels in Reckong Peo are Mayur Guest House, Jivan Jyoti Guest House, Baroda Gate, Hotel Shivling View, Mayur Guest House and Fairyland Guest House. Two popular hotels near Reckong Peo are located in Kalpa. Hotels in Kalpa are Tourist Complex and Hotel Kinner Kailash.
How to Reach
By Train: The nearest broad gauge railway station from Reckong Peo is situated at Chandigarh and the nearest narrow gauge railway station is Shimla. Buses and taxis are available from both these destinations to Reckong Peo. The distance from Shimla Railway Station to Reckong Peo is 219 kms and the distance from Chandigarh railway station to Reckong Peo is 325 kms.
By Air: Jubbarhatti Airport is the nearest airport to Reckong Peo, situated 240 kms away. Buses and taxis are available from Jubbarhatti to Reckong Peo.
By Road: Almost each and every part of the state is linked by roads. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation is running its buses covering the whole state. Reckong Peo is situated 580kms from Delhi on NH22. Reckong Peo is linked by motorable roads with all major parts of Himachal Pradesh. Buses and Taxis are available from Shimla to Reckong Peo. Reckog Peo is situated at a distance of 219kms from Shimla, 88kms from Rampur and 328kms from Chandigarh.
Places of Interest in Recong Reo
Kinner Kailash : One can undertake the holy pilgrimage of Kinner Kailash from this place and return to Kalpa in 7-8 days.
Wildlife Sancturies : Three wildlife sanctuaries namely Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary, Rakchham-Chhitkul Sanctuary, and Rupi-Bhaba Sanctuary houses wide varieties of wildlife. Species like Yak, Ibex, Leopard, Red Fox, Goral, musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Brown Bear, Musk Deer, and Himalayan black Beer are found in these sanctuaries.
Chandika Temple : It is situated 3kms away from Reckong peo in Kothi. This temple located in the village of Kothi is dedicated to goddess Chandika. She is worshipped with great reverence amongst the locals. It is believed that she was the daughter of demon devta Banasur who presided over Kinnaur. Chandika Devi Temple is situated with the backdrop of deodar forests and snow capped peaks.
Kothi : 3 km from Recong Peo. Kothi has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandika Devi. Set against a backdrop of mountains and groves of deodar, the temple has a special architectural style and fine sculpture.
Other Interesting Places Near Recong Peo and Kalpa