Kalpa is in Himachal. From Chandigarh airport via Shimla you can reach there in about 11-13 hours of drive. Most of the drive is just magnificent. After a while the road goes alongside of the river Sutlej. The more common plan for holiday is to go to Sangla and Chitkul first and then come to Kalpa for a night. And then either go back home or go ahead to Spiti Valley.
Typically tourists stay for one night at Kalpa. Perhaps 2 nights. I stayed there for more than 2 weeks. It was one of the best times I have spent in Himalayas. I was the only customer in the entire hotel. and there was only one chap - 23 years old, who was managing the Hotel. To get groceries etc, this chap who would have to go down to the bigger town with a curious name - Rekong Peo - 12 km downhill. Sometimes I would take him there and bring him back with vegetables and other things. He, Thankfully, was a good cook.
I composed there a lot, Practiced a lot, Recorded 3 new pieces. 3 New raags got created there. They just pop up, I really don't create a Raag to say. Raags get created on their own. When a melody wants to get created, it will just flow! Anyway, all in all the stay at Kalpa musically it was brilliant! Another thing I simply loved to witness, was the blooming of Apple flowers. I was living amidst of those wonderful Apple Orchards. Surrounding me were all Apple trees, Across the road there was tall mountain. Just little ahead was a lovely local house. They had a dog who would alert his masters of my presence, and a couple of cows. Probably my man would get milk from there. Actual Kalpa village was little and below. I could get some mesmerising view of the village. Kalpa is certainly photogenic! In those 15 days I saw all types of weather. When I reached there it was still snowing. Then slowly the snow started melting and I could wear only one sweater. After a few days, It got hot for a day, then it rained, then it was cold again. Hot means about 18 degrees C. One day I saw so much of fog that the massive valley completely disappeared in it! Then again it rained a bit, but with thunderstorm this time. The thunderstorms with lightening in Himalayas is quite frightening sight if you are not used to it! Every day I would wake up and start practicing sitting in the balcony looking at the rising sun. Then this guy would get my breakfast. Haldi Milk [ Turmeric Latte !] and in most of days - a Paratha. But he was a good cook. Practicing with the rising sun is a lovely experience. Then the day followed with lots of creativity. It was lovely. Actually I have been living in Himalayas in every April and May for several years. It's hitting 40+ here and I am comfortably living amidst jungles or such in higher altitudes with 8 -10 deg C. It's fun. It’s the Old idea of shifting to the Summer Capital! One thing I did in my Kalpa stay, was to shoot our Milky Way. With the guidance of ace photographer Amith Nag from Bangalore, after several tries on several very cold nights I could get some good pictures of the galaxy. I would sleep at 10 pm and wake up at 2 to go on the terrace. It would be frighteningly cold, but with practically zero light pollution!! It was fun and a memorable experience.
Milky Way over Kinner Kailash seen from Kalpa
All in all, It was quite healing - to live there in Kalpa. Generally I prefer some lower altitude place. Like somewhere between 1800 to 2300 Mt from seashore. Kalpa is about 2800 mt. Above 2500 mt, at times one could fell slight breathless. Thankfully I don’t have any issue even at 5000+ Mt. Here are some pictures I got in my stay in Kalpa