About Kunzum Pass
Though these turns present a beautiful view of the roads, they make the Pass a testing ground for the driving skills of the travelers. Adventure drivers and bikers often visit the Pass who look forward to experiencing the thrill.
The Kunzum Pass is one of the highest motorable passes of India and acts as a connection link between the Lahaul Valley and the Spiti valley. It is located at a distance of 122 km from Manali town and further leads to Kaza town. Kunzum Pass is a haven for photographers! Beautiful glaciers, snow-clad peaks and the valley beyond give exquisite views for photography.
Additionally, it is one of the most travelled mountain passes as bikers and adventure enthusiasts go to experience the thrill of the turns. The pass also houses a temple devoted to Goddess Kunzum Devi, the deity who guards the pass and protects it and travellers from evil powers. Visitors travelling to Kunzum Pass stop by the temple to seek blessings for the journey.
How to Reach Kunzum Pass
- By Road: One can take HRTC buses or hire private taxis from Manali to travel to Kunzum Pass. The journey from Manali to Kunzum Pass takes a duration of 6-7 hours.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Kunzum Pass is located in Bhuntar town. Bhuntar town is situated 170 km from Kunzum Pass and 50 km from Manali. One can take buses or cars from the airport to Manali as well as the pass.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Kunzum Pass is the narrow gauge Joginder Nagar railway station located at a distance of 50 km. One can hire taxis to Kunzum Pass from there.
Best Time to Visit Kunzum Pass
The best time to visit Kunzum Pass is from the second week of June to September except August as the pass remains closed during monsoons and winters. During the months of winter, from 15th of October to April, the Kunzum Pass remains momentarily closed due to heavy snowfall.
Although it is open in the monsoon month of August one should not plan their visit due to slippery routes and expected landslides.
What Not to Miss at Kunzum Pass
The Kunzum Pass in Himachal is abounding with naturally beautiful places that are a must-visit for travellers. Some of them are:
2. Chandra Taal: This is a beautiful lake of Spiti valley located near the Kunzum Pass at an altitude of 4300 meters. The name Chandra refers to moon in Hindi and the lake is named the same because of its crescent shape. The lake is located in the plateau of Samudra Tapu. Travellers can trek to this beautiful lake from the Kunzum Pass.
3. Lahaul valley: This is a beautiful valley dotted with mountain villages and eye-catching Buddhist art. Located near the Kunzum pass, the road connects it to Spiti valley. Tourist visiting Lahaul get mesmerised by the lush greenery, high mountains and beautiful rivers streaming along the valley.
4. Spiti Valley: Spiti in Tibetan means ‘middle land’, referring to the ground between India and Tibet. The Spiti Valley is a freezing desert mountain valley spanning across the Himalayas. One of the least populated areas of the country, Spiti Valley gives access to the northernmost parts of India. The valley also houses Buddhist monasteries and is an even a research centre for Buddhism.
5. Manali: The beautiful hill-resort town of Manali is located 122 km from Kunzum Pass. Tourists can indulge in the thrilling adventurous and relaxing activities Manali has to offer. There are also naturally beautiful places around Manali for tourists to visit.
Other Essential Information About Kunzum Pass
Location: The Kunzum Pass is located at an altitude of 4590 meters above sea level in the Kunzum Range of Himalayas. It is the connecting link between Lahaul and Spiti Valley.
Mobile Connectivity: The mobile connectivity is very feeble due to the high altitude location of Kunzum Pass. There is net connectivity available for the first few kilometres of the pass which weekends as the altitude increases.
Distance from Manali: The Kunzum Pass is situated at a distance of 122 km from Manali. The road from Manali through Kunzum Pass further leads to Kaza town, which is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti.
Distance from Spiti: The distance between Spiti and Kunzum Pass is 70 km. The road provides an enchanting view of the Spiti valley and its beautiful scenery to the riders and adventure lovers
Altitude: The Kunzum Pass is located at an altitude of 4590 meters (15,090 feet) above sea level. The dangerous turns of the high altitude mountain pass give travellers a thrill to experience for a lifetime.
Temperature: Temperatures in Kunzum Pass fall up to -17 degree Celsius during winters. Summer temperatures in Kunzum Pass range around 17 degree Celsius.
About Kunzum Devi Temple
The Kunzum Devi Temple is located on the Kunzum Pass. The presiding deity, Goddess Kunzum Devi is an avatar of Goddess Durga and is the protector of the pass and the travellers. Visitors travelling through the Kunzum Pass often stop by the temple to pray and seek blessings of the deity for a safer journey.
It is a tradition that whoever visits the temple should take a complete rotation of it in the vehicle. Many Buddhist monasteries and gompas surround the temple. These monasteries with colored prayer flags give a mesmerizing view to the tourists. One can also hear the sounds of bells and prayers of the temple and gompas that resound the entire valley.
View from Kunzum Pass
The Kunzum Pass gives an eye-catching view of the second highest glacier of the Himalayas, the Bara Shigri Glacier. This glacier with snow clad mountains at the backdrop is a mesmerising sight to behold. This glacier feeds the River Chenab which originates in India and flows into neighboring country Pakistan.
The name of the Bara Shigri comes from Lahaul dialect, with ‘Bara’ meaning big and ‘Shigri’ meaning glacier. The Kunzum Pass also gives a view of the Chandra Baga ranges of Himalayas. Spiti Valley is another enchanting landscape one can see from atop the Kunzum Pass. Spiti Valley is a desert terrain landscape surrounded by high snow-covered peaks. One can also catch a glimpse of small villages dotted far away across the valley.
Places to Stay Near Kunzum Pass
2. Mahadev Cottage: This beautiful accommodation has well-furnished rooms and gives scenic views of the Rohtang valley. Located in Manali, this cottage provides a cosy and comfortable ambience to the visitors.
3. Sakya Abode: This hotel in Kaza offers luxurious accommodation facilities to the visitors arriving at its door. There are also home-stay facilities for guests who are looking for a more homely ambience.
4. Hotel Snow Lion: Spacious rooms, lounge amenities, breathtaking views are the characteristics of Hotel Snow Lion. Located in Manali, this hotel provides a spectacular view of the Sakya Monastery located nearby. The village life and the enchanting sounds of the monastery bells and prayers are sure to mesmerize guests.
Traveller Tips for Visiting Kunzum Pass
Tourists visiting the Kunzum Pass should keep the following tips in mind before planning to ensure a comfortable and pleasant trip:
- It is essential to carry medicines for altitude mountain sickness.
- For travellers who decide to hire a car to visit Kunzum Pass, it would be better to hire an SUV.
- It is recommended to carry food supplies as there are no eateries in Kunzum Pass.
- For travellers looking for bus services, it is recommended to confirm the bus running status a day earlier.