In the last few articles, I have talked about various aspects of visiting Kinnaur; including how to plan your itinerary, when would be the best time to visit and what kind of clothes should you be packing. Continuing on the same set of information, in this post I will provide information on how much a Kinnaur Valley trip cost. Budget planning without any doubt is probably the most crucial part of any journey. On top of it, when you are talking about visiting a somewhat offbeat destination like Kinnaur, it can be a little tricky get an estimate on the total cost you will incur. If you too have been wondering on these lines then hopefully by the end of this article, I would have answered your question.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Kinnaur Valley?
To be honest, providing a cost estimate of a trip is not an exact science. It will depend on several factors like how many days you were traveling for; how were you traveling; with how many people; and on your own personal spending habits. No one can tell you how much a vacation will cost you unless you were buying a package deal from a tour company. Even then, some of the personal expenses will not be included and you will not know about it until it has happened. However, a minimum per day estimate can definitely be given which is what I would do in the article. I will first lay down a sample itinerary for the trip covering majority of the must visit places; and then provide a minimum and average cost per day for each day.
Kinnaur Valley Trip Cost
For the sake of this article, I will assume that you are starting from Delhi. If you were however coming from a different city, then only the details for first and last day will be different. Rest of the calculation for remaining days will still remain to be the same.
To be honest Kinnaur Valley is not really that expensive of a place. It is still an offbeat destination which means that not many tourists visit this side of Himachal. It is in fact surprising even because Shimla from here is only a few hours of journey. Hundreds of Thousands of tourists arrive in Shimla each year, all year; but only a few care to venture ahead of the capital town of Himachal. At most, people travel till Narkanda and return from there. Not many travel across Kinnaur and the ones who do are majorly heading towards Spiti valley.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Kinnaur in Winters?
Accommodation Cost in Kinnaur Valley
What this means is that Kinnaur is yet not touched by the tourist mania and things here are simple still. Depending on the place and your own taste, you can easily get a place to stay here for as low as Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 per day. Don’t get me wrong, there are luxury hotels available as well if that is what you seek. Price of those will range anywhere Rs. 3500 and above. But for a budget traveler, average accommodation cost will come out to be about Rs. 700 per day per room. If the room is shared between two people splitting the cost, then the per head price will be Rs. 350. Kalpa is probably the only place where you may struggle to find budget accommodation.
Food Cost in Kinnaur Valley
In terms of food, it is hard to tell because apart from what you can eat, it will also depend on how much will you eat, LOL. What I can however tell is that there are small Dhabas available throughout the valley; where a plate of “Daal” or “Sabzi” will not cost more than Rs. 50 or Rs. 60. A “Tandoori Roti” will not cost more than Rs. 10.
So you can actually have a meal here for Rs. 100 per person easily. 2 meals per day, some tea, light breakfast, snacks and you can easily wrap it all in under Rs. 300-400 per person per day for someone who is on a strict budget.
Looking at the calculation above, I think it is safe to say that your biggest expense would be of fuel if you were traveling by your own vehicle. If you however went by public transport then even this cost will come down significantly. Let me explain with help of an itinerary.
Kinnaur Trip Itinerary
I will suggest an itinerary for 7 days starting from Delhi. For people coming from other towns, only the journey for first and last day will differ. Rest will still apply.
- Delhi to Shimla / Narkanda – Day 1
- Shimla / Narkanda to Sarahan – Day 2
- Sarahan to Chitkul – Day 3
- Chitkul to Nako – Day 4
- Nako to Kalpa – Day 5
- Kalpa to Narkanda / Shimla / Chail – Day 6
- Narkanda / Shimla / Chail to Delhi – Day 7
This is just an example of an itinerary and the journey can of course be done in multiple other ways. Reason why I am recommending 7 days at least and this itinerary is because it covers all that there is to see in Kinnaur Valley. Your journey too will be a bit long only on first and last day. On remaining days, you will not travel more than 4 to 5 hour a day.
Fuel Cost of Traveling to Kinnaur
Traveling in the manner I suggested above, total number of kilometers you will travel from and to Delhi will be about 1500. If you were coming by your own motorcycle, and assuming a minimum of 30 kilometers per liter mileage; your vehicle will consume about 50 liters of petrol in the entire duration of the trip. Using Rs. 78 per liter as petrol cost, your fuel expense will come out to be a total of about Rs. 4,000 (round figure number). If you were traveling with a pillion rider sharing the fuel cost, then it will be about Rs. 2,000 per head.
Also Read: Bus Service in Kinnaur Valley
If you were traveling by your own car, then this expense would go up. Depending on which car you have, you can do the similar calculation based on its engine type & size (petrol or diesel) and fuel efficiency. Assuming a minimum of 10 kilometers per liter of mileage and Rs. 73 per liter as Diesel cost, total cost would be around Rs. 10,000.
The numbers above will depend on which vehicle you have and how good of a fuel efficiency you get. To be on a safer side though, plan your budget keeping Rs. 4000 aside for petrol if traveling by Bike. If you were coming by a Car, assume Rs. 8000 to Rs. 10,000 as fuel cost irrespective of which vehicle you have. You also need to count in the fact that your vehicle’s mileage will be lower than regular up in the hills.
Traveling by Private Taxi
If you hired a private taxi for the trip above, then it would cost you between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000 per day, depending upon your negotiation skills. These rates are however from Shimla. A taxi from Delhi to Shimla will be a very costly affair; one that even I will not suggest.
Also Read: An Ideal Winter Itinerary for Kinnaur Valley
As an alternate, traveling from Delhi, I will recommend that you board an overnight Volvo for Shimla; fare of which will vary between Rs. 700 to Rs. 1000 per person. Then from Shimla, you can rent a private cab for the journey ahead and then catch a bus back from Shimla to Delhi. So the overall cost this way will be about Rs. 20,000 for taxi charges plus your journey from and to Delhi. Depending on how many people were traveling, you can then split this cost to get a per person charge.
Traveling by Public Transport
This will be the best choice of commute for someone on a tight budget. Traveling by public transport, you can first board an HRTC bus for Shimla from IBST Kashmere Gate in Delhi. Total fare by this bus is around Rs. 500 per person. For return journey too, you can use the same bus from Shimla to Delhi. So that is Rs. 1,000 for traveling between Delhi and Shimla.
In Kinnaur, you will be spending about Rs. 200 – Rs. 250 per day traveling locally by HRTC Buses and shared taxis. For a 7 days trip, this will come out to be another Rs. 1500 approximately. So the overall cost by public transport will be around Rs. 2500 per person.
Hotel Cost in Kinnaur Valley
Now let us talk about how much will you be paying at the hotels as per the itinerary above. I will just mention here the minimum cost you can expect to incur. There are luxury hotels available as well in Kinnaur but if you were planning to stay there then you won’t be reading this article anyways. If you are on this page then I assume you are a budget traveler like me and want to know the minimum or average fare of budget hotels en route.
In Shimla, Sarahan, Chitkul, Nako and Chail, you can hope to get a budget accommodation for an average price of about Rs. 700. In Narkanda, it will cost you about Rs. 1500 per room and in Kalpa, it will cost about Rs. 2000. If you were on a strict budget then I will recommend that you skip Narkanda and Chail altogether; and stay at Shimla both while going to Kinnaur and on your way back.
So per the calculation above, your total hotel expense for 7 days will come out to be about Rs. 5000 total. Keep Rs. 1000 as buffer for a just in case situation and assume a number of Rs. 6000 for accommodation. This is the total cost and if you were traveling with a friend who will share the expenditure, then it will come down to Rs. 3000 per person.
Also Read: How to Make a Budget Trip to Kinnaur Valley?
Food and Other Miscellaneous Expenditure
For food, as I explained above in the article, you can easily cap it under Rs. 300 per person for someone on a strict budget.So for a 7 days trip, we are looking at an expense of about Rs. 2,000 – 2,500 per person at most.
Total Cost of Traveling to Kinnaur Valley
Now in order to summarize all of the information above,
- Rs. 4,000 as total fuel cost if traveling by motorcycle
- Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000 as total fuel cost if traveling by Car
- Rs. 20,000 as total commute cost if traveling by private taxi
- Rs. 2,500 as per person fare if traveling by Bus
- Rs. 5,000 total for accommodation
- Rs. 2,500 as per person food expenditure
You can take these values, divide by total number of people traveling; and add any other personal expenditure to it in order to get a total cost estimate of the trip. I hope the information above was of help. If you have any other questions; or need any further details; please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.