- Photo Courtesy @Kunal Angrish
Situated in the lap of Shrikhand mountains of the Dhauladhar range of Himalayas is the Rupi- Bhaba Wildlie Sanctuary. The sanctuary is named after Rupi and Bhaba Valleys of Lower Kinnaur, on upper reaches of which most of the 503 sq. km area of Sanctuary lies. Though the elevation in the Sanctuary area ranges from 2000m-6000m, the Sanctuary is locally well known for its extensive alpine pastures as well as the numerous treks, trails and passes that connect it with the neighboring Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley National Park. The treks have been described extensively in the brilliant book by Sh. Deepak Sanan titled 'Exploring Kinnaur in Trans-Himalayas'.
Rupi-Bhaba lies in Nichar subdivision of Kinnaur District. The nearest rail and air head is Shimla and nearest town is Bhabanagar. The sanctuary lies across the river Sutlej on National Highway-22 and is accessible from two points. One is via a link road near Chaura that winds down and goes across Sutlej near the Shorang Hydropower Project. From here a hike of about 3 hours takes one into the heart of Rupi Valley. The other contact point is near a place called Wangtu (on NH-22 itself). One needs to cross the Wangtu Bridge across Sutlej and travel upto Kafnu from where a light hike will take one up the Bhaba Valley.