Chitkul, on the old Indo-Tibetan Road, is India’s last occupied town before the border with China. In the Kinnaur Valley at an altitude of 3450 meters, the town is 28 km from Sangla and around 600 kilometers from Delhi. It resembles an entryway that opens onto a stunning scene of peace and beauty. The mountains, glades, immense rocks, streams, wilderness, orchids and meadows give the town its special character. A drive to Chitkul is ideal for trekking in the woodland or just appreciating its natural beauty.
It’s the most perfect dream destination you could have wished for. As soon as you arrive in Chitkul you feel its serene vibe. The high peaks of Himalayan Range all around you, and the growling Baspa River flowing beside you, make a picture-perfect landscape.
The lovely Kinnauri people, known for their traditional Himachali Topi caps, bless the village. The population of just 800 farm all across the valley. Large terrace fields can be seen from miles away.
Reaching Chitkul directly from Delhi can be really uncomfortable, so here we have broken down a proper itinerary for you to enjoy your trip.
Day 1: Delhi-Chandigarh-Shimla
Take a direct overnight bus to Shimla from Delhi. The journey will not be a tough one and you will reach Shimla in only 10 hours.
Day 2: Shimla-Narkanda
Next day take a break in your journey and explore Shimla. Alternatively, you can continue another three hours to Narkanda. It is a quieter version of Shimla, and you can stay here for the night and explore the town.
Day 3: Narkanda-Karcham-Sangla
Today will be another day of bus travel, and you will reach Sangla. It is 30 km from Chitkul. You can stop here at night and enjoy its surroundings.
Tip: While in Sangla, trek to its meadows if you have time.
Day 4: Sangla-Chitkul
Finally, you arrive in Chitkul, the dream destination. You will arrive fresh and ready to explore. The journey is in your hands now and you make whatever you want out of it.
Day 5: Chitkul
Utilise this day to explore the village of Chitkul. This day is what you came on this trip for. Rest beside Baspa or trek to the Flag top.
Day 6: Chitkul-Chandigarh-Delhi
Take the overnight bus to Chandigarh from Chitkul, and reach Delhi by taking a cab from Chandigarh.
Since Chitkul is at a high elevation, you need some helpful travel tips before visiting. This site some travel tips for Chitkul.
Things to do in Chitkul
1. Kamru Fort
Situated in the pleasant Solang Valley, Kamru Fort is an entry to a former territory. The interesting three-story wooden fortification is a fifteenth-century building wonder. The stronghold is now a sanctuary devoted to Goddess Kamakhya. The icon of the goddess is on the third floor. It is said to have been brought from Guwahati. The sanctuary has enormous religious significance among local people.
2. Bering Nag Temple
Bering Nag Temple holds a religious significance among devotees. The sanctuary is committed to Lord Jagas, a type of Lord Shiva. It is built with wood and is considered an engineering wonder from times past. Phulaich Fair is held in long stretches of August and September and makes everything all the more fascinating. It is 2 km from Sangla Village.
3. Baspa River
The forceful Baspa River runs through the Sangla Valley. The huge Himalayas encompass the waterway. The perspectives around the banks of the stream are incredible. One can discover an assortment of fish in the freshwater of the waterway. There are crates hanging over the waterway that the townspeople utilize as a method of stream crossing. Have a bit of “you-time” sitting by the side of the lovely stream and contemplating existence.
4. Tibetan Wood Carving Center
If you are searching for a trinket to remember your trek, the Tibetan Wood Carving Center is the spot to be. You will discover wooden articles with complex carvings in the Tibetan style and may purchase a variety of lovely items. The center is close to the Saffron Farm. It is one of the most well-known touring places in Sangla.
Batseri is another villa in this district that is well-known for its beauty and neighborhood handiworks. The town is 8 km from Sangla. What makes it an unquestionably required visit are the Himachali shawls and Kinnauri tops. Trout farming is likewise common in this locale and isn’t to be missed. Likewise, get pine nuts and chilgoza from the town.
6. Brelengi Gompa
When you are in Himachal Pradesh, you should visit the cloisters here. Brelengi gompa is a delightful religious community you can visit that is close to Sangla. It was built in 1922 by the Mahabodhi Society to play out the Kalachakra service. There is even a 10 m high statue of Lord Buddha close to the religious community. Many individuals visit this fine Buddhist cloister to look for harmony and comfort.
Best time to visit
December to March is the best time if you would like to see snow-topped peaks of Baspa valley. Be that as it may, winter has its own appeal and vulnerabilities. The appeal lies in few visitors, lots of snow, no electricity and no internet. Venturing to Chitkul in winter is an exercise in advanced detox.
In winter you become more acquainted with neighborhood life and culture. You see with your own eyes that it is so difficult to make do in the Himalayas. There are limited roadways, no running faucet water and restrictions on warm water and home heating. Heavy snowfall and torrential slides can obstruct the roads for quite a long time.
I visited Chitkul in the month of May, and I had a complete blast there. The destination is exactly what you expect it to be. It may even surpass your expectations. Do carry your camera along with you. And if you like this guide then visit my website – Slippery Legs, for more travel tips and guides.