Chitkul village- The last inhabited village near the Indo China border
Posted on March 12, 2017 by Ghoomophiro
At a height of 3450 meters, Chitkul stands tall as the proud crown of India to the Tibet border side. This exotic destination in the heart of Himachal Pradesh is blessed with the Baspa River, which travels with you on your right as you mount the Chitkul valley. One of the major attractions of the village is its apple gardens surrounded by several camping sites.
During winters, the place remains covered with snow and the inhabitants creep down to lower regions of Himachal. You can discover one of the best-grown potatoes in the world here but they are very costly. Situated on the banks of Baspa River, Chitkul is the first village of the Baspa Valley and the last village on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route. Houses with either slate or wooden plank roofs, the Buddhist temple and a small tower are the things which are of particular interest for the visitors.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to reach Himachal Pradesh is Indira Gandhi National Airport and Palam Domestic Airport in New Delhi. There is a huge bus network for Himachal Pradesh which hails from New Delhi. It is approximately 360 km away from New Delhi.
First, arrive at Reckong Peo which is approximately 60 km away from Chitkul. From there, you can hire a cab or board a bus to the village.
Himachal is well connected by the rail network. There are a number of trains from all major parts of the country to Himachal Pradesh. Pathankot-Joginder railway line is the longest in the state which traverses all the way from neighborhood Punjab. To savor the scenic beauty and picturesque landscape, one can choose to travel by the toy train from Kalka to Shimla.
Places to Visit
One of the best places to visit in Chitkul Village is Raksham, which is approximately 11 km from here. This is one of the most exotic places of the country with the abundance of snowfalls in winter. Baspa River flows along and her sound is like music to your ears.
Kalpa is another small town in the heart of Sangla. The town is situated right next to Sutlej River. If you are a nature lover then this is the right place for you. It gives some of the best views of Kinnar Kailash Mountain.
Kagyupa temple has special significance because it is the home to a rare image of Shakyamuni Buddha with four directional kinds placed on every side. It is believed that the presiding deity of the village, Mathi is alive and must be paid homage to.
Things to Do
One of the best ways to explore Chitkul village is by trekking around the hills. The real beauty of the place lies in places where no vehicle can take you. Hence, it is advisable to discover the landscapes of the village on your feet.
Thousands of tourists from across the country come to Chitkul Village, especially for camping. This village hosts some of the best camping sites in the middle of apple gardens.
Best Places to Eat
There are no luxury hotels in Chitkul village. You can relish the local delicacies of the village at local Dhabas and homestays. Situated right at the Tibetan border, you will find a confluence of Himachali, Punjabi, Easter flavors.
Places to Stay
In Chhitkul, there are wooden houses turned into hotels. These hotels are a bit expensive and most of the tourists prefer to stay at Sangla and plan a day trip to this place.
Hotel Royal Castle, Prakash Regency, and Hotel Rupin River View are some of the best places to stay.
Your discovery of the serene and lesser-known Himalayas begins at the Banjara Camp in the Sangla Valley. The Banjara Camp & Retreat is the pioneer in luxury camping, at a height of 2,700 mts. The camp is encircled by massive towering mountains on all sides and situated on the banks of the Baspa river that gushes through the valley.
While you set off for Chhitkul make sure you carry sufficient cash and petrol or diesel for your car as you would not find any ATM facility or fuel stations in this hilly area.
There is also neither a clinic nor any hospital flanking the area and one has to travel back to Sangla for emergencies.
The very cold and windy weather can add to some trouble for those traveling by road. The road usually closes down around November after the first snowfall. So avoid traveling at this time.