Delhi to Chitkul is among the most adventurous road trips in the mountains that you can take in 2021
Chitkul,  Delhi to Chitkul,  Himachal

Delhi to Chitkul Breathtaking Journey on your Mind for 2021?

This post was recently updated on September 12th, 2021

Reading Time: 16 minutes

Firstly, Sojourning in Chitkul was not in my thought when I was planning from Delhi to Chitkul.

Then, what happened that had changed my mind to end up staying in Chitkul and writing this Delhi to Chitkul travel guide?

Suspense & it will be interesting as well.
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The day before departing for Chikul, I initially arrived in Kalpa valley.

I had made a plan to leave before the sunrise for Kalpa to Chitkul and move directly back before the sunset to where I was sojourning in Kalpa.

I was clueless irrespective of bus timing & other factors.

According to my plan, I started before sunrise. Since I was staying in Village Kashmir (Kalpa), very few buses pass before 8:30 a.m. on that route to reach the Reckong Peo bus stand.

Therefore, I Waited for a long time. Luckily! I saw a bus that had dropped passengers on the Kalpa-Roghi Road curve at 8 a.m.

I got the bus till Reckong Peo Bus Stand from the Kalpa - Roghi Curve
I got the bus till Reckong Peo Bus Stand from the Kalpa – Roghi Curve

Conversation Between Me and the Bus Driver

Me – Is this going towards Reckong Peo?
Conductor – Yes, come up quick (strict of their time).

I took the bus and succeeded to the Reckong Peo bus stand before the earliest bus leaves for Chitkul.

Allow me to be your Delhi to Chitkul virtual guide and I’ll lead you to Paradise ♥.

All About Chitkul Himachal Pradesh

Beautiful Chitkul Valley view from the top
Beautiful Chitkul Valley view from the top

Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh is the last residing, a small village before the India – Tibet border.

The Indian roads end here, and you cannot go forward from here. You can go backward.

The road trip to Chitkul on the HRTC bus will going to be full of experiences. Riding on these road conditions is often favored by expert drivers holding in mind the safety standards.

The first and most essential point is right at the start. Please do not throw wrappers anywhere near, Baspa river or anywhere in Chitkul village.

Let us keep the place nice for our future generations to ponder.

Travel Responsibly and Support Responsible Tourism. 

How to Reach Chitkul from Delhi

The entire Delhi to Chitkul distance is approx. 590km via road. It would take about 16-17hr to reach Chitkul from Delhi.

You can use public transportation to cover your Delhi to Chitkul journey.

You can acclimatize for a day at either Reckong Peo or Sangla before heading to Chitkul because Chitkul is present at a higher elevation. Acclimatizing at a somewhat lower height is essential for the body to continue further.

To go to Chitkul from Delhi, you have to split your trip into several parts –

Delhi to Chitkul Flight

The nearest airport is in Shimla (Jubbarhatti airport). All the towns are easily accessible from Shimla.

First, you can take a flight from Delhi to Shimla. Upon reaching Shimla, you can either take a bus to Sangla or book a cab that will directly drop you in Chitkul.

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Flight) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
    OR
  2. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Flight) (347km) ➡️ Chitkul (Cab) (246km)

Train to Chitkul

The nearest railway station is in Shimla.

First, you can take a train from Delhi to Shimla. Upon reaching Shimla, you can either take a bus to Sangla or take a cab that will drop you in Chitkul.

  1.  Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Train) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
    OR
  2. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Train) (347km) ➡️ Chitkul (Cab) (246km)

Delhi to Chitkul Bus

You can take a Bus from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Shimla. You can also book a Volvo Bus to Shimla.

Options available for the buses –

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km)   ➡️ Reckong Peo (Bus) (231km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (64km)
    OR
    Delhi ➡️ Chandigarh (Bus) (244km) ➡️ Reckong Peo (Bus) (339km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (64km)

Unluckily, there is no direct bus from Delhi to Chitkul. You can take a Delhi to Reckong Peo direct HRTC Bus from Kashmiri Gate bus stand.

The distance between Reckong Peo to Chitkul is hardly 65km approx. & you can cover that by taking another bus in the morning from the Reckong Peo bus stand.

Note – You will be reaching Reckong Peo or Sangla the next evening if you wish to travel by bus.

You have to stay in Reckong Peo or Sangla for a night and take the bus the next morning to Chitkul that begins at 9:30 a.m from the Reckong Peo bus stand.

Bus Interchanging Options at Frequent Intervals

The best way to travel from Delhi to Chitkul is by taking much-needed breaks at frequent intervals –

  • Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

Note – After taking Delhi to Shimla night bus. You will be going to reach Sangla the next day evening. Take night rest and leave for Chitkul the next day morning.

  • Delhi ➡️ Rampur (Bus)(470km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (100km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

If you do not require many breaks and wanted to reach in one go –

  • Delhi ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (567km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

If you want to divide your journey a lot more times –

  • Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km) ➡️ Rampur (Bus) (129km) ➡️Sangla (Bus) (100km)➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

*If you take my advice, I will strongly suggest (1) and (2) here because you will get the much-needed rest in changing the bus, and it is the most crucial part of a long journey.

Delhi to Reckong Peo

Yes, there’s a direct Delhi to Reckong Peo HRTC Ordinary bus which daily operates from the ISBT Kashmiri gate.

The Delhi to Reckong Peo bus fare will be around Rs.750-Rs.850 per person. It will be a very ordinary bus, you have to still all the time. Many a time there might be possible that the direct Delhi to Reckong buses is not available.

So, don’t completely rely on the direct Reckong Peo bus, either you should remain flexible with regards to the buses. Since it will be a very long journey in the mountains.

The duration of the Delhi to Reckong Peo bus journey will be going to be around 18-19 hrs i.e. it will be a pretty long bus journey straight from Delhi.

Chandigarh to Chitkul

If you’re willing to travel from Chandigarh to Chitkul, you will need to take the Sangla bus:

  • Chandigarh (Bus) ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (218km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

There are very limited buses that operate directly in the route of Chandigarh to Sangla. Since the distance between them is 332km.

The bus departing from Delhi will anyhow be going to cross Chandigarh to further travel to Shimla and then to Chitkul.

i.e. the route will be going to be the same both for Delhi to Chitkul & Chandigarh to Chitkul. Unless & Until you’ll take some longer routes.

So, If you haven’t got a direct bus then there is always a possibility that you can take a Chandigarh to Shimla bus. Thereafter, Shimla to Sangla bus or either Shimla to Rampur bus & then to Sangla & Chitkul.

I know you have to Interchange quite a lot of buses but Chitkul is worth all the efforts that you will be going to make.

Also, Chandigarh to Reckong Peo buses is available. All you can do is take a bus to Chitkul after reaching Reckong Peo from Chandigarh.

Shimla to Chitkul Bus

The Shimla to Chitkul road journey will be a roller coaster ride of your trip. But there’s no Shimla to Chitkul direct bus, you can either take a bus to either Reckong Peo or Sangla.

The Shimla to Chitkul distance is 300km approx. passing via Narkanda and Rampur. The road conditions from Shimla to Chitkul will be halfway smooth & the remaining half will test your patience.

Shimla to Reckong Peo Bus

The Shimla to Reckong Peo distance is 220-225km approx.

&

Shimla to Sangla distance is 220km approx.

The bus will be going to take about 7-8hrs to reach Reckong Peo from Shimla. The Shimla to Reckong Peo bus fare is Rs. 420 approx.

Therefore, You must take the night rest and leave for Chitkul the next morning.

Like from Shimla to Rampur, the route will be smooth but before entering the Kinnaur region till Chitkul the route will be a bumpy journey.

Luxury or Deluxe Buses to Chitkul

The mountain roads are not ideal for luxury or deluxe buses because of their sizes. Since the deluxe buses can make you reach to an extent but it will not going to cover your whole journey.

Delhi to Shimla journey can be done on the deluxe bus but further you need to travel till Chitkul on the ordinary buses only.

How to Reach Chitkul from Reckong Peo

Reckong Peo to Chitkul Bus

Reckong Peo buses chart at the bus stand
Bus Chart – 1st Part
Reckong Peo buses time table chart
2nd Part – Reckong Peo Bus Time Table

The Reckong Peo to Chitkul buses leaves every day. You can see in the two images above, the timings of the buses and their respective destinations.

Two HRTC buses leave daily from Reckong Peo bus stand to Chitkul –

  1. 9:30 a.m. Bus timing= Reckong Peo ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️Chitkul

The first bus departs at 9:30 a.m from Reckong Peo passing via Sangla, Rakcham, and then reaching Chitkul around 2 p.m.

The bus will wait for 5-10min and departs backward from the same route to the Reckong Peo bus stand.

i.e. If you are planning to go to Sangla, the Reckong Peo to Sangla bus timing is the same as the Chitkul bus, which is 9:30 a.m for the first bus and noon for the second bus respectively.

  1. 12 p.m. (Noon) Bus timing = Reckong Peo ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️Chitkul

The second bus departs at 12 p.m. from Reckong Peo passing via Sangla, Rakcham, and then reaching Chitkul around 4 p.m.

The bus will come back the next morning from Chitkul because of the low visibility in the evening.

Also, there are no street lights/road lights on that route.

Kalpa to Chitkul

The Kalpa to Chitkul distance is 61km in total & firstly you have to reach to the Reckong Peo bus stand.

The Kalpa to Reckong Peo bus fare is Rs.15 per person. You will easily reach the Reckong Peo bus stand.

Upon reaching the Reckong Peo bus stand you can look for the above bus timetable to reach Chitkul thereafter.

How My Sangla to Chitkul Road Trip Plan was Planned in Seconds

Happy faces of the students
Chitkul Sr. Secondary School

(This would be very interesting if you read till the end)

I planned to go to Sangla and then return to my homestay in Kalpa towards the end of the evening.

I left my homestay early morning.

Reckong Peo to Sangla Bus

The Reckong Peo to Sangla bus fare is Rs.72 per person.

I reached Sangla at around 12:30 p.m. and hopped out of the bus, had my lunch. and then began to ask from the locals –

Me – What things can I do in Sangla?

Locals – Nothing much, instead go to Chitkul

Enquired from few other locals in a hope that might someone would say a different answer. All said the same answer.

I had not only heard about going directly to Chitkul in Sangla but also in Kalpa that “Chitkul is like a Switzerland here“.

Then, in a sec. I decided to go to Sangla.

The Sangla to Chitkul distance is 24Km and it will be going to take all most 1:30 hrs to reach Chikul. If I am not going to Chitkul then it would be a waste of coming to Sangla.

I knew that If I went to Chitkul then I have to remain in Chitkul for a night. All I have with me is my camera, phone, and wallet.

My other belongings were kept in Kalpa Homestay where I was staying approx. 72km away.

Chitkul full of snow in the month of April
Chitkul full of snow in April

Luckily, I saw the same bus which had dropped me at Sangla bus depot. The drivers had their lunch and were about to leave and I had asked.

Conversation between Me and the Bus Driver

Me– Can I come again? I am now going to Chitkul!

Conductor – Come on!

Sangla to Chitkul

The Sangla to Chitkul Bus fare is Rs.40 per perosn.

Especially the Sangla to Chitkul road will be challenging. If you’re traveling by bus then enjoy your hip-hop journey while looking outside the bus window.

I reached Chitkul at 2 p.m. and was shocked to see Chitkul. I had never imagined that my Chitkul journey can turn out to be so beautiful right from stepping the feet down from the bus.

The cold winds are blowing, snow-clad mountains all around and the Baspa river made its presence felt when looked down.

Major Note – If you are a foreigner, you need to take a permit before landing in Chitkul.

The permit can be taken from Reckong Peo, near the Peo parking where it has been written “Tourist Info System”, you can take info and permit for Spiti too from there.

Chitkul Village Images

Streets of the Chitkul
Streets of the Chitkul
Students were spotted coming out of the schools in Chitkul
Students were spotted coming out of the schools in Chitkul
Rugged mountain paths of Chitkul
Rugged mountain paths of Chitkul

I have been mesmerized by the Chitkul beauty and felt thankful that I decided to come here.

It’s cold too. Leaving everything apart I first started searching for a place to stay in Chitkul.

i.e listed below are the options that I found where you can stay in Chikul –

Accommodation Options in Chitkul

I hadn’t booked or enquired about where I will be staying during my Delhi to Chitkul trip.

Therefore, it was the starting of the season in April and roads have just been opened. So it was pretty easy to find a stay. There was no group of tourists at all during that time.

Some of the options that you can look for a stay in your Chitkul Trip –

Guest House Options in Chitkul –

Amar Guest House

  1. Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
    Ph. No- 09882808668

Vanshika Homestay

  1. Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172106
    Ph. No- 09418193464

Hotel Options in Chitkul –

Samaa Resorts

  1. Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
    Ph. No – +91 9892098962, +91 9819186633
    Email – info@samaaresorts.com

Hostels Option in Chitkul –

Currently, there are only two hostel options in Chitkul –

Zostel

  1. Address – VPO Chitkul near Thakur Guest House Chitkul
    Ph. No- 022-4896-2265
    Email – reservations@zostel.com

Wanderer’s Nest

  1. Address – The Wanderer’s Nest Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh,172109
    Ph. No- +91 – 8800824825
    Email – info@thewnderernest.com
Zostel Chitkul
Zostel Chitkul – I stayed here for 1 night

I had stayed in Zostel Chitkul for Rs.599 for a night.

The weather in Chitkul could be extreme if not been planned effectively. During my visit, the roads were just opened at the beginning of April. Thus, plan your visit to Chikul accordingly.

Mobile Network in Chitkul

I have some bad news for the users of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and any other network users. Only BSNL Mobile Network works in Chitkul.

After landing in Chitkul or to be precise after crossing Rakcham there will be no mobile connectivity apart from the BSNL network.

It’s not necessarily that you have to switch between your network provider.

At least the network ensures that you see the magical beauty of Chitkul without looking at your phone repeatedly. The actual answer to living in the moment.

Petrol Pump in Chikul

There are no petrol pumps in Chikul. Instead, if you are coming to Chitkul in your vehicle, you have to make sure that the vehicle tank is filled in Sangla valley, about 24km away from Chitkul.

The same goes for the bikers as well.

While going towards Baspa river in Chitkul
While going towards the Baspa river in Chitkul

Best Time to Visit Chitkul

Best season to visit Chitkul
This is the last resort before the Indian road ends

The best time to visit Chitkul is between the months of the middle of April – August or even September (Take care of the monsoon season). The days remain bright and sunny with slight cold nights.

Also, the roads would open up somewhere around March & April, so April will be a good month to inhale the Chitkul air. Rest Apart everything depends upon the weather, I mean no one can tell that it might start snowing in April too.

Jan – Apr

In these months’ temperature ranges from min. -20 degrees in Jan to the max. 0 degrees in April.

You can read, How is it like to visit Chitkul in April

May – Aug

In these months’ temperature ranges from min. -10 degrees in May to the max. 8 degrees in August. You can also expect snowfall at the starting of May too.

Sept-Dec

In these months’ temperature ranges from min. -2 degrees in Sept to the max. of -10 degrees in December.

Things to do in Chitkul

Chitkul is located in a small area, hence you have limited things to do. Although, it depends upon how you utilize that limited things to make something special out from there.

Listed below are the points, let’s see –

Things to do in Chitkul
The Final Destination Resort

The best part about the journey was I end up covering a lot because I prefer to travel mostly on foot. Hence, this was also the main reason I spent Delhi to Chitkul on a low budget.

1. A Refreshing Walk Along the Baspa River

Panoramic walk near Baspa River
I was checking how cold the water is, it was too cold

When you’re in Chitkul, you must take a panoramic walk along the Baspa river or just chill alongside and make a panorama of this beauty. The water mostly will be going to remain cold because of the climate.

The road will follow side by side, all you can do is walk towards the Baspa river.

2. A Scenic Walk till Army Check Post (Nagasthi ITBP)

In Conversation with the Indian soldier on the Ind - Tibet border
In Conversation with the Indian soldier on the Ind – Tibet border

This walk will be going to your memorable and proud one too. I was accompanied by army camp dogs from the start of the walk till the end because the dogs often come to the village houses.

You will be crossing the last resort on Indian soil and will be moving towards the Nagasthi ITBP check post. If allowed you can reach the last of the check post.

3. Nag Temple

Nag temple opens only at the time of Lohri – A local of the village had provided me this info.

*One more piece of advice from a Local – Stay away from the dogs of Chitkul Village because if you are not going to give biscuits to the dogs, they will bite you and the hospital is very far from there ( Exact words the local conveyed to me ).

4. Durga Maa temple

Chitkul is spread in a very small area. Reaching any of the places will not going to be a problem for you.

Durga Maa temple opens every day at a sharp 9 a.m. and you can take the blessings and spend some time in the open surroundings.

5. A Walk into the Chitkul Village

The Chitkul dogs accompanied us on the Village walk
The Chitkul dogs accompanied us on the Village walk

Any walk is blissful and especially when it’s in the last inhabited village.

You can interact with the locals about how they spent their whole day. Try to keep yourself in their shoes that what how will you manage to survive in these conditions or environment.

6. The Chitkul Trek

Yes, trek lovers, there are many treks in Chitkul and Kinnaur region.

There’s a flag post-trek in Chikul and the flag can easily be seen from the Chitkul. It’s a trek that passes from the village and you can also take local guidance to reach the endpoint.

Some of the names of the treks are –

  1. Lamkhaga pass trek
  2. Borasu pass trek
  3. Charang Chitkul pass trek
  4. Nalgan pass trek
People spotted camping outdoors in Chitkul
People spotted camping outdoors in Chitkul

Those were some of the points that you can look at during your Chitkul trip.

Buses from Chitkul Bus Stand

Buses from Chitkul Bus stand
Hindustan Ka Akhri Dhaba Point, Buses from Chitkul leave from here

Hats off to our HRTC drivers who drive on these dangerous roads. As you can see in the image above, this bus directly came from Mandi District and reached Chitkul in the morning. The Mandi to Chikul distance is almost 293km.

The drivers are strict in their time. Hence, you must keep an eye on the time.

The buses that leave from the Chitkul Bus stand at the “Hindustan Ka Akhari Dhaba “ point. Here’s an overview of the buses –

  1. 6:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
  2. 9:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Mandi
  3. 12:00 p.m. (Noon) Bus timing = Chitkul➡️ Sangla
  4. 2:00 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
  5. 3:30 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Chandigarh

Vice-Versa, You can take a bus from Chandigarh to Sangla which is around 330km approx. i.e. from Sangla to Chitkul.

Likewise, you can travel back from Chitkul to Reckong Peo or some of the other places.

All the buses pass from Sangla and Kharcham if mistakenly you miss your preferable bus. You can take any of the buses and reach Sangla or Kharcham and from there board as per your plans.

For e.x- The buses go like this, starting from Reckong Peo –

  1. Reckong Peo ➡️ Kharcham ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️ Chitkul

The buses return like this, starting from Chitkul –

  1. Chitkul ➡️ Rakcham ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Kharcham ➡️ Reckong Peo

Chitkul to Kharcham Bus

The Chitkul to Kharcham distance is 41km approx.

Every bus that leaves from Chitkul passes via Kharcham to its respective destination.

The Chitkul to Kharcham bus fare is Rs. 81 per person & it takes almost 2-3hrs for the bus to reach Kharcham.

Kharcham is a division with different routes going to different places like Chitkul, Reckong Peo & Mandi. You can drop out at Kharcham & can take the bus where you wanted to go.

Kharcham to Reckong Peo Bus

You can stand before the Kharcham Wangtoo Dam & the bus stops before entering the bridge.

The Kharcham to Reckong Peo bus fare is Rs. 40 per person. It will take around 1hr to cover the Kharcham to Reckong distance of 22km.

Likewise, you can stand at the Kharcham bus stop if you wanted to go to Chitkul or if you wanted to go to Mandi.

Budget Required for Delhi to Chitkul

Along side of the river Baspa in Chiitkul
Along the side of the river Baspa in Chiitkul

From the perspective of a normal traveler –

Delhi to Chitkul can be done under the budget of Rs.7000 – Rs.7500 for 3-4 days, considering one day to reach, two days stay in Chitkul, and one day to return to Delhi.

If you want to do a Delhi to Chitkul budget trip, then this would be an ideal cost.

Delhi to Chitkul Budget Breakdown

  1. Delhi to Shimla Bus Fare would be Rs.650-Rs.750 (Ordinary Bus)
  2. Shimla till Chitkul Bus Fare ( From any routes listed in the how-to reach section ) would be Rs.600- Rs700 (Ordinary Bus)
  3. Stay(Hostel = Rs. 500 – Rs 600) for a night  + Food would be Rs. 1200 around
  4. Stay(Hotel  = Rs 1000 – Rs 1500) for a night + Food would be Around Rs. 2000
  5. Backward Journey from Chikul to Delhi would be Rs. 1300-1400

This is not an exact budget but a rough guess from my side.

I did Delhi to Chitkul, Reckong Peo & Kalpa combined under Rs.8000 and you can find more details here – How you can do a Trip to Kinnaur under 8k too.

With this, I believe that, if Delhi to Chitkul Journey was on your mind for 2021, then I was able to add utility from my side ?.

Major Note – Travel responsibly and please don’t litter around the surroundings.

Please follow the blog & share if this post has helped you.

Making articles requires effort so, If you loved the efforts, don’t leave before following and sharing the post.

It would help me to come up with more informative articles in the future.

Conclusion

While I was coming back from the Baspa river in Chitkul
While I was coming back from the Baspa river in Chitkul

Delhi to Chitkul will be the best road trip you have ever done, just don’t think thrice. But you can think twice regarding the info.

That’s it from my Delhi to Chitkul Journey. I hope you will have a blissful Chitkul trip. If you have any other questions, please comment down below and I would be happy to help.

Or

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A Passionate Traveler who explores to see every corner from his eyes and presents it through Visual and Creative writing. The blog covers Travel and  Photography content.

2 Comments

  • Raacho Trekkers

    Thanks Tiwari ji… Its an informative and practical guide. You can add the following treks leading from Chitkul in things to do section.

    Lamkhaga pass trek
    Borasu pass trek
    Charang Chitkul pass trek
    Nalgan pass trek

    Thanks.

    • Vansh Tiwari

      Hi, thanks for mentioning the names of the treks. I will surely add them to the list. Also, after knowing the names I might end up doing one of these treks 😉 in near future. Thanks!

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