Firstly, Chitkul was not on my mind 🤔when I arrived in Kinnaur Valley.
Then what happened which changed my mind to arrive in Chitkul and end up writing this complete Chitkul travel guide.
The day before, I was in Kalpa.
I had made a plan that I will leave before the sunrise for Chitkul and be right back before the sunset ( Just me things ).
According to my plan, left before the sunrise. Since I was staying in Village Kashmir (Kalpa) hardly any bus passes by before 8:30 a.m. on that route to reach Reckong Peo.
Hence, Waited for some time. Luckily 😃, I saw a bus that had dropped passengers on the Kalpa-Roghi Road curve at 8 a.m.
Conversation Between Me and the Bus Driver
Me – Is this going towards Reckong Peo? Conductor – Yes, come up fast (strict of their time).
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Let me be your Chitkul travel guide and take you to Paradise ♥.
All About Chitkul
Chitkul is the last residing village in the India – China border. The Indian roads end here and you cannot go ahead from here all you can go is backward.
The road to Chitkul is no less than a dream road trip. Driving 🚎on these road conditions are mostly preferred by experienced drivers for safety concerns.
The first and most important thing right at the start – I have been seeing pictures of Chitkul in social media where a part of land near the river has been used as a dustbin to throw wrappers and polythene.
I mean what’s this, it’s our motherland and we are treating like this then how we can increase tourism with the behavior of such kind. i.e Travel Responsibly.
The nearest airport is in Shimla (Jubbarhatti airport).
All the towns are accessible from Shimla because it’s the major hub. You can either take a bus to Sangla or hire a cab which will directly drop you at Chitkul.
*If you take my advice, I will strongly recommend (1) and (2) here because you will get the much-needed break in changing the bus and that is the most important part in the long journey.
I reached Chitkul by taking the 1st option in (By Bus).
I hadn’t booked or enquired about where I will be staying during my Chitkul trip. Therefore, it is the starting of the season (Mid-April) and roads have just been opened so it is pretty easy to find a stay.
I had a plan of going till Sangla and then afterward to my homestay in Kalpa at the end of the evening.
I left my homestay early morning….
Reckong Peo to Sangla Bus = Rs.72
Reached Sangla at around 12:30 p.m. and hopped out of the bus, had my lunch. and began to ask-
Me – What things can I do in Sangla? Locals – Nothing much, instead go Chitkul.
Asked from few others and they kept saying the same thing, not only in Sangla but also hearing the same thing in Kalpa too that Chitkul is like a Switzerland of India.
Okay, in a sec. made a decision that I reached till Sangla and if I am not going Chitkul then it would be a waste of coming till here.
I knew that I have to stay in Chitkul for a night now, and all I have is a camera, phone, and wallet and my other belongingness is kept in Kalpa approx. 72km away.
Luckily, saw the same bus which dropped me at Sangla bus depot. The drivers had their lunch and were about to leave and I asked.
Conversation between Me and the Bus Driver 🙈
Me– Can I come again? I am now going to Chitkul 🙈 Conductor – Come on!
Sangla – Chitkul Bus = Rs.40
Reached Chitkul at 2 p.m. and literally shocked to see Chitkul, never-ever imagined that Chitkul trip can turn out to be so beautiful.
Snow-covered 🏔️all around and baspa river🌊 making its presence felt when looked down.
Major Note – If you are a foreigner, you need to take 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.
Also, If you looking for something near and adventurous then Triund Trek might be a good option.
I have been mesmerized by the Chitkul beauty and felt thankful that I made a decision to come here.
It’s cold too. Leaving everything apart started searching for a place to stay.
The weather in Chitkul is altogether different, the cold breeze has been blowing in the afternoon. The roads have just been opened at the starting of April, plan your visit accordingly.
I have some bad news for the users of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and any other network users because only BSNL works here.
After landing in Chitkul or I can say after crossing Rakcham mobile signals will not come into play.
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 or being disturbed. The actual answer to living in the moment.
Weather in Chitkul
In Summers 😓
Days in summers remain heated as an argument and the temperature drops as the sunsets like a solution.
It is advised to carry inners and jackets to keep yourself warm during nights. Summers merely starts from Mid-April and continues till Sept.
In Winters 🥶
Winters in Chitkul are very harsh and the roads starting from January till April (depending upon the conditions) are closed because of snow and locals take shelter in the lower regions.
Still, Oct-Dec can be visited if the weather allows.
Best Season to Visit Chitkul
The best season would be from mid-April – August or even September (Take care of the monsoon season). The days remain bright and sunny with slight cold nights.
Jan – Apr
In these months’ temperature ranges from min. -20 degrees in the month of Jan to the max. 0 degrees in April. Not advisable or I can say one cannot visit because of heavy snowfall.
May – Aug
In these months’ temperature ranges from min. -10 degrees in the month of May to the max. 8 degrees in the month of August. You can also expect snowfall at the starting of May too.
In these months’ temperature ranges from min. -2 degrees in the month of Sept to the max. of -10 degrees in the month of December.
Things to do in Chitkul
My best part about the journey is I end up covering a lot because I travel mostly on foot. Hence, This is the main reason the Chitkul travel guide is taking place.
1. Panoramic walk
When in Chitkul, must take a panoramic walk along the Baspa river or just chill alongside and make a panorama of this beauty.
2. Check post walk
This walk will be going to your memorable and a proud one too. I was accompanied by my army camp dogs right from the start to the end.
You will be crossing the last resort on Indian soil and progressing towards the army check post. If allowed you will actually be reaching till check post.
3. Nag Temple
Nag temple opens only at the time of Lohri – local replied, after being asked at what time it will going to open.
*One more advice from a Local – Stay away from the dogs of Chitkul Village because if you are not going to give biscuits to dogs, they will bite you and the hospital is very far from there ( Exact words the local spoke to me ).
4. Durga Maa temple
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 surrounding’s.
5. Walk in the village
Any walk is blissful and especially when it’s in the last inhabited village.
Interact with the locals that how they spent their whole day and try to keep yourself in their shoes that what how will you manage to survive in these conditions or environment.
6. Chitkul Trek
Yes, trek lovers, you got this one.
There’s a flag post trek in Chikul and the flag can easily be seen from the land. It’s an easy trek which passes from the village and you can also take local guidance to reach the endpoint.
Buses from Chitkul Bus Stand
Hats off to our HRTC drivers who drive on these dangerous roads. As shown above, this bus directly came from Mandi and reached in the morning to Chitkul.
The drivers are strict in their time. Hence, stick with time according to your plans.
These buses leave from Chitkul Bus stand where you can find written as “Hindustan Ka Akhari Dhaba “ –
6:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
9:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Mandi
12:00 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul➡️ Sangla
2:00 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
3:30 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Chandigarh
All the buses pass from Sangla and Kharcham if mistakenly you miss your preferable bus take any and reach Sangla or Kharcham and from there board as per your plans.
For Ex- It goes like this, starting from Reckong Peo
Chitkul and “Hindustan ka Akhri Dhaba” – You know what I mean.
Budget for Chitkul
From the perspective of a normal Solo Traveller –
Chitkul can be done under the budget of Rs.6000 – Rs.6500 for 3-4 days, considering one day to reach, two days in Chitkul and one day go back to Delhi.
Delhi – Shimla Bus = Rs.650-Rs.750 (Volvo Bus)
Shimla till Chitkul ( From any routes listed in the how to reach section ) = Rs.600- Rs700 (Ordinary Bus)
Stay(Hostel = Rs. 500 – Rs 600) for a night + Food = Rs. Under 1400
Stay(Hotel = Rs 1000 – Rs 1500) for a night + Food = Around Rs. 2000
Major Note – Travel responsibly and don’t litter your surroundings. This is a serious matter
Q. Can I do Chitkul trip in 1 day like “Go early morning and return back in the evening”?
A. Yes, only if you are traveling with your personal vehicle. Otherwise, it’s impossible when you are traveling by bus because as soon as it drops it straight away head back towards its destination and you have to stay (must stay) in Chitkul.
This is my Chitkul travel guide and hopes you will have a blissful trip. If you have any other questions, please comment down below would be happy to help.
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