Firstly, staying in Chitkul was not my choice when planning from Delhi to Chitkul.
Then, what happened that changed my mind to end up staying in Chitkul and writing this Delhi to Chitkul travel guide?
Suspense & it will be interesting as well.
The day before departing for Chikul, I initially arrived in Kalpa valley.
I had planned to leave before the sunrise from Kalpa to Chitkul and move directly back before the sunset to where I was sojourning in Kalpa.
But, 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 passed before 8:30 a.m. on that route to reach the Reckong Peo bus stand.
Therefore, I Waited for a long time. Then, luckily! I saw a bus that had dropped passengers on the Kalpa-Roghi Road curve at 8 a.m.
Table of Contents
Conversation Between the Bus Driver and Me
Me – Is this going towards Reckong Peo?
Conductor – Yes, come up quick (strict of their time).
I took the bus and reached the Reckong Peo bus stand before the earliest bus left for Chitkul.
Allow me to be your Delhi to Chitkul virtual guide, and I’ll lead you to Paradise ♥.
All About Chitkul Himachal Pradesh
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. You can go backward.
The road trip to Chitkul on the HRTC bus will be full of experiences. Expert drivers often favor riding on these road conditions, keeping the safety standards in mind.
The first and most essential point is right at the start. Please do not throw wrappers near the Baspa river or in Chitkul village.
Let us keep the place nice for our future generations to see.
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 acclimate for a day at either Reckong Peo or Sangla before heading to Chitkul because Chitkul is at a higher elevation. However, 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. Then, upon reaching Shimla, you can take a bus to Sangla or book a cab that will drop you directly in Chitkul.
- Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Flight) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
- 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. Then, upon reaching Shimla, you can take a bus to Sangla or take a cab that will drop you in Chitkul.
- Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Train) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
- 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 –
- Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km) ➡️ Reckong Peo (Bus) (231km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (64km)
Delhi ➡️ Chandigarh (Bus) (244km) ➡️ Reckong Peo (Bus) (339km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (64km)
Unluckily, there is no direct bus from Delhi to Chitkul. However, you can take a Delhi to Reckong Peo direct HRTC Bus from the Kashmiri Gate bus stand.
The distance between Reckong Peo to Chitkul is hardly 65km approx. & you can cover that by taking another bus from the Reckong Peo bus stand in the morning.
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 following day to Chitkul, which 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. So take a night’s rest and leave for Chitkul the following day.
- Delhi ➡️ Rampur (Bus)(470km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (100km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
If you do not require many breaks and want to reach in one go –
- Delhi ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (567km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
If you’re going 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 by changing the bus, and it is the most crucial part of a long journey.
Delhi to Reckong Peo
Yes, a direct Delhi to Reckong Peo HRTC Ordinary bus operates daily 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. Many a time, there might be possible that the direct Delhi to Reckong buses is not available.
So, don’t entirely rely on the direct Reckong Peo bus; you should remain flexible regarding the buses since it will be a long journey in the mountains.
The Delhi to Reckong Peo bus journey will 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 along the route of Chandigarh to Sangla. Since the distance between them is 332km.
The bus departing from Delhi will cross Chandigarh to further travel to Shimla and then to Chitkul.
i.e., the route will be the same for Delhi to Chitkul & Chandigarh to Chitkul. Unless & Until you’ll take some more prolonged courses.
So, If you haven’t got a direct bus, then there is always a possibility that you can take a Chandigarh to Shimla bus. After that, Shimla to Sangla bus or either Shimla to Rampur bus & then to Sangla & Chitkul.
I know you have to Interchange many buses, but Chitkul is worth all your efforts.
Also, Chandigarh to Reckong Peo buses is available. So 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 take a bus to either Reckong Peo or Sangla.
The Shimla to Chitkul distance is 300km approx. passing via Narkanda and Rampur. So 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 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’s rest and leave for Chitkul the following day.
Like Shimla to Rampur, the route will be smooth, but the road will be bumpy before entering the Kinnaur region till Chitkul.
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 an extent, they will not cover your whole journey.
Delhi to Shimla journey can happen on the deluxe bus, but you only need to travel until Chitkul on ordinary buses.
How to Reach Chitkul from Reckong Peo
Reckong Peo to Chitkul Bus
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 –
- 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.
- 12 p.m. (Noon) Bus timing = Reckong Peo ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️Chitkul
The second bus departs at noon from Reckong Peo, passing via Sangla, Rakcham, and then reaching Chitkul around 4 p.m.
The bus will come back the following day 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 must reach 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 go to Chitkul.
How My Sangla to Chitkul Road Trip Become Planned in Seconds
(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., hopped out of the bus, and had my lunch. And then began to ask the locals –
Me – What things can I do in Sangla?
Locals – Nothing much; instead, go to Chitkul.
I enquired from a few other locals hoping someone would answer differently. But, instead, all told the same answer.
I had heard about going directly to Chitkul in Sangla and 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 take almost 1:30 hrs to reach Chikul. So if I am not going to Chitkul, it would be a waste of coming to Sangla.
I knew that If I went to Chitkul, I had to remain in Chitkul for a night. All I have with me is my camera, phone, and wallet.
My other belongings, primarily clothes, are in Kalpa Homestay, where I stayed approx. 72km away.
Luckily, I saw the same bus that dropped me at the Sangla bus depot. The drivers had their lunch and were about to leave, and I had asked.
Conversation between the Bus Driver and Me
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. So if you’re traveling by bus, 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 could be so beautiful right from stepping feet down from the bus.
The cold winds are blowing, snow-clad mountains all around, and the Baspa river felt its presence when looked down.
Significant Note – If you are a foreigner, you must take a permit before landing in Chitkul.
You can take a permit from Reckong Peo, near the Peo parking: “Tourist Info System,” you can take the info and permit for Spiti too from there.
Chitkul Village Images
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 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 to stay during my Delhi to Chitkul trip.
Therefore, the season started in April, and the roads had just 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 on your Chitkul Trip –
Guest House Options in Chitkul –
Amar Guest House
- Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
Ph. No- 09882808668
- Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172106
Ph. No- 09418193464
Hotel Options in Chitkul –
- Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
Ph. No – +91 9892098962, +91 9819186633
Email – email@example.com
Hostels Option in Chitkul –
Currently, there are only two hostel options in Chitkul –
- Address – VPO Chitkul near Thakur Guest House Chitkul
Ph. No- 022-4896-2265
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address – The Wanderer’s Nest Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh,172109
Ph. No- +91 – 8800824825
Email – email@example.com
I stayed in Zostel Chitkul for Rs.599 for a night.
The weather in Chitkul could be extreme if not planned effectively. During my visit, the roads opened at the beginning of April. Thus, plan your visit to Chikul accordingly.
Mobile Network in Chitkul
I have terrible news for Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and other network users. Only BSNL Mobile Network works in Chitkul.
After crossing Rakcham, there will be no mobile connectivity 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. So, if you are coming to Chitkul in your vehicle, ensure that the vehicle tank gets filled in Sangla valley.
The same goes for the bikers as well.
Best Time to Visit Chitkul
The best time to visit Chitkul is between 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 an excellent month to inhale the Chitkul air. Rest but restart; everything depends on the weather; no one can tell it might start snowing in April.
Jan – Apr
In these months’ the 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’ the temperature ranges from min. -10 degrees in May to the max. 8 degrees in August. You can also expect snowfall at the start of May too.
In these months’ the temperature ranges from min—-2 degrees in Sept to the max. of -10 degrees in December.
Things to do in Chitkul
Chitkul is not a busy town. Hence you have little things to do. Although, it depends upon how you utilize that little thing to make something special.
Listed below are the points; let’s see –
The best part about the journey was covering a lot because I prefer to travel mostly on foot. Hence, I also spent Delhi to Chitkul on a low budget.
1. A Refreshing Walk Along the Baspa River
When you’re in Chitkul, you must take a scenic walk along the Baspa river or sit alongside and take a panorama of this beauty. The water will mostly 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)
This walk will be going to your memorable and proud one too. I was accompanied by army camp dogs from the start of the trek till the end because the dogs often come to the village houses.
You will cross the last resort on Indian soil and move towards the Nagasthi ITBP check post. If allowed, you can reach the final 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
Since Chitkul is in a small area, reaching any place will not 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
Any walk is blissful, especially 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 and how you will manage to survive in these conditions or environments.
6. The Chitkul Trek
Yes, trek lovers, there are many treks in Chitkul and Kinnaur regions.
There’s a flag post-trek in Chikul, visible 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 –
- Lamkhaga pass trek
- Borasu pass trek
- Charang Chitkul pass trek
- Nalgan pass trek
Those are some points you can look at during your Chitkul trip.
Buses from Chitkul Bus Stand
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 leave the Chitkul Bus stand at the “Hindustan Ka Akhari Dhaba “point. Here’s an overview of the buses –
- 6:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
- 9:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Mandi
- 12:00 p.m. (Noon) Bus timing = Chitkul➡️ Sangla
- 2:00 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
- 3:30 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Chandigarh
Vice-Versa, You can take a bus from Chandigarh to Sangla, around 330km. i.e. from Sangla to Chitkul.
Likewise, you can travel back from Chitkul to Reckong Peo or some of the other places.
If mistakenly you miss your preferred bus, all the buses pass from Sangla and Kharcham. Therefore, you can take any bus and reach Sangla or Kharcham.
For e.x- The buses go like this, starting from Reckong Peo –
- Reckong Peo ➡️ Kharcham ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️ Chitkul
The buses return like this, starting from Chitkul –
- 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 has different routes to other places like Chitkul, Reckong Peo & Mandi. So you can drop out at Kharcham & can take the bus where you want to go.
Kharcham to Reckong Peo Bus
Before entering the bridge, 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 to Chitkul or Mandi.
Budget Required for Delhi to Chitkul
From the perspective of an average traveler –
Delhi to Chitkul 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.
That will be ideal if you want to do a Delhi to Chitkul budget trip.
Delhi to Chitkul Budget Breakdown
- Delhi to Shimla Bus Fare would be Rs.650-Rs.750 (Ordinary Bus)
- Shimla till Chitkul Bus Fare ( From any routes listed in the how-to reach section ) would be Rs.600- Rs700 (Ordinary Bus)
- Stay(Hostel = Rs. 500 – Rs 600) for a night + Food would be Rs. 1200 around
- Stay(Hotel = Rs 1000 – Rs 1500) for a night + Food would be Around Rs. 2000
- Backward Journey from Chikul to Delhi would be Rs. 1300-1400
That 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 make a Trip to Kinnaur under 8k.
Major Note – Travel responsibly; please don’t litter around the surroundings.
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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. Please comment below if you have any other questions; I would be happy to help.
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