You must have done several road trips in your entire life either with your family or friends. But the road trip to Chitkul will be going to be a different experience altogether. Because you will be surpassing amongst the most dangerous motorable roads in India (Sangla), the drastically changing mountain climate, & patience level most importantly.
This post will be going to cover how you should plan your road trip to Chiktul on the HRTC bus for a blissful experience in the Kinnaur region.
There’s always a doubt which arises in our head that “how we can reach a certain location at a lower cost”, correct? The post title itself says that on the bus that means the cost will be going on the lower side. But what about that 600km odd distance that you have to cover?
Patience, Patience, Patience! The road trip to Chitkul will be going to test all.
Are there any accessible airports nearby or a railway station? Nope, just hop on the bus and let the journey on the HRTC begins.
Assuming that you’re going to Chitkul or the Kinnaur region for the first time i.e. you must have no idea that where you will be getting the buses.
Table of Contents
Road trip to Chitkul on the HRTC bus
Firstly, we will be going to look at the starting point. Let’s assume that you are departing from Delhi –
Delhi to Chitkul Road Trip
1. Take a metro or bus or any means of transport and reach the ISBT Kashmere gate bus stand. It’s in front of the Kashmere gate metro station.
2. Delhi to Reckong Peo bus option is amongst the most usual because of the overnight journey. The time passes away quickly within a blink of an eye. But in the blink of an eye sleep doesn’t happen with everyone. Especially in my cases.
3. The HRTC bus usually runs on a fixed time that is 8:10 p.m but I insist you still enquire about the prior time because for proper clarity.
4. The Delhi to Reckong Peo HRTC bus will usually be going to take around 16-17 hrs and you will reach your desired destination that is Reckong Peo in the afternoon.
That was the most usual case.
Note – Reckong Peo is the headquarter of the Kinnaur region and the HRTC bus will be going to take around 16-17hrs starting from Delhi to reach the Reckong Peo bus stand.
Now, we will be dividing the journey into different parts –
Dividing the Road Trip to Chitkul into Different Parts
Delhi ➡️ Reckong Peo ➡️ Chitkul
After taking an overnight bus from Delhi, the bus will be reaching Reckong Peo around the afternoon. There are no buses to Chitkul in the afternoon from Reckong Peo i.e. you have to spend a night around Reckong Peo. There are lots of hotels available around the bus stand area.
There are two buses from Reckong Peo to Chitkul, the timings are –
Reckong Peo ➡️ Chitkul at 9:30 a.m from the bus stand
Reckong Peo ➡️ Chitkul at noon and thereafter no other buses on that particular day from the bus stand
After arriving at Shimla, you can take a bus to Rampur and then to Karcham. If you didn’t get the bus to Karcham take a bus to Reckong Peo & drop at Karcham. Then catch a bus till Sangla or either Chitkul directly from there.
There are no fixed timings of the buses reaching Kharcham because it’s not a big bus stand like Shimla & Reckong Peo. The bus will drop on the diversion and from there you can take a bus.
This part will be the longest if you take this route. Also, you’ll get to explore the Reckong Peo side too i.e. it’s your decision if you have enough time to explore the other areas of the Kinnaur region also.
After reaching Shimla take a bus to Rampur and then to Reckong Peo. There are hardly any exceptional buses that are only going till Sangla rather all go further till Chitkul.
Delhi ➡️ Shimla ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Chitkul
Daily buses run between Shimla to Sangla and you can expect to reach Chitkul the same day. If & only If you take an early bus from Shimla till Sangla & reach Sangla before 3:30p.m – 4p.m. The last bus to Chitkul passing via Sangla would be somewhere around that period only.
This would be a very hectic schedule because you will be sitting & then catching buses all day.
Delhi to Chitkul Road Trip would be a very long journey i.e. if you haven’t traveled that much long before on the bus then you must divide your journey into different parts. Because traveling a long journey say 16-17 hrs stretch on a bus is not easy especially in the mountains.
I recommend that you should plan & divide your road trip to Chitkul into at least 3-4 different dropping off points. I had listed the routes above, you can choose the most convenient according to you.
Useful tips for Shimla to Reckong Peo Bus Journey
1. The road journey will be going to be with lots of turns. Carry earplugs & don’t try to eat much while on the bus.
2. The bus will be going to stop for breakfast and lunch if you are directly going from Shimla to Reckong Peo.
3. You can also explore the Kalpa valley it’s just 15-20 min away from the Reckong Peo and can easily be reached from the bus.
Reckong Peo to Chitkul Journey
1. The buses will be going to leave at their fixed departure in the morning. You must reach the Reckong Peo bus stand on time.
2. The two buses which depart in the morning will be taking around 3-4 hrs with approx 60km to cover to reach Chitkul.
Note – You can find further detailed information on my Delhi to Chitkul blog, which also covers different aspects of the Chitkul trip.
The Road till Chitkul
1. Especially from Sangla till Chitkul, the roads will give you a roller coaster feeling. In winter the roads are completely blocked (One of the locals had told me about this).
2. The road to Chitkul is not accessible all over the year, i.e. you must take out time to know the seasons you can do a road trip to Chitkul from the HRTC bus. You can read how is it like to travel to Chitkul in April. This will give you an idea and the weather conditions so that you can choose your preferred month accordingly.
3. Finding Hotels, Hostels & Homestays will not be going to be a problem (fingers crossed) for sure.
There you are, after the long tiring bus journeys and it is completely worth it & you must agree with me not now. But definitely after arriving.
The road trips are often tiring and the Delhi to Chitkul road trip is not an exception to the back-breaking trip. But the fun will be in this type of journey only and when you will be telling your friends that remembered “You sat next to the driver’s seat while going to Chitkul” or “The bus conductor had taken the ticket twice from you 😜” & you laughed out loud.
These are the memories we all end up making & if this post had helped you then please don’t forget to share and follow the blog. It takes so much effort to make content.
Before ending this, here are some useful links for your Kinnaur trip –