You may have visited many hill stations in your life but one place that remains special is Chitkul. This is one of the most scenic places you would have ever seen. Hidden in the lap of Himalayas, Chitkul is called the last village in India. Chitkul is mainly known for its mesmerizing beauty and bucolic nature. The picturesque location and the scenic beauty of the place are what draws travelers towards it. If you are planning to explore Chitkul any time soon, then you have landed at the right place. We have formed a short guide about this village tucked in the hills of Himachal Pradesh.
Best Time To Visit Chitkul
If you are thinking about what would be the best time to visit Chitkul then that is definitely September. This is the time when the entire Kinnaur Valley comes to life. With all the colorful blossoms surrounding the area, the place looks extremely heavenly. You can witness the same even in June and August but that is the time of monsoon and you wouldn’t want to risk your holiday. By September, the monsoons months are over and thus, you can enjoy the true beauty of the place. You can also visit the place during the summer months from April to June. The clear blue skies and a beautiful surrounding is welcoming enough for you.
About The Last Village Of India – Chitkul
Nestled in Kinnaur Valley, Chitkul is nothing short of a traveler’s paradise. This place could be an ideal choice for adventure lovers. Chitkul is located at an altitude of about 11,319 ft which makes it a bit difficult to reach. But as they say, no good thing comes that easy. With Kinner Kailash in the backdrop, Chitkul boasts its unparalleled beauty on the banks of Baspa River. It is said to be the last village on the Hindustan-Tibet route and the first village of Baspa valley.
On one side of the river, you can witness the beauty of the snow-clad mountains while the other side has a terrain full of wooden houses and apple orchards. For the most part of the year, the place remains covered under a thick layer of snow.
When you think of Chitkul, the first question crossing your mind would be, what are the things it has to offer? Well, Chitkul is nothing but a small village in the Himalayas with just a few houses. There is nothing special that you can try here. But if you are looking for the perfect getaway spot from the busy city life then this is the place for you. One thing that you will find here in abundance is peace. Travelers come to Chitkul to enjoy the beauty of nature and to spend some time away from the man-made world out there.
You can, however, go for trekking. There are a few routes that are quite popular among the trekkers. For a single day trekking, you have Nagashi ITBP post which is just 4 km away. If you go further ahead, you will reach Ranikanda Meadows which is at a distance of 10 km. The same trek can lead you to the Lamkhaga Pass.
Location Of Chitkul
Chitkul is located in Kinnaur Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Kinnaur is known as the land between earth and paradise. It is surrounded by Garhwal on the south and Tibet on the east. While the north side is surrounded by Spiti Valley and west by Kullu.
Chitkul is just 20 km away from the Uttarakhand border. If you want, you can walk across the Borasu Pass and reach Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Sanctuary.
The total distance between Chitkul and Delhi is around 569 km. The nearest settlement of Sangla Valley is at a distance of 28 km. The midway between Chitkul and Sangla Valley is Rakcham village. Taking a drive from Rakcham village to Chitkul could be one of the best decisions of your life. On your path, you can enjoy the incredible views which are simply going to leave you breathless.
The Indo-Tibet border is just 90 km from Chitkul village. All civilian movement beyond Chitkul is prohibited. This is the reason why Chitkul is called the last village in India. The area lying beyond Chitkul village is under the control of the Indo-Tibet border police.
Top Things To Do In Chitkul
This place is the best option for a nice, peaceful vacation with your family or friends. Chitkul can provide you the freshness that you are looking for. So, here are some of the things to do that you can indulge in.
1. Mathi Devi Temple – Pay A Visit
Three villages are dedicated to Mathi Devi. The oldest one is around 500 years old. You can visit this temple to offer your devotion and prayers to Mathi Devi. The surrounding of the temple is beautiful. The wooden architecture is worth noticing. So if you are planning to explore the last village of India – Chitkul, then make sure that you pay a visit to this old-age temple and take blessings.
Location: Sangla-Chitkul Rd, Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
2. Baspa River – Take A Stroll
You can enjoy a peaceful walk by the Baspa River. While taking a walk, you can dip your hands to enjoy the cool, glacial water. The crystal clear water looks mesmerizing, especially on a sunny day. A trip to Chitkul is incomplete if you have not marveled at the beauty of this nature retreat.
3. Chitkul – Go For Trekking
Trekking has great importance in Chitkul. If you are up for some adventure then trekking on some of the most famous routes in Chitkul is what you should be looking forward to. The good thing is that you will find both moderate and hard trekking routes out here. Some of the best and most popular trekking routes in Chitkul are:
- Nagari ITBP which is an easier trekking option. This is best suited for beginners.
- Rani Kanda Meadows’s trekking route from Chitkul is truly mesmerizing. This 10 km trek includes both medium and difficult paths. But the beautiful views of the valleys will make your trek worth it.
- Borasu Pass trek is at a height of 17880 ft which makes it the most difficult route in the region. The path includes 90-degree slopes, narrow ridges, and boulders. If you are ready for a lifetime experience then Borasu Pass trek is an option for you.
- Lamkhaga Pass trek is said to be the toughest trekking route out there. It will take you at least 15 days to complete the trek. The best time to cover this trek route is mid-May to June or after the monsoon months.
How To Reach Chitkul
There are two ways to reach Chitkul. The easier and short route is via Shimla and the longer route is via Manali. That being said, let’s walk you through the details now.
Shimla Airport which is located in Jubbarhatti is the nearest airport in Chitkul. After that, you have Bhuntar Airport which is the second closest airport between Manali and Chandigarh. You should know that flights to these places are limited. If you are looking for a better option other than these two then Chandigarh airport is the major option you have. They are connected with many flights from all over the country.
If you opt for a road trip to Chitkul then you need to first reach Chandigarh. From Chandigarh, you have to go all the way to Shimla from where you can continue further uphill to Narkanda.
Once you reach Narkanda, you have to travel downhill to Satluj River. You have to drive along the river and reach Karcham village. From Karcham you have to cross the dam over and then turn on the road to Sangla. The distance between Karcham and Chitkul is roughly 40 km.
For anyone who prefers to travel by train should know that the closest station is the Shimla railway station. This is a small railway station which is connected to Kalka by Kala train. If you want a better option, then the Chandigarh station could be your choice. From Chandigarh station, you can get trains from all the main cities in the country.
Yes, you can also reach Chitkul by bus. Shimla is well-connected with bus serves from all the nearby cities. Once you are in Shimla, you can do two things. You can board a direct bus to Sangla or Reckong Peo. However, out of the two choices, Sangla would be the best option for you. The best thing about it is that you can opt for daily buses from Reckong Peo and Sangla.
If you are aiming for more leisure traveling then you can even book a taxi ride from Shimla to Chitkul. This is an expensive option as it will cost you around Rs 12000 to Rs 15000. But this could be a great option for those who are traveling in a group of 6 to 7 people. You can spill the fare and enjoy a comfortable journey to your desired destination.
Here are some tips that you may find useful while visiting Chitkul:
- Chitkul is famous for its trekking routes so make sure that you carry your trekking shoes, first aid box and other essentials along with you.
- You should carry your camera to capture the beautiful scenes in Chitkul.
- It is advised you to carry some dry food and snacks with you, especially if you are going for trekking.
- The place is extremely cold so you better wear warm winter clothes.
- Don’t pack heavy luggage. Chitkul is a hill station and carrying a heavy bag can be difficult.
Chitkul is one of the finest destinations to visit. Although there are limited things to do in Chitkul, the beauty of the place is enough to keep you engaged. You can enjoy some of the best trekking routes here. This is the perfect destination for those who need a break from their daily routine life. So without a delay, plan your vacation to Himachal Pradesh to explore the last village of India – Chitkul and get ready to experience some of the best views.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chitkul
Q. What are some of the best hotels in Chitkul?
A. There are many resorts and hotels in Chitkul where you can spend a relaxing holiday. Some of them are Zostel Chitkul, The Wanderer’s Nest, and Samaa Resorts.
Q. Which is the best route to reach Chitkul?
A. There are two routes to reach Chitkul. One via Shimla and second via Manali. The best option would be the Shimla route as it’s the shortest one.
Q. What is the best trekking route in Chitkul?
A. There are both easy and difficult trekking routes in Chitkul. But if you want to make the most of your trekking journey then Borasu Pass trek would be a great option for you.
Q. Is it safe to visit Chitkul in monsoon?
A. Except for the winter months, you can visit Chitkul at any time of the year. But visiting the place during monsoons will not let you explore the place. The best time to visit Chitkul is September.
Q. Is Chitkul worth visiting?
A. Chitkul is called the last village of India. The place is surrounded by beautiful valleys and mountains which you don’t get to see every day. If you want a break from your daily life then Chitkul is the place for you.
Q. Is there snow in Chitkul?
A. Chitkul stays covered in snow all-round the year. No matter when you visit the place, you will get to enjoy a snowy experience there.
Q. Does Chitkul stay open in December?
A. Yes, Chitkul stays open in December but many of the roads are often cut-off due to heavy snowfall. Therefore, it is better to avoid visiting the place in December.
Q. What are some of the main attractions in Chitkul?
A. You can visit the Mathi Devi temple, enjoy a walk along the Baspa River and explore Charang Chitkul pass. The place is mainly known for its trekking routes.
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