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There are many hill stations in India and Himachal. From Shimla to Manali Himachal is blessed with many famous beautiful and exotic locations. Other noticeable like Chamba, Dalhousie, and Kasol are not too far in popularity. While al these hill stations are beautiful but I must assure you that there is no other place like Chitkul village. The hidden treasure of Himachal Chitkul is the last motorable village in India.
In our last blog on trekking to the Kinnaur Kailash, we mentioned Chitkul but our journey was too short. Chitkul Village is such a place that attracts you so much with its beauty that we visited here again.
Chitkul Village is known for its mesmerizing views, snow-capped peaks, Gushing river streams, and lush green valleys.
Chitkul is a small village in the famous Kinnaur valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on the banks of river Baspa and is the last village of the Old Hindustan-Tibet route according to Wikipedia. While the Kinnaur valley has already mesmerized us with its Kinnaur Kailash trek but Chitkul has its own place in our hearts. The scenic landscape hosts thousands of tourists coming here every year.
Places to Visit in Chitkul and Things to Do around
Baspa River Valley
Baspa river valley is a beautiful river stream here. The gushing river stream remains cold around the year and water remains clear. In winters the surrounding is covered by snow all around. The place looks absolutely beautiful when the area is covered in a blanket of snow and the river passes through it.
The gigantic Himalayan ranges are clearly visible from the baspa river valley. The mountains look absolutely stunning as they are snow-covered all year round. The river in Baspa valley is famous for its freshwater fishing adventures which is enjoyed with friends and family.
Mathi Devi Temple
Mathi Devi Temple is a highly sacred place for not only locals here but in whole Himachal. The Mathi Devi temple is said to be as old as 500 years. While if you do not wish to visit the temple for religious purpose but I must force you to visit it to see the structure and architecture of the temple.
The wooden architecture is a beautiful treat to eyes. With that, the staggering mountains are always at your back. The premises of the temple is also clean. While you are in Chitkul village Mathi Devi temple is a must-visit. The most famous fair this temple hosts are the Fulaich fair which happens between August to September.
Kamru Fort is a 15th-century marvel located in the Sangla valley. The fort is at an altitude of 2600 m looks absolutely beautiful. From the fort, you can see the lush green valley outside, the gushing river streams, and apple orchards. Lord Buddha is at the main gate welcoming you to this beautiful fort.
This 3 stories small fort tells a lot of history. IT represents the Bygone area. There is Idol of Kamakhya Devi here on the third floor. People of Sangla valley say that the idol has been brought here from Guwahati.
Sangla valley is the place in between Rampur Bushahr and Chitkul village. The place is extremely alluring with its snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys, The 180 degree Mountain view here is covered with snow all year round. The flora and fauna of the Sangla valley is very dazzling too. The stand out thing though remains the apple orchards here.
While the location is very scenic but the people also are very warm. The people here are connected still to their roots. You can see traditional Himachali houses here. With that, the local traditions, customs, and lifestyle of Himachalis can be experienced here. Sangla valley is famous for its trekking routes around India. Small and long treks both can be done here.
Batseri is another famous place in the Sangla valley. Batseri is famous for its snow-capped mountains and valleys. The charm of valleys increases even more with the view of traditional houses. The Himachali built house with sloped roofs that are made of wood is beautiful to look at. These valleys too remain full of snow in winters. The villae has dense forest and the flora and fauna of this place are very scenic. Pine nuts, Chilgoza, and the apples are famous here.
Basteri is also famous for its local artisan community. The community is famous for its Himachali shawls and Himachali caps,.
Trekking In Chitkul Village
Chitkul village is not only about scenic landscapes and beautiful valleys. The place also boasts of splendid treks around the Himalayas. As you know Chitkul is near the borders of Himachal, Uttarakhand, and Tibet so the passes and treks here to connect with Himachal and Uttarakhand.
Borasu Pass trek is such an adventure activity that is very famous. At an altitude of more than 17000 ft, the treks will lead you to some of the most astonishing views. The glacial view of Har ki Dun is one such beautiful site. Borasu Pass trek is famous for its trekking routes. The trekking route takes you through dense forests of Chestnut and willow trees. After the forests, you will be trekking around the bed of snow. This unique landscape and combination of trails make this trek exciting.
Camping around the village.
Ok, I understand you are not much into trekking but still love to do some adventure activities so then for you Camping in Chitkul village is the best option. Take your time out and camp in the dense forest of Chitkul. In the night burn some wood and cook good food. With that, the clear sky full of stars looks extremely beautiful. If you are camping around the Baspa village than you would hear the gushing sound of the river in the background. The overall aura of camping here in Chitkul village is absolutely fantastic.
Few other Important places and Things here
Tibetan wood carving center
As the name suggests Wood-based products are made here. Located near the saffron farms in Sangla the place is best to find some authentic gifts for your loved ones. The artisans here are very hardworking and there work on wood is very intricate.
Hindustan Ka aakhri Dhabaha
While this neither a tourist place nor a trekking place but eating in India’s last Dhaba is surely some achievement. The last Dhabha of India serves breakfast lunch and dinner. The Akhri Dhaba is located near the Baspa river around the Indo- Tibet border. You must visit and eat out here.
How to reach Chitkul Village
Chitkul being far in the Himalayas is tough to reach. The only possible mode of transportation is via road. The nearest big cities from Chitkul is Shimla and Manali but Shimla is close to Chitkul.
Reaching by Air
Shimla airport is the nearest airport to Chitkul Village. The total distance between Shimla and Chitkul is around 250 km and it takes around 8 hours to cover the distance. There are various buses and taxis available from Shimla to reach Chitkul. The second best option would be reaching Chandigarh airport which remains a fairly big airport in the region.
Reaching by Train
Like the closest airport, the Shimla railway station also remains the nearest big railway station also. While overall the nearest railway station from Chitkul is the Kalka railway station. The Kalka railway station is connected to the Chandigarh railway station which is further connected to big railway stations like Delhi, Jaipur, Dehradun, and other cities. From the railway station of Kalka, you can find buses and taxis for Chitkul Village via Sangla valley.
Reaching by Road
All major North Indian cities are well connected to Shimla Bus station and from Shimla bus station you can take for Chitkul via Reckong Peo. While if you are coming on your vehicle then after reaching Shimla NH5 will take you to the Chitkul via Rampur Bushahr and Sangla valley.
Best Time to Visit
The valley is open all year round. Every season comes with added benefits and the charming valley
December to March Visiting in Winters
the best time and season to experience snowfall and watch the mountains of baspa valley. The place is filled with snow at this point of time. The valley remains absolutely beautiful and astonishing. While it is very beautiful but winters come with their cons too. In winters there is no electricity here, no internet a complete digital detox from the world. Not only that in winters the roads get jammed and it remains inaccessible.
In summers April to June
The temperature in early May month is somewhere around 10° to 15° max in the day. In the night, the temperature drops to below freezing point. After mid-May the weather gets pleasant and the facilities around the valley are also possible. This is the best time if you do not want to get stuck in the village as in winter. The weather too remains pretty clear all day around which is best for traveling and trekking.
July to September in Monsoon.
Monsoon is also a great period for experiencing the valley in full bloom and greenery. The Baspa valley experiences a little more rain than the rest of the Kinnaur valley. The more rainfall also means more greenery around. Baspa valley is also known as the green oasis of Kinnaur due to its lush green meadows and forests. While the place remains absolutely fantastic in monsoon but do check out for rain forecast because sometimes monsoon can get harsh in Hills.
October and November In Autumn
While you don’t want to encounter any rain and just want to wander around the valley then Autumn is best. Photographers love the Baspa valley in Autumn due to its scenery at this time and also due to savoring crisp apples of the Sangla valley. Alluring blue skies and marigold-colored landscape offers amazing contrast around the valley.