Chitkul,  Himachal,  My Experience

Complete Chitkul Travel Guide – Guide to the Paradise

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Firstly, Staying in Chitkul was not on my mind 🤔 when I had arrived in Kinnaur Valley.

Then what happened which had changed my mind to arrive in Chitkul in Kinnaur Valley and end up staying and writing this Chitkul travel guide.

Suspense
.
.
.
.
The day before leaving for Chikul Valley, I was in Kalpa valley.

I had made a plan that I will leave before the sunrise for my Chitkul trip and be right back before the sunset ( This was what I thought ). With no clue irrespective of bus timing.

According to my plan, I 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, I Waited for some time. Luckily 😃, I saw a bus that had dropped passengers on the Kalpa-Roghi Road curve at 8 a.m.

I got the bus from Kalpa-Roghi curve
I got the bus from Kalpa-Roghi curve

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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On the way to Chitkul - Lets start the Chitkul Travel Guide
Chitkul 3 Kms away

Let me be your Chitkul travel guide and take you to Paradise ♥.

All About Chitkul

Chitkul Mornings
Chitkul view from Zostel

Chitkul is the last residing: a very small 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 valley is no less than a dream road trip. Driving 🚎on these road conditions is mostly preferred by experienced drivers keeping in mind the safety measures.

The first and most important thing right at the start – Do not throw wrappers anywhere near Baspa river or I would say anywhere in Chitkul village. It’s still untouched by irresponsible human beings and let’s keep it the same.

i.e Travel Responsibly and Promote Responsible Tourism. 

How to Reach Chitkul from Delhi




The distance can be covered in two days by using public transport. It can be covered in a day on a personal vehicle but that would not be a health-conscious option. Acclimatize for a day at either Reckong Peo or Sangla before heading to Chitkul because it’s located at a higher altitude.

The distance between Delhi to Chitkul is 590km. It takes around 16-17hr to reach Chitkul from Delhi.

To go to Chitkul from Delhi, one can opt for any option listed in the points below –

Delhi to Chitkul Flight 

The nearest airport is in Shimla (Jubbarhatti airport).
All the towns are easily 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.

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Flight) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
  2. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Flight) (347km) ➡️ Chitkul (Cab) (246km)

Delhi to Chitkul Train 

If you are willing to travel from Delhi to Chikul by Train, the nearest railway station is Shimla.
After reaching Shimla there are two options as mentioned after reaching Shimla by flight.

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Train) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)
  2. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Train) (347km) ➡️ Chitkul (Cab) (246km)

Delhi to Chitkul Bus 

You will get a Bus to Shimla from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate or you can also book a Volvo Bus till Shimla.

Options available from Delhi to Chitkul Bus –

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km)   ➡️ Reckong Peo (Bus) (231km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (64km)
    OR
    Delhi ➡️ Chandigarh (Bus) (244km) ➡️ Reckong Peo (Bus) (339km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (64km)

Unfortunately, there is no direct Delhi to Chitkul Bus service. If you are willing to travel from Delhi, then you have to change the bus at frequent intervals.

Note – You will be going to reach Reckong Peo or Sangla in the evening. Therefore, you have to stay in Peo or Sangla for a night and take the bus the next morning to Chitkul which starts at 9:30 a.m.

Also, buses run between Chandigarh to Reckong Peo. All you can do is take a bus to Chitkul after reaching Rekong Peo from Chandigarh.

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (223km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

Note – Same here, you will be going to reach Sangla in the evening. Take night rest and leave for Chitkul the next morning.

  1. Delhi ➡️ Rampur (Bus)(470km) ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (100km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

If you don’t want many breaks and wanted to reach in one go –

  1. Delhi ➡️ Sangla (Bus) (567km) ➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

If you want to divide your journey and take rests at Frequent interval –

  1. Delhi ➡️ Shimla (Bus) (347km) ➡️ Rampur (Bus) (129km) ➡️Sangla (Bus) (100km)➡️ Chitkul (Bus) (24km)

*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 of a long journey.

Delhi to Reckong Peo Bus

Yes, there’s a direct Delhi to Reckong Peo HRTC Ordinary bus which daily operates from ISBT Kashmiri gate till Reckong Peo bus stand.

Note – The duration of the Delhi to Reckong Peo bus journey will going to be about 17-18 hrs long. i.e. travel on an ordinary bus after considering your stamina and health.

Shimla to Chitkul Bus

There’s no Shimla to Chitkul direct bus, you can either go to Reckong Peo or Sangla. The Shimla to Reckong Peo distance is almost 220-225km and Shimla to Sangla distance is almost 220km.

i.e. You must take the night rest and leave for Chitkul the next morning.

The Shimla to Chitkul distance is almost 300km via Rampur road.

How to Reach Chitkul from Reckong Peo 

Reckong Peo to Chitkul by Bus 

If you are starting Chitkul Trip from Reckong Peo bus depot - bus chart (Part -1)
Bus Chart – 1st Part
If you are starting Chitkul Trip from Reckong Peo bus depot - bus chart (Part -2)
2nd Part

From Reckong Peo to Chitkul, buses leave to different parts every day. As seen in the image above with the timings and their respective destinations.

If you are departing from Reckong Peo. Two HRTC buses leave daily from Reckong Peo bus stand to Chitkul –

  1. 9:30 a.m. Bus timing= Reckong Peo ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️Chitkul

The first bus departs at 9:30 a.m from Reckong Peo and reaches Chitkul around 2 p.m. The bus waits for 5-10min and departs backward from the same route to Reckong Peo bus stand.

i.e. If you are planning till 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 12 p.m for the second bus respectively.

  1. 12 p.m. Bus timing = Reckong Peo ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️Chitkul

The second bus departs at 12 p.m from Reckong Peo and reaches Chitkul around 4 p.m. The bus comes back the next morning from Chitkul because of safety measures. Also, there are no street lights/road lights on that route.

Also Read, Dharamkot – An Unguided Journey in the Himalayas 



How Chitkul Happened in a Sec

Happy faces of the students
Chitkul Sr. Secondary School

I had a plan of going till Sangla and then afterward to my homestay in Kalpa towards the end of the evening.

I left my homestay early morning.

Took a Reckong Peo to Sangla Bus which costed Rs.72.

I 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 heard the same thing in Kalpa too that “Chitkul is like a Switzerland of India”.

Okay, in a sec. made a decision that I reached Sangla.

i.e. The distance between Sangla to Chitkul is 24Km and it will be going to take all most 1:30 hrs to reach Chikul. If I am not going to Chitkul then it would be a waste of coming till Sangla.



Arrival in Chitkul
This Building is Zostel and I was walking on the edge to reach the entrance

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 to Chitkul Bus fare was Rs.40.

Reached Chitkul at 2 p.m. and literally shocked to see Chitkul, never-ever imagined that Chitkul journey can turn out to be so beautiful right from the moment go.


Snow clad mountains 🏔️all around and baspa river🌊 making its presence felt when looked down.

Major Note – If you are a foreigner, you need to take a 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 adventurous then Triund Trek might be a good option.

Chitkul Village Images

Chikul Travel Guide
Outside Zostel sitting area
Mountain View from Baspa river
View from Baspa river
Chikul Travel Guide
Clicked from Zostel
Childrens of Chitkul - Chikul Travel Guide
Chitkul Village

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 I first 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 I will be staying during my trip to Chitkul. Therefore, it was the starting of the season (Mid-April) and roads have just been opened, so it was pretty easy to find a stay).



Booking.com

Guest House options in Chitkul – 

Amar Guest House

  1. Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
    Ph. No- 09882808668

Vanshika Homestay

  1. Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172106
    Ph. No- 09418193464

Hotel options in Chitkul –

Samaa Resorts

  1. Address – Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh 172109
    Ph. No – +91 9892098962, +91 9819186633
    Email – info@samaaresorts.com

Hostels option in Chitkul –

Currently, there are only two hostel options in Chitkul –

Zostel

  1. Address – VPO Chitkul near Thakur Guest House Chitkul
    Ph. No- 022-4896-2265
    Email – reservations@zostel.com

Wanderer’s Nest

  1. Address – The Wanderer’s Nest Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh,172109
    Ph. No- +91 – 8800824825
    Email – info@thewnderernest.com
Zostel Chitkul
Zostel

I stayed in Zostel Chitkul for Rs.599 for a night.

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 to Chikul accordingly.

Mobile Network in Chitkul

I have some bad news for the users of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and any other network users. Only BSNL Mobile Network works in Chitkul.

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.

Petrol Pump in Chikul

There are no petrol pumps in Chikul. Instead, if you are coming to Chitkul on your personal vehicle then you have to make sure that it was completely filled in Sangla valley which is about 24km away from Chitkul.

Weather in Chitkul

Weather in Chitkul
Near Baspa river

In Summers 😓

Days in summers remain heated as an argument and the temperature in Chitkul drops as the sunsets.

It is advised to carry inners and jackets to keep yourself warm during nights. Summers merely start 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 Time to Visit Chitkul 

Best season to visit Chitkul
The last destination resort

The best time to visit Chitkul is between the months of 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.

Sept – Dec

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

Chitkul is located in a small area, hence you have limited things to do. Although, it depends upon how you utilize that limited things to make something special out from there.

Listed below are the points, let’s see –

Things to do in Chitkul
The Final Destination Resort


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 

Panoramic walk near Baspa River
Baspa River

When in Chitkul, must take a panoramic walk along the Baspa river or just chill alongside and make a panorama of this beauty.

2. Walk till army check post (Nagasthi ITBP) 

Meet our Indian soldiers
India – China Border

This walk will be going to your memorable and 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 Nagasthi ITBP check post. If allowed you will actually be reaching till the last of the 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 surroundings.

5. Walk in the village

Walk in the Village
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 that passes from the village and you can also take local guidance to reach the endpoint.

Dogs of Chitkul
In the Chitkul Village

*These are some points you can look to do in your Chitkul trip.

Buses from Chitkul Bus Stand

Buses from Chitkul Bus stand
Hindustan Ka Akhri Dhaba Point, Buses leave from here

Hats off to our HRTC drivers who drive on these dangerous roads. As shown above, this bus directly came from Mandi District and reached Chitkul in the morning.

The drivers are strict about 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 “ –

  1. 6:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
  2. 9:30 a.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Mandi
  3. 12:00 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul➡️ Sangla
  4. 2:00 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Reckong Peo
  5. 3:30 p.m. Bus timing = Chitkul ➡️ Chandigarh

Vice-Versa, You can take a bus from Chandigarh to Sangla which is around 330km approx. i.e. from Sangla to Chitkul.

Likewise, you can travel back from Chitkul to Reckong Peo or some of the other places.

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 

  1. Reckong Peo ➡️ Kharcham ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Rakcham ➡️ Chitkul

It comes like this, starting from Chitkul –

  1. Chitkul ➡️ Rakcham ➡️ Sangla ➡️ Kharcham ➡️ Reckong Peo

Food options

Food options - Chitkul Travel Guide
People eating food in Zostel

Normal Indian food is available in Chitkul. Yummy Rajma Chawal, not for any specific reason but to feel the living environment with mountains in the backdrop for a mouth-watering taste 🤭.

Chitkul and “Hindustan ka Akhri Dhaba” – You know what I mean.


Budget Required for Chitkul

From the perspective of a normal Solo Traveller –

Chitkul in Kinnaur Valley 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.

The day-wise cost breakdown has been described below –

Delhi to Shimla Bus = Rs.650-Rs.750 (Volvo Bus)
Shimla till Chitkul Bus ( 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. 1400 around
Stay(Hotel  = Rs 1000 – Rs 1500) for a night + Food = Around Rs. 2000

This is not an exact but a rough guess from my side because I did Kalpa and Chitkul combined under Rs.8000. How you can do Trip to Kinnaur under 8k too.

Major Note – Travel responsibly and don’t litter your surroundings. This is a serious matter.

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New Delhi to Chitkul will be going to be the best road trips you had ever done, don’t think twice.

FAQ

Q. Can I do a trip to Chitkul 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 hoping that you will be going to have a blissful Chitkul trip. If you have any other questions, please comment down below and I would be happy to help.

Follow me 🤗 on Instagram for some behind the scenes and picture updates.

Behind the scenes - reaching towards Baspa river (Chitkul Travel Guide)
Chitkul Behind the scenes

Vansh Tiwari
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