The Chitkul village in Himachal Pradesh will amaze you in more ways than one. Its snowy landscape and lofty peaks make it a gem that deserves your attention. On that note, put your trekking shoes on to #DiscoverTheUndiscovered. By Upasana Sarangi
Chitkul is a small village around the banks of Basapa River in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh. Being the last village with inhabitants in the Indo-Tibetian road, it is of great historical significance to the nation. The architecture and design of the houses here, food habits of locals, and the general lifestyle emit ethos of a bygone cultural diaspora.
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While extreme winter forces residents to shift a few kilometres down the hill, the air in this region is declared the cleanest in India. If you are planning to visit this serene destination, we’d say try putting these activities on your itinerary to have a wholesome holiday.
Charang Chitkul Pass Trek
It is one of the most challenging and enthralling treks in India. Once you reach here, the view is unforgettable. Think a thick blanket of snow at a distance and down below choicest vineyards rolling endlessly. The feeling of getting immersed in the glory of the Himalayas juxtaposed with the panoramic view of the entire range will transport you instantly to a state of pure zen.
Stroll Along The Banks Of Baspa River
Find this scintillating water body flowing under a thick canopy of pine and oak trees. This picturesque river is savoured best when walking over little bridges that run across it. The pebbles around the river are aesthetic and are considered as wishing stones in several beliefs. It is a sought-after destination for campers. You can also indulge in calming boating sessions to soak in all the tranquillity.
Located at the Sangla-Chitkul Road, Mathi Temple is a significant place of worship. Locals believe that Goddess Mathi used to reside in Chitkul, which made their land pious; they believe, she is the reason for their prosperity. The carving styles of this temple reflect two different schools of thoughts. While the interiors carry traditional Hindu artwork, the outside walls have dragons carved on them. This centrally positioned temple is open from 9 am to 5 pm, every day.
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Tibetan Wood Carving Centre
Support the talented locals by paying a visit to the Tibetan Wood Carving Centre. They design many unique artefacts that are a sheer reflection of Tibetan culture; you can buy a few as souvenirs.
While sightseeing options around the village are abundant, stay options are limited. You will find several budget hotels and homestays such as Samaa Resorts, Zostel Chitkul and Rohit Homestay. It is advisable to travel back to Sangla for more stay options. When it comes to food, the small restaurants along the way will provide you with authentic Tibetan cuisine.
The closest airports are in Shimla and Chandigarh. It is approximately a 16-hour drive from Delhi if you want to embark on a road trip. This place is also well connected by buses from Shimla and Rampur.
Best Time To Visit
It is a pleasant summer destination. And, travelling during winters is not advised as it can get extremely cold out here and most of the stay options tend to shut shop.