A small village closest to the Indo-China border. A place sometimes referred as a paradise for nomads. A place like no other. A place still quite hidden from the outside world of infrastructure, tourist footprints and what not. A place… called Chitkul!
Chitkul might be a small village situated under the glorious sceneries and mountains in Himachal Pradesh, but it still has plenty to offer and today we share with you a fun list of things to do in Chitkul.
Along with the list, this blog will tell you more about the last village of India, why it is a worthy destination, how to reach there without any hassle and more.
Read on to find out more!
How to Reach Chitkul?
Reaching this small paradise of a place in Himachal is not much of a difficult thing to do. I mean you do not have to climb large mountains or swim deep down the rivers – all you gotta do – is take a bus!
Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh are the three hotspots or destinations from where you could easily get a HRTC bus which would take you straight towards Chitkul.
You can either drop off at Sangla which is much closer to Chitkul village or at Reckong Peo.
Reckong Peo or simply Peo (as referred by the locals) is incredibly famous for it’s apple orchards. On the other hands Sangla is a more touristy town which is popular for wood carvings, hand woven shawls, and of course the natural beauty it has.
A trip through Kinnaur is incomplete without visiting Sangla and Kalpa.
Note – It would be much better to opt for an overnight bus journey since it would give you an entire day to explore the various places to visit in Chitkul and surrounding areas.
The nearest airport to anywhere around Chitkul is Shimla. And Shimla is at a distance of around 237 kilometers from the last village of India.
For a train journey too, the best option is to reach Shimla or Chandigarh. And then take a bus, cab or something towards Chitkul.
Places to stay in Chitkul
Chitkul, as I said is a small, hidden gem with mystical views and fantastic stories. But being a place hidden from modern tourism also means there are less options for you to stay.
But with lesser tourism, comes innovating ways for things to work, right? For example, the best options to stay in Chitkul is a homestay.
A homestay is always an incredible option to stay at. You get an apartment for staying along with friends, family, etc. Also, you get a place all to yourself, with helpful hosts, incredible views and everything you need in a holiday.
Chitkul is one of those places in India which are just made for experiencing homestays. You can either go on AirBnB to book a perfect homestay or go through the following accommodation options if you like.
Zostels have become an immensely popular modern accommodation for nomads, solo travellers, couples, and friends.
The Chitkul Zostel is no different. With incredible infrastructure, vibrant colors, fantastic views of the snowy landscape and affordable dorm rooms – make for a fantastic choice for places to stay in Chitkul.
Dorm Rooms: ₹ 600 + taxes
Deluxe Rooms: ₹ 2500 + taxes
Situated near the surreal Baspa River, Samaa Resorts has spacious rooms, great food and all the modern amenities than you may require.
The location is none other than something straight out of a painting – with pointy mountains, hills, river flowing nearby and greenery spread on both the sides of it.
You get a fantastic looking room with incredible scenes right outside the window, a valley looking over you and a bonfire at night with the stars.
Voyage Partial Valley View Rooms: ₹2900 + taxes
Voyage Valley Rooms: ₹3300 + taxes
Things to do in Chitkul
Now comes the time you’ve all come here to read this blog post for. Listing down the most incredible things to do in Chitkul for friends, family, couple or a solo wanderer!
Visit Mathi Temple
A temple dedicated to the Goddess of people of Kinnaur, the Mathi Temple is one of the most popular places to visit in Chitkul and among the very first things to do in Chitkul as well.
You can find three temples at the complex out of which the oldest one is believed to be built around 500 years ago.
As per the local legends, Mathi was the wife of Lord Badrinath and one day she decided to begin a journey from Vrindavan to Mathura to Badrinath and finally to what we call Tibet today.
Before she reached Chitkul, she saw a land divided into seven parts. All those parts were given to the Narenas, Goddess’ Nephew for protection and guarding.
The Goddess protected all these seven regions of the place and finally came to rest at the Mathi Temple. It is believed that from the moment the Goddess made Chitkul her abode – the place started to prosper like never before.
And today, the Mathi Temple is a place that is believed to be blessed by the Goddess Mathi Devi and she casts a protection spell to whomsoever comes to her.
Relax at the Baspa River
The last village of India is situated alongside this scenic river called Baspa. It comes out the Himachal glaciers and later loses itself in the protection of The Ganges.
Baspa is a perfect place to chill, relax and spend hours thinking about the wonders of nature sitting right in front of you, your dreams, desires and yourself.
With breath-taking panoramas, insta-worthy and picturesque backdrop and just the serene, peaceful vibe the place has – you will definitely get the sukoon you decided to go on a trip for!
You can set up camp here, stay near the river and the sounds of the serene nature. You can lay down near the river bed and see the night sky shine through the river – it’s a magical feeling – to say the least.
Make a Wish with 7 Pebbles
The Himalayas is a place of legends, beliefs, incredible stories, fascinating history and so much more. It is said that the mountains have ways to make your wishes come true like no other place.
One such legend is associated with the 7 Pebbles theory. It is believed that if you are in Chitkul, you need to find pebbles – both small and large. Next, you need to stack these pebbles one on top of the other. Once you have 7 pebbles made into a tower – there yo go. Your wish is gonna be fulfilled!
It is that simple – that small a thing. But the small moment, or these little things, aren’t actually little.
There’s plenty unique pebbles that can be found around the Baspa River.
Remember – The wish needs to be a genuine thing you want, not a materialistic one.
Get Mesmerized with Sangla Meadows’ Greenery
Views of the nature, the lush greenery, snow-capped mountains – all in one place. Yes, it is a reality when you come explore the Sangla Meadows or the Sangla Kanda.
Visiting Sangla is one of the most popular things to do in Chitkul and why not – I mean there’s plenty to love here.
It is one of those places that just seems to talk to you, you know. It seems as if you can speak your heart out here. A place filled with light, still seeming like you can open up your darkness to it. And it won’t ever judge you.
Also, it is one of the most amazing places to experience the surreal, peaceful and mighty Kinner Kailash mountain range from. The place is covered with greenery, infamous Kinnaur apples and this sensational vibe that feels it’s a place of your dreams.
Explore the Kamru Fort
Another of the more popular things to do in Chitkul for tourists is visiting the Kamru Fort.
Standing at an elevation of about 2600m above sea level, the Kamru Fort is a dazzling location and boasts out the landscape views of the Sangla valley, Apple Gardens and fascinating streams flowing by.
Dense forests, snowy mountain tops, lush green fields and beautiful wooden carvings of the Kamru Fort attract both locals as well as travel lovers to visit this place – for exploring, photography, relaxing with the nature and so much more.
There is a temple dedicated to Lord Badrinath at the premises of the Kamru Fort. Which is stated to be built here in the 15th century.
It acts as a venue of a fair held at Chitkul once every three years by the locals to honor their deity and then the Badrinath idol is taken towards Gangotri.
The Kamru Fort has an effortless wooden overhang and at the highest point of the structure is an idol of Kamakhya Devi (Kamakshi Devi), which merits seeing. The icon is accepted to have been brought from Guwahati and is critical for the people of Sangla town.
Visit the Only Shiva Temple in Chitkul
Bering Nag Temple is yet another pretty famous religious destination on our list of the best things to do in Chitkul. And well it has a worthy reason to be here.
It is the only Shiva temple situated in Chitkul and is thus a blessed with the divineness of Shiva and his followers and devotees who visit here every year during the months of August and September.
The locals setup a fair at the temple called Phulaich Fair – which is basically associated with the “flower watching” festival of the Himachal.
It is basically a festival where the locals get together and remember the ones who have passed away. It is like Spanish ‘Day of the Dead‘ or another Hindu something called ‘Pitr-Paksh‘.
The entire village of Chitkul comes alive on this day, with decorations, lights and colors. Vibrant stalls and artistic performances can be experienced and you get to have the most authentic Kinnaur cuisine as well.
Learn the Art of Wood Carving
Wood Carvings are a really interesting thing to see and feel, right. Now imagine learning a thing or two more about the art. Sounds good? Then the Tibetan Wood Carving Centre is the place for you to be!
Yes, learning the art properly is gonna be time consuming and a visit to the center cannot do you any good if you want to really get into it. But you can see people doing it and maybe learn a few tricks that might help you in the future to create, umm, idk, a wood carving business of your own. I mean, people are doing weird stuff right now everywhere, so.
The Tibetan Wood Carving Centre has become a really world renowned place and the visitors demographics have changed from locals to domestic travellers to international travel lovers as well – coming to see the best wood carvings of Asia all setup at one place.
Lose yourself in the magic of Rakcham Landscapes
Rakcham Landscapes are covered with steep slopes, lush greenery, scenic blue skies, pine trees and yes, the apple orchards. Everywhere you go, the orchards would follow.
Rakcham is basically a small village situated between Sangla and Chitkul and makes like a magical portal connecting them with each other.
But missing out on exploring this “portal” would mean you did not cover it all on your visit. You need to make a stop at this marvelous place and spend some time walking, jumping, clicking pictures and whatnot around the area.
Rakcham is separated from the remainder of the world and simply has two or three shops selling essential necessities. There is no admittance to the web, paper, postal administrations and wine shops.
It is like a hidden gem, inside a hidden gem.
To Wrap things Up
Chitkul is home to many natural wonders like the Chitkul Lake, the Chitkul Fort and the Chitkul Gompa Monastery. This place is also a popular destination for tourists from all over India and abroad because of its scenic beauty.
There are many wonders hidden to be found in the Himalayas, Chitkul and it’s surrounding areas happens to be just one such wonderous region of the magic that lies within.
Hope you liked the blog about things to do in Chitkul. If you did, share it with your friends and family!
That’s All Folks!