Chitkul Village

The Last Village of India

Overview

A journey to the edge of a nowhere land, where there is nothing but sheer wilderness. A place where Nature has the upper hand and has taken the serenity of solitude to a whole another level. As you know that a traveler’s journey is like a rollercoaster of beautiful uncertainties. Where every moment of the day has the power to surprise you with such jewels of Nature. 

Such is the captivating beauty of a village known as Chitkul, located at the borderlines of India. As a traveler, if you seek peace and solitude within a place that helps you disconnect with the societal world of expectations and rush.

Chitkul, a shimmering crown of Himachal Pradesh’s offbeat destinations, where the snow-capped mountains are simply majestic. A place like this is enclosed within those denser forests of Deodar and Chilgoza, while the refreshing calmness within the air simply compliments the lush green beauty of these woods. 

As we know that everything in life that is pure and reeks of serenity, requires dedication and a certain desire to achieve. Such is the serenity of Chitkul, making you travel through one of the most thrilling roads of India. The moment you step foot in this last Indian village, you will feel like you have entered a dreamland. Where the sheer serenity of Chitkul, just overpowers the rules of time and makes every moment pass by in the slowest of motion. 

On one hand, the countless shades of Blue Baspa River delightfully treat your eyes and mind with a wave of calmness. While on the other hand, the enchanting beauty of Kinner Kailash mesmerizes your soul as its spell-binding beauty touches nothing yet everything within you. 

Chitkul is situated at an altitude of nearly 11,350ft, located in the Kinnaur valley. Which is known to be the mystical land that stands on the borderlines of Heaven and Earth. 

This enchanting village houses a population of not more than 6-700 people, living in small yet majestic stone and wood houses. Being situated on the Indo-Tibet border, the population is a mix of Hindus and Tibetan. As a result, one can witness the shy and simple traditional lifestyles if one tries to get in touch with the essence of this blessed land on the roots of the Himalayas. 

A journey that does not just take you to this enchanting village, but once you are here. That is when the real journey begins, as this time you travel inwards along with the essence of villages like these. Where one gets an opportunity to feel and build a stronger connection with Nature.

Key Highlights of Chitkul Village

  • As you know Chitkul is located at the banks of the Baspa River, a river that is ferocious and enchanting at the same time. Where such ecstatic shades of blue will confuse your eyes while mesmerizing your mind. 
  • One can even hike to the other side of the Baspa River, which is unexploited and is enclosed by the seer wilderness of Nature. This hike will begin from a restaurant named ‘Hindustan Ka Akhri Dhaba’ which is a must-visit place.
  • Make sure to not miss out on the trout fishes of the Baspa River.
  • The tales of Goddess Mathi Devi, who settled in Chitkul still have a major significance over the locals within this region.
  • Make sure to visit the temples like Mathi & Bering Nag, that surround this enchanting village of Chitkul and feel the divine holiness of the place. 
  • As a traveler, if you are always interested in knowing the architectural history of ancient places like these. Make sure you pay a visit to the Kamru Fort and the Chitkul Fort, as the architectural beauty of these forts will force you to take out your cameras. 
  • Chitkul is known to be the Starting/Endpoint of two famous trekking trails like the Kailash Parikrama Trek and the Gangotri Trekking Trail. 
  • Those times of the year when the culture and traditions of this region are blooming with the festive celebrations: 
  1. The Dakhrain Festival in July. 
  2. Jagro Festival in September
  3. Festival of Flowers, The Fulaich in October.
  4. Sajo Festival in January. 
  • Chitkul is a well-known village for its pristine quality of Golden Apples, which are exported in many different countries. 
  • Not to forget the finest of Potatoes that are grown in this region, takes like no other. Make sure to try some and take some along when you visit Chitkul.
  • As Chitkul has no network, one can experience the true essence of remoteness. 
  • Especially, for the ones who are here for a getaway from their monotonous lifestyles. This place will take you on an inward journey as well, where you fall in love with Nature’s purity all over again. 
  • A known paradise for photographers and birdwatchers, the Flora & Fauna is as diverse as the enchanting wilderness that surrounds Chitkul.
  • An adventurous and thrilling ride for passionate bikers. As the drive to Chitkul is as dangerous as its mesmerizing scenic beauty.

Best Time To Visit Chitkul Village

As you know that Chitkul is nestled so close to the Himalayas and on the Indo-Tibet border. And the fact above brings along some mesmerizing advantages and some disadvantages as well. A place like this where every season of the year has its extremities, where the weather always remains fluctuating. Making Chitkul not so much accessible throughout the year. 

With the arrival of Spring and Summers when the road to Chitkul opens for travelers and tourists. As the lush green grass of those meadows and the dense forests of Deodar just cannot hide under the snow anymore. 

As it is time now for them to start blossoming with the calmness-filled fresh air. As the beautiful havoc of winters is over, everything blooms again from the Flora to Fauna, and this time the wilderness welcomes you with open arms. During March, April, May, and June, the weather becomes pleasant where you can bathe in the sun during the daytime, while you prepare to start exploring this wonderland. The moment the sun sets, it brings along a certain chilliness in the wind, making you light a fire and cherish the night sky while the fire warms your mind and body. 

As soon as the Monsoon arrives, bringing along some treacherous rains and landslides within the entire Kinnaur valley. As you all know that it is not advisable to travel in higher up mountain regions because Chitkul becomes as Dangerous as its enthralling beauty. 

As the magnificent views during the monsoon, when the entire region of Chitkul is covered under the mists and clouds of this wonderland.

 Make sure you talk to locals and do thorough research before you leave for Chitkul during July and August.

With the arrival of pre-winters when you can only feel the presence of chilliness in the air and the serenity of this place. From September to November, when the locals start to mentally prepare themselves to move down as the place becomes inhabitable during peak winters. 

This is a small window of just three months when the weather is simply perfect for a traveler to satisfy the thirst of wandering within a nowhere land. As this is the time the Apple cultivation is at its peak and the scenic beauty of apple farms is so authentically beautiful. While you set yourself free within the mystical wilderness of Chitkul, make sure to savor the taste of one of the best apples you can find in the whole wide world. 

The Winters are here, bringing along the extremities in the form of tremendous amounts of snowfall. This wonderland turns itself into a fantasized dreamland where there is nothing and no one. Chitkul remains buried under a thick blanket of snow as if this mystical village has gone hibernating for the next 3 months. When the temperature falls to -20degrees and the roads are all blocked nearly all the time. 

It is not at all advisable to visit Chitkul during December, January, or even February. As you never know when the roads will get blocked, and you are stuck literally within no man’s land.

As adventurous as it sounds, it is far more dangerous than that. 

We all know the blissful and mesmerizing side of nature, but I am sure some of us have experienced the devastating side of nature as well.

Chitkul, welcomes every traveler, wanderer, trekker, and all other tourists with arms wide open. During March, April, May, June, September, and October. 

Simply because the weather during Summers and Pre-winters makes the place habitable for locals and tourists.

Hence, we conclude on the best time when one can visit this mystical dreamland within the lap of Himachal Pradesh.

Why Chitkul Village Should Be on Everyone’s Bucket List

Those who are experienced trekkers and climbers will be able to complete the Lama Dugh trek in a day. They will not require a local guide or google maps. But for those of you who are embarking on this journey for the first time and do not want a guide, you must keep a physical map handy and your google maps on. Even while trekking solo you never really are alone, as many fellow travelers are passing by. Many locals can be seen out with their herds of cattle for grazing, and you can always ask them for directions.

It is always smart to inform people around you about your whereabouts if you are alone. Your google maps will also keep your loved ones informed about where you are on the trek. You may also face network issues on the way but that is only temporary. It can be an adventurous trekking experience but ensure your safety first. You will need to carry extra supplies of food and water and even if you run out of supplies, the locals around are extremely helpful and welcoming. You will be treated with local cuisine and fresh milk which will completely restore you.

Trekking is not just a sport but also a spiritual experience, especially when done alone. You face obstacles like you have never imagined and find solutions in the most mysterious ways. You learn life lessons and begin to value and appreciate the smaller things in life. Every trek has its ups and downs, and the challenge is to complete the summit. You will want to scream and shout and just give up but that is when you see the light. Your first trek will always be an unforgettable one, which will give you the courage and motivation to summit even bigger mountains. 

You will begin to see changes in your life with every trek and you will even begin to motivate others to experience the same feeling.