Chitkul- India’s Last Village
Chitkul is a quaint village located on the Indo-Tibet border and this is the last village of India. Tourist stay at Sangla and go for half day trip to Chitkul. It will take one hour to reach Chitkul from Sangla and you can plan for one or two-hour stay there and return.
There are several camp sites located within the apple gardens by the side of Baspa River.
During winters, the place mostly remains covered with the snow and the inhabitants move to lower regions of Himachal. Potatoes grown at Chitkul are one of the best in the world and are very costly.
It is also the last point in India one can travel to without a permit.
1. Camping In Chitkul
Go for a walk inside the last inhabited village of India before the border. There is a temple of goddess Mathi at the center of the village.
Chitkul has a very scenic route with apple orchids. For the bird watchers, the entire route is a paradise.
Drive from Sarahan to Chitkul and camp overnight. You could trek through the lush green meadows and grazing fields of Nagasti on the banks of River Basa and make your way back to the campsite in Chitkul for an overnight stay.
Sangla is close to Chhitkul and hotels and camps provide very good arrangement for living and are comparatively cheaper.
2. Stay in the Last Building Before the Himalayas
A quiet little village literally at the end of the road. A sign post proudly announces you have reached the end of the road as you stare at the beautiful Tibetan mountains.
Plan your stay in the last building before the mountains take over. The hotel is clean and offers panoramic views. Check into the corner rooms and you would not feel like pulling yourself away from the window. It’s a nice entry point to Himachal much quieter and more beautiful than Shimla.
3. Soak in The Glorious Views Or Just Mill Around
Beautiful valley, stunning mountains and the beautiful River Baspa! This is definitely a place with surreal beauty. Reaching Chitkul is not very easy though now it would be much less strenuous. Still it does involve a lot of travelling.
You will pass through so many small villages enroute and having your own vehicle gives you the freedom to stop and enjoy the local culture.
4. Watch the Moonrise
“Nothing but pure nature in its glory”
Watching the moonrise is quite a surreal experience. On a full-moon night, the entire valley is lit up by the moonlight. This will likely encourage you to spend more time staring at the sky.
5. Visit The Chitkul Marathi Temple
The most popular attraction of this village is the temple of local goddess Chitkul Maathi, also known as Mata Devi.
The Mathi Devi temple at Chitkul appears to be oldest in the valley. The Mathi Devi is said to be consort of the Kamroo Narayan. I could not gather any folklore for this temple as the locals seem quite unaware of the past.
The only worthwhile visits are two impressive temples of Sangla, Nag Mandir and Devi Maa Mandir. The richly decorated Semi-Buddhist temple is typical example of Hindu-Buddhist confluence.
6. Admire Food Storage Huts
The locals stock up their entire food supply for winters in these storage huts, which are kept locked throughout the season. Quite an attraction!
The food available is usually very basic with non-vegetarian food made only on customer’s special demands and a little extra cash. Chawal, Dal, Rajma, Subzi and Roti are pretty much all you get to eat and yes eggs for breakfast and bread butter. The food price is relatively a little expensive.
Travel Tip: When you visit Chitkul, make sure you carry adequate cash and petrol or diesel for your car as there is no ATM facility or fuel stations in this hilly area.