Chitkul Travel Guide – Stay, How to Reach, Weather, Connectivity11 min read

Reckong Peo – Batseri – Chitkul – Sangla – Reckong Peo

Duration – 2 Days

No matter how many times I go to Chitkul, it still feels like my first. A breath of fresh air, insane looking mountains, peace and more than that it is the last village of Indiaho. With absolute no connectivity, you just enjoy the nature and the distant (which look very near) peaks, without any distractions.

I have been to Chitkul both in the summers and winters so I would like to believe that I can give you a fair idea of how this place is during both the seasons 🙂

Below, you will find all the details regarding stay options, how to plan the trip so that you can soak in the maximum of this place, typical cost, as well as ATM and connectivity issues.

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Best Time

Now, it depends on what exactly you would like to experience in Chitkul. Depending on the choice between snow-capped mountains or free-flowing Baspar river you can make the decision. Below, I will give you how each of the season feels. 🙂

Summers

The summers in Chitkul is not like you will start feeling hot and sweaty. During this time, weather is still very cold and you must wear 2-3 layers during this time as well, however, during the months of May to September all the hotels are open and the river Baspa is not frozen. So you can see a beautiful blue coloured river flowing freely underneath the mountains. Although most of the snow in this season melts and you will only see snow on the top of the distant mountain peaks. But the entire valley is very beautiful. Sitting in the open and soaking in the sun is an experience in itself during this time.

 

If you are planning to move to Spiti from Kinnaur, here is the guide – Spiti Travel Guide

 

 

Winters

During this season, the entire valley is decorated in white. It is so cold during this season that rarely any hotels or homestays are operating. Water is frozen so for showers and washing face, you will only get water in buckets. Further, river Baspa is also frozen, like Chadar in Ladakh 🙂 

Although many travellers specially visit Chitkul to see the white fairyland despite its harsh weather and strict environment.

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The happiest when outdoors 🙂

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How to Reach

In this blog, I will talk about how you can reach Chitkul from Reckong Peo and Delhi. There is also a bus from Shimla that drops you directly to Chitkul. The bus leaves at 6 AM from Shimla and costs about INR 450/-.

 

If you wish to know the routes from Delhi to Reckong Peo, please read our guide here – Kinnaur guide

 

Reckong Peo to Chitkul

In this section, I will talk about two route options. One will be on how you can reach from Reckong Peo directly and the other one is just a piece of additional information in case you miss your bus (like we did).

There are several ordinary buses that leave from Reckong Peo bus stand. I am listing down their timings below – 

9.30 AM – to Chitkul

12 PM – to Chitkul

4 PM – to Rakcham

However, if you miss the bus, another option can be to take a bus to Karcham. There are continuous buses that leave for Karcham from Peo bus stand. From Karcham, you can take a bus/cab or hitchhike.

Reckong Peo to Chitkul

You can take an overnight HRTC bus from Delhi to Chandigarh to reach Chitkul that leaves at 8 PM from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Alternatively, you can get down at Chandigarh in the morning and from there you can get a deluxe bus that leaves in the evening at 5:50 PM, 6 PM and 7 PM.

  • While reaching Reckong Peo, a bus stand by the name Karcham comes half an hour before the Reckong Peo bus stand. Get down here and take another bus to Chitkul from Karcham
  • Alternatively, there is also a bus from Shimla that drops you directly to Chitkul. The bus leaves at 6 AM from Shimla and costs about INR 450/-

Chitkul to Reckong Peo

Now from Chitkul, there are two buses that leave for Peo. These buses cross Sangla as well, so you can shift the timings by an hour. The departure time from Chitkul is 12 PM and 2 PM. These are the same buses that reach Chitkul from Peo.

However, we wanted to spend a little more time and decided on an alternate option –

To Chandigarh

If you want to reach Chandigarh directly from Chitkul, there is a bus that leaves at 4 PM

To Reckong Peo

You can also take a bus that leaves at 4 PM from Chitkul to Chandigarh. This bus will drop you at the midpoint which is Karcham. From Karcham there are frequent buses to Peo (almost every half an hour). You can take the bus then from Karcham to Peo. Getting a bus from Karcham will not be an issue.

 

Travelling to Kinnaur solo? These tips will help you – Solo travel Tips for India

 

Road Conditions

The roads to Shimla are excellent. Of course, once you cross Chandigarh the zig-zag and twist and turns start, however, the roads are in a good condition during most of the journey. But, be prepared to witness some scary sight. The valleys are so deep that looking out the window once you enter Kinnaur is scary. The roads in Kinnaur is considered one of the most dangerous roads in India, and it is not for faint hearts. This road has been literally carved out of rocks and there are sharp blind turns, due to which accidents are often reported from this region.

However, our HRTC bus drivers are extremely trained and champions to drive on such roads. You can trust them

 

Itinerary

Below I am giving you the itinerary you can follow. Of course, you can tweak it as per your preference. But it will also give you a fair idea of what all you can see in these places.

Day 0 – Reach Batseri

On this day, reach Batseri and explore the places in Batseri. Batseri is a very small village of Sangla Valley. The village lies to the left of the river Baspa and to reach here you have to come down through the road in a valley and cross bridges. The place has such peaceful rural vibes and a very clean environment. Over here, you can visit Badrinarayan temple (carved out of woods) and stroll around the village to get Kinnauri vibes, soak in the beauty of river Baspa and have a chit chat with the locals who are very down to Earth.

Day 1 – Visit Chitkul

Today, leave for Chitkul. You can either catch the bus that reaches Batseri at 12 PM or take a direct cab for Chitkul. It will take an hour to reach Chitkul and as soon as you reach this place you will be surprised by the sheer magnitude of its beauty. Enjoy a cup of tea in the last dhaba of India, go near the Baspa rivers and get perfect mountain shots, visit the Mathi temple and also have lunch here. Lunch in the mountains with tea is fantastic and if you can enjoy your food with the view there is no better feeling than this.

After this, you can either come back to Batseri or stay in Chitkul.

If you want to know of the stay options please read this section here – Kinnaur Travel Guide

You can check the website below as well for hotel booking. The best thing about this website is that you do not have to pay any amount in advance. Just reserve the room through them 🙂



Booking.com

Day 2 – Visit Sangla

Today, go to Sangla with your bags itself. Why I am saying with the bags is because you will save a lot of time and can leave for Peo/Chandigarh directly from Sangla instead of coming back to Batseri.

Kamru Fort – In Sangla walk towards Kamru fort while enjoying the Sangla meadows. Kamru fort is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kamakhya Devi, and to enter here you have to tie clothing around your waist, along with wearing a Kinnauri cap which the temple people will give you

Bering Nag Temple – Also visit the Bering Nag temple post this, that is devoted to Lord Jagas

Brelengi Gompa – Also go to this Buddhist monastery which is near the Sangla market itself

 

Also Read – 54 Top Hill Stations in India That We Have Visited So Far

 


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The Map I Followed

Below, the map will tell you the exact distance between places, and also why staying in Batseri is the best. It is right in the middle of Sangla and Chitkul 🙂

 

Where to Stay

If you want to stay in Chitkul, you can stay in Zostel, however, I chose to stay in the nearby village called Batseri, as it offered secluded views away from the tourists. In Batseri I stayed in Hotel Batseri that offers luxury stay and epic views of the valley. You can also get a hot shower, free wifi and restaurant right inside the hotel.

It was one of the best places to stay because I get to witness the flowing river of Baspa right from my room with beautiful mountain peaks. The place was not only cosy but scenic.

If you travelling on a budget, you can check the website below as well for hotel booking. The best thing about this website is that you do not have to pay any amount in advance. Just reserve the room through them 🙂



Booking.com

 

Connectivity

Sangla and Batseri have good network connectivity except for Vodafone. Jio works the best and Vodafone does not work at all. Airtel’s performance is not that bad as well.

Further, once you start moving towards Chitkul there is no network connection at all. Only BSNL works here while the Internet even of BSNL does not work. You can only make/take calls.

 

ATMs and Petrol Pump in Chitkul

You would easily be able to find ATMs in Reckong Peo and then there is another one in Sangla. Other places do not have any ATMs, so do not forget to carry cash when you leave for these places.

Same is the case with petrol pumps. So ensure your tanks are full.

 

Typical Cost

  • Hotels/Homestays – I would really suggest you stay in Hotel Batseri, at least for a day. It is really amazing. You can check out the prices here – link, however, if you are tight on a budget you will be able to find homestays for INR 500/-. Check out a few of them here – link
  • Bus Cost – Bus from Reckong Peo to Chitkul will cost less than INR 150/-. Buses are your best friend and the most budget-friendly partner to have during the trip
  • Food – There is a wide number of restaurants to choose from, especially in Reckong Peo and Kalpa. A meal cost somewhere around INR 150/-

 

What to Pack

Some of the essential things that you cannot forget on such trips are below. I am also giving links to some of them for your purchase 🙂

  • Thermal Inners: This should be your base layer and have a good quality thermal to wear for this one. Thermals trap your body heat and keep you warm. Further, they do not take that much space as well in your backpack

  • Winter Jacketslink
  • Gloves/Muffler/Woollen Cap: All these are essential. During winters it is important to keep your head covered. Avoid wearing woollen gloves during the snowfall season as it traps water. Consider buying the below one – 

  • Pairs of Woollen socks – I love the merino wools socks here. They are the best and keeps you warm – link
  • Trekking Shoes – They are essential as in the mountains walking can become tedious and in some places, you might have to hike – link
  • Balaclavalink

Toiletries

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tooth Paste/Tooth Brush
  • Towel/Toilet Paper
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturizer

Additional

  • Day Pack Bag: You will be needing a small backpack whenever you are going out of your room to pack your essentials – 

 

  • UV Sunglasses
  • Water Bottle
  • Small Towel
  • Raincover: For your backpacks make sure you have a rain cover if you are going during the monsoon season. If you have gadgets and electronic things and your backpack is not waterproof it can damage all your necessities –

  • Slippers: Do not forget to pack good slippers. For quick errands, you will not like to wear your shoes again and again

I hope the guide helps you in having a fantastic time in such a beautiful place. Do comment below in case of any questions, I love to chat 🙂

 

Comments

  1. nishant chandna

    Hii Radhika
    Can i visit chitkul in the month of april?what would be the difficulties which i can face at dis time?

    1. Post
      Author
      nomllers

      Hi Nishant,

      Yes you can! I guess April is the best time to be there as roads are not blocked and there are no heavy showers as well 🙂

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