Visiting Chhitkul: A Mesmerizing Treat of Nature for Travellers
If you want to see a bewitching colourful nature canvas of an artist get live right before your eyes, then Chhitkul is a place you can vouch for. The last village at the Indo-Tibetan border, Chhitkul is a magnificent location in Himachal Pradesh with an out-of-the-world scenic beauty. With the winding turquoise coloured Baspa river flowing along the valley, this locale provides a heavenly view for travellers and nature-lovers.
Just 26 kilometres north from Sangla, Chhitkul lies at a height of 3450 metres from the sea level. The road to Chhitkul offers some of the best views of snow-capped mountains and nature of the Kinnaur district. Leaning on the other side of the Kinnaur Kailash range, Chhitkul also houses a number of trekking routes into the Garhwal.
On the way to Chhitkul, falls another beautiful village, Rakchham. The whole place has a number of tiny streams and small waterfalls crossing over the road and valley. The village derives its name from ‘Rak’ meaning rock and ‘chham’ meaning bridge. Breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, pine and cedar trees, stone houses, and cattle herds make this location seem like a picture. Moreover, golden apples, pink coloured Ogala vegetation add captivating patches of colour amidst the rocks make this location a mesmerising stopover. If you are interested in staying in tents along the banks of the Baspa river and tasting adventure sports, then opt for the popular Banjara Camp & Retreat.
About 6.5 kilometres before Chhitkul, this spot offers captivating scenery. It gives way to more pure and white snowy peaks ahead while one stands on green rocky fields with innumerable pine trees and pine cones. While the chilly breeze sets in the right mood for adventure, stopping over this spot is worth it. I had spent an hour hiking in this place, going up the rocks to catch more breathtaking views and catch up with locals. If you intend to have a night stay in camps, you can opt for the popular Jajabar Camp Resort here.
All transport stop at the entrance of the village. The road literally ends here at this point of India. As you look beyond, you feel like you have reached at the door of heaven. An amazingly picturesque place, Chhitkul is bound to leave you awe-struck for long moments. Every direction offers you a colourful canvas. The small village houses about 800-900 people and gives you an authentic glimpse of the rural lifestyle here.
Shepherds taking a herd of sheep to the meadows are a common sight. They greet tourists and travellers with a graceful smile. Crops and vegetation are grown in patches all over the valley. Local women can be seen working in the fields, carrying huge bundles of straw and woods on their heads, nurturing kids and carrying them on their back while working. Very shy yet amicable people, they stop to talk to visitors often, if probed. Farming is the main source of living in Chhitkul and adjoining areas.
One is free to wander wherever one wants and spend time as one likes. Phone networks are often interrupted due to security issues in the border region. Moving inside the village, narrow lanes lead way up with houses on both sides. There is a 500 year old Hindu Temple of Goddess Chitralekha and a Buddhist Temple preserving an image of Shakyamuni Buddha.
This picturesque locale has a lot of adventures to offer including camping, trekking and hiking. No matter what you are looking for to make your travel memorable, Chhitkul has everything to satiate all tastes and interests. I had my hotel booked at Sangla, so having my date with Chhitkul till late afternoon, I had to bid goodbye to this heavenly place. However, I would have loved to stay in Chhitkul at night. Next time, I am surely going to do that and take my romance further!