Chitkul (altitude 3450m) is the highest village of Baspa valley. Its the last village on Hindustan-Tibet Road and also the last place till which tourists can travel without a permit. There are three temples of local Goddess Mathi in the village. The Guest houses are right on the river Baspa and within reach of the snow-clad hills. The friendly hills welcome people for trekking. It is a very scenic place and Baspa river provides ideal conditions for fishing for those interested. Its distance from Sangla is about 24km.
Nestling almost at the end of Sangla valley is the pastoral village of Chitkul, at an altitude of 3450 meters on the right bank of River Baspa. The place has an unmatched ambiance of tranquility. Chitkul has just a population of a little over 600 only. There are 3 temples of local goddess Mathi, the main ones are said to have been constructed about 500 years ago. The Kagyupa temple has a highly valued old image of the Shakyamuni Buddha, a Wheel of Life mandala and four Directional Kings on either side of the door. Chitkul is practically the last point of the famous Kinner Kailash Parikrama as one can hitch a hike from here onwards. After one crosses over the 5,242 m high Charang Pass, it is a long and steep run down through slithery scree slopes to Chitkul . The powerful goddess of Chitkul is the only non-Buddhist deity to which respect must be paid by the Parikrama pilgrims. It is believed that the local Deity is related to the Deity of Gangotri and till recently the locals would carry the Deity to Gangotri on foot over high mountain passes.
Chitkul does not offers much and is mostly visited from Sangla as a day trip and one can cover the villages of Batseri, the hidden paradise Rakcham, Mastarang enroute to this place.
Chhitkul is very cold in winter and pleasant in summer. Being dry zone, it receives no monsoon rains and hence, ideal for visit and trekking from May to November. Heavy wollens in winters and light wollens in winters are recommended.
Chitkul Prime Attractions
Karchham: The N.H.22 that follows the old Hindustan-Tibet route goes past the villages of Jeoti, Wangtu, Tapri and Karchham. Karchham is located on the conflux of the Satluj and Baspa rivers, which is the start of the picturesque Baspa or Sangla valley.
Sangla Valley: also known as Baspa valley, is by far the most beautiful valley of Kinnaur. It starts from Karchham-1,999m where the Baspa River, coming from the east joins the Satluj river. The road for Baspa Valley branches off from Hindustan – Tibet road at the river junction and after turning south, crosses the Satluj over a bridge to reach Karchham. The road then veers southeast to arrive at Chitkul via Sangla.
Kumru: The village of Kumru is a dense cluster of houses and is surrounded by fields and orchards. The main gate of Kumru has an image of Buddha whose blessings must be sought before entering the village confines.
Rakchham: It is situated about 13-km on the way to Chhikul from Sangla, on the right bank of the Baspa river and is famous for its panoramic beauty.
Trekking in Chitkul : The Morang-Chhitkul trek via Charang Pass (5266m) is a medium trek of the Kinnaur Kailash and Phawarang Massifs. The trail passes through the Tirung Gad valley and crosses Charang Pass to reach Chhitkul in Baspa valley.
HOW TO reach Chitkul
Air: Shimla is the nearest airport.
Rail: Nearest rail heads Shimla narrow gauge Kalka broad gauge.
Road: Busses, Jeeps and taxis are available at Shimla Rampur and Peo.
Chhitkul has no shops and the only accommodation is a basic PWD rest house or the Timber Trekking Camp, which offers comfortable tents and meals.