Solo Backpack Trip to Spiti Valley – Day in Chitkul

Chitkul homestay

“Chitkul – The Last Village of India”

How does this sound? – “Hey, I have been to the last village of India” 🙂 yeah…I know your feeling because I felt the same when I heard it from Neeraj (A guy who inspired me to go to Spiti Valley). I was wondering what is so special about this place. I googled, watched all the videos, read as much as I could about Chitkul. It did look tempting, but only after I stepped in here, I realized the true meaning of paradise! A must visit before you die.

Chitkul Land Slide

There is only one Bus at 12.30 PM which goes to Chitkul from Sangla. It is only 22kms, but it takes close to 2 hours to reach. Going ahead in the valley feels like the valley keeps spreading its wings; that too, so ferociously that sometimes you cannot even get through. I got to know that there was a huge land slide and this road was blocked for 3 days. Only day before yesterday, was it opened.

Chitkul Village

“Indian Roads End Here” that’s right. 2.30 PM I was in Chitkul. I stepped out of the bus in the afternoon, and I was stunned with Chitkul’s beauty! On the previous two days, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘hotel to stay’, but here, nothing, absolutely nothing takes your mind and heart from nature. There was Bapsa River, along which I decided to walk, but then I controlled myself.  I simply found a spot on the river side and realized what made my friend, Neeraj, so fascinated about this place.

Chitkul Valley river side

Chitkul is the last inhabited village near the Indo-China border. From locals, you will get to know that during winters, the entire area remains covered with the snow and all the villagers go to lower regions for survival. You cannot travel beyond Chitkul without a permit since the China Border is only 90 km’s from this place and ITBP (Indian Paramilitary force) controls the entire region.

Chitkul flowers

I opened my sleeping bag for the first time amid these yellow beauties. It was slightly windy and cold. But the wild yellow flowers soothe all the discomforts.

Chitkul Camera & Tripod

My belongings also loved the spot!

Chitkul Valley relaxation

Time for time lapse! That was one hour with a much-needed power nap.

Chitkul timelaps

My best buddy enjoyed being in full action. After all, after such a long travel, we deserved the shots. And the happy moments!

Chitkul homestay

Wait….what’s that! Is that a home or a tent? That’s a bloody tent. I had completely overlooked it. And now this was going to be the night halt!

But before I tell you what happened next, I got to go back in the recent history. While I was in a village, I had met these three guys – Rohit – A Kickass photographer, Hari – An award-winning videographer and Nishant –a brilliant speaker! They started their journey from Hyderabad in an SUV and they were on a similar journey as I was. And here, I went close to the tent, and found them again! It didn’t even take half an hour for us to be good friends. Conversations were great. The stay was fun. Everything was more than perfect!

Chitkul Sunset

As the sun went down, the valley came up with a lot more magnificence.

Chitkul Night Bonefire

A night to remember – Cheers to the travel stories! Cheers to travel brothers!

Chitkul Palace

King’s Palace of Chitkul. Those were the days!

Chitkul Homes

A house in the middle of nowhere!

Chitkul Guide

Kudos to my Guide! At his age, I hardly had an idea about the place I belonged to.

Chitkul bus stand

Missed my bus ride! What follows is so much more fun! Waiting in the valley that never stops astonishing you!

Chitkul people

The world is full of surprises and kindness. There is so much love around us but we mostly fail to recognize it. The lady in the picture (Davika) changed my perspective about people! While on a trek I was so tired that I had to stop on the road and wait to request for a lift.

After few hours of trying, just when I have started losing hope, she came to the rescue. She let me ride in her poultry farm truck, she shared her home in Kalpa and provided food for the night. When I offered her money in return, she refused and asked to have this photograph sent to her at her address. I took this picture when she came to drop me till the bus stand that morning. A precious memory led to another day and another destination – Kalpa. Kalpa is the same place where Highway Movie was shot. Interested a sneak peek?

Here is my Itinerary for Solo Backpack Trip to Spiti Valley

Published by

Atul Khandar

From Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand to the mighty Himalayan Range, from the Glaciers of Gangotri to standing at 18,500 ft face to face with the revered Sagarmatha, I have travelled the length and breadth of the mountains exploring them on foot. But I am not finished yet, there is still much to see and experience. Photographer | Avid hiker | Budding Film Maker | Entrepreneur

2 thoughts on “Solo Backpack Trip to Spiti Valley – Day in Chitkul”

  1. Wow pics !! Place to fall in love for ! Well can you tell how were the roads till chitkul ? Are they. Motorable ? I will be travelling in my car( ford ecosport) so prior to that wanted to know

    • Hi Dhruv, I am glad you liked the pictures. I agree with you, Chitkul is amazing place. You will fall in love with this place when you visit. Chitkul Roads are motorable. You can drive your car there. In winters you will have to be careful as it will be covered by snow. Recommended to travel in summer.

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