"Chitkul" - A Masterpiece on the way to cold desert
"Chitkul" was just a name in my long Spiti Valley itinerary, I didn't feel like doing much research on what that place has to offer. But when I did get chance to visit Chitkul on the 3rd day of the tour, I was awestruck seeing the beauty and for the terrain it was. Literally, it was a masterpiece of nature and god's creation on the way to a cold and arid desert like Spiti and to reach Chitkul, you have to take a journey of rough and undoubtedly one of the world's most treacherous roads like Rackcham, Karcham and Sangla.
Chitkul is the last settlement which is from Indian side towards China (previously Indo-Tibet border), China is just 20 miles away and no other villages in between the border. You can see the high altitude peak like Reo Purgyal from the far side on the way to Chitkul.
Chitkul is covered mostly by travelers when on the Spiti Circuit tour.
One can take Shimla -> Narkanda -> Rackcham -> Karcham -> Sangla route to reach Chitkul.
Travellers coming from Manali side, can take Manali -> Batal -> Losar -> Kaza -> Nako -> Karcham -> Sangla route to reach Chitkul.
Best Time to visit:
There is no best/safest way to reach this place, unless you are up for an advneture.
This place can be reached year around, but best covered during August -> November, after considering the rain schedule.
This road stretch is known to be hostile due to the frequent landslides and extrem snow falls.
Mode of Transport:
Can be reached by Bikes, 4x4 pickup SUV's and other high ground clearance vehicles.
But best option is to hop on a Himachal Road Transport Regular Bus from RecongPeo towards Chitkul, the HRTC drivers are on of the masters of these high altitude roads and may be the difference between Adventure ride and Suicide ride.
Things to Do:
Just enjoy the journey throughout and Natural beauty.
Plan to stay for a night, and enjoy the wilderness and remoteness from any hustle bustle city life.
Cover the Spiti circuit starts from RecongPeo -> Chitkul and all the way upto Chandratal after crossing Kaza.
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