You all must be wondering at the heading I have given for this place. Yes! It is the first village in the Baspa valley and the last village of the Hindustan border. It is the last point in India one can travel without permit. It is so remote and comes under the tribal zones of Himachal Pradesh. My family was real enthusiastic to see this border.
The Bapsa Valley is also known as Sangla valley. It stretches to a distance of 95 kilometers. The initial stretch of the valley is as far as up to around 18 kilometers; is narrow and trees like cedar, chilgoza pine and bhojpatra cover the slopes on either side. At Kupa, the valley opens up and widens into an exquisite vale, dotted with picture perfect villages, right up to Chitkul.
Beyond this, habitation is almost close to nil. Being a remote area has preserved the virginity and spectacular beauty of this place. The scenic view is breathtaking with snow-clad mountains, lush green forests and the river Baspa gushing crystal clear water. During winter the roads are closed, as accessibility is very difficult due to snow.
Beautiful houses in Chitkul!
My children became very excited seeing the houses in this village. They had roofs made of slate or wooden planks. But the High School and the Army barracks had tin roofs on their buildings.
Another place of interest that we were asked not to miss is the Kagyupa Temple. This temple has a highly valued old image of Shakyamuni Buddha, a Wheel of Life Mandala and four directional Kings on either side of the doors. The local goddess is considered very powerful and the only non – Buddha deity. It is mandatory for Parikrama pilgrims to pay their respects to the local goddess.
We had a leisurely drive back as we wanted to capture the scenic beauty of the place through our camera and camcorder. A caution of advise for future tourists, as there are no ATMs or Petro bunks, come prepared with sufficient cash and also a fully filled tank.