Chitkul, the last village on the India-Tibet (China) border has actually boomed in all ways possible since the Covid-19 pandemic. The village has seen a 200% spike in tourists ever since. Chitkul village has transformed from a backpacker traveller village to a full fledged tourist hot spot. Here is why:
Jio 4G has reached Chitkul
The good thing which Covid-19 got along is that even the last village in Sangla valley now has proper 4G connection but only from Jio. Airtel and Vodafone still haven’t been able to reach Chitkul yet. So if you’re planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh, make sure you or someone in your group has a Jio sim card.
It’s over crowded
During the season i.e from June to September, the village of Chitkul is transformed into a tourist hub with travellers from all over the country flocking to the village to get a glimpse of the mighty Himalayas.
Book a room in advance
With the increase in influx of travellers to the village, it’s always better to pre-book your room before going to Chitkul. This is a safer and easier way to go about having a stress free experience while in Chitkul. If you don’t book a room in advance, you’re leaving too much to chance. You might not get a room since the number of tourists is far more than the number of rooms currently available in Chitkul.
Post lunch is the best time to go by the river bank
A trip to Chitkul village is incomplete without a visit to the Baspa river bank. The best time to go down to the river is after lunch. It’s a short walk downhill from the entrance of the village. There is a downhill road which will take you to the bridge of the village. The sunset view from the river bank is something which words can’t describe.
If you reach late, parking might be an issue
Make sure you reach Chitkul village before lunch. Or parking in the village will be a big problem. To avoid having to park away from the village and then having to walk with your backpacks. It’s a golden rule to reach Chitkul by noon.
Food options have increased
Pre-Covid, Chiktul had just basic Indian food and Chinese options. But now a lot has changed. There are cafés serving continental food. Pizzas and pastas are the new things to have and try while in the village.
Accommodation has got costly
The assumption is when you’re travelling to a village which is dubbed as the last village in India, things will be cheap but in reality, that’s not the case. Accommodation in the village has gone up from what it used to be before Covid-19. You’ll find it hard to find any decent room below ₹1000/night.
Villagers are still very welcoming
One very good thing is that the local vibe in Chitkul hasn’t changed with the influx of tourists; the villagers are still very welcoming and kind towards tourists. Always remember to address them with respect and they will treat you the same way.
Children from the village are always ready for a picture
For all those who like taking pictures with children in the villages they visit, Chitkul is the place. You will fall in love with the children. You’ll find children playing all around the village in the evenings. Be civilised and ask the children if they are fine with a picture, before you go around invading their lives.
Electricity is pretty much 24X7
Power cuts in Chitkul are now far and few, so by default you don’t have to bother about charging your gadgets or even taking a shower. Electricity after the network has been the biggest plus that Chitkul has benefited post the Covid-19 wave.
Road leading to the village is well made
Before Covid-19, the road to Chitkul was literally a mess, but that has changed completely. All the way from Kanchan till Chitku.l the road is well made. But at the same time it led to more people self driving, which is good, if you know how to drive on these dangerous roads.