In the lap of Nature "Chitkul"
2 years back I went on a solo backpacking trip to Himachal and discovered this untouched beautiful place near Indo-Tibetian border - Chitkul. There I feel like a child resting is his mother's lap. Surrounded by lush green alpine forests I was overwhelmed to see snow caped mountains and Baspa river crossing through the village flowing to Sangla and then ahead.
The road to Chitkul from Karcham bridge is quite bad and bumpy but the view on the way is breath-taking. Only two HRCTC buses run from Karcham to Chitkul in a day. It usually takes 45 minutes to reach Chitkul from Sangla ( a small village and market place in between Chitkul & Karcham ).
There are lesser options of stay in Chitkul than Sangla, I satyed at Rani guest house owned by Negi ji. Its a basic room with a great view and cheap price. Also you could get a room in PWD rest house for Rs400/- if the odds stands in your side. So when I reached Chitkul this time I immediately made a plan to stay or survive the night camping outside near Baspa river. I gathered few essentials like rope sheet etc to build my shelter to survive through subzero temperatures. It was 1 am and my shelter was all wet because of condensation so left me with no other option other than surviving the night I covered my face and slept. Next morning I woke up and found ice on my bags and shelter which gave me crazy feeling to be in the wild.
Sometimes its not about the results, its about the process of hard work and determination to achieve something inside of you. I knew my limits but I wanted to go beyond it, it took me 1 hour to build the shelter but it was all worth it. Glad I took the chance of staying in the wild, not accepting the offer from PWD rest house for a nice warm stay.
Soon I packed my stuff and went to see everyone in the village, I met the forest guard there and some other guys who were working on Global warming project in Chitkul. Later I was accompanied my two of my other friends who went to explore Kalpa first. We took a single room in the guest house and enjoyed the cold breeze with strong sun rays. Weather in Chitkul is a bit different from the other places I've been to, Its extremely dry and cold so chances of getting sunburn are high.
When I am travelling I usually prefer going Solo because there are less things to take care about as I know my limits and preferred way but that doesn't mean I love solo travelling. I would love to have a companion though.
Shubham and Kshitij were really excited about the trip and they convinced me anyhow to go together as this was their first time to such altitude. From the first day I knew something was wrong with them at Chitkul especially Kshitij but he was not sharing his feeling as the situation got worse I started noticing some symptoms of AMS and then he told us some breathing problems he had after coming here.
We immediately asked locals about the medicine and thought of descending but he insisted of staying for one more day because it was my birthday.
I've always seen him like that stubborn and selfless. I don't see a lot of people doing that in our generation, they never put themselves in another persons place and think twice before making the decision. Thats where the true education is lacking.
Well he managed through all the sufferings and cravings of fast food in a remote village. Lol.
We celebrated my birthday calling everyone at the guest house for bonfire and some chit-chat. I took one workshop on astrophotography on my birthday, went for a trek, absorbed nature all day and met some amazing souls. The next day we took this bus to Chandigarh and as soon as we reached Kharcham Kshitij was doing just fine with having Jolly ranger in his mouth.
I wish to go there again and meet every body soon.