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Chitkul Visit


The long journey started with an unexpected bump. I had already left home to catch 5.50am Vande Bharat for Chandigarh when a SMS arrived that the train has been rescheduled to 9am. Bummer! I was worried about having to wait for 4 hours at the station. Luckily, there was enough cool breeze until 8 am, and two cups of strong filter coffee kept me going. Finally, the train arrived at 9am and left around 9.45am. And, then it took its own sweet time with very slow speed at various time.


The taxi was waiting for me. A young man, of just 21, was going to take me to Narkanda; my first stop overnight. He kept me entertained with his stories; and made sure I was comfortable. He stopped at various spots which he knew to show me. I was shocked by amount of construction which has taken place throught the road till we reached Shimla.Horrible concretization! Then, it took a long time to cross Shimla due to traffic. Finally, around 8pm, about 6 hours of travel, we arrived at Alpine Valley Homestay.

The view from my window was beautiful and night was coolish. Finally, away from heat of Gurgaon and Mumbai. The food was very homely - roti, bheendi and daal. Mr RoopLal took care of everything. In the morning, I requested him to arrange a taxi to travel to Chitkul and then back to Shimla. He was kind of enough to call his relative in Narkanda and we got a taxi.

I never thought I would end up with someone like Bhupendra from Nalkanda. He is a taxi driver with Nalkanda union but also a mountain trekker and a skiing instructor. He has done many trekks in his life. Throught out our journey to Chitkul; he shared many stories about various places we passed by and his own trekking adventures. His driving - perfect!

Our first stop was Hatu temple. The road is very narrow and the height we ended up was 11000 feet. Wow! What a place! It was windy and chilly; I just did not want to leave. I could have sat there for rest of the day. Then, the journey continued. We passed by Rampur, ate lunch at Tapri and reached Chitkul around 4pm.

I satyed 2 nights in Chitkul. Then took a long way back home on 25th Morning - 5am to 1.30pm to Shimla, bus from 1.45pm to 9.30pm ISBT; and then taxi to gurgaon. One the way back, we stopped at a cafe in Badhal. I enjoyed an omlette; sitting in the open area; overlooking the mountain.