During our Photo tour to Spiti Valley, Chitkul village was our destination for the second day.
About the village:
Located in Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh, it is the last village near the Indo-China border.
The roads were long and not in good shape. It was close to a roller coaster ride. By the time we reached Chitkul, it was quite late. Having gained an altide of 11,320 ft and with the sudden drop of temperature, most of us were able to feel the rarity of oxygen.
We got up at 5am to venture out in the dark and try some shots. It was the night of full moon and the view was beautiful.
It was such a great moment to see the moon set. Never in my life, it looked so beautiful.
Slowly, we could see the snow-capped peaks being lit by the rising sun.
It was time to do some experiments with the camera. The village is situated beside the Baspa river. In fact, Chitkul is the first village on the banks of the river.
If you are keen on knowing about the settings, here are the EXIF details –
Nikon D610 with Nikkor 20.0 mm f/2.8 D prime lens at ƒ/22.0 25s ISO 50 on a tripod.
Temperatures were sub-zero at night and we could see the frost-bitten plants coming back to life with the rising sun.
We came back to our hotel for some hot tea and breakfast before walking around the village.
The morning activites had begun. Students were going to school.
Farmers started harvesting the crops.
And sheep herders were on the way to green pastures to feed the sheeps.
We spent some time walking around the beautiful village. I would the people not very friendly, as I generally see in the hills. As I was talking to the villagers, I came to know that being very close to the China border, they are sometimes treated with mistrust and are frequently interrogated by the army. Beyond the village, you need a permit to go and is in control of the ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police). This village is also the starting point of the challenging – Lamkhaga Pass Trek
We then went to the village temple. It was very richly carved.
There were ferocious lions and dragons to guard the temple. Dragons are something borrowed from China I guess, being so close to the border.
It was time to leave the village but before that I spent some time relishing the lollipop mountain.
The last view of Chitkul village.
We did stop a couple of times to relish the apple growing in the trees. It was harvesting season and the trees were laden with fruits.
We continued our journey through some of the most treacherous roads before reaching our next destination – Kalpa, which was another interesting place.
This post will be incomplete without a big Thank You to HVK sir and Poonam for all the help during the trip.
Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.
You might like to read the previous posts
This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
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