Jan 072012
 

Chetru is a small village in the beautiful Kangra Valley. Almost every tourist bound to Dharamshala passes through this village, but anyone hardly stops to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Chetru. In fact, it is one of those hundreds villages in Kangra Valley, where life and natural beauties remain isolated from the rest of the world. I was there in Kangra 3 times earlier, but all previous trips were centred around the temples in the valley, Dharamshala and McLeodganj (Read: A Day in The Little Lhasa: McLeodganj) . During a trip in June 2009, I stayed in the Kangra Valley for 20 days. It was a great chance to explore the isolated corners of the valley.

Panoramic View of The Valley

Panoramic View of The Valley

My hotel was situated on the bank of a small river in the middle of nowhere, approx 2 km away from the village, on the main road from Gaggal to Dharamshala (Read, Dharamshala: Serenity in The Lap of Dhauladhar Mountains). As usual, I travelled on that road for initial few days without realizing what I always left in Chetru. One day, I left the bus 2 kms before the hotel and walked around Chetru. And then it became a regular habit for the rest of days at Kangra.

Landscape Near Chetru Village

Landscape Near Chetru Village

I used to leave my bus at Chetru and tried to walk on the road every time while going back to the hotel in the evening. The location of Chetru village is just perfect to enjoy the natural beauty- river valley on one side and hills on another side. Between the valley and the road, there are lot of small terraced fields of rice, beautiful gardens of Leechi and Mango all the way.

A Leechi Tree at Chetru Village

A Leechi Tree at Chetru Village

A Mango Tree at Chetru Village

A Mango Tree at Chetru Village

One crucial thing to enjoy the surroundings is the traveling season. I was there during the monsoon, so everything was lush green and the weather was pleasant. Since it was the rice cultivation season, the sighting of people working in the rice fields was very common. They were ploughing, planting, working hard in the tiny rice terraces of Chetru. Sometimes I have seen the villagers carrying stones on their head and climbing upside from the river valley. They used these stones to build home, to cover landslide-prone terrains etc.

Paddy Fields Near Chetru Village

Paddy Fields Near Chetru Village

Paddy Fields at Chetru

Paddy Fields at Chetru

People Working in The Fields

People Working in The Fields

Women Working Near Chetru Village

Women Working Near Chetru Village

A Farmer Working in The Field

A Farmer Working in The Field

The life in these villages is very tough. (Read: Some Beautiful Places in The Spectacular Kangra Valley) You have to fight against the nature to arrange your food and water always. Although government put an effort to make the drinking water available through the pipelines, but still you can see people carrying 2-3 buckets and climbing up on the high terrains or walking 2-3 kms for the water.

People Working in The Field

People Working in The Field

Plantation Near Chetru Village

Plantation Near Chetru Village

View of Valley Near Chetru Village

View of Valley Near Chetru Village

Interestingly, there is also a Buddha Stupa, known as Bhim ka Tila, at Chetru village. It is not like a traditional dome-shaped stupa, but it is a small hill (say, mound) surrounded by the beautiful flowers. From the common people perspective, it’s a completely neglected site and there is nothing interesting except the fact that The head and body of the Lord Buddha, excavated from this site is now at display in the museum of Lahore.

Chetru Stupa

Chetru Stupa

Chetru Stupa Information Board

Chetru Stupa Information Board

Flowers Near Chetru Village

Flowers Near Chetru Village

A proper restaurant or food joint is not available at the village. 2-3 small shops sell the stuff like biscuits, chips and cold drinks. A small momo shop near the bus stand of Chetru provides the delicious momos.

Overall, wondering around Chetru is an awesome experience, which will give you a pleasant taste of the village life, away from the crowded towns.

View of Valley Near Chetru Village

View of Valley Near Chetru Village

How to Reach There?

Chetru is on main Kangra-Gaggal-Dharamshala Road. It is 6 kms away from Kangra, 2 kms away from Gaggal and 11 kms away from Dharamshala. Gaggal is the nearest airport (4 kms).

Kangra is 90 kms away from Pathankot,a major rail head. Narrow gauge trains run between Pathankot and Kangra and goes further up to Joginder Nagar. Kangra Mandir is the nearest rail station. Sometimes these toy trains run too slow that you can even walk with them. The train journey passes through the beautiful hills, small bridges along-with the large portion of Pong Dam lake.

Where to Stay?

No accommodation is available at the village. Two hotels are there after passing the village, approx 2 kms away and that location is superb. Other nearby places to stay are Kangra, Gaggal and Dharamshala. It hardly required 2-3 hours of walk to explore around the village.

What to Expect?

Nothing. Don’t visit a small village in the Himalayas with any expectation. Just club a nature walk around Chetru with your visit to Kangra, Dharamshala and McLeodganj. You can walk along the terraced fields, in the river with very less water and pass through a dense bushes and enjoy the pine-trees while walking upwards on the hill. It will definitely be a memorable experience.

  12 Responses to “Chetru : A Beautiful Village in Kangra Valley”

  1. How did you manager your solo stay on triund? Are there any options for solo backpackers? I’m planning to visit in september’16.

  2. its really inspirational to see such beautiful villages information online by guys like you. i am native of kangra. its very hurting when you have to go away from your home for earning but this is the life. thank you very much for such a kind and happy memory.

  3. Do also give some information on Bir Billing & para gliding activities out there. Chetru seems indeed to be an island of tranquility.

  4. hey Avinash…… This is Anuradha… I am living in Dharamshala for the past one and a half year… But I didn’t know about the beautiful places you’ve mentioned in your blog….. Such nyc places.. Now will definitely go to these places… Lovely….

    • Hi Anuradha,

      I spent 15 days working at Gaggal Airport and wondering in the small villages of Kangra during the free time was an amazing experience. Hope you will enjoy your stay there.

      Regards,
      Avanish

      • I wonder that in a very short span of time how could you manage to travel in the villages of Dharamshala? In fact, I was thinking that how can you get so much time for travelling such places? I’m surprised but appreciate you for this.. Even we people can’t find time to travel our nearest places… Hats off…. 🙂 Nyz I am planning to visit all the beautiful places of Dharamshala now, thanks for inspiration…… 🙂

        Anuradha…..

        • Hi Anuradha, Thanks for the appreciation. When I was working there, I was suppose to report at my office by 11 AM…So, I used to left my hotel by 6 AM daily in the morning..It always gave me about 5 hours to visit any nearby place. That way, I continuously visited lot of places one by one in 15 days.

  5. I visit Chetru every year just to charge myself & stay in Midway Resort. This resort is indeed a home away from home. Perfect example of hospitality & warmth in the cool environment & scenic beauty of the village. This place gives me peace & tranquility which is missing in the city of Agra my home town.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this with us,would like to know more about dharamshala as if which other places to visit..????? would appreciate if u could help with this.

    Thnx
    Deepika

    • Hi Deepika,

      I have given details of almost all the places of Kangra Valley in this blog and other three blogs which links are at the end of this blog…Apart of these places, there is not much to see in Kangra Valley..These places will take plenty of time..You can also trek to Triund, which will take about two days..If your trip duration is longer, you can club some other destinations like Dalhousie and Chamba..I think this information will be helpful to you. Thanks for visiting this blog. If any help required, will be happy to help you. Hope you will continue to visit SoloBackpacker..

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