India has to itself the world’s highest motorable village that is completely electrified. Kibber, in Himachal Pradesh is a big lure for tourists the world over. Read on for more…
Pitched high at 4200 metres in the Spiti valley in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh is the world’s highest motorable village that is also fully electrified.
Standing tall, the tiny hamlet of Kibber nestles in the lap of the Himalayas. It is a haven of vegetation and bears the look of a barren, dusty and harsh landscape. Kibber also enjoys the distinction of being a fully electrified village.
Tarmac roads connect this small village to other parts of the valley. It can be reached by taking a bus from the nearby township of Kaza or by hiring a taxi from Kaza’s taxi stand. This distance is nearly 20 kms. Kibber is also accessible by bus from Manali. It takes almost 11 hours to cover the 200 km long distance, only during the summer months of July to September. Another alternative is the bus route which connects Rampur to Kibber via Kinnaur district. The approximate distance is around 300 km and the road from the Rampur side is open round the year, apart from occasional road closures due to landslides or snowfall.
The best time to visit Kibber is between July-September. Agriculture forms the backbone of the local economy and lush green fields are abundant. By the end of September, when the fields have been harvested, the whole place bears a barren look. Warm clothes are very important in a place such as this.
Must-see places in Kibber
One of the must-visit spots in Kibber is Buddhist Ki Monastery which is situated at the upper end of the settlement. This beautiful structure houses a big carved prayer wheel and numerous captivating frescoes for the tourists to marvel at. Few people are aware that the present Dalai Lama’s teacher died at this sacred monastery in the 1980s.There is a clear water source in Kibber that supposedly originated when the funeral rites of the teacher were being performed there. Fluttering colorful prayer flags make up a beautiful sight.
For the adventurist
Kibber is a big draw for adventure seekers. Trekking expeditions, mountain climbs and various other adventure games are in the offing to give one an adrenaline rush. Trekking expeditions to some of the most exquisite spots around this village can be undertaken.
One of the most preferred locations for an expedition is to Dangmachan peak, at a height of 5157 metres. This hike covers highland pastures that are not otherwise directly visible from the village itself. Other alternatives are the Shilla and Chau Chau Kang Nilda peaks. These 6000 m plus hills are perfect spots for photography lovers.
Atmosphere and populace
The atmosphere in Kibber is one of calmness and serenity. The place has a very pure and fresh, in fact, almost surreal feel to it. Being geographically very close to Tibet, most of the residents here are Tibetan Buddhists. They are friendly, warm-hearted people who are very easy to gel with.
Kibber is home to a meager population of a few hundreds. The village seems to be perpetually quiet and peaceful. The entire village is punctuated with multi-colored prayer flags and small cairns, all of which adds to the "last outpost of humanity" feeling.
Almost all houses in Kibber have the same building style and use up the same construction material. They are made up of stone in place of the usual adobe brick and mud and because of this, the whole place has a rocky, rugged look. The village has a post office, a civil dispensary, a telegraph office and a high school and a community television set, all of which account for the usual signs of human settlement in an area.
It enjoys significant tourist footfall, which explains for the numerous guest houses which deck up this tiny village. One of the most famous resting lodges here is the Norling Guesthouse that offers various facilities to tourists.
Thanks the altitude, the night skies are incredibly crisp and clear and filled with numerous stars overhead. The Milky Way is astonishingly clear, even with the naked eye, and makes up for a fantastic sight. Nights in Kibber, particularly at the peak of the winter season are bitterly cold, with the chill enveloping everything.
Kibber is an absolute delight for those who love to explore and travel to uncommon terrains. However, for bikers, this one is worth a million dollars!