Photography by Kumar Ishan (Ranchi, India)
July 19, 2017
Located at a height of 4270 metres or 14,200 ft, the beautiful village of Kibber in the Spiti Valley in Himalayas has the distinction of being the second highest motorable village in the world. It lies in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. The village is best known for it’s scenic beauty and attracts a lot of tourists and adventurers throughout the year.
The landscape is similar to that of Ladakh and Tibet. Kibber rests admist picturesque mountains, barren landscape and green meadows
Life of the people:
Kibber is small village with total 77 families residing. It has a population of 366 of which 187 are males while 179 are females (as per Population Census 2011). The village has around 80 houses which are made of stone instead of mud or adobe brick used extensively elsewhere in the Spiti valley, making them unique. Kibber has a civil dispensary, a high school, a post office, a telegraph office and a community TV set in the village. The culture, too, is similar to that of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religion. Agriculture is the backbone of the local economy. People also have other occupations such as animal husbandry, jobs in government programs, government services, and other businesses & crafts that include weaving. Villagers count on the 3 day traditional trade route over Parang la to Ladakh to barter their horses for yaks or to sell for cash.
How to reach
There is a bus from Kaza in the afternoon, which returns from Kibber to Kaza early in the morning. Shared jeeps are also available. Hiring a jeep from Kaza taxi
stand costs ₹800 (as in the year 2012).
Where to stay
Don’t expect a luxurious stay at a hotel or resort in Kibber. Accommodation is limited to a few guest houses, Norling Guest House being the most popular. The locals provide rooms on rent for the tourists. Homestays are comfortable and affordable. Camping facilities are also available during summer.
What to eat
The options are very limited in Kibber. Guest houses or Homestays provide food on demand. Locals serve Tibetan, Indian and Chinese cuisine.
The village is popular for it’s temples and monasteries. It is also known for the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary– India’s only wildlife sanctuary in a cold desert, which is located close to the village and houses many snow-dwelling animals such as Ibex, Blue Sheep, Red Fox, Tibetan Woolly Hare, Himalayan Wolf, Lynx, Pika, Tibetan Wild Ass, and Snow Leopard.
Kibber Village is a popular place among adventure lovers as trekking and mountaineering are the main attractions of the village. The high altitude and the stunning, pollution free atmosphere of Kibber is a boon for sky gazers and photographers, who get the most amazing pictures of the natural environment of the region.
Dhrubajyoti Saha (Pune, India) writes about his failures in life and how he faced them.
While reading the newspaper, she looked quite confused. “You can take a year drop for your higher secondary exam, I wouldn’t mind. But take a proper decision, so that it can help you in future”, she told her son- Shiv. Shiv was surprised by what he heard from his mother. 5 hours had gone by that Shiv got his Test results before Higher Secondary Exam in which he failed in 3 out of 5 subjects.
His parents always supported him with his decisions. He was asked to score well and not to focus much on being the topper in all exams. Shiv couldn’t pass due to the tensions and struggles that had now become a part of his life. This tension was for his handicapped elder brother who being two years older than Shiv, was his junior in school. So his parents expected good results from Shiv, so that he has a bright future.
As the results were out, Shiv’s girlfriend, his very first love, left him as she thought he didn’t have a good future. But Shiv didn’t give up. “I’m ready to face this, I’ll not waste any more time. I’ll not take a year off”, thought Shiv, with tears in his eyes. He decided to study hard and improve himself. His mother supported and guided her son.
“Mom, do you have money?” this expression and it’s meaning has changed for Shiv now, 6 years after that failure. Earlier the expression meant asking for money from his mom, now it has changed to wanting to give it to her. Working as a software engineer in Asia’s largest I.T firm, Shiv now supports his family, both monetarily and emotionally. He now knows the meaning of love and the relation between love and sacrifice. He understood through his struggles in life that life gives you many hurdles, it’s you who has to cross them and overcome your failures.
Eunoia wishes Dhrubajyoti all the best for his future endeavours.
Sanchayan Chakraborty from Kolkata shares his travel experience to Kasol with us.
State: Himachal Pradesh
Best time for travel: Oct-June
Known for its Israeli inhabitants, Parvati river, trekking base-camp and Malana, Kasol is bestowed with all of nature’s blessings. This remote village is a blessing for adventure buffs, trekkers and backpackers. With pleasant climate all around the year and low population density, this wonderful place will give you an experience like no other. Being called the Israel of India, Kasol is filled with a mixture of India and Israeli culture that is worth a visit.
How to reach Kasol
By air: Almost 31 Kms away, Bhuntar Airport located near Kullu is the nearest airport to the village. It is connected to three cities Delhi, Pathankot and Shimla. You can hire local cabs or private vehicles from there to reach Kasol.
By road:The HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs regular buses from neighbouring states of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. In the state itself they run to and fro from cities of pathankot, Shimla, Kangra, Solan and Dharamsala.
By train: Pathankot serves as the nearest railhead at a distance of almost 150 Km, while Chandigarh about 310 Km away is another option you can opt for. Taxis or private vehicles can be hired from here as well to reach Kasol.
The hippie village offers you abundant options from Israeli, Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisines. Some of the popular cafes in the region are:
1. Stone Garden Café
2. Freedom Café
3. Jim Morrison Café
4. Shiva Shanti Café
5. The Evergreen Café
*Photographs by Sanchayan Chakraborty