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.

Landscape:
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.

Highlights
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.