Spiti Expedition High Landmarks Kaza Hikkim Komic
If Ladakh has highest motorable passes of the world then Spiti is not behind with very unique high landmarks of the world. So without wasting any time we decided to complete our wishlist of places nearby Kaza before signing off for the day. It was a mini round tour of around 40 KM that would cover two villages i.e. Hikkim and Komic. Hikkim has the distinction of having The worlds highest Post Office at an altitude of 4440 mtrs (14567 feet) and Komic is The highest village in the world connected with motorable road at an altitude of 4587 mtrs (15050 feet).
We set off for this mini tour and reached the fuel station first to fill tank. To our utter surprise this was the first landmark that we encountered on this day. This fuel station is considered as worlds highest retail outlet at an altitude of 3740 mtrs (12270 feet). After refuelling we proceeded ahead towards our target. In just few minutes we were out of Kaza and were driving along side Spiti River on NH22 with breathtaking view of valley. Few kilometres past Kaza we exited the highway. The ascent started immediately and we cautiously went upward through narrow roads. The view as always from the route was amazingly beautiful. Within a span of 13 KM we ascended an altitude of 700 mtrs. We reached a hilltop which was just above Kaza. Initially we took a halt near a village to find out whether it is Hikkim or not as there were no sign board on the road. In small and far away villages you seldom get locals travelling to ask for information.
View of Kaza along side Spiti River
On the hilltop with serene environment
Time to capture some captivating moments
Shree at her jumping best
Nonetheless the view from hill top was so amazing that we spent almost half an hour enjoying the serene environment of that place. After much awaited information we proceeded towards Hikkim which was nearby only. Again we reached a junction from where we saw a village downward and proceeded towards it. On our way we met villagers from whom we got the confirmation that this is Hikkim. We walked through narrow lanes of the village and finally found the worlds highest post office. We met with the family of postmaster and sent ourselves a postcard as a memorabilia for our feet. As I am writing this post we have already received the postcard. The villagers were very warm and humble.
The cute little villagers of Hikkim
Walking through narrow lanes of village
A village amidst a beautiful backdrop
We proceeded towards our last milestone of the day Komic which was 3 KM away. It took us around 10 minutes to reach Komic the highest village in the world connected with motorable road. Once again a small village with a population of just 114 people but does have a gompa that is almost 500 years old. The exterior of the monastery is painted in beautiful bright colours a colourful sight amidst barren landscape. Since Komic doesnt have any cultivation due to barren land villagers are mostly shepherds and earn their livelihood by nurturing sheep, yaks, & horses. Komic also have basic accommodation in the form of home stays at gompa as well as village.
Komic Village with homestay facility
Caught the Lama for a selfie
Entire group got acclimatised to the conditions and even after reaching an altitude of 4587 mtrs were comfortable at slow movement. Spent beautiful time at the village and captured memories of our achievement. We witnessed the sun go down past the mighty Himalayas thereby leaving a footprint of lifetime on our soul. Such was the enigmatic energy of the place that everyone was energetic and ecstatic with no sign of tiredness. With the onset of night the place started getting cold drastically and we decided to start our backward journey with a sense of pride and satisfaction. Kudos to the team for accomplishing the mission!
Sunset witnessed at an altitude of 4587 mtrs
Return journey towards Kaza