I recently came back from Spiti valley - it was my first 10 day solo trip. Like everyone else, I did enough research before starting. I read about the villages, Spiti attractions, Monasteries, Lakes, Treks, Must do’s, best home-stays and restaurants; so much so that I even knew where all can I find restrooms.
What I never found online was village Chichum (which lies ahead of Khibber village). I hitch hiked to Khibber after spending time with the monks at the legendary Kye Monastery. Khibber lies at an altitude of ~4200m and used to be the highest motor-able village in Asia until Komic village took the crown (this is still an unsettled topic in Spiti valley).
I found a cozy home-stay at Khibber and after relaxing for a bit I thought of taking a stroll through the village. I was much curious to know how locals feel about living in Asias’ highest motor-able village. I was carrying my camera, candies (I always carry some for the charming little village kids) and the smile. I greeted everyone ‘Juley’ and kept walking. I stopped to have tea on the way and started chatting with a group of locals. They narrated so many stories about village Chichum and its epic Ropeway – the explorer in me got restless.
Chichum village is situated in the opposite slope, across the Parilungbo canyon and is a 2-3 hour trek from Khibber. Crossing the mud roof houses painted red and white I entered the Pea farms – it was gorgeous. I clicked and kept walking.
And there in the end beyond the valley and pea farms I saw something breathtaking - an ingenious ropeway between two mountain peaks, over a deep gorge. The container on the pulley was being used to transport men - basically everything living and non-living. I saw people pulling the ropes on the other end. The locals say that the ropeway was built about 10 years ago and has never collapsed. I hopped on and within 3 minutes I was inside the open container with the locals (yes, this features in the “most adventurous things I have done” list).
The journey from one mountain peak to another through ropeway was EPIC. I have experienced ropeway before but it was purely for fun. This was WILD – it was actually used by the little kids to go to school every day like a regular means of transport. Upon inquiring I got to know that the government is trying to build this bridge for almost 8 years now and it probably will take another 8 years, hence, the ropeway.
I entered the village, met few locals, had tea, clicked a few pictures and started the journey back to Khibber but I could not get the ropeway out of my head. I kept looking back until it disappeared.
Believe you me; this accomplishment by the locals is worth a ride for the stunning views of the gorge and the daunting sensation of the adjoining peaks.
Have you been here?