Villages Of Spiti Valley – A Bawray Banjaray Guide

15th Aug 2018
Photo of Villages Of Spiti Valley – A Bawray Banjaray Guide by Bhagwan Das

I have always wondered about those painters who usually get to finish their masterpieces. On my first interaction with the mountains, valleys and people of Spiti Valley, I almost got that rendezvous moment after crossing the mighty Kunjum Pass – the gateway to Spiti Valley. You cross through the rugged snow clad mountains, thundering rivers, barren cold lands and then these tiny dots on the mountain cheeks — the villages of the Spiti valley would appear to you like those last touches of a painter.

Rudyard Kipling said about Spiti — “a world within the world” and it certainly is one heck of a beauty. However, for me the search of this beauty in Spiti Valley ended beyond its never ending skies, the ever rising mountains or bottomless gorges of Spiti River. These villages that would appear like the tiny dots of a masterpiece from distance are full of life, wonders, hospitality and you would often come back with a lesson or two on survival skills.

Photo of Chicham, Himachal Pradesh, India by Bhagwan Das

Chicham Khas –The One With The Highest Suspension Bridge in Asia

Until September 2017, access to this secret village of Spiti Valley was by a pulley and ropeway system which was made by locals of Chicham to avoid 3-4 hours trek to reach the nearest road. Chicham is now connected to the rest of the Spiti valley with the highest suspension bridge of Asia at an altitude of 4145 meters. The bridge is built on Samba Lamba Nallah across the Parilungbo Canyon.

Apart from this engineering marvel, the drive from Hansa Village to Chicham is quite breathtaking with the views of Mt Kanamo, Kibber village and the other villages on the other side. The village has close to 85 homes and the people harvest similar crops during the season. There are homestays, though.

How to reach Chicham:

Chicham’s distance from kaza is 15 kms and generally a taxi takes about 45 minutes to get there. Private taxis are best options to visit Chicham but there is an evening bus from Kaza which goes till Kibber and comes back the same day. Kibber is the gram panchayat of the Chicham Khas Village.

Best time to visit Chicham village :

Just like other villages of Spiti valley, best time to visit chicham is between July and September months. Winter is pretty harsh and bone chilling yet Chicham too, remains open in winter. If not Kibber, Chicham is probably the best place for seeing the elusive cat of Spiti valley, the snow Leopard.

Photo of Chicham Bridge, Chicham Khas, Himachal Pradesh, India by Bhagwan Das