A journey to the world's Highest Motorable Villages Komic and Hikkim, India
The picturesque Lahaul and Spiti Valley embraces several treasures in its vicinity and Komik is one such place, which is set beautifully amid the stunning mountains in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India. Komic Village is the highest village in the world and is located at a height of 18,000 feet above sea level. The beauty of this place cannot be described in words; it can only be felt and experienced with naked eyes. Surrounded by snowbound mountains and majestic valleys, Komik Village attracts countless tourists who simply want to get drenched in its breathtaking beauty and charming festivity.
Komic is located at a distance of 20 km from the town of Kaza, which is the district head quarter of the Spiti Valley. The best way to reach Komic by hiring a taxi from Kaza since government bus service is not frequent. People avoid venture out of the village on daily basis. Hence, there is a bus departs on every Tuesday and Saturday at 2 PM and it takes 90 Minutes to reach the place. The bus will return the village on the same night!
Our taxi took around an hour to reach Komic since the road leading to Komic was partially unpaved mud trail and a steep winding uphill climb. The road was a seasoned dream with abundant on offer from the view of the entire plain land below to a bumpy ride through the mountains. This was also a rookie's nightmare as the winding roads and the steep ascend to 15, 000 feet coupled with the drastic change in weather condition and the depletion of oxygen has made the trip to Komic extremely hard for the first time traveler.
On approaching the village, the first thing, we noticed that village was housed in bowl shaped depression in the high trans Himalayas and the village is split into two different parts, One which is a small cluster of houses at the start and the later which is a larger cluster of houses.
The 500 years old Lundup Tsemo monastery nestled between snows clad mountains and with the picturesque view of the Himalayan valley was standing majestic in the center of the beautiful village. It is believed that the monastery has 'Matrey Buddha,' or 'the future Buddha,' who looks after the wellbeing of the people of Komik Village. It is said that even before the monastery was being made, it was already told in Tibet that a monastery in the shape of the eye of snow cock would be built in a mountainous region in Spiti. Thus, the place was called Komik or Koumik, where 'Ko' stands for snow cock and 'Mik' means eye.
For the people of Komik, their village is their world and it is indisputable because the beauty here is so evident that no one, not even an outsider would ever think of leaving this place. This cold deserted village hosts many festivals throughout the year and the same can be enjoyed by tourists who love to see Lamas performing Chham dance or mask dance.
While returning from Komik, we halted and walked down towards another beautiful remote village Hikkim where the world highest post office is located. The Hikkim post office was opened on November 5, 1983, and Rinchen Chhering-has been the branch postmaster here since its inception. He was 22 years old when he took charge. Today, as he stamps those letters and postcards, it's an act as familiar as planting peas in his backyard or drinking tea. This inconspicuous little Spitian office which doubles up as Chhering's home is the only conduit to the world for Hikkim's 161 or so residents-there is no cell phone signal or internet to connect with. Like the rest of the valley, the post office is also shut for six months of the year because of snow.
The adventure lovers have other perks of visiting this stunning villages. They can trek throughout the region and enjoy the thrilling moments in the exquisite surroundings of Komik and Hikkim. This area is completely cut off from the rest of the country due to heavy snowfall during winter and the local residents store enough food to last the winter season as they avoid getting out of their houses at this time.
The road from Hikkim to Kaza gives us goosebumps at certain sections being too narrow overlooking a 1000 Mtrs vertical drop down to Kaza Standing there and looking at the tiny little Kaza village, well, anyone will surely get those butterflies in the stomach. This very road offers some breathtaking views of mountains in Spiti Valley.
ABOUT THE STAY
There are basic options for homestay and hotels in Komick, where the food is served by local people with great lovel and that too when ordered in advance. Anyone looking for luxury stay can opt for Kaza. Komik can be best visited during summer from May to October as the routes from Rohtang Pass remain open at this time.
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