Village with the highest school in the world: Kibber, Himachal Pradesh
A one hour drive from the town of Kaza on steep winding roads and one will reach the village of Kibber in Spiti Valley which many consider the highest inhabited village in the world with a motorable road at a monstrous height of 14,110 feet above sea level.
The village of Kibber is only accessible in summer from June to October like most of the places in Spiti Valley. During summer there are public buses that operate twice a day from Kaza once in the morning and once in the evening. The other mode of transport is shared taxis that ply but are much more expensive. Villagers generally prefer to walk.
Kibber village has about 70 houses all painted in white with red rooftops. The houses are along a horizontal slope which gives the village a unique picturesque view. The people living in Kibber rely mostly on agriculture to sustain their livelihood and a few of them even work in Kaza. The village has a high school and a post office making their location the highest in the world.
The children in Kibber are mostly looked after by their grandparents as their parents are busy working in their fields the whole day so one can only find elders and children in the village for most time of day. In the evenings as people return back from work they gather near a small community centre which has the only TV in the whole village a few even play a game of carrom.
There is an old temple in the village which looks more like a house but has a huge pray wheel inside and people come there to pray in the mornings and evenings. There are just a couple of shops in the village selling very basic commodities.
Accommodation in the village of Kibber is limited a couple of guesthouses and a few home stays are all that the village offers there are no cafes or even any kind of eateries. Home stays are a better option since they are much lighter on the pocket and give a once in a lifetime feel of staying with a family high up in the Trans Himalayas. The home stays provide food which is mostly dal and rice with potato bajji (vegetable) for both the meals and aloo parathas for breakfast. One will spend more on food than on staying in Kibber.
The nights are extremely cold in the village owing to the great height. Having a shower is not even an option there. Kibber is one of the few villages which is inhabited by people all through the year and owing to this there is a good supply of electricity.
Kibber village is the perfect place for some short treks which are easy yet tricky because of the windy nature of the place. These treks mostly lead one to neighbouring villages which are not connected by road.
The village of Kibber is a place not to be missed in Spiti Valley because of its unique characteristics.
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