Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Local Sightseeing in Kaza

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Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang are places around Kaza in Spiti Valley which can be easily explored in a day and hence, continuing on my efforts in completing the comprehensive travel guide of Spiti Valley, today I will cover them as first part of local sightseeing around Kaza. I will be writing more articles in coming days to cover other places to explore around Kaza in Spiti Valley as it usually acts as a hub/centre point to explore magical Spiti Valley.

All these places can be covered in the famous village treks too which usually starts from Key Gompa and follows the trail sometimes all the way up to Dhangkar Monastery covering all the beautiful hidden gems of Spiti Valley like Chicham, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang and then towards Langza, Komik, Hikkim, Demul, Lhalung, Dhangkar and back to Kaza either directly OR covering Pin Valley on the way back from Dhangkar 🙂 .. See, so there is so so so much to cover in Spiti Valley and best part is that all these places are a day trek from each other and usually people start from Kaza to Key Monastery and then complete all the way back to Kaza either covering all or skipping few villages in between depending on the number of days in hand. However, for the brevity of this article I will keep myself focused on Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang and cover others in rest of the articles of this amazing series on comprehensive travel guide of Spiti Valley :)…

Kibber Village with Snow Around
Kibber Village with Snow Around
Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang

In rest of the article, I will explain about these places in brief and in case of any doubt you can always leave a comment below in the article or post in DoW Community Itinerary advice section.

Key Monastery

Key monastery, is about 14 KMs away from Kaza at an altitude of 4116 Meters. When you drive towards Losar from Kaza there comes a bridge from where the straight road leads to Key – Kibber and the left goes towards Rangrik and further towards Losar across that bridge. Key is the oldest monastery and the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley. It is built atop a hill and portrays a combination of a monastery and a fort. The monastery has some really beautiful scriptures and paintings of Lord Buddha and other gods. The Key gompa is also famous for its priceless collection of ancient thangkas, including Tibetan silk thangkas upto 800 years old and frescoes depicting the life of Padmasambhava. There is a Key Village that comes just before the Key monastery. There is a guest house at Key monastery as well where you can stay for the day. The views from this vantage point are just breathtaking from where you can also view Rangrik Village across the Spiti River. If you have seen bollywood movie Highway, then there are many scenes shot here only 😉

Key Gompa also has a monastery guest house as well where you can stay for the day or you can stay inside the monastery rooms as well by paying a small fees to the monastery. You share the same food that is cooked for the monks.

Ki Monastery for you…
Key Monastery or Key Gompa
Breathtaking Snow filled views from Key Monastery
Breathtaking Snow filled views from Key Monastery
Rangrik Village as seen from Key Monastery
Rangrik Village as seen from Key Monastery
Kibber – Gette – Tashigang

About 9-10 KMs from Key Monastery ahead and at an altitude of 4205 Meters, there lies another beautiful village named Kibber. Kibber claims itself as the highest inhabitat village in the world. However, there is another village about 7 KMs east of Kibber by the name Gette at an altitude of 4270 Mtrs, Tashigang at around 4500 Mtrs and then there is Komic which is further higher. I have been to Hanle in Ladakh as well which too is around 4500 So, I am not sure how true these claims are as I assume there might be more villages in (may be in Tibet too) which might prove these claims false enough but not known to us. But, may be the second fact associated with Kibber being second highest inhabitat village in Asia (Komic being highest) connected by bus service could be true. Anyways forgetting about these accolades, you will surely enjoy the drive from Key monastery to Kibber where the road is not that paved but the views are very enchanting once you reach Kibber. Spend some time in this timeless village as well to feel the culture around. The houses in Kibber village are unique to Spiti as most of them are made of stones instead of mud or brick used extensively in other parts of the Spiti Valley though looks similar to what you might have seen yet in Spiti. The vistas surrounding the Kibber and Gette villages are all mountains of limestone rocks which adds more colours to this beautiful valley, especially in case you are visiting Spiti Valley in autumn or fall. Kibber also acts as the base for the amazing 3 day trek to Mount Kanamo at an altitude of 6000 Mtrs.

You can drive about 7 KMs from Kibber to east, a road just goes up before entering Kibber, which will take you to Gette village. The same dirt road goes up towards Tashigang, at an altitude of 4500 Mtrs where the motorable road ends. Due to loose gravel sometimes the vehicle struggles on reaching the top. You will be able to sight the Langza village overlooking the Shilla Valley and the towering Chau Chau Kang Nilda Peak 🙂

You can easily spot Chicham Village nestled below the two huge mountains peaks. In order to reach Chicham Village, the road goes up to the point of gorge over which manual trolley is installed used by locals to transit from Chicham to the motorable road, of course it will give you goosebumps and for sure not for faint hearted like me ;)… In case, you are trekking from Chicham to Tashigang though Kibber, then you will be passing through Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary which is quite famous for spotting the Snow Leopards, yeah those big rare cats and that is the reason why Kibber acts as a base location for many wilflifers who come here to snap these rare snow leopards. You can also spot Tibetan wolves, ibexes, yaks etc.. here.

How fast can you run…Path leading to Ki and Kibber…
Road leading to Ki and Kibber
Aparted… Kibber Village for you…
Kibber Village
Chicham Village under snow cover
Chicham Village under snow cover

Conclusion

Well, I will say that rather than reading more about them, I would recommend that you hit the road soon and witness these amazingly beautiful places by your naked eyes to believe in their magic. Have you been to these beautiful places in Spiti Valley? Or you have any queries or doubts, then please feel free to leave a comment below in the article or post them in DoW Community Itinerary advice section. I hope you are still loving it 😉

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You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

36 Comments

  1. Dheeraj ji Namskar,
    Angad aur mai 26 jun ko shimla ke raste lahaul spiti velly me ja rahe hai . Hamare pas 10 din shimla to manali tak hai kya itne samay me ghumna ho jayega? aur yah samay thik hai kya?

    Nitish Lokhande

    • Nitish ji, I hope you and Angad doing great !! Very nice to hear from you after long time. yes 10 days are good enough. Refer Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley.

      You can get connected directly to some drivers in Himachal or Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of the pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3200-3500 per day depending on the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price. If you are 2-3 in the group, you can opt for sedan taxi cars as well which charges around Rs 2200 per day.

      Otherwise, taxis, in general, are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands. These drivers can help you with finding local stay options too.

      For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley.

      You can keep an average of 900-1200 per person per day for food and stay on the tour to Spiti Valley.

  2. Hi Dheeraj Sir,
    First up, I would like to thank you for writing such informative articles in a lucid manner and also taking out time to reply patiently to out queries.It incredible and words can’t express what an awesome job you are doing.And for me.. your Ladakh travel guides were really useful.So..Thanks again..:-) and congrats for your writings getting featured in list of top 10 travelouges in India on a website i came across recently.
    Anyways, i would be travelling to Kinnaur Spiti in Feb last week-march 1st week tentatively.So had some questions regarding the village treks you mentioned around Key Kibber in this article
    1. How many days should i keep in hand just for the Key–Chicham–Kibber– Gette–Tashigang–Langza,-Komik,-Hikkim,-Demul,-Lhalung,-Dhangkar circuit trek.
    2. Is it possible to get help of local villagers as guides on the spot or i need to call someone in advance
    3.How about the accomodation in these places.Are they homestay friendly.
    4.etc..:-)
    Would appreciate if you can help me out on these points.Thanks again

    • Thank you so very much Satyam !! Glad DoW has helped you along the way of travel to Himalayas 🙂

      1. I will suggest about 8-10 days for making these treks only. Keep in mind you should take the guide or a local with you as these places will be filled with snow during these days. It will be very cold/harsh and you will get very basic food + homestay only stay in Spiti during winter months.
      2. Yes, easily possible in winters.
      3. Yes, there will be only homestays available during these days.

      • Ohh..unfortunately i can set aside 3 days tops for the treks as of now So
        1> Can a small part trek of the full round trek Key–Kibber– Chicham–Gette–Tashigang-Key only can be done in 3 days. I will leave aside Langza,-Komik,-Hikkim,-Demul for now.
        2>Are local guides and homestays available easily on just asking around when i land keeping in mind.

        Thanks

        • Hi Satyam, Gette – Tashiganag may not be possible as there isn’t much to stay over there and in winters yo will need some place to stay. Regarding homestays, you will needs to search a bit, not all homestays are operational but yes, those which are you should not have much issues finding the place to stay for yourself.

  3. Hi Dhiraj,,
    I have planned my month long spiti valley exploration trip…Since I have enough time in hand, I am planning to stay back at the remote villages , I know homestay is the only option… It would be great if you can share any homestay contact details in these villages. Also, Since I will be reaching Kaza first, crossing Kunzum la, any suggestion on say in kaza? I want to prebook that as I am sure i will be tired enough after the long bus journey from Manali and also the high altitude may play a trick on my health. By the way, I will be traveling alone, thus any contact of place in kaza near the bus stand (so that I donot have to put in much efforst after getting down from the bus on the first evening) which you have experienced personally will be highly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Debjani

    • Debjani, crossing Kunzum is fine up to mid of October. Then, once you reach Spiti there will be abundance of options and since not its end of season, there is no need to book any homestay in advance. You can go over and stay. Take good rest in around Tabo in initial days and then start towards higher villages like Ki, Kibber, Langza, Komic, Demul, Lhalung, Dhangkar (not in order) Since, you will be relying much on public transport so go the way you feel comfortable once reaching Spiti and feeling comfortable.

  4. Hello Dheeraj Ji
    I am planning to visit Kaza from Delhi in mid October , starting from 11th Oct, with my wife and two year old kid.
    I have allotted two full days to reach Kaza, two full days to return back with two days stay at Kaza.
    This completes the trip in 6 days, I will be the only driver and I will take the Shimla route.
    Please tell your opinion regarding
    * Is it fine to reach kaza from Delhi in 2 days ( I can squeeze out just 6 days from office.)
    * Shall I expect tourist rush at Kaza at this time of the year.
    * Is there any risk of AMS for the kid considering her age.
    * Is October too cold for a comfortable trip and good sleep there
    * Where could I see/ walk in snow in nearby areas

    • Atul, It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 4 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

      It will be cold out there as well in Spiti Valley and the route from Manali – Kaza is treacherous.

      If you trust me, I will not suggest that you should take your 2 yr kid to Spiti Valley. It may end up like a punishment to him.

  5. Hello Devil on Wheels,
    We are 6-8 member with 3 girls. We are planning to go Kaza after 18th of aug or starting of sept. Is it safe in this whether conditions to travel Kaza and end our journey by Kumzum la ,manali to CHD

  6. Hello Devil on Wheels,
    We are 6-8 member with 3 girls . We are planning to go Kaza after 18th of aug or starting of sept. Is it safe in this whether conditions to travel Kaza and end our journey by Kumzum la ,manali to CHD

  7. Deepak Joshi on

    Dear Dheeraj

    We are planning to visit Lahaul, Spiti in the May end or June. Is it the right time for visiting the place and what are the economical mode of travel for 2 persons? Or from where we can get shared taxis

    Thanks & Regards
    Deepak Joshi

      • Brilliant job Dheeraj!
        I was initially planning Spiti with a tour operator but thanks to your hard efforts on this comprehensive website, I’ve taken control of planning my own trip.
        Quick question – is there a direct motorable road from Demul – Komic (like it shows on Google maps?)
        Thanks in advance.

    • MANINDER PAL SINGH on

      dear dheeraj,
      me and a frnd of mine wants to go to spiti on my pulsar 150.
      is it good to go with this plan.
      please guide me.

  8. hi dheeraj
    make a proper itinerary for delhi to spitivalley
    places to visit
    things to do .
    we have 10 days

  9. Pingback: Spiti Valley from Manali - Most Common Itinerary - Devil On Wheels™

    • Venkatesh, it is very much possible to go to Kaza in Feb first week. However, the risk of getting stuck for few days to couple of weeks is very high. Also, the facilities from Kinnaur to Spiti will be very basic including food and water. Washrooms will be dry only. Regardless to stay, the cold will be very harsh.

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        Firstly highly appreciate the fact that you are sharing vital information for enthusiastic travellers. I am Vicky from Mumbai and every year in the last week of December I usually like going to places with a lot of snow. Himachal being one of the states that I have never visited, I am planning to go this year. My tickets for Delhi are already booked from 24th Dec to 2nd Jan return. Initially started planning to go to Spiti Valley, but it seems that its just too far and would take up lot of time and energy considering that it is a simple backpack trip of 4-5 people. Also I read that Rohtang Pass has shut down and Landslides are very very common in Himachal. Could u suggest some OFF-BEAT non- commercial places with snow for me this end of December. Also 2nd Jan being the return date I wouldn’t want to get stuck someplace and fail to return to New Delhi. Lastly, with all the research I am carrying out to plan the trip I am unable to gather substantial information regarding travelling in Himachal during peak winters. Pls suggest…Uttrakhand too can be considered.

        Warm regards,
        Vickey

  10. I will be making a road trip DELHI-SHIMLA-SPITI-LEH-KASHMIR (19 JUN – 9 JUL 2016) and should reach Kaza around Jun 26.

    Will there be snow still at Spiti Valley as shown in your lovely photos above? Really looking forward to the adventurous road trip.

    Thanks.

  11. Dr Deepak Agrawal on

    Dear Dhiraj,
    Your writings are always stimulating and informative.
    I have one query is it safe and appropriate to visit key and kibber during second half of November.
    I will be grateful if you can guide me
    Your’s
    Dr Deepak Agrawal

    • Hello Dr. Deepak,

      Thank you. Regarding travel to Key – Kibber in the month of November, it will be quite difficult, cold and harsh to go through. The toilets might have gone to dry pits, the food will be limited to just basic food and stay will be limited to few hotels may be Sakya Abode, Snow Lion and then limited guest houses. Also, chances of snow is high so in case you have just limited days and want to run back, in case it snows, it can make you stuck for couple of days to a week type depending on amount of snow but chances are low in November. Finally, you will need to go from Kinnaur and come back from Kinnaur only.

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