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 :)…
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, 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.
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.
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 😉