Kaza village usually acts as a hub/center point for tourists to explore the middle land called Spiti Valley. Key Monastery, Kibber, Gette, and Tashigang are sightseeing places around Kaza in Spiti Valley.
You can easily explore these places in one day from Kaza. Hence, continuing on my efforts in completing the comprehensive travel guide of Spiti Valley, today, I will cover these places as the first part of local sightseeing around Kaza.
I will be writing more articles in the coming days to cover other places that you can explore around Kaza on your road trip to Spiti from Delhi.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
What are all the places to visit near Kaza – Spiti Valley?
All these places, Ki – Kibber, Gette, and Tashigang, can be covered in the famous village trek in Spiti. This village trek sightseeing trip usually starts from Key Gompa and follows the trail sometimes all the way up to Dhankar Monastery. This trek usually covers 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 Dhankar village 🙂
See, so there is so so so much to cover in Spiti Valley. And, the best part is that all these places are a day trek from each other. Usually, people start the sightseeing from Kaza to Key Monastery and then complete back to Kaza, either covering all or skipping a 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 the Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang circuit. I will cover other places to visit near Kaza town in the rest of the articles of this amazing series about the comprehensive travel guide of Spiti Valley :)…
Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang
It does not matter from which direction you travel to Spiti Valley either from Kinnaur or Manali to Kaza, you need a day to visit all these places around Kaza. In the rest of the article, I will explain these places in brief, and in case of any doubt, you can always leave a comment below in the article or send a DM to me at my Instagram account @devilonwheels.
Key Monastery or Ki Monastery
Key Monastery is about 14 km away from Kaza at an altitude of 4116 Meters in Himachal Pradesh. When you drive towards Losar from Kaza, there comes a bridge from where the straight road leads to Ki – Kibber, and the left goes towards Rangrik and further towards Losar across that bridge.
Key Gompa is the oldest 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 wonderful 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 up to 800 years old and frescoes depicting the life of Padmasambhava.
There is a Key village or Ki 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 😉
Can I stay at Ki Monastery?
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 fee to the monastery. You share the same food that they cook for the monks. It will surely be an experience of its own.
About 9-10 km from Key Monastery ahead and at an altitude of 4205 Meters, there lies another beautiful village named Kibber. Kibber claims itself as the highest inhabited village in the world. However, there is another village about 7 km 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 (maybe in Tibet too) which might prove these claims false enough but not known to us. And again, the second fact associated with Kibber being the second-highest inhabited village in Asia (Komic being highest) connected by bus service is also not true. Hanle is also connected with Leh by bus service and many other high-altitude villages.
Forget the false claims about Kibber
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. You must spend some time in this timeless village as well to feel the culture around you. Make sure you are acclimatized to avoid AMS.
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 look 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 colors 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.
Can I spot Snow Leopard near Kibber?
In case, you are trekking from Chicham to Tashigang through Kibber. 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 wildlife enthusiasts who come here to snap these rare snow leopards. You can also spot Tibetan wolves, ibexes, yaks, etc.. here.
Gette – Tashigang
You can drive about 7 km from Kibber to east, a road 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 mountain peaks. You can reach Chicham Village using the road that goes up to the point of the gorge. At that point, locals use a manual trolley to transit from Chicham to the motorable road. Of course, it will give you goosebumps, and for sure it is not for faint-hearted like me ;)…
The Chicham bridge has been opened a few of years back, so the connectivity from Kibber to Chicham exists now. You do not need to go back to Kaza from Kibber to exit Spiti Valley towards Chandratal or Manali.
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 with your naked eyes to believe in their magic. Have you been to these beautiful places in Spiti Valley? If you have any queries or doubts, then please feel free to leave a comment below in the article or reach me on my Instagram account.
I hope you are still loving this series of articles on Spiti Valley. Do leave a comment to let me know as it does help me keep the engine of motivation running 😉
If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Spiti Valley, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable trip.