Komic, literally meaning “eye of a snow cock” (Ko – snow-cock, mic – eye), is a remote village in Spiti valley. Having its fame as the Highest village in the world connected with a motorable road, Komic is quite a destination for most people traveling to Spiti.
Komic village is situated at an elevation of 15027 feet above sea level. There are many important and noteworthy spots near the village, including Langza village (Fossil Village of India) and Hikkim village (the highest village with a post office).
Set handsomely within the splendid peaks of Himachal Pradesh, the beauty of this place cannot be described in words; you need to feel it. Bounded by snowcapped mountains and majestic valleys, Komic Village attracts countless tourists who want to experience firsthand the stunning beauty and the beautiful culture. All you need to do is come and explore the delightful vistas of this scenic valley.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
About Komic Village
While one of the most important aspects of the region is the sheer height (don’t forget the “Highest village in the world connected with a motorable road” tag), but, the village has a lot to offer. Amongst other things, Lundup Tsemo Gompa Buddhist Monastery is especially alluring.
The monastery houses the ‘Maitreya Buddha’ (Future Buddha). People believe that the Maitreya Buddha looks after the wellbeing of the Villagers. The 14th-century monastery has a fortified castle made of slanted mud walls, taking you back to the yesteryears through the beautiful murals, scriptures, and arts.
In fact, the village actually derives its name from the monastery. Villagers will quickly tell you that, even before the monastery was being made, it was already known in Tibet that a monastery in the shape of an eye of a snow cock would be built in Spiti.
The village is home to about a dozen houses, one monastery and has a population of around 150, which includes the monks. Unspoiled scenery, lush surroundings, snow-covered peaks, and barren landscapes bless this place.
Stories of Komic Village
Villagers will happily narrate many stories about the Komic Village and how it came into existence. Locals say that centuries back, monks at the monastery decided to shift the monastery lower down near Hikkim village to deal with the extensive drought.
However, it is believed that the statue of Mahakaal refused to move the ground despite several efforts. The entire monastery was moved, and only a monk resided beside the statue to pray.
But around 1975, an earthquake reduced the new monastery to ruins. The ruins are still visible when you’re traveling from Hikkim to Kaza. But the Mahakaal statue in the old Komic monastery still held its ground despite the massive earthquake. Hence, monks re-shifted the monastery back to Komic in religious beliefs of the sacredness of the place.
Best time to visit Komic village
As is common with other places in Spiti, it is best to visit Komic in the summer months. During the winter months, i.e., November to March, the village is completely cut off from the rest of the world. All this is thanks to excessive snow and road blockages. The winter months are harsh, with temperatures falling below -30 degrees Celsius.
Thus, April to mid-May becomes the beginning of the season. This time is when the snow starts melting, and several roads become functional from Kaza to Losar. However, you should note that the road from Kunzum Pass towards Manali becomes operational from June onwards.
This is when reaching Spiti is feasible, and you can complete the entire circuit of the region. This window is an ideal time to admire snow-clad mountains and play in the snow. Also, don’t fret about too many tourists visiting during the peak season as Spiti, in general, is quite secluded and only like-minded nature lovers tend to make the trip.
How to reach Komic Village
One can reach Komic village and Spiti valley, in general, by two routes – via Shimla or via Manali. The distance from Delhi to Komic village via Shimla is 772 KMs and via Manali is 754 KMs. The road towards Komic and Spiti valley via Shimla is a little rougher than Spiti Valley via Manali. Therefore, the most preferred route to Komic village is via Manali.
However, the route from Shimla allows for a more gradual climb, allowing you to acclimatize better. But, regardless of the choice of the route, you should complete the entire circuit and witness the beauty of Manali, Kinnaur, and of course, Spiti in the journey. The nearest major town to Komic is Kaza, which is the center of Spiti Valley.
Kaza is located around 19 km from Komic. To reach Komic from Kaza, you’ll be traveling through Hikkim village, which is the most popular route. However, you can also make the excursion from Langza village, which is slightly longer.
Things to do
The extreme separation of Komic Village from the rest of the world makes it one of the very remote corners of the world. So, to an outsider, it might seem there is not much to do here. But, herein lies the beauty of the place! You can’t, not for a second, say that there is nothing to see in Komic.
Komic provides you with views that will awaken your soul and ensure that the vistas stay imprinted in your mind and heart forever to come! This little hamlet is indeed heaven for nature and peace seekers!
The green barley fields take center-stage and make for a stunning sight with the contrasting backdrop of intimidating Himalayan peaks. The snowcapped mountains truly make for a cherry-on-the-top moment!
Komic Lundup Chemmo or Tangyud Monastery
Goes without saying, but the Tangyud or Tangyuth monastery is worth a visit when in Komic. It is one of only two monasteries in Spiti valley which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism. Also, Tangyud monastery is one of the highest monasteries in India. And, also it is one of the oldest monasteries in the valley.
The monastery has an amazingly unique look, as it is situated on the edge of a canyon. It almost looks like a fortified castle. Being situated on the periphery of the Kibber wildlife sanctuary, the views are stunning, and you might even be able to spot a Himalayan ref fox! Inside the monastery, you’ll spot a stuffed leopard.
As a great solace for the place, solar panels are visible on top of the monastery, where monks reside. Some quarters of the monastery don’t allow admission to their female visitors.
Local Pastures and tiny trails
Truly, the best part of any Himalayan town is getting to explore the village! Venture out early in the morning to experience the stunning natural landscape. Or, you may choose to spend the day at your respective homestay and take it all in!
Nearby places worth venturing out to
Apart from the many things to do through Kaza, there are a few beautiful places around Komic. Most notably,
Langza is a high-altitude village situated on the way to Komic from Kaza. It is also known as the Fossil Village. This village has many stories to tell and has preserved them with all its might.
Thanks to the many fossils carefully kept from over the many years, it can invoke great senses in the curious souls. Also, a striking feature of the village – the Chau Chau Kang Nilda peak – adorns its landscape majestically.
Hikkim village is situated at an altitude of 4440 meters. A local signboard will inform you that it holds the title of the Highest village with a post office. Of course, this has managed to grab the attention of every traveler coming to Spiti valley.
Hikkim is situated at a distance of around 4 Kms from Komic. Most importantly, if you are in Komic and need medical supplies, the nearest medical shop in Hikkim village.
Places to stay in Komic
There are a couple of basic homestays at Komic. The best one is one near the monastery itself, which will happily serve great food for your tummy and your thoughts! It is quite a delight, and the owners are super kind and beautifully happy folks. There are a couple of rooms at the monastery as well, which will cost you around INR 50-100 per day.
Otherwise, you can also choose to stay at Kaza, where options are plenty, and venture out to explore these little magical gems of villages! However, I would truly suggest that you do spend at least a day in this little hamlet of Himachal.
You may assume that with such a limited population, Komic won’t be home to any restaurants. But, Spiti Organic Kitchen boasts of being one of the highest restaurants in the world. They have all kinds of teas and coffees, which will delight your heart!
The views are stunning, and they make lip-smacking food. Enjoy lazing around for an afternoon, sipping on arak, and eating some gob-smacking delicacies such as kinds of pasta made with local cheese!
Places such as Komic are the definition of why I am in love with traveling to remote places. It is hard to describe the reflective stillness, the untouched exquisiteness, and stunning meals, all accompanied by flowing and intimate conversations!
You only get to experience it in places like Komic, which act as a stimulant of introducing you to yourself! Trust me when I say this, you must experience the soulful melody of Komic once in your life!