Langza – Komic – Hikkim are the offbeat places around Kaza in Spiti Valley which can be easily explored in a day at an easy pace. Hence, continuing on my efforts in completing the comprehensive travel guide of Spiti Valley, today I will cover them as second part of local sightseeing around Kaza. I have already written about Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in the last article. In coming days, I will share few more offbeat places of Spiti Valley around Kaza 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 Ki monastery and follows the trail sometimes all the way up to Dhangkar Monastery. This trek covers all the beautiful hidden gems of Spiti Valley like Chicham, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang and then towards Langza, Komic, Hikkim, Demul, Lhalung, Dhangkar . Finally, you come back to either Kaza OR cover Pin Valley before returning to Kaza. So, you must know that there is so so so much to cover in Spiti Valley and best part is that all these places are about a day’s trek from each other. Usually, people start from Kaza to Ki Monastery by road and then trek 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 Langza – Komic – Hikkim and cover others in rest of the articles of this amazing series on comprehensive travel guide of Spiti Valley 🙂 …
Langza village, is located about 14 KMs away from Kaza, at an altitude of 4330 Meters. When you drive towards Rangrik from Kaza there comes a bifurcation on right that goes to Langza – Komic – Hikkim. You have two options to do the circuit, either go from Langza and come down from Hikkim, something I will recommend. Or you can first visit Hikkim and go to Komic at the top, come back from Langza side. Langza is popularly known for hunting marine fossils and breathtaking view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak sitting on top of the village. If you are fond of fossils, you can hike a bit higher around Langza village, look around/beneath the rocks to collect some ancient fossils for your sweet home. You can also visit Chaudua (Fossil) center in Langza village to know more about these fossils. There are couple of lakes around Langza as well, which can be reached by trekking about as 3-4 Hrs a day with some local guide or villager. Apart from the breathtaking landscape, the presence of a big, 1000 year odd old Lord Buddha statue in the meadow makes Langza as heavenly as one possibly can imagine. It is one of the most beautiful villages of entire Spiti Valley, at least to me. So, do not miss a chance to spend a day at it 🙂 🙂 …
Similar to Mane village, Langza village is also distributed among two villages known as Langza Gongma (upper village) and Langza Yongma (lower village). It has a population of about 150 odd people spread among 35 odd houses. You can find few home stays for your stay up in this village. Please note that the food and accommodation at these home stays will be basic, so don’t expect much. The toilets, as in any other home stays, are outside houses and mostly limited to the dry pits. There are couple of buses that run from Kaza to Langza every Tuesday and Saturday when roads are open in summers. In winters, people trek about 10-12 KMs in snow to reach Langza from Kaza. Being located at high altitude, this village hosts tourists in winters who are looking to spot snow leopard. There is a monastery school as well where we did DoW Causes in 2014.
The locals, as usual in any other high altitude village in Himalayas, are welcoming, extremely hospitable and treat you like a king. If you want to experience the authentic local lifestyle of Spiti Valley, you should definitely spend a night in Langza village.
Komic village, at an altitude of about 4600 Mtrs, is popularly known as the village housing the highest motorable monastery in the world, the Tangyud Monastery. Komic is about 10 KMs further from Langza village. Tangyud Monastery in Komic village is one of the two monasteries belonging to the Sakya sect left in Spiti Valley. The other one is in Kaza itself which is relatively small and a bit insignificant in its comparison. The village offers some a high vantage points to witness some amazing views of Spiti Valley.
There are few stories behind the Komic village that marks it existence over centuries. It is said that, centuries back, monks at the monastery decided to shift the monastery lower down near Hikkim village due to draught. However, the statue of Mahakaal refused to move the ground despite several efforts. The entire monastery was moved and only a monk resided besides the statue to pray. But in 1975 or may be earlier, an earthquake reduced the new monastery to ruins which can still be seen while coming down to Kaza from Hikkim. The Mahakaal statue in old Komic monastery still held its ground despite the earthquake. Hence, monks re-shifted the monastery back to Komic in religious beliefs of sacredness of the place. Today, it hosts around 30 monks and the monastery has a stuffed snow leopard effigy. In sections of the monastery where Mahakal statue is kept, females are still not allowed to visit. According to locals, it is also believed that this monastery houses some hidden treasures which are made to public only once in 60 years due to security concerns. This includes an egg of a dragon, the horn of a unicorn, the upper tooth of a sheep, the ribcage of a giant demon and the tail of a prehistoric man. I have not been lucky enough to know more details around it 🙂 🙂
The village has about 60 odd people population spread among 15-16 houses. There are couple of basic home stays at Komic and 2-3 rooms are also available in monastery at about Rs 50-100 per day, in case you are interested to spend a night at Komic.
Hikkim village, at an altitude of about 4440 Mtrs, is about 4 KMs from Komic and about 16 KMs from Kaza. This makes the entire circuit from Kaza to Langza to Komic to Hikkim to Kaza of about 44 KMs, easily doable at comfort in a day. Hikkim village is popularly known for the highest post office in the world and the highest polling station of the world. Of course, you can see the Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak from Hikkim as well but not as gorgeous as it is visible from Langza. You can also visit the ruins of the new Komic monastery while coming down from Hikkim to Kaza. There is a co-educational school as well in Hikkim up to eight standard. You can visit it in case you are interested to spread smiles by distributing some educational material to the kids of the school.
The road from Hikkim to Kaza will give you goosebumps at certain sections being too narrow overlooking a 1000 Mtrs vertical drop down to Kaza ;)… Standing there and looking at the tiny little Kaza village, well, anyone will surely get those butterflies in the stomach. This very road offers some breathtaking views of mountains in Spiti Valley.
In the end, I will highly recommend you visiting these hidden gems of Spiti Valley. Once, you will witness these magical yet beautiful places by your naked eyes, I am sure you will feel your soul got lost in the Himalayas. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any queries or have visited these magical places in Spiti Valley and wanted to share some insights on it. Also, feel free to share with your friends and family who are planning a visit to Spiti Valley in time to come.