Kibber, in Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, has the distinction of being the highest motorable village in the world. The village is known for its scenic mountains, barren splendor and monasteries. Key Monastery, the largest in Spiti Valley is situated close to Kibber. The landscape of Kibber and the entire Spiti Valley resembles that of Ladakh and Tibet.
The culture also is similar to that of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religion. No wonder then that Spiti is also known as Little Tibet. Kibber Village comprising 80 houses, is located 16 km from Kaza at 14,200 ft above sea level. Kibber comes under Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
Key Monastery, is the most important Buddhist center in Spiti Valley and is located close to Kibber. The monastery is famous for its murals, thangkas (paintings on cotton or silk), rare manuscripts, and wind instruments.
Though it is a cold desert, agriculture and animal husbandry are major occupations here. The economy of the village is based mainly on trade with Ladakh. The trade with Ladakh is based on barter system with Kibber locals often trading horses for yaks. The Purang La is the main trade route. Spiti remains snowbound during winter and temperature falls to sub-zero levels.
Climatic condition compels villagers to mostly stay within their houses. Villagers stock food to last the winter and utilize the time while to knit clothes and make handcraft items. Though remote, Kibber has all the basic amenities like electricity, civil dispensary, school, post office, etc.
Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, India’s only wild life sanctuary in a cold desert, is located here. It is home to the ibex, blue sheep, red fox, Tibetan woolly hare, Himalayan wolf, lynx, pika, Tibetan wild ass and the snow leopard.
The high altitude and pollution free atmosphere is a boon for sky gazers. Watching the night sky from Kibber is an amazing experience. Kibber village is popular among adventure enthusiasts. Dandmachan peak here is popular with trekkers and mountaineers. The barren landscape, rivers and mountains and gompas make it a photographer’s paradise.
Kibber is home to a large amount of fossils. The village is among the most fossiliferous regions of the world and has earned Spiti the title of ‘Fossils Park’.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KIBBER
There are no hotels and resorts in Kibber. Locals provide rooms on rent. Homestays are affordable. Don’t expect luxury comfort while staying with the locals. Camping facilities are also available during summer in the village.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN KIBBER
Options to eat are very limited in Kibber. Guest houses or homestays provide food on demand. Locals also serve Tibetan, Indian and Chinese cuisine.