Kibber is a village in the Spiti Valley in the Himalayas at an
elevation of 4270 metres or 14,200 ft in Himachal Pradesh in
northern India. Kibber lies in a narrow valley on the peak of
a limestone rock. It contains a monastery and the Kibber
Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located 16 kilometres from Kaza and
a bus service connects them in the milder summer months.
Agriculture forms the backbone of the local economy and lush
green fields are abundant. Villagers count on the 3 day
traditional trade route over Parang La to Ladakh to barter
their horses for yaks or to sell for cash. Best time to visit
Kibber village is from July to mid October.
Kibber stands apart from the entire Spiti Valley as it boasts
of fertile fields and produces adequate amounts even for
trading. Barley and peas are the main crops. 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 or Purang Pass is the
main trade route.
Spiti remains snowbound during winter and temperature falls to
sub-zero levels. Climatic condition compels villagers mostly
to stay within their houses. Villagers stock food to last the
winter and utilize the time while to weave clothes and make
handcraft items.Though remote, Kibber has all the basic
facilities like electricity, school, civil dispensary, post
Kibber Village is locally known as Khyipur which is one of the
highest villages in the world at an elevation of 4205 m above
sea level in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains from all
sides. It is a scenic tourist destination. Kibber village is
popular among adventure lovers too. Trekking and
mountaineering are the main adventure activities. Dandmachan
Peak is popular among trekkers and mountaineers. Kibber is
also a photographer’s delight. The barren landscape, rivers
and mountains and gompas provide excellent opportunities to
experiment with their camera skills.
The village has about 80 unique houses which are made of stone
instead of mud or adobe brick used extensively elsewhere in
the Spiti valley. The architecture of the houses and fortified
look of the village are worth seeing. Kibber has a civil
dispensary, a high school, a telegraph office, a post office
and a community TV set in the village. Kibber, in Spiti Valley
in Himachal Pradesh, has the distinction of being the highest
motorable village in the world. The village is famous for its
scenic mountains, barren splendour and monasteries. The
landscape of Kibber and the whole Spiti Valley look likes that
of Tibet and Ladakh. The culture also is similar to that of
Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religion.Large amount of fossils are present in and around Kibber. The
village is among the most fossil ferrous region of the world
and has earned Spiti the sobriquet of ‘Fossils Park’.
Tourist Attractions of Kibber
Kibber Monastery was founded by Serkang Rimpochhe of Tabo. Ki
Monastery, the most important Buddhist centre in Spiti Valley,
is located close to Kibber. The monastery is well-known for its
murals, rare manuscripts, thankas, wind instruments and stucco
images. Ki Monastery was founded by Serkang Rimpochhe of Tabo.
According to local legend when the mortal remains of the Lama
was being burned, a water source explode from the earth.
Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary was founded in 1992, which extends
over an area of 140050 hectare of land. The altitude range of
this sanctuary is 3,600-6,700 m above mean sea level. The
vegetation here is thin and have high medicinal properties. This
sanctuary has been widely surveyed by Prof. C.P. Kala for
distribution of plants and their indigenous uses as established
by the amchis - the practitioners of Tibetan medical systems.
Eight rare and endangered medicinal plant species have been
discovered by C.P. Kala from this sanctuary. Arnebia euchroma,
Gentiana kurroo, Aconitum rotundifolium, Ephedra gerardiana, and
Dactylorhiza hatagirea are such threatened but medicinally
important plants occur in this sanctuary.
How To Reach Kibber
Jogindernagar is the nearest railway station. The rail route
from Jogindernagar to Chandigarh is narrow guage one. Shimla and
Chandigarh are the nearest broad guage railway stations.
Regular bus services ply between Shimla via Kinnaur and Kaza.
The route from Shimla to Kaza remains open from May to October
and is about 412 km long. From Kaza, Kibber is 16 km. Buses ply
to Kibber from Kaza; however, the frequency is limited. Taxis
can be hired to reach Kibber.’
Kibber can be reached either from Manali or via Shimla. Indian
Airlines and some private airlines operate regular flights to
Bhuntar Airport, the nearest airport to Manali. Pre-paid taxis
are available from Bhuntar airport. Buses and taxis can be hired
from Manali to Kaza. Kaza is 115 km journey from Manali and
takes six hours. Flights from New Delhi, Chandigarh and Kullu
operate on a daily basis to Shimla airport.