Tashigang – Village in the Spiti Valley

 

TashigangTashigang, a beautiful village located at an altitude of 4650 m, has just four homes. To reach here, one has to pass from the Kibber Village, which is at an altitude of 4205 m and 18 km from Kaza. After passing Kibber, you’ll reach the village of Gette and then comes Tashigang. One has to drive ahead from Ki Monastery to reach these villages. There are ancient chortens dotting the walk to the village.

Tashi Gang is a very small village located in Spiti of Lahul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh with total 6 families residing. The Tashi Gang village has population of 40 of which 23 are males while 17 are females as per Population Census 2011.

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Image Credit: indiamike.com

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in Tashigang. Potato and pea farming is common. Houses are constructed in Tibetan architectural style, as the land in Lahaul and Spiti is mountainous. The top of the roof is loaded with dried branches or twigs to serve both as a cushion and insulation during snowfall. There is a small lake near the fields of Tashigang which gives the proceedings an entirely fairytale feel. Clouds float constantly here and this is an experience you won’t forget ever!

Tashi gang is a small village but significant nevertheless. Many Bon and Buddhist archaeological finds have been made there.

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Hikkim-World’s Highest Post Office

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Image Credit: tripadvisor.in

Hikkim is a high mountain village at an elevation of 4,572 m (15,000 ft) above the sea level, located in district Lahaul Spiti of Himachal Pradesh (northern India). Hikkim village is popularly known for the highest post office in the world and the highest polling station of the world. It’s one of the highest towns accessible by car on Earth.

It is at a distance of about 16 kilometers from Kaza and this village too offers great views of Chau Chau Kang Nilda peak. There is not really much to see in the village except for the natural beauty of the valley around.

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Image Credit: Tripoto.com

The Hikkim post office which is located in the Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh has been functioning from November 5, 1983 and is run by the postmaster Rinchen Chhering. Reaching this post office is a back breaking journey and considering the remoteness of this village, one can only imagine how difficult it is to send out the post from here.

As I understood from the locals, mails are sent on foot from Hikkim to Kaza every morning, which is then taken to Reckong Peo by bus, onward to Shimla, then loaded on a train to Kalka, and loaded again on a bus heading to Delhi. From there the mails make their journey towards its destination.

The Hikkim post office was opened on November 5, 1983, and the man who holds my dream job—Rinchen Chhering—has been the branch postmaster here since its inception. He was 22 years old when he took charge. Today, as he stamps those letters and postcards, it’s an act as familiar as planting peas in his backyard or drinking tea.

This inconspicuous little Spitian office which doubles up as Chhering’s home is the only conduit to the world for Hikkim’s 161 or so residents—there is no cell phone signal or internet to connect with. Like the rest of the valley, the post office is also shut for six months of the year because of snow.

 

Baralacha La Pass – Deadliest Mountain Pass

baralachla-passA high mountain pass situated at an altitude of 16,040 feet in Zanskar region of Jammu and Kashmir, Baralacha La means the pass where many roads meet. The pass connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

It is a high plateau where three different mountain ranges – Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas – meet at an altitude above 16,000 feet. This mountain pass, one of the highest passes in Ladakh is around 73 kilometers away from Keylong on Manali – Leh road.

The Baralacha Pass forms a natural divide between the Bhaga and Yunam River. The Bhaga River is a tributary of Chenab River which is also known as the Chandrabhaga River. The tributary originates from the Suraj Tal, a few kilometers from Baralacha Pass. The Chandra River which meets the Bhaga River at Tandi to form the Chandrabhaga, originates from a glacier in the Baralacha La region.

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It is a high altitude pass in the Zanskar range connecting Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu Kashmir. It is 4,890 m or 16,040 ft high at the top and is considered to be the most treacherous pass due to the heavy amount of snow it receives each year. It opens only for a few months and there is always a risk that it can snow at Baralacha La at any time of the year, closing down the road.

At the top of the pass is a large hall type building which now stands in ruins with a stone marker in front of it reading “Shaheed Sainik Bhavan”. Everyone who has taken the adventures journey from Manali to Leh would have noticed this hard to ignore and standing in middle of nowhere building. But only a very few are aware of the interesting and rather peculiar story behind.

This pass is the point of commencement for several treks which include the famous Suraj Tal trek and Chandra Tal trek. During the winter season the pass is closed due to heavy snowfall.