About Chicham Village
Situated at 4150 m, the barren beauty known as Chicham, is a placid village in the Spiti Valley. It is quite famous for the titled ‘Chicham Bridge’ that connects the village with Kibber. Despite the rumors, Chicham Bridge is the highest bridge in Asia. The steel truss bridge is an engineering marvel and it presents a picturesque setting for a good photo session.
The village was inaccessible from the Kibber side, unlike now, because of the absence of the bridge. Earlier, people used to travel across the gorge on a basket attached to a metal rope. The bridge is a new addition to the infrastructure of Spiti Valley, enhancing the connectivity between Kaza and Chicham.
How to Reach Chicham Village
There are two ways to explore the Chicham village: the first one is from Kaza to Kibber, and the other one is from the Manali side via Kiato to Chicham. Earlier, the Kiato-Chicham route was the only way to reach Chicham because the bridge was not built at that time. Thus, if you were to stay in Kibber, you would have to come back to Kaza and then head towards Kiato to reach Chicham, which made it an unappealing place to visit. But now, the dynamics have changed.
Kaza to Chicham Village
The route to Chicham Village from Kaza is around 22 km and it takes around 2 hours to reach there. When visiting Chicham from Kaza, you will pass through Kibber and logically, you should explore Kibber before proceeding to Chicham. Kibber is famous for its snow leopard sightings during the winter season. Also, a lot of treks originate from Kibber region in the summer season like the Parang La Trek to Leh (Ladakh).
In the summer season, the route from Kaza to Chicham Bridge is smooth. However, arriving winters make the road conditions become very difficult, owing to black ice and snowfall in the region. If you wish to come to Chicham or Kibber, when coming from the Manali side rather than stopping at Kaza first, then it can be done by taking the road towards Kibber from Kiato (saving a lot of time).
Kaza to Chicham Bus
The bus for Chicham Village leaves Kaza at 5:00 PM and reaches Chicham via Kibber. The same bus makes its way to Kaza via Kibber at 8:00 AM from Chicham. However, during winter months, the service is a non-functional and only shared cabs ply during weekdays.
Things to Do in Chicham Village
There is not much to do in Chicham Village, but there is this strange allure of the suspended Chicham Bridge, which attracts tourists from all over India. You can enjoy the stay at Chicham Village, and spend some days in the quiet of Spiti Valley.
The gorge, on which the bridge was built, is a hangout spot for the mystical Snow Leopard of the Himalayas during the winters. This place offers some good chances of spotting the Snow Leopard than Kibber, only if you want to spot it on your own rather than the commercial setup in Kibber.
Homestays in Chicham Village
There are a few homestays available in Chicham Village. Don’t expect anything special there, but the homestay owners do make an effort to make you as comfortable as possible. Chicham is a small Village, thus, it has a few homestays. You will get better prices in Chicham than in Kibber because a lot of tourists flock to Kibber for most of the year.
The tourist rush is also less than Kibber and thus, you will find more solitude here. The contact details of a few homestays are given below. Call in advance because the network is patchy a few kilometers out of Kaza. Otherwise, you will have a lot of homestays in Kibber.
Treks around Chicham
There are a lot of treks around Chicham. Now, there are a lot of things you can do like the Parang La Trek to Ladakh. It is a challenging trek and people having no prior experience in high altitude trekking should avoid this trek. It passes through a glacier and opens up at Tso Moriri in Ladakh.
Apart from that, there is the Kanamo Peak, considered the alternative to Stok Kangri in Ladakh. At a whopping 6134 m, it is the highest trekkable summit in India. But both Stok Kangri and Kanamo Peak are off-limits. Due to excessive pollution of their water streams (by tourists), the local village authorities decided to shut the trekking route. So, before going to attempt Kanamo Peak, check with the locals and ask for necessary permissions.
FAQs on Chicham
Q1. What is the height of Chicham Bridge?
Ans. The Chicham Bridge is situated at a height of 13, 596 feet.
Q2. What is the distance between Kaza to Chicham?
Ans. The distance between Kaza and Chicham is 22 km.
Q3. What is the Kaza to Chicham bus timing?
Ans. The bus to Chicham leaves from Kaza bus stand at 5 PM.
Q4. Are homestays available in Chicham?
Ans. Yes, homestays are available in Chicham. Although, no luxurious stay option is available.