About Kibber Village
Kibber is a high altitude Village which has barren surroundings and is around 19 Km away from Kaza.Kibber has a lot of lone standing sections which are held together by Limestone. Kibber is among one of my favorite villages in Spiti Valley for many reasons,first of all it comes on route to the Kaza-Key-Kibber-Tashigang-Gete circuit so you can either cover all of this in one go or you can take your time and cover it in two days or more and you get to see diversity in Spiti Valley.Kibber attracts people with variable interests all across the year.Come summer and you will find trekkers doing the Parang La trek which is an ancient trans-Himalayan route which connects Ladakh and Spiti.Kanamo Peak trek can also be done from Kibber which also has the distinction of being the highest trekkable summit in India after Stok Kangri in Ladakh. If ypu are not into trekking adnd like it slow you can ask around in the village and perhaps go on a fossil hunt.Personally it has been a very enriching experience for me though I didn’t find any fossil. Kibber has recently gained popularity due to the increased influx of tourists to the village.It even has a PWD Guest House in the village along with multiple homestays.
How to reach Kibber Village
You can reach Kibber from both the manali side and the Shimla(kinnaur) side because to reach in Kibber you’ll have to reach in Kaza which is the administrative headquarters of Spiti Valley.From Kaza there are various ways and means to get to Kibber.Or else you can do one thing.That is if you are coming from the Manali side you can get down at Kiato and wait there for a ride to hitch hike to Kibber.I personally don’t suggest doing that because of the timing of the bus .By the time you reach Kiato It’ll already be 3PM if not more then the chances of getting a ride till Kibber is scarce.But then if you’re feeling adventurous you can try.Do let me know if you do so.
Shimla to Kibber Village
When coming to Kibber from the Shimla side.You’ll have to catch the Shimla to Kaza Bus from Shimla ISBT at 6:00 AM which will drop you off at Reckong Peo by evening,the next day you’ll have to catch the bus to Kaza from Reckong Peo at 7:00 AM.You can get the bus from Kaza towards Kibber.
Kaza to Kibber Village
One can reach Kibber from Kaza via the state run bus which travels from Kaza to Kibber at 5 PM everyday.This bus goes till Chicham and on the next day it follows Chicham-Kibber -Kaza route and leaves Chicham at 8AM. The bus service however is not functional in winter months owing to excess snow and Black Ice formation.In the winter months it is sensible to hitch a ride to Kibber if you are alone.It will require a bit of patience but is doable.Shared taxis are there in summer months but are a scarce resource in the winter months ,most taxi drivers will want you to hire the entire taxi to yourself which is fine if you are travelling in a group but if you are alone it becomes a tad bit expensive.So hitchiking is the way forward in winters at least.
Activities in Kibber Village
There are a multitude of activities you can in Kibber depending on which time of the year you are in.In summer months you can, well visit the monastery go on treks such as Parang La or Kanamo Peak trek.Maybe fossil hunting, if you have a geologist friend who knows his geology then nothing better than it. Come winters and the game changes.You will find all kinds of photographers both wannabe and professionals trying to get a shot of the Phantom of the Himalayas.
Parang La Trek
Parang La trek is an ancient route that was frequented by the people of Ladakh and Spiti to trade and come for pilgrimages to various monasteries in Ladakh and Spiti. The trek is for people who have somewhat prior experience in high altitude trekking and can carry themselves and their loads along with them.I see people paying a good fortune for this trek.I don’t quiet get the point of just walking with your fancy pack when somebody else is carrying your load and food is coming cooked to you.It’s hard to understand how will one be grateful if he’s having freshly fried pakodas and Shahi fucking paneer near a glacier.Minimalism goes for shits.Anyways Parang La has a good Glacier section so need to know how to navigate.
Kanamo Peak Trek
Kanamo is a 5974 meter peak,Just 26 meters short of being a 6000er anyways it is a beautiful yet challenging trek with no technical sections that is the risk of you falling off are lower.It is considered a substitute for the famous Stok Kangri trek in Ladakh which is the highest trekkable summit in India. Kanamo is a better option for a first time becuse in summers you can reach the summit and be back to the village before nightfall if you have top class physical fitness and are accompanied by a Guide unlike Stok Kangri 6 days.After all this hype I hate to break it to you that due to some irresponsible trekking agencies and people,the Panchayat of Kibber has closed the trek after they found that the water source to the village was being polluted.Same is the case with Stok Kangri in Ladakh.
Snow Leopard Spotting in Kibber
In the winter months snow leopards come down to lower heights in search prey which also moves down to lower altitudes in search of food,typically a snow leopard’s prey would comprise of Blue Sheep or Himalyan Ibex.Go to Kibber in winters and you’ll be surprised to see many people staying in Kibber just to get a glimpse of the Phantom of the Himalayas.Snow leopard spotting has become a business in Spiti. Camera traps are laid,dead cattle is kept at the right places to lure the mystical animal out in the open just so that people can get a few pictures.I personally find this very disturbing where people who are not native to that area try to manipulate the lifestyle of an animal just to post some pictures on social media. Kibber as it is in a “wildlife sanctuary” If you are not a part of the conservation effort you do not belong in that ecosystem.