I am taking you to Hikkim today, where life ploughs on a slow pace. Here life is straight out of a postcard. Hikkim, a Spiti village, is the world’s highest post office.
Phones have become an integral part of our life, and we have almost forgotten the beautiful world outside the 6inch device. We no more enjoy the wait and joy of writing and receiving letters.
People used to write letters to loved ones, with all due respect, pasted and collected stamps. And waited for 15-20 days for the mails to travel, at least another 15-20 days for a reply.
Where is Hikkim & why it’s famous?
This place is famous for housing the world’s highest permanently structured post office. There exists a post office at Qomolangma, the mountain Everest base camp in Tibet, but that is not a permanent structure. Ohh yes and by the way, Qomolangma is the Chinese name for Mount Everest.
The government of India established the post office in Hikkim in 1983 at Rinchen Tsering’s house.
I so wanted to get Rinchen pictures but could not get any because he was not there and his granddaughter was taking care of the mail.
Note: Something that I like to clarify is that before the post office was in the house of Richan Tsering but now there is a permanent structure in the shape of a post box that’s been created and is now the new post office at Hikkim village.
Welcome to the highest post office in India
This house-cum-Postoffice is small and houses an old-school mailbox on the outer wall. Situated between Komic and Langza, you can reach Hikkim as you go to Komic from the Komic-Langza diversion point. Check out this close-up video of the new post office and the Hikkim village. Check out my Vlog on the highest post office in the world, this would tell you everything that you need to know.
Hikkim is a comprehensive view of Komic or Langza. All three are equally peaceful and beautiful. The enchanting way to Hikkim is serene. The Spiti river winds its way through the rocks at the bottom with the breeze singing its song to impress the ever-moving clouds. The clouds leave their shadow on the hills. This place is like a timelapse of nature; time so paused yet transient. Kaza is visible from here.
Stay near the highest post office in the world
Hikkim features around 200 homestays. The houses looking like white shrubs from a distance are the homestays and the only options to stay in the village. The only formal ‘homestay’ in the town is Tsedup’s house.
They provide basic facilities with a bed, bathroom, and three full meals – everything local and Spitian style. Spend a night here, get coloured in culture. You can also try to spend the night with the villagers if they open their homes for you.
Here you can experience the simplicity of life. Green and brown Himalayan peaks, cold wind blowing, and snow-capped cliffs guarding the Spitian fields are zen.
The unique experience of posting a picture postcard from the highest post office in the world to your loved ones. There is an eatery opposite the post office. You can get various local dishes, Maggi, tea, and beverages to keep you supplemented through the next leg of your journey.
Hikkim Post Office Address
Hikkim is at a distance of 16 km from Kaza. Check out my article on how to reach Kaza from Jaipur.
A 45-minute drive from Kaza can take you there through dizzying roads. Enjoy your fantastic journey, and take the Komic-Langza diversion to reach Hikkim.
When to go and visit the Hikkim post office?
Summer is always a good time to have a hassle-free trip in the region.
A snow-laden Hikkim looks fantastic and enchanting in the winter, but life gets challenging in winter. People living in these high spots struggle and survive through climatic challenges. The extreme weather offers a lot of surprises – dry winters.
Winters are highly harsh here, with temperatures dipping to -35 degrees celsius. The summer months are pleasant, with bright sunshine. Solar panels are a lifesaver here so you will find many of them here.
Monsoons don’t bring rain here. But the orographic rainfalls cause landslides on the roads of Shimla and Manali. During Monsoon Spiti stays dry contrary to the popular belief.
Hikkim can be sighted from quite a distance while approaching it. A considerable board welcomes you to the world’s highest post office. Tourists often come here and click pictures for fond memories.
You must walk 50 meters from this point to reach the post office. The houses in the region are scattered around. People have large open fields around their homes.
Hikkim Height in feet
Pincode 172114, the post office is located at 4440m, Hikkim height in feet is 14567.
If you enjoy nature, love to take photos, and feel mesmerized in serene places where time stops, and finally, if you are a chai lover, this is just the place for you.
Stop, sit somewhere in peace, and write some postcards to friends from the world’s highest postbox. The government of India established this post office in 1983 at the house of postmaster Mr Rinchen Tsering.
This is a traditional Spitian house, and Mr Tsering lives with his family. This post office caters to Hikkim, nearby villages like Gette and the monasteries like Ki. Letters and postcards are an essential part of life here due to the absence of a mobile network in the region. Mr Tsering has an assistant who works as a postman.
The post office is closed on Sunday, but worry not, you can always get a postcard from the nearby eatery. They also post your mail for a meagre charge. The postcards are fancily printed with photographs of natural landscapes.
When does the mail reach your mentioned address?
It is difficult for letters and postcards to travel from Hikkim to the rest of the world. There are no motorable roads to commute. The postman takes the mail from Hikkim to Kaza on foot in the morning. Or if they get a vehicle the runner of the person in charge of depositing the mail takes a lift.
Nowadays you find a lot of vehicles so this is no more an issue with this post office.
From Kaza, the mail goes to Reckong Peo by bus, Shimla, and Delhi. From here, the letters are sent to their destinations. It costs 25 Rs to send the post from this post office. The post office offers savings account services to the local farmers and villagers. A postcard usually reaches the destination within 10-15 days.
Every community in the Spiti valley has a rich culture and an organic way of living. The closeness to Tibet, the influx of Tibetan Buddhists, and the area’s isolation have contributed to the preservation of Spitian culture.
Like other Spitian villages, Hikkim features a monastery at the far end of the town. The sanctuary is simpler than Ki, Tabo, or other ancient monasteries. It is worth a visit if you are here to explore Hikkim and understand more about the people and their faith.
Hikkim is very similar to Langza concerning topography and geographical history. Hikkim is fossiliferous. However, it isn’t as popular with geologists as Langza for finding marine fossils. But you can find ammonite or a fossilized crustacean from the Jurrasic era. While owning an old marine fossil so far up in the Himalayas is thrilling. These fossils represent the rich Indian subcontinent’s archaeological legacy.
Best way to Explore
The best way to explore a place and understand its lifestyle is to walk around, sit, talk to people, and observe. If you want a never forgetting experience, speak to the villagers, and look at what the crop culture and pattern look like—how people worship and the school system. The simplicity of this place can enchant your senses.
The people are friendly, generous, and extremely helpful. They live in mud and stone houses. Whitewashed walls with red windows and blue doors are characteristic of all the Spitian villages. Buddhist flaglets disseminate pious words through the chilled wind in the dusty brown mountains.
You can spot blue sheep leisurely grazing around, Yaks ploughing the fields. The captivating view of the ChoCho peak fills the soul with magic. Though significantly fewer people live in these regions, these villages have schools even at high altitudes. You must not miss star gazing in the clear sky.
The night sky in Spiti is mesmerizing with the past, present, and future, and God knows who else is looking at you. We seem so close to the cosmos; the moon is a giant white spotted ball. Try your hand at Astrophotography if the stars excite you. Spiti is one of the best places to do astrophotography and take time lapses. Check out this cool post that we have from the Hikkim village.
At night Spiti becomes a mysterious land, totally gripping you in its charm. Spiti will leave twinkling memories in your heart if you allow it to.
Spiti has a rich culture. People used to wear the traditional dresses of the camel hide in the old times. The conventional male dresses are called Koye, and female dresses, still in fashion, are called Rekop Surma. These work well for working at these heights. Further, Yak hides are also used in making clothes and ropes.
Tips for a trip to Hikkim
- Stay hydrated and stop if you need to. Do not consume alcohol; it can give you acute mountain sickness.
- Wear sunscreen and carry a water bottle. Sun can be harsh in Spitian Summers.
- Phone networks except BSNL do not work.
This Spitian hamlet called Hikkim is one of the best life experiences in life. A trans-Himalayan village that is simple, serene, and offers captivating mountainous views. The excitement of being at the highest post office and sending mail to your loved ones is quite fulfilling.
Any questions please leave them in the comment section below.