The Ghost Cat Chronicles
Spiti, Himanchal Pradesh
Turning into nothing less than the fantastical town of Narnia in winters and adorning a rich palette of dusty browns in summers, Kibber takes you back in time with its tranquillity and traditional lifestyle. The days here ring with Tibetan prayer chants and the chuckles of the gleeful villagers, whereas the nights bring thousands of stars into play up above. In the heart of this small town lies ZostelX Kibber, with its windows and front yard faced to the clustered toy-like white and brown mud houses of the hamlet. The town further looks at the dark brown mountains, and they, in turn, look up at shinier, snow-clad ones. Away from the bustle of Kaza and still close enough to surreal adventures like those of visiting the prominent landmarks or spotting Snow Leopards, Kibber is an experience in itself.
HIGHLIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
Key Monastery: The biggest monastery of the Spiti Valley, the Kye Gompa is home to nearly 250 Lamas, who train here for religious education. Built way back in the 11th century (YES, it is a thousand years old), the monastery is very prominent in the Tibetan Culture. Its walls are embellished with paintings and murals, while its libraries hold many sacred ancient books. Sitting proudly high up on a hill overlooking the Spiti river and its mountains, the monastery is a treat to the eye, whereas its calming vibe is pleasant on the mind. The Key Monastery of Spiti Valley is only a 20-min drive from Kibber.
Day trip to Chandra Taal (Summers) The enchanting Chandra Taal is a 2.5 hr drive away from Kibber and worth every minute of the ride. Known for its stunning deep blue waters laced by shaded mountains, this site is nothing short of natural perfection. Start in the morning and drive through Losar and the Kunzum Pass on the way until you spot the vibrant blue in an otherwise muddy landscape. It is a daylong activity.
Snow Leopard Photography Expedition (Winters) One of the highest villages of India, Kibber rests at a height of 4270 m. Naturally, winters here cover the entire area with snow, freezing the region below sub-zero temperatures. The magic that comes out of this is that snow Leopards descend further down near the town in search of prey. So, winters are a great time for spotting the extremely rare and majestic Snow Leopards, and you could do it on a photography expedition.
Day trip to Kaza The bustling hub of Spiti is only a 40-min drive away, so you can spend a day exploring the cafes and the market of Kaza while you’re in Kibber.
Common Hangout Area
HOW TO REACH
Since reaching the Spiti Valley is an experience in itself and it is only accessible through road, it is advised that you opt for a car, taxi, or a bus in summers and a car/4x4 wheeler in winters. ◘ By Car: Drive on the Shimla-Kaza highway. Once you reach Kaza, take the diversion on the right towards Key. Drive further up by the Spiti tributary till you reach Kibber. ◘ By Bus: Take the HRTC bus to Kaza and drop off there. Take another bus towards Kibber, which runs every day at 5 pm. The journey from Kaza to Kibber should take less than an hour. ◘ Since the route is quite popular amongst bikers and travellers, you can also try hitchhiking to Kibber in summers. ◘ Important: Please note that only BSNL Postpaid SIM Cards provide network in the Spiti Valley. You will receive the contact details in the booking confirmation email itself. We can also arrange a pick-up for you from a nearby town if briefed in advance.
AREA - Spiti
Resting close to the Spiti river and well-connected to the Shimla to Kaza highway, Kibber is just 32 km from Langza and 20 km from Kaza.
LOCATION - ZostelX Kibber
ZostelX Kibber is just a 40-min drive from Zostel Spiti. It sits overlooking the traditional houses of the village, with the mesmerising desert mountains in the background. It is easily accessible by road.
Exact location information is provided after a booking is confirmed.
- The property is not pet-friendly.
- As this is someone’s home, footwear is not allowed inside. Guests will be provided with slip-ons during their stay.
- Drinking and smoking are prohibited inside the property. Guests are requested to resort to open areas for the same.
- No room or luggage services will be provided at the property.
- All the food served will be home-cooked.
- Any special request regarding food or facilities needs to be intimated in advance.
- Nature and surroundings should always be respected and taken care of.
- The area will have to be kept noise-free after 10 pm.
HOSTED By Rahul Bhanu
A schoolteacher and a philanthrope, Mr Rahul lives and works in the town itself. He is deeply fond of motorsports and is always up for a chat about the Valley, the life in the mountains, and everything in between.