Walking from Kibber to Tashigang: One of the Best Day Hikes in Spiti, India
If you’re looking for a scenic day hike in Spiti then you won’t do much better than the walk from Kibber to Tashigang (and back again). The path takes you up over rocky hills, past a tiny village, through crops, above tiny ponds and eventually to an ancient hillside monastery located 4500 metres above sea level. Huge snow-capped mountains are also a constant companion on the walk from Kibber to Tashigang, which is easily one of the best day hikes in Spiti, India.
Kibber to Gete
The walk up from Kibber to Gete is sure to give your lungs a working over, even if, like me, you’re used to hiking at high altitudes. There is a track leading above town and it’s pretty hard to get lost — just follow the general direction of the power lines and get someone to point the way before you leave Kibber. The first section of the track winds its way through crops — make sure to turn around for a great view of the little Tibetan village you just left.
Once at the top of the hill you’ll have to cross a small section of snow and marshland, and from there it’s uphill towards Gete. Before reaching Gete you’ll pass through a green meadow and some awesome mountain views — it’s such a peaceful spot and I had it all to myself.
A detour to see Ki Monastery from above
I had visited Ki Monastery a couple of days prevous but didn’t get to see the iconic Buddhist sanctuary from above. I decided to take a quick detour (just over an hour) and headed down a path which took me away from Gete towards the valley below.
If you’re heading straight to Ki (or you want to see it from above before continuing to Gete and Tashigang like I did) head for the stupa on the left — the trail heads down to the monastery. You can get a great view of it from above with the Spiti Valley providing a stunning background.
FURTHER READING: Hiking to Ki Monastery, Spiti: The Long Way Round
Walking through Gete
You might have noticed that I called Gete a village earlier, but that’s not really accurate. It’s just a few disparate clumps of houses surrounded by crops, meadows and several small, glowing ponds. It’s a nice place to walk through, whether it’s along the road above town or over the rocky tracks through the centre. I walked through the small rural tracks heading towards Tashigang and opted for the road on the way back — make sure you do both if you want to see all of the ponds.
The road to Tashigang
After making my way past Gete I eventually made it to the top of the hill. The landscape opened up all around me and I was the only person in sight. Continuing on to Tashigang, I passed a couple of houses and a tiny frozen pond. I stopped for a few minutes on a comfortable little rock and listened to the complete silence that filled the air. A short while later I caught a glimpse of the hillside Tashigang Monastery. I had a look around but couldn’t see anyone — it felt like it had been abandoned for years but apparently there are usually people there.
The highlight of the return journey was seeing two small, kidney shaped lakes from the road above Gete. It was also a lot easier as it was mostly downhill.
Kibber is a small Tibetan village which sits 4200 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest inhabited villages on Earth. I stayed at Norling Guesthouse and it had a nice rooftop area which looked out over the town — it’s a great place to stay. Getting to Kibber is easy — you can take a bus from Kaza (5pm, via Ki Monastery) which takes just over an hour or you can take a bus / walk from Ki Monastery.
The hike from Kibber to Tashigang is definitely one of the best day hikes in Spiti. If you love amazing mountain views (don’t we all) and a sense of being at one with nature, don’t miss it!
Have you done any day hikes in Spiti? Which was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.