The epic ropeway – Khibber to Chichum, Spiti, India

“I believe in Instincts. And I have a very strong one; someone someday will write a book on me “how this girl loved to be in the mountains”” 🙂

what does love look like to you?
what does love look like to you?

I recently came back from Spiti valley – it was my first 10 day solo trip. Like everyone else, I did enough research before starting. I read about the Villages, Spiti attractions, Monasteries, Lakes, Treks, Must do’s, Home-stays and restaurants; so much so that I even knew where all can I find restrooms.

The land of happiness – Spiti

What I never found online was village Chichum (which lies ahead of Khibber village). I hitch hiked to Khibber after spending time with the monks at the legendary Kye Monastery. Khibber lies at an altitude of ~4200m and used to be the highest motor-able village in Asia until Komic took the crown (this is still an unsettled topic in Spiti valley).

En-route Khibber
En-route Khibber
Red and White - Village Khibber
Red and White – Village Khibber

I found a cozy home-stay at Khibber and after relaxing for a bit I thought of taking a stroll through the village. I was much curious to know how locals feel about living in Asias’ highest motor-able village. I was carrying my camera, candies (I always carry some for the charming little village kids) and the smile. I greeted everyone ‘Juley’ and kept walking. I stopped to have tea on the way and started chatting with a group of locals. They narrated so many stories about Chichum and its epic Ropeway – the explorer in me got restless.

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they were locals but are now my friends
they were locals but are now my friends

Chichum is situated in the opposite slope, across the Parilungbo canyon and is a 2-3 hour trek from Khibber. Crossing the mud roof houses painted red and white I entered the Pea farms – it was gorgeous. I clicked and kept walking.

how beautiful Chichum looks from Khibber
how beautiful Chichum looks from Khibber
the peas farm
the peas farm

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And there in the end beyond the valley and pea farms I saw something breathtaking – an ingenious ropeway between two mountain peaks, over a deep gorge. The container on the pulley was being used to transport men – basically everything living and non-living. I saw people pulling the ropes on the other end. The locals say that the ropeway was built about 10 years ago and has never collapsed. I hopped on and within 3 minutes I was inside the open container with the locals (yes, this features in the “most adventurous things I have done” list).

the first look of the gorge
the first look of the gorge
under construction bridge
under construction bridge
the future and the present
the future and the present

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The journey from one mountain peak to another through ropeway was EPIC. I have experienced ropeway before but it was purely for fun. This was WILD – it was actually used by the little kids to go to school every day like a regular means of transport. Upon inquiring I got to know that the government is trying to build this bridge for almost 8 years now and it probably will take another 8 years, hence, the ropeway.

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I entered the village, met few locals, had tea, clicked a few pictures and started the journey back to Khibber but I could not get the ropeway out of my head. I kept looking back until it disappeared.

Believe you me; this accomplishment by the locals is worth a ride for the stunning views of the gorge and the daunting sensation of the adjoining peaks.

More to come on Spiti – for the love of mountains,

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28 thoughts on “The epic ropeway – Khibber to Chichum, Spiti, India

  1. Ur write up about This place and ur ride is wonderful and cute..but I must highlight and appreciate that u write beautifully about people too. It helps in connecting while reading a story.

    P.S- lucky u to get a ropeway ride ..i couldnt when i visited.

    Stay high on life..always.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Way to go Shilpi. I spent a week in Spiti in 2012 but never heard of Chichum. As a matter of fact I have numerous blogs from Spiti as well. Nice find I must say. Keep sharing!!

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  3. Good write-up shilpi. it reminds me of this jhoola ride i would do for fun when i went walking into ladakh from kibber and once at key gompa festival, Chicham is a magnificent village though and totally peaceful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Shilpi, incredible and spectacular photos you have there! I presume Spiti is in Ladakh region as I read the greetings Julay? I had been to Ladakh about 5 years ago, and remember the moonland mountainous landscape. I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Cheers,
    Kat

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    1. Hey Kat! Juley!
      I am glad you liked the pictures 🙂 The district of Lahaul and Spiti is in the state of Himachal Pradesh but yes very close to Ladakh region. Juley is widely used in mountains regardless of the region 🙂
      thank you again for your lovely words!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Shilpi, Loved your writing..I need little helo here as a fellow traveler. You have mentioned about your homestay in Khibber village. Can you share with me the details of the same as I am starting my solo trip in the Spiti valley and I am looking in the internet for homestay connections in Spitian villages.

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  6. I was lucky enough to be on that epic ropeway too when i visited Spiti and that was an amazing ride! the truck that was in bits in the deep gorge just made me scared… very scared but it was worth it 🙂 your post reminded me of good old days i had there! Shukriya

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