The highest post office in the world
INDIA The postman walks 46 km every day to deliver letters at Hikkim post office, located at an altitude of 4,400 m.
About 15 km from Kaza town, Spiti valley, India, Hikkim village is surrounded by desolate mountains, rugged passes and rivers. Most of the year, this place is isolated due to the heavy snowfall on the pass. The village has a small post office, the only link between the people and the outside world. Villagers come here to send letters or money to their savings accounts.
Adventurous travelers also come here for the world's highest mailing experience. Photo: BBC.
Rinchen Chhering has been working in the post office since its inception in 1983. At that time, he was only 22 years old, was accepted to work because of being a fast runner and have a bicycle. The work here is very difficult, the post office is often closed in the winter because of heavy snowfall. Every day, two postmen had to walk 46 km through high passes and slippery meadows to deliver mail to the town of Kaza. From Kaza, letters will be sent by bus through the rugged hills. As for the letters sent to the valley, the postman will return to Hikkim village for distribution. With the enchanting views of the snow-capped peaks, the path that the postmen walk on a daily basis is a unique route compared to any other mailing itinerary.
The villages that Hikkim Post Office delivers to the people are sparsely populated, with weak phone reception and no internet. One of them is Komic village located at an altitude of 4,587 m. This is one of the tallest villages on Earth that can be accessed by road. There are about 13 houses, a school with 5 students, an old monastery and a small piece of agricultural land growing mung beans and barley.
Rinchen is paid by the Indian Ministry of Post, and the salary increased from 40 rupees in 1983 to 200 rupees (about 60,000 VND) in 2017. Photo: BBC.
With a predominantly Buddhist population, the region is also home to some of India's oldest monasteries, including more than 1,000 years old. Monks at the abbey follow traditions from centuries ago, spend days meditating and preaching empathy and generosity. They also make pilgrimages to Buddhist sites abroad, and the Hikkim Post Office is a bridge for them to make passports and other travel documents.
Resilient nature, sincerity and love in the soul have helped people here live and flourish in this remote land for centuries. Today, many young people have moved to the big city to find work. But for those who stayed, the post office was still a bridge to help them contact the outside world.
Ki Monastery (pictured) is the largest monastery of Spiti Valley. Located on a hilltop at an altitude of 4,166m, the monastery faces the Spiti River, surrounded by stretches of dark brown stretches. Photo: BBC.
Bao Ngan (According to BBC)
There is no direct route to Hikkim village from the big city. Tourists need to catch a bus from Delhi to Shimla, then transfer to another bus from Shimla to the small town of Reckong Peo, and continue to catch the bus from Reckong Peo to the town of Kaza in the Spiti valley.
From Kaza, there is only a small road to move to Hikkim. Guests can rent a taxi in Kaza or can trekking (hiking) about 2 hours to reach the village of Hikkim, where the world's highest post office is located.
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