Around 1,55,015 post offices with 4,33,417 employees in India makes up the world’s largest postal network. The vastness of Indian postal network can be easily understood by its presence in the most remote and extreme corners of India. One such post office is based in Hikkim and is popularly known amongst tourists as world’s highest post office.
India’s highest post office:
At an altitude of 4440m from sea level is a small village in the vastness and serenity of the spiti valley named Hikkim. Hikkim is India’s highest post office. It was opened on November 5th 1983. The post office remains open for 5 days every week.
Rinchen Chhering is the postmaster of Hikkim post office since its inception in 1983. Posts are delivered on foot from Hikkim to Kaza which is the closest town to this village, From where they are transferred to Shimla through Reckong Peo from Bus in order to deliver them to there respective addresses via Shimla and kalka.
In recent times sending postcards to relatives and friends from Hikkim post office has turned out to be a tradition as nobody really wants to go without sending a few postcards to their loved ones after visiting this remote region.
How to reach Hikkim:
Hikkim is located in one of the most remote parts of the spiti valley in Himachalpradesh. There is no rail or air connectivity to this region hence self driving cars, cabs and Roadways busses are the best modes of transportation available here.
Hikkim is around 15km from Kaza which is the nearest town to this small village. There are 2 possible routes to reach Kaza that you can follow:
Shimla – Rampur route:
This is a lot longer route but provides connectivity through most of the parts of a year. There are a number of tourist destinations in between which any one can check or explore inroute. Narkanda, Rampur, Reckong Peo Nako and Tabo are few of the major towns in-route. HRTC busses take around 18-20 hours straight with a halt of around 2 hours at Reckong Peo. That too totally depending upon the road conditions, any small landslide or even bad weather can block the roads for hours if not for days.
Manali – Kaza Route:
It’s a much shorter route when compared to Shimla – Rampur route but it remains closed for a major portion of a year due to excessive snowfall for a major portion of a year.
Once you reach Kaza you can either book a cab or rent a bike in order to reach hikkim totally depending upon you only.
If you are travelling by your own car then it’s just going to be a 40 minutes uphill drive from Kaza to Hikkim.
If you are planning to visit Spiti Valley do check this post: Spiti Valley with HRTC busses
Is Hikkim really the highest Post office of the world:
Technically, for 5 months of the year it is not but for the rest of 7 months it is. The world’s highest post office is situated at Qomolangma Base camp based at a jaw dropping elevation of 5200m from sea level. Qomolangma is the Chinese name for the world’s highest mountain which is famously known to the world as Mount Everest.
World’s highest post office is based at EBC or Everest Base Camp. Basically it’s a small temporary structure which is only function between the end of April and August every year. Bad weather and extreme cold forces it’s services to shut down for the most part of the year. It was setup in 2008 in order to let people visiting Everest to send postcards to their loved ones. Since it has become a major tourist attraction for mountaineers and tourists visiting Everest.
Before 2008, Hikkim was the world’s highest post office but after the postal services started at EBC, the title clearly goes to EBC post office only. Basically Everest base camp (EBC) Post office is the highest point possible from where you can send a postcard to someone.
Hikkim can still be termed as world’s highest permanent structure which houses a post office. As EBC post office is just a temporary structure which is established for a few months in order to get the job done.
So, what do you think about this. Do let me know in the comments below.