Photographer's Note

Langza , Komic & Hikkim- these are three villages in Spiti in the high Himalayas, situated between at altitudes of 4,400 metres and 4,600 metres.

Hikkim has population of 600. It has the distinction of having the highest post office in the world, located at height of 15,400 feet or about 4500 metres. The pin code for this post office is 172114. The nearest main post office to which Hikkim is attached is at Kaza, located 25 kms away. This post office handles around 15-20 letters everyday. Mr. Rinchon Chhering, the branch postmaster has been at the post office since November 1983. Around 50 people have a savings account in the Hikkim post office.

Note how the houses are built along the slopes of the houses…the roofs at level with the road that runs through the village. Actually the village is built in several levels, but along the mountain slopes

You can see some agrigultural fields below the houses in the small valley. Agriculture in this Trans-Himalayan belt region is limited to one crop a year and is solely dependent on the winter snow melt. The traditional crops grown in Spiti are barley, potato and green pea. These crops were well suited to the regions peculiar geo-climatic conditions since they required minimum irrigation and were fairly drought resistant and hardy. These crops also have high fodder content and were an important source of fodder for this pastoralist community.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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