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Feeling High at the Highest Post Office (or Not?) in the World!

Indian Postal service
Postage Stamps have dual characters. One as “Token of Postage” and second as “Cultural Ambassador”.

Post office and postcards have a special place in my heart.

One Postcard Every day!

Throughout my hostel life, while pursuing my Law degree and thereafter when I was in Naval Academy, my father would write each and every day to me on a postcard.

I also have sweet memories of my parents’ printing cards for Diwali in bulk and after they wrote the address of friends and family on the envelope it was the job of my sister and me to stick stamps on them.

Highest post office in India

With 1, 55,015 post offices, India has the largest postal network in the world.

I was going from Kaza to Kibber to attempt climbing Mount Kanamo (19,600 feet). We took two detours en route. One was Key Monastery and the other was Hikkim.

Hikkim, highest post office in the world

At a distance of 15 km from Kaza is village Hikkim boasts of having the highest post office in the world (?) at 4440M.

EDIT – It was brought to my notice post I wrote this article that contrary to general public belief, local signs, countless websites and social media posts, it turns out that the World’s Highest Post Office is NOT Hikkim but Qomolangma Base Camp Postal Service at 5200M. Well,  when I was at Hikkim and when I wrote this article I believed that Hikkim was the highest Post office in the world 🙂

READ MORE: The Tragic Story of Baji Rao -Mastani and others – Shaniwar Wada, Pune

 Notwithstanding, Hikkim definitely is the highest post office in India.

I was traveling sans Husband and Children and wondered how excited the little ones would have been had they come here. Though I have trekked with kids before, given the high altitude of Mount Kanamo I was traveling alone while hubby took care of the kids back home.

snail mail dak ghar
The postcard sent by me to my mother from Hikkim, the Highest Post Office in the world.

The uphill detour of 15 km from Kaza to Hikkim took us almost 45 minutes to cover.

Hikkim boasts of having not only the Highest Post of the World but also of having World’s highest polling station. As we reached the village, children of the village flocked us asking for sweets.

photo of child holding umbrella in hikkim
Are you going to give me a chocolate or what !?

A steeply inclined path from the tar road leads to the village houses. The houses are made of mud and stone.

Hikim village house made of stone and mud.
Houses are made of mud and stone.

READ MORE: 10 Awesome Places to visit in Rajasthan

The post office is also the house of Rinchen Chhering, the postmaster of this post office. He has been the postmaster ever since the post office opened here in 1983. He was 22 years of age at that time.

Hikkim, highest post office in the worldYou can buy picture postcards from the post office itself. The will cost you Rs. 25 per postcard. The ordinary 25p postcard was not available.

snail mail dak ghar
To Mother with love…

I sent 3 postcards from here. One to my mother, one to my mother-in-law and one to my uncle-aunt. However, only my mom received the postcard.

stamp of the post office
Stamped and sealed!

The post office operates only for 6 months and is shut down when it snows the rest of the 6 months.

First Day First Cover

I also have warm memories of my mother receiving First Day First Cover from the post office. As kids, we were excited to see the white envelope which we were allowed to touch only after washing our hands and patting them absolutely dry.

Through my mother’s vast and wonderful collection of these covers, we tried to trace the rich historical and cultural wealth of our magnificent country. In fact, inspired by my mother’s subscription of these desirable collectible covers, my sister and I got into Philately (albeit for few years).

The collection and study of postage stamps are called ‘Philately’. Indian Post Site provides various services to philatelists to buy new stamps and have philatelic Account to avail different benefits.

READ MORE: Trek to Kanamo Peak – 19,600 feet

 The Village

The locals and workers from Nepal were working on building a toilet around the area.

Hikkim, spiti and Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh

A fellow trekker lends a helping hand.

Hikkim, spiti and Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh
Lending a helping hand

Hikkim is also rich in fossil deposits and the best way to spot them is to simply look around. Few locals will also try to sell off fossils to you. I feel strongly against such exploitation of natural resources and hence I did not buy but did manage to spot quite a lot of fossils around.

READ MORE: It is OK to be a ‘ME TIME MOM’ – An open letter to Mothers

This cute little girl came to greet us with her grandfather.

grandfather and daughter at the highest post office of the world
Not without my Grandpa!

There’s a cafe too …Tsedup Cafe if you are interested!

Cafe in Hikkim,Hikkim, spiti and Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh
Butter tea anyone?
Modes of Transport

You can hire private cabs from Kaza to visit nearby places like Hikkim, Key Monastery, Komic village and the fossil village Langza. If budget is on your mind, you can take the HRTC bus from Kaza at 2 pm which takes around 90 minutes to reach Hikkim. This bus service runs twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Hikkim, highest post office in the world

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Do you have memories regarding post office and postage stamps? Do you still write snail mail? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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  1. Very interesting post, would love to visit the place.

    • Thanks, Anindita. It was an interesting place to visit 🙂

      I like your article on Sarahan. We have been till Narkhanda before but never explored Sarahan… noting it down for a long weekend 🙂 tried commenting on your post but for some reason, I am not able to comment.

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