Hikkim (4,400m) in Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, India has the highest post office in India and second highest post office in the world.
Post office and postcards have a special place in my heart. This one is dedicated to the highest Post office in India.
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.
Journey To The World’s Highest Post Office In Spiti Valley
With 1,55,015 post offices, India has the largest postal network 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 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 🙂
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.
The uphill detour of 15 km from Kaza to Hikkim took us almost 45 minutes to cover. From here starts my journey to the World’s highest Post Office in Spiti Valley.
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.
A steeply inclined path from the tar road leads to the village houses. The houses are made of mud and stone.
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.
You can buy picture postcards from the post office itself. The will cost you Rs. 25 per postcard. The ordinary 25p postcard was not available.
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.
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.
The locals and workers from Nepal were working on building a toilet around the area.
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.
This cute little girl came to greet us with her grandfather.
There’s a cafe too …Tsedup Cafe if you are interested!
Do you have memories regarding post office and postage stamps? Do you still write snail mail? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
How to reach Hikkim
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.