In today’s world we can communicate with each other by just pressing a button.
In the ancient times, we had smoke signals, drum beats, flying messenger pigeons.
And then somewhere in between, around 1700 AD, we got the British Postal museum, oldest functioning post office [source].
Now, let’s break away from the world’s oldest for some time and move on towards the World’ Highest.
“Welcome to World’s Highest Post Office”
Functioning since the early 1980s, Hikkim is at an altitude of 14567 feet. At this altitude, oxygen is 57 % of that found at sea level ( in scientific terms around 12%, where oxygen at sea level is 20.9 %).
Just a fact, in the death zone on Everest the oxygen is 33 % of that found at sea level and at this altitude our bodies are literally dying.
Now, the Man who has kept the ball rolling, Rinchen Cheering
Rinchen Cheering, Post Master at World’s Highest Post Office
I asked him, “You don’t have anything here, how do you bring in the supplies here to the run the post office?
His answer, “On foot.”
There are people, who on foot go to the town of Kaza and bring back the stamps, postcards etc.
So, Kaza is like at an altitude of 12500 feet and Hikkim at 14567 feet and that”s like 2000 feet and distance between Kaza to Hikkim is around 15 kms. Some may say that we walk and run a lot, so that’s easy. Believe me, it’s not. Not at this altitude.
Leave emails ( as there is no internet), phone calls ( as there is no network), don’t forget to send that letter or a post card from here. Just remember the times when you eagerly awaited for a letter or a post card.
- It is advised that you carry some stamps with you, just in case the post office is short of stamps. This shortage can happen, as the stamps to this post office are brought from Kaza ( HQ of Spiti region) and these stamps at times are brought on foot.
- When you are going there, do take some chocolates for the kids over there ( You don’t get much at this altitude). The kids are gonna love it.
Edit: When you receive the letter you have been waiting for
In my case, I had to just leave my postcard there as there were no stamps at the post office. But, the postmaster Mr. Rinchen Cheering told me that he would post my card once he receives the stamps and here we are.