Koumik village is the highest village in Asia situated in Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh in north India. The population of the small village is about 114 but setting of the village surrounded with snowbound mountains is picturesque.
The village is also famous for Lundup Tsemo Gompa Buddhist Monastery and it is said that monastery has ‘Matrey Buddha’ or the future Buddha. This monastery is also famous for being highest motorable Buddhist monastery in the world.
The 14th century monastery has a fortified castle made up of slanted mud walls. The murals, scriptures and arts belonging to that era make it a historic destination. It is said that before the construction of the monastery it was already foretold in Tibet that the monastery would be built in a mountainous region in Spiti which would look quite similar in the shape of the eye of snow cock. The place was thus called Koumik – ‘Ko’ stands for Snow Cock and ‘Mic’ means eye.
Koumic is located in the cold desert area and for the locals their village is their world. Tourists visiting the village will be surprised to find the modern amenities that even the villages in other parts of the country enjoy, missing. But the breathtaking views and charming festivity is seen to be believed.
Festivals are integral part of the village life and Koumic too has festivals which even the tourists enjoy. The Lama’s also take perform the Chham dance or mask dance which is based on defeating the evil.
For adventure lovers the treks in the region provide all the thrill they are looking for.
The region is cut off from the rest of the country due to heavy snowfall. The local residents store enough food to last the winter season and use the time in making handicraft like carpet, shawls, cap, jackets, paintings etc.
The clear skies offer a stunning view of the sky and star gazing is quite popular in the region. Carrying a telescope can be quite thrilling.
Koumik has basic homestay options. The locals charge nominal rent for the facility. Those looking for luxury stay can opt for Kaza.
The village has no big restaurant or hotel. Locals provide home cooked food if ordered in advance. Every visitor to the monastery gets a cup of tea.
Best time to visit Spiti is during summer from May to October. From October end, Rohtang Pass remains closed due to snow fall.