November 15, 2019

Amazing Monasteries of Spiti

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There are five main Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Spiti valley. They are KEE, Comic, Dhankar, Kungri (in the Pin valley) and Tabo Monastery.

Visiting these monasteries is a fascinating experience and unforgettable one. Inside these monasteries filled with mystical dimly lit rooms and ancient treasures. One would be able to unearth well preserved artwork, scriptures and statutes as you delve into the Tibetan Buddhist religion.

The monasteries have significant influence over the lives of Spiti’s inhabitants. Tradition requires that families donate their second eldest son to the monastery in their area or pay a hefty (and usually unaffordable) fine.

There are few more monasteries then mentioned below. Here are few of the monasteries visited during the trip to Spiti valley:

Note: Lot of information about these monasteries gathered from Wikipedia.

Kungri Monastery: Kungri Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism in the Pin valley in Lahaul and Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. Kungri is Spiti’s second oldest monastery, built around 1330. The Gompa consists of three detached rectangular blocks facing east. Kungri recently received large foreign donations for it’s renovation. It is noted for its sword dance by the buzhens of Mud village on the right bank of the Pin river.
Source: Kungri Monastery

BGBTD HP Kungri monastery

KEE Monastery: Key Gompa (also spelled Ki, Kye or KEE) is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on top of a hill at an altitude of 4166 Mtrs (13668 feet) above sea level, close to the Spiti river in the Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh, Lahaul and Spiti District, India. It is the biggest monastery of Spiti valley and a religious training centre for Lamas. It reportedly had 100 monks in 1855.
Source: KEE Monastery

BGBTD HP KEE monastery 1
Front view of Key Gompa
BGBTD HP KEE monastery 2
Top view (Took from top of the hill near Gete village)

Lhalung Monastery: Lhalung Monastery or Lalung Monastery (also known as the Sarkhang or Golden Temple), was one of the earliest monasteries founded in Spiti, Himachel Pradesh, India, by the great Tibetan Buddhist lotswa (translator), Rinchen Zangpo, the king of western Himalayan Kingdom of Guge during the late 10th century CE. The altitude of the neighbouring village of Lhalung is 3,658 Mtrs (12001 feet).
Source: Lhalung Monastery

BGBTD HP Lhalung monastery

Dhankar Monastery: Dhankar Gompa (also Drangkhar or Dhangkar Gompa; Brang-mkhar or Grang-mkhar) is a Gompa, a Buddhist temple in the district of Lahaul and Spiti in India. It is situated at an elevation of 3894 Mtrs (12774 feet) in the Spiti valley between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. The complex is built on a 1000 foot (300 Metre) high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin rivers – one of the world’s most spectacular settings for a gompa. Dhang or dang means cliff and kar or khar means fort. Hence Dhangkar means fort on a cliff.
Source: Dhankar Monastery

BGBTD HP Dhankar old monastery
Dhankar old monastery
BGBTD HP Dhankar new monastery
Dhankar new monastery

Tangyud monastery: The Tangyud Monastery (also written bTang-rGyud, Tangyuth) or Sa-skya-gong-mig Gompa at Hikim/Comic, Spiti, Himachel Pradesh, India, is built like a fortified castle on the edge of a deep canyon, with massive slanted mud walls and battlements with vertical red ochre and white vertical stripes which make them look much taller than they really are. It is at an altitude of 4587 Mtrs (15049 feet), on the edge of a deep canyon and overlooking the town of Kaza, Spiti, 4 Kms. from the town. It is located on the periphery of the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary.
Source: Tangyud Monastery

BGBTD HP Tangyud monastery 1
Tangyud monastery in COMIC village
BGBTD HP Tangyud monastery 2
Stuffed tiger inside Tangyud monastery

Sakya Tenggyu Monastery of Kaza: It is newly built in 2009, the Kaza Monastery wows tourists through crisp buddhist architecture. Vibrant paint highlights the painstaking detail throughout the polished construction and stamped decorative brass door hinges are just a sample of the ornate finishes which amaze and inspire those who visit his monastery.

Kaza Gompa (Monastery) is one of the two Sa-kya-pa Buddhist sect monasteries in Spiti. In fact its a part of the other monastery located at Comic.

BGBTD HP Sakya Tenggyu monastery

Tabo monastery: Tabo monastery is not visited and it is nearly 50 Kms. from Kaza. Visiting Lhalung monastery is more than enough, it was pretty much identical to Tabo monastery.

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2 thoughts on “Amazing Monasteries of Spiti

  1. Loved thev information and the pictures. I will be visiting Kaza Tabo in first week of July this year. Where to stay at Tabo? Can I book a stay at the monastry and can you give me a contact no for the same?

    Happy travelling Sir. All the best.

    1. Thanks for appreciating Madam! It is great place to visit. When I had visit in 2013 we went with Pin Bhabha Pass Trek guide to Spiti valley. He arranged us everything. Moreover when u visit these Spiti villages, u will easily get Home-stay for overnight stay. People are very kind and helping nature. Once u reach Kaza, check for stay with people. They will help u. Don’t worry u will get lot of Travellers, Tourist to these places in the month of July. All the Best for Spiti valley trip madam 🙂 Enjoy every minute of Spiti valley trip 🙂

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