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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.