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Destinations > Himachal > Lahaul & Spiti

The Lahaul & spiti valley is famous for a large number of monasteries. Keylong is the district Headquarters of Lahaul Spiti on the main road to Leh over Rohtang. It is an oasis of green fields and willow trees, water streams surrounded with brown hills and snow capped peaks. There are hotels, tourist bungalows and rest houses to stay.

Dhankar Monastery: It is situated about 25 kms east of Kaza and serves eastern part of central Spiti. Dhankar is a big village and erstwhile capital of Spiti Kingdom. On top of a hill there is a fort, which use to be the prison in olden times. The Monastery has about 100 Lamas and is in possession of Budhist scriptures in Bhoti language. Principal figure is a Statue of " Vairochana" (Dhyan Buddha) consisting of 4 complete figures seated back to back. It has relics in the shape of paintings and sculptures.
Guru Ghantal Monastery (3020 m): This is on the right bank of Chandra river about 4kms. above Tandi and is believed to be the oldest Gompa of Lahaul having wooden structure with pyramidal roofs, wood carving and preserving the idols of Padmasambhava & Brajeshwari Devi. On the full moon night in mid-June a festival called "GHANTAL" is celebrated by Lamas & Thakurs together.

Kardang Monastery (3500 m): It is about 5kms. from Keylong across Bhaga river. It is believed to have been built in 12th century. The Monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Budhist scriptures in Bhoti. Kardang village was once the capital of Lahaul.

Key Monastery: It is situated 12 kms north of Kaza and serves the western population of Spiti. It is the oldest and biggest monastery of the valley and located at (4116 m) above Key village. It houses beautiful scriptures and paintings of Buddha and other goddesses. Lamas practice dance, sing and play on pipes and horns. Many Lamas get religious training here. It has murals and books of high aesthetic value.

Kungri Gompa: It is situated in the Pin valley about 10 kms. from Attargo where Spiti river has to be crossed to enter Pin valley. It is serves the population of Pin valley.
Tabo Monastery: It is another big gompa for serving the population of eastern side. It belongs to the tenth century and is located 50 kms. from kaza. It is a famous gompa next to Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It has about 60 Lamas and a large collection of Scriptures, wall paintings etc. Murals of this gompa have a great similarity to that of the Ajanta paintings.

Tayul Gompa (3900 m): Tayul Gompa is 6 kms from Keylong and is one of the oldest monasteries of the valley having a big statue of Guru Padmasamhava about 5 m high and houses library of Kangyur having 101 volumes. In Tibetan language Ta-Yul means the chosen place.

Thang Yug Gompa: It is located 13 kms above Kaza serving western part of central Spiti. Situated in a secluded place in the narrow gauge of Kaza Nallah, it generally has a Lama from Tibet. Above this there is a long plateau, which leads to Shilla peak.

Shashur Monastery: Situated on a hill about 3 kms. far from Keylong towards north on the same slope. During June/July this monastery attracts lot of visitors when Lamas perform devil dance. It was founded in the 17th century A.D. The paintings represent the history of 84 Buddhas.

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