The Key Monastery, also known as Kye Gompa or Ki and Kee Monastery, is a must-visit destination located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. This Tibetan Buddhist Monastery is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 4,166 meters above sea level and is known for its stunning architecture, breathtaking views, and rich cultural heritage.
The 1000-year-old monastery was founded in 1100 CE and is believed to have been established by Dromtön, a student of the famous 11th-century teacher, Atisha. It is the largest monastery in the Lahaul and Spiti district and is home to around 250-300 Lamas, who serve as spiritual leaders in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is run by a Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhist monks and serves as a religious training ground for Lamas.
Visitors from all over the world come to the Key Monastery to experience its serene surroundings, which are surrounded by beautiful snow-capped Himalayas and glaciers. The interior of the monastery is equally impressive, with its walls covered in murals and paintings depicting 14th-century monastic architecture influenced by Chinese culture. It is also known for its collection of rare manuscripts, unique wind instruments, Buddha idols, and weapons.
Despite surviving numerous attacks by the Mongols, the Key Monastery has stood the test of time and celebrated its 1000th year in 2000 in the presence of the Dalai Lama. With its fascinating history, peaceful surroundings, and beautiful architecture, the Key Monastery is a must-visit for anyone seeking inner peace and tranquility.
Here is some essential information about the Key Monastery:
There are several options for staying in Tabo, depending on your preferences and budget:
When staying in Tabo, it’s a good idea to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist season, as the town can get quite busy. It’s also recommended to check for the availability of basic amenities like electricity and hot water before you book.
The Key Monastery is located in a remote area of Himachal Pradesh, so food options may be limited. Here are some options for food near the Key Monastery:
It is recommended to carry snacks and enough food and water for your trek as the area near the Key Monastery is remote, and options for food and drink may be limited.
The Key Monastery is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. Here’s how to get there:
The Key Monastery is well connected by road, and you can reach it by hiring a taxi or taking a bus from nearby cities such as Shimla, Manali, and Kaza. The journey from Shimla to the Key Monastery takes about 10-12 hours by road.
You can also reach the Key Monastery by trekking from nearby villages such as Kaza and Tabo. The trek is around 15-20 km long and takes about 4-5 hours.
By Air: The nearest airport to the Key Monastery is the Bhuntar Airport, located approximately 220 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi to reach the Key Monastery.
What is the Key Monastery?
The Key Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is one of the largest and oldest monasteries in the region and serves as a religious training ground for Lamas.
How old is the Key Monastery?
The Key Monastery is believed to have been established in 1100 CE and is over 1000 years old.
What is the significance of the Key Monastery?
The Key Monastery is significant for its rich cultural heritage and its association with Tibetan Buddhism. It serves as a center of learning and spiritual growth for Lamas and is a popular destination for devotees and tourists seeking inner peace.
What can I see at the Key Monastery?
The Key Monastery is known for its beautiful architecture and its walls, which are covered with murals and paintings. It is also famous for its collection of rare manuscripts, unique wind instruments, Buddha idols, and weapons.
How do I reach the Key Monastery?
The Key Monastery can be reached by air, road, or trek. The nearest airport is the Bhuntar Airport, which is approximately 220 km away. The monastery is well connected by road and can be reached by hiring a taxi or taking a bus from nearby cities such as Shimla, Manali, and Kaza. You can also reach the monastery by trekking from nearby villages.
Is the Key Monastery open all year round?
The Key Monastery is open throughout the year, but it may be closed during extreme weather conditions such as heavy snowfall. It is advisable to check with local authorities before visiting.