Shahsur, meaning blue pines, is a renowned Buddhist monastery in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an elevation of 600 m. Legend has it that this monastery was constructed during the 17th century by Lama Deva Gyatsho, a missionary of the then king of Bhutan, Nawang Namgyal. It is said that the Lama stayed here till his last day. The walls of this three-storey gompa (monastery) are decorated with bright paintings that depict the 84 siddhas of Buddhism, along with a 5-m-long thangka (a religious painting or scroll) and an idol of Namgyal. Although the monastery sees tourists from far and wide all through the year, the months of June and July bring in most visitors when it hosts its annual festival. One of the highlights of the festival is the traditional chaam (cham) or masked dance, which is performed by monks.

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