All Attractions

Kye Monastery

Overlooking Kaza from a height of about 13,500 ft, the Kye monastery is the largest in the valley and holds a powerful sway over the most populous part of the valley around Kaza. The gompa or monastery is an irregular heap of low rooms and narrow corridors on a monolithic conical hill. From a distance it resembles the Thiksey monastery near Leh in Ladakh. The irregular prayer chambers are interconnected by dark passages, tortuous staircases and small doors. Hundreds of lamas receive their religious training in the monastery. It is also known for its beautiful murals, 'thankas', rare manuscripts, stucco images and peculiar wind instruments that form part of the orchestra whenever 'Chham' is enacted in the 'gompa' during summers. Another interesting aspect of the 'gompa' is its collection of weapons, which may have been used to ward off marauders and also to maintain its control over people betraying a church-militant character. Thousands of devotees from all over the world attended the 'Kalachakra' ceremony which was performed in August 2000 by His Holiness Dalai Lama. 'Kalachakra' initiation is not just an elaborate puja or a religious congregation, it is a workshop on a grand scale to make an earnest effort by both the teacher and disciples to awaken their Buddha nature by the combined forces of teaching, prayer, blessing, devotion, mantra, yoga and meditation. It is an effort by every participant to try to discover the true and permanent peace for the sake of all others. The Buddhists believe, mere presence during this elaborate initiation ceremony stretching over a few days liberates the participant from suffering and bestows on him the bliss of enlightenment. The ceremony focuses on five main subjects - cosmology, psycho-physiology, initiation, sadhana and Buddhahood. A 'Kalachakra mandala' and 'Viswatma deitiy' in union with his consort are at the centre of this ceremony guiding the disciple through the tedious process of initiation.

Dhankar Fort And Monastery

This beautiful monastery is locked between the rocky spurs at the top of clif in the Dhankar village at an elevation of over 3,800 meters in the Spiti valley. It is a 16th century old fort monastery, which has also served as a prison in the erstwhile era. The Dhankar Gomba is over 1000 years old and is connected to the rest of the valley through a Motorable road, which is good for small vehicle only. There is a new monastery in the small village of Shichilling below the old monastery. The old monastery is associated with the Great Translator, Rinchen Zanggpo, and its complex comprises a number of multi-storey buildings perched together.The fort of Dhankar now lies in ruins, but still is a place worthy of a visit. From the remnants of the fort one can see vast expanses of the Spiti valley. It is also of art and historical importance. Founded between 7th and the 9th Centuries, Dhankar's old temple complex occupies the southern part of the steep mountain slope of the village. It is known by the name of Lha-O-pa Gompa (monastery of the followers of Lha-O). The monastery consists of a number of multistoried buildings perched together, giving a fortress like impression. There are five different halls including Kanjur, Lhakhang, and Dukhang where a life size silver statue of Vajradhara, the Diamond Being, is placed in a glass altar embellished with scarves and flowers. Most interesting at the Lha-O-pa gompa is the small chapel on the uppermost peak above the main monastery - Lhakhang Gongma. The building is decorated with depictions of Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa and Lama Chodrag on the central wall. Dhankar's main attraction, although least publicised, is a fresh water lake about 2.5 km from the village at a height of 13500 ft. Set amidst lush green pastures, the lake offers an idyllic camping site. Some boating facilities are proposed to be introduced in the near future. Under the Desert Development Project of Spiti the common carp variety of fish has been introduced in this lake. No angling is however, allowed in the lake. There is no rest house in the village. If you plan to halt for night, do carry tents, sleeping bags and other provisions.

Lhalung Monastery

Tayul monastery namely Tayul Gompa is assumed as the oldest monastery in the Northern region. The monastery is standing tall in the midst the mighty mountains. It is located at an elevation of 3900 m above the sea level in the Bhaga Valley of Lahaul and Spiti. Satingri village is home to the Tayul Gompa that can be reached by a steep footpath from Upper Keylong.Interesting fables are associated behind the founding of the monastery. Once, Lama Serzang Rinchen of Khan Region in Tibet spotted this monastery when he was walking on and around the sacred Drilburi Peak. While walking on the peak, he spotted a small glade in the juniper forest. He showed the same to his pilgrimages, later he concluded that the place is an auspicious site to build a monastery and decided to name it as 'Tayul' which in Tibetan language means chosen place. Built in 17th century, the monastery is home to the Drugpa or Red Hat Sect of Buddhist monks.In the 18th century, the monastery was renovated by a Ladakhi, Tulku Tashi Tanphel who belonged to the Tagna monastery. He also decorated the monastery with murals. The most vulnerable possession of the monastery is the 12 ft statue of Guru Padmasambhava, besides the famous manifestation of Singhmukha and Vajravahi. There are 108 main wheels as well in the monastery, which keeps on self-turning on auspicious occasions. All the many wheels have an impression of "Aum Mani Padme Hunch." Last time the wheel self rotated was in 1986. There is an enormous collection of 101 Buddhist scriptures, of the "Kangyur" (Buddha's own teachings in their Tibetan translation) in the library of Tayul monastery. The library also has "Thangkas" which depicts about the life of Buddha. Multiples things are there to explore in Tayul Monastery. Embark on a short trip to Tayul monastery and catch the slice of finest Buddhist sculpts and art-works.