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Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh

(4.7/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web)
Tabo Monastery is located in the Tabo village of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It was founded in 996 CE in the Tibetan year of the Fire Ape. by the Tibetan Buddhist lotswa, Rinchen Zangpo, the king of western Himalayan Kingdom of Guge. Tabo is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and the Himalayas. A large number of frescoes displayed on its walls depict tales from the Buddhist pantheon. There are many priceless collections of thankas, manuscripts, well-preserved statues, frescos and extensive murals which cover almost every wall. The monastery is in need of refurbishing as the wooden structures are aging and the thanka scroll paintings are fading. After the earthquake of 1975, the monastery was rebuilt, and in 1983 a new Du-kang or Assembly Hall was constructed. It is here that the 14th Dalai Lama held the Kalachakra ceremonies in 1983 and 1996. The monastery is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as a national historic treasure of India.GeographyThe monastery is situated in the Spiti valley above Tabo village on the left bank of the Spiti River. The valley as such is delimited by Ladakh in the north, Lahaul and Kullu districts in the west and south-east respectively, and by Tibet and the Kinnaur district in the east. While Tabo village is in a bowl-shaped flat valley, the monastery is also in the bottom of the valley, unlike other monasteries in the valley, which are perched on hills; in the past the region was part of Tibet. It is located in a very arid, cold and rocky area at an altitude of. Above the monastery there are a number of caves carved into the cliff face and used by monks for meditation. There is also an assembly hall in the caves and some faded paintings on the rock face.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A place to find peace of mind. A series of temples having statues and paintings of Buddha depicting his life and times. Right from his birth to his death, you can get all the ideas. One of the temples...  more »
  • The monastry site as several small and one large temple, howevere here no pictures are allowed. The adobe building are interesting, since these are not constructed anywhere else in the region. They we...  more »
  • This is a small and beautiful monastry located in Tabo village on the highway connecting Tabo and Kaza. The monastry is said to be the world's oldest monastry. The views around the monastry are nice a...  more »
Google
  • Stunning location surrounded by desolate mountains. The monastery is a ancient and covered inside with murals. Staying in the monastery was a great experience, even if the toilets were not exactly holy ;-)
  • This place is really a place with some devine power. Such great feeling to be in such an old monastary.
  • Oldest Monastery! Surrounded by hills. Beautiful n picturesque, serenity n tranquility - r the words to define it.
  • A wonderful palce..visit at early morning all Monasteries..wall painting..murals..frescoes...just wonderful.really its 'Ajanta Of Himalaya'....
  • Surreal and beautiful.