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Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh

(65+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
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
  • We visited the monastery on 7th June 2017 while our stay at Tabo. The monastery is 5 minutes walk from the main highway with Spiti river flowing behind and surrounded by mountains from all sides. It i...  more »
  • This monastery is OLD! & it'll make you wonder how the monks ever managed to reach the then inhospitable terrain of Spiti to construct this monastery. This is what adds to its magic. The inside is dar...  more »
  • Tabo Monastery is one of the oldest monastery in India and coming here is like walking back in history alongwith the new ones. Great to see the fresco paintings depicting Buddha. Worth a visit.  more »
Google
  • Second oldest Monastery in the World , well maintained. Sorrounded by mountain and apple orchard .
  • The monastery is very very old but they have managed to renovate and even construct a new shrine and prayer hall. And even though the monastery may be the most popular feature of this quiet little Himalayan town, it isn't only thing in this place.
  • One of the Oldest monastery - excellent Place - In fact a Whole day can be spent - Seeing the beautiful landscaped around Tabo- U can have Some hotels - Home stays accommodations also
  • Nice place to stay, spend good quality time with monks, to get some knowledge about Buddhism.
  • 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 ;-)