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Spiti Valley Tours

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by Sammie, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Sammie

    Sammie Member

    Key Monastery in Spiti Valley is one place I'd like to visit. Are there tours that take you into the Monastery? I've read that it was built some time around 1100 and that there are still monks there today. Do they allow visitors?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Sammie! I hope you're having a great day!

    I'm so sorry for the late reply. I hope you can still read this though. The Key Monastery in Spiti also goes by the name "Kye Gompa." This is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated at about 4,166 metres above sea level. It is close to the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. This is considered as the biggest monastery in the Spiti Valley as well.

    It was Dromton who initiated the building of this monastery in the 11th Century. However, the original monastery is already destroyed now and it was in the village of Rangrik where that monastery was originally built. After that, the monastery has suffered many more damages, an attack by the Mongols in the 17th Century, Sikh Army attack, an earthquake and even a fire.

    Now, the Kye Gompa belongs to the Gelugpa Sector. Because of the many attacks and restorations, you'll find several temples inside the Gompa. It's like a temple over another temple over another temple, giving it an irregular box-like structure. The walls of the monastery are covered with paintings and murals as well.

    It is a training centre for Lamas and a home to monks. You can find several halls inside the monastery, some stairways are too narrow even for passage. Several valuable manuscripts and wind instruments can be seen the monastery. There's even a collection of weapons probably used to defend it from the invaders.

    You have some options for tours:
    • The first one is the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, you can contact them to inquire about their tours for the Spiti Valley and Lahaul Valley, including the Kye Gompa.
    • The second one is the Tour My India Travel Agency. They have several tour packages you can avail of which include the Kye Gompa as well.
    Vehicles are allowed up to the main entrance only. But they do allow tourists to enter the monastery. You will be introduced to a Lama which will guide you around the monastery. Photography is allowed only at the roof of the monastery.

    I hope this helps!