Monasteries in Himachal

The sub-divisions of Lahaul and Spiti combine to make this trans Himalayan district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The district headquarters are at Keylong in Lahaul, and the administrative seat of Spiti is at Kaza. Spiti is connected to Lahaul by the Kunzum Pass (4,590 metres) and to the state capital, Shimla, through the district of Kinnaur. Spiti means the -middle country- a name obviously given as a result of its ties with both India and Tibet.Fed by several fast flowing sub-streams, the river Spiti flows through the area and joins with the other mighty river of the region, the Satluj, at Khab. With freckels of green over a dry, weather-beaten face, Spiti is a cold desert where the monsoon rain never comes. It is characterised by stark beauty, narrow valleys and high mountains. A century ago, Rudyard Kipling in Kim called Spiti “a world within a world and a place where the gods live” – a description that holds true to the present day.

Dhankar Gompa – Dhankar Gompa is a Buddhist monastery situated in the Spiti Valley of India. It stands perched at a height of 12,774 feet and falls between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. Dhankar was the erstwhile capital of Spiti Valley Kingdom during the 17th century. The monastery was built approximately one thousand years ago. One of the major attractions of Dhankar Monastery is statue of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha), consisting of 4 figures seated back to back.

Tabo Monastery – Tabo Monastery is situated in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Perched at an altitude of 3050 m, it offers magnificent views of the valley below. The monastery was founded by the great scholar, Richen Zangpo, in the year 960 AD. Tabo Gompa, located in India, was meant to serve as an institution for advanced learning. Infact, it saw tremendous growth in the Tibetan art between 11th century and 20th century.

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