Tabo Overview

Tabo is a small village in the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. It is a treasure trove of culture and is home to the Tabo Monastery which is also known as the "Ajanta of the Himalayas." This ancient village is surrounded by snowclad Pir Panjal mountains and it is a great place to learn about Buddhist culture as well as traditions. Tabo is also an excellent destination to visit for those seeking tranquillity and historical exploration.

Situated on the banks of Spiti River, Tabo is a tiny town in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The cold desert town sits at an elevation of 10,760 feet and is surrounded by scree slopes and snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Known for its serene and tranquil beauty, Tabo is a must-see spot for those who are looking for an offbeat adventure. If you're planning to explore the wonders of the Spiti Valley, don't miss including Tabo in your Spiti Valley packages for an unforgettable experience amidst the Himalayan landscapes.

The town is approximately 40 kilometers away from the border between India and Tibet, and you are bound to come across it when travelling by road from Kaza to Reckong Peo.The most famous attractions in Tabo include a 1000-year-old monastery, which is considered as one of the holiest by the Dalai Lama himself. The list also includes several temples, and some ancient caves, which were once inhabited by Buddhist monks who wanted to take shelter from the harsh winters. 

In 1996, Dalai Lama performed the sacred Kalachakra Initiation here, and thousands of Buddhists from India and around the world attended the ceremony. The town is also known for cultivating apples, and you can find some of the tastiest and crunchiest red apples here.If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a trip to Tabo will surely rejuvenate your mind and body


• Discover the ancient beauty of Tabo Monastery, known as the "Ajanta of the Himalayas," and the oldest operational Buddhist enclave in the Himalayas.
• Walk through the serene apple orchards in Tabo, experiencing the unexpected delight of lush greenery in the middle of the desert landscape.
• Spend the night and enjoy stargazing during your visit to Tabo, known for its clear skies.
• Pay a visit to the mystical Tabo caves, which used to serve as a place of meditation for Buddhist monks.
• Attend the Kalachakra Initiation site, which has been blessed by the Dalai Lama, and spend some time meditating in this serene spot.

How To Reach

1. By Road - The best way to reach Tabo is by car. Taxis are available from Manali and Shimla, and they will take you directly to Tabo village. There is only one bus that goes to Tabo and it leaves at 6:30 A.M from the Reckong Peo bus stand.

2. By Air - There are no direct flights to Tabo. The nearest airport is the Kullu Manali Airport, which is located in Bhuntar. Tabo is 300 kilometers away from the airport, from where you can book a cab.

3. By Rail - There are no direct trains to Tabo. The nearest station is the Shimla railway station, and it is 362 kilometers away from the village. Taxis are available from the railway station.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Tabo is between May and October. It is neither too cold, nor too hot during this time of the year, and most of the famous tourist spots remain accessible. Weather can be fairly unpredictable in Tabo. The summers are short-lived, and generally lasts from May to July. During summers, temperatures can be around 20 °C during the day but drop to −5 °C at night.

However, August brings monsoon in the nearby areas which increases the chances of landslides and make the routes to the desert Spiti valley wet and slippery. So it is good to avoid August. The winter months last from mid-September to April, and they tend to be brutal.

You can expect temperatures ranging from −15 °C to −45 °C during the winter months. The area also receives heavy snowfall during winter.

Other Essential Information

1. Location - Tabo is part of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on the banks of Spiti River.

2. Distance from Spiti - Tabo is approximately 54 kilometers or an hour's drive away from Spiti Valley.

3. Distance from Manali - Tabo is located 250.5 kilometers away from Manali. It can take slightly over 5 hours to cover the distance by car.

4. Distance from Shimla - The distance between Tabo and Shimla is around 360.4 kilometers. By car, it may take over 10 hours to reach Tabo from Shimla.

5. Mobile Connectivity - Mobile phone networks are not very strong in Tabo. Only BSNL and MTNL network works well here.

6. Temperature - Winters are harsh in Tabo with temperatures hovering between −15 °C and below −40 °C. Summers are slightly warmer, and temperatures can vary from −5 °C to 20 °C.

Places to Eat in Tabo:

When it comes to places to eat in Tabo, you cannot expect a 5-star restaurant. However, the village offers some excellent options when it comes to the basic north-Indian and Tibetan cuisine. Here are some of the eateries that you must try when you are in Tabo:

1. Cafe Kunzum Top - One of the most popular restaurants in Tabo, Cafe Kunzum Top specializes in café food and Tibetan cuisine. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner. Part of the Sonam Homestay, the café has a beautiful setting. Apart from good coffee, this vegetarian-friendly restaurant serves dishes such as spring rolls, burgers, potato tatchili, French fries, lassi and so on. One of their specialties called the "Spiti Thali" is a must-try.

2. Tiger Den - It is the most quintessential café in Tabo, and has a multi-cuisine specialty. Set in a yard surrounded by prayers flags and hollyhocks, the restaurant is part of the Hotel Tiger Den. The most popular items on their menu are hummus, lemon chicken, pizzas, and pitas. Being so close to the entrance of the monastery, the restaurant receives plenty of guests. 

3. Tashi Khangsar - The Tashi Khangsar has a great restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Besides Indian and continental, the restaurant also offers some great Spitian and Israeli food.

Places to Stay in Tabo:

If you want to stay in Tabo for a day or two, you can find decent hotels and OYO rooms in the area that are not too far from the major tourist attractions. Here are some of the best places to stay in Tabo:

1. Sonam Homestay - Located close to the Tabo Monastery, Sonam Homestay is one of the most popular hotels in Tabo. The rooms are spacious and furnished with a king-sized bed and other necessary furniture. Every room comes with an attached bathroom, telephone, and other features such as free Wi-Fi, room service, and free parking. The hotel also has a kitchen that is known for its delicious food.

2. Hotel Tiger Den - Located just a few steps away from the Tabo Monastery, Hotel Tiger den is known for its service, cleanliness, and value. The hotel provides free parking and other facilities such as room service. The hotel has a renowned restaurant that offers delectable meals throughout the day. The best part is that this pet-friendly hotel allows your furry friends to stay with you.

3. Hotel Snow Leopard - Located near an SBI branch in the middle of the village, Hotel Snow Leopard offers spacious rooms with amenities such as attached bathrooms and cable TV. Every room is equipped with a wardrobe and comfortable king-sized bed.

Tips for visiting Tabo:

If you are visiting Tabo for the first time, you need to know some basic things to make the most of your stay there. Here are some fundamental tips for visiting Tabo:

1. The Tabo Monastery along with the popular temples close around 5.30 P.M. Make sure to start your day early and visit them in the morning or afternoon.

2. It can get fairly cold. So, make sure to wear a lot of layers including woolens and windproof jacket.

3. Plan your visit during the summer months so that most of the attractions and places to eat remain open.

4. Photography is not allowed within the monastery and the temples. So, put your smartphones and cameras away!

5. Do not litter and always use the garbage bins for disposal of items.

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Tabo FAQs

How old is Tabo monastery?

The Tabo Monastery is over a 1000 year old. It was founded in 996 AD during the year of the Fire Ape in the Tibetan calendar. It is the oldest Buddhist monastery in India. The old monastery is famous for its small rooms and mud stupas, but the newer construction has a more modern look and feel. The Archaeological Survey of India lists the Tabo monastery as a national historic treasure.

In which state is the Buddhist site Tabo monastery located?

The Tabo Monastery is located in the small village of Tabo, which is part of Lahaul and Spiti district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The tiny village falls right in the middle of Kaza and Reckong Peo.

How do I get to Tabo?

There are several ways to get to Tabo. Since there are no airports in Tabo, you cannot fly directly there. You would have to reach the Kullu Manali Airport and take a cab to Tabo. There are also no railway station in Tabo. The nearest railway station is Shimla railway station, which is 362 kilometers away. The best way to reach Tabo is by car. You can drive there or book a cab. You can also take a bus from the Reckong Peo bus stand. Also, most people like to ride their bikes to the terrains of the valley.

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