10 Best Monasteries in Lahaul Spiti: Updated 2020

Best Monasteries in Lahaul Spiti includes Key Monastery, Tangyud Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Kungri Monastery, Kardang Monastery, Tayul Monastery, Germur Monastery and many more.

Lahaul and Spiti are two remote districts in Himachal Pradesh and are of great religious importance for Buddhists, as there are many beautiful and tranquil monasteries in Lahaul Spiti. The monastery is not only the holy and sacred place for Buddhists but is a self-contained world, where people live their life completely devoted to God. Usually, monks and nuns reside there and live a very simple life committed to prayer and contemplation.

Many popular monasteries are present in this wonderful region like Kungri Gompa and Lhalung Monastery, which symbolize the unique blend of architecture, culture, and heritage of Buddhism. The Key Monastery is the largest in the Spiti region, while the Tabo Monastery is a famous national historic treasure of India.

And, when you are in Lahaul and Spiti and are on a soul-searching trip, you can not miss visiting the Tangyud Monastery, the Dhankar, and many more which offer a tranquil experience and eternal peace. All of these monasteries portray the life and teachings of Buddha and prove to be a perfect place to attain spiritual bliss.

Here are some of the best monasteries in Lahaul Spiti:

01

Key Monastery

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Key Monastery

It is one of the most popular and the largest monasteries in Lahaul Spiti and is located near the Spiti river. It is situated at a height of 4,166 meters above sea level and displays the excellent architecture of the 11th century. It is also the popular teaching base of Buddhism as around 300 Lamas get religious training here every year.It is around 1000 years old and faced several attacks and natural disasters but got restored by the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Public Works Department.

It is a three-story building with temples, built on top of one another and is beautifully decorated with marvelous paintings, and murals. It is also a treasure trove for all historians and houses heritage collections, including Thangkas, manuscripts, stucco images, wind instruments, and weapons.

Location:
Key, Himachal Pradesh 172114.

Timings
: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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02

Tangyud Gompa

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Tangyud Gompa

The Tangyud or the Sakya Tangyud Monastery is one of the most sought-after attractions in Komic village, Kaza, Spiti. It is situated at 4520 meters above sea level and is one of the highest monasteries in India. The structure of the building of this monastery is in the form of a fortified castle with mud walls and battlements.

This Tangyud monastery is one of the only two monasteries remaining that belong to the Sakya sect in Spiti. The visit to this monastery is an experience of a lifetime as the sacred and peaceful ambiance with majestic sounds of prayers and chants is overwhelming.

Location:
Tangyud, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh 172114.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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03

Tabo Monastery

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Tabo Monastery

It is known as the Ajanta of Himalayas because of its group of caves that have beautiful paintings and scriptures as embellishments. The Tabo monastery is another oldest monastery of India and is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located at the left bank of the Spiti river and displays a beautiful architecture and history of Buddhism. It is a prominent sacred place for Buddhists and houses 9 beautiful temples with one temple having the holy ‘Wheel of Law’.

A large number of visitors come here to discover more about Buddhism and be part of the famous Chakhar festival which happens once every three years. The early morning (6:00 AM) prayers fill the environment with soothing and positive vibes, and the experience is divine.

Location:
Tabo Monastery, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh 172114.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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04

Kungri Gompa

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Kungri Gompa

The Kungri Monastery, the second oldest monastery in Lahaul Spiti Valley, is the only monastery belonging to the Nyingmapa Buddhism. The Nyingmapa is the oldest order of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery was built in 1330 and presented the strong impact of Tibetian influence on its architecture and design.

It houses several silk paintings, huge sculptures, holy Tibetan texts, Kenjur and Tenjur, etc.which represent the art, culture, and heritage of Tibetian Buddhism. A multitude of Buddhism followers and tourists come here to explore more about Buddhism and participate in the annual traditional ''Devil Dance '' and 'Sword Dance ''.

Location:
Kungri Monastery, Pin Valley, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh 172114.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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05

Kardang Monastery

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Kardang Monastery

Kardang Monastery, one of the primeval monasteries in Lahaul Spiti belonging to Drukpa Buddhism, is about 900 years old and is situated on the banks of the Bhaga river. It is about 3500 meters above sea level and attracts visitors from all over the world. The architecture of this monastery is one of its kind and the views of the surroundings are breathtaking.

The building also houses the heritage collections of scriptures, murals, paintings, frescos, old weapons, and instruments, which showcase the culture and history of Buddhism. It also hosts its annual carnival “Chaam Dance” which involves celebrations and dance by monks, dressed in dramatic masks and headgears.

Location:
Kardang Monastery, Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh 175140.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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06

Lhalung Monastery

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Lhalung Monastery

Lhalung Monastery, also known as the “ Golden Temple” is one of the earliest monasteries in Lahaul Spiti. It lies at an altitude of 3,658 meters above sea level and has many old stories associated with it. There is also a sacred tree near the monastery, which is supposed to be as old as the monastery is and is of great significance for all the locals and Buddhism followers.

According to old and mysterious stories, this 'land of the gods' is blessed by Lhalung Devta and the mountains surrounding the area also change color depending on the moods of the Lhalung Devta. It is one of the mysterious monasteries in India and attracts visitors to learn more about its mysteries, culture, and Buddhism.

Location:
Lhalung Monastery, Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh 175140.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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07

Tayul Monastery

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Tayul Monastery

It is the ancient monastery of northern India and is situated at a height of 3900 m above sea level. It lies in the Bhaga Valley of Lahaul and Spiti and has in possession a 12 ft. tall statue of PadmaSambhava. This biggest statue, two manifestations of Singhmukha and Vajravarahi, and 108 main wheels are the main attraction of the Tayul monastery.

It also possesses a huge collection of Buddhist scriptures, Kangyur, and Thangkas, artifacts and murals of the 17th century. Many interesting stories are associated with this beautiful monastery, which got its name Tayul by Lama Serzang Rinchen meaning “a chosen place” in Tibetian language.

Location:
Tayul Monastery, Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh 175140.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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08

Gemur Monastery

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Gemur Monastery

Gemur is one of the most harmonious monasteries located in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh and offers a perfect display of Buddhism of the 14th century. Built-in 1330, this monastery’s architecture displays the relics and art of Tibetans and houses the marvelous structures of the goddess 'Marichi' and 'Vajravarahi’. The building is adorned with beautiful paintings, relics, and murals and also houses stuccos and intricate thangkas.

The main building consists of many stupas and prayer rooms and has picturesque hills and manicured gardens in the backdrop. Visitors come here to experience the serene tranquility and enjoy the annual festival 'Devil dance-drama' which takes place in July every year.

Location:
Gemur, Lahaul Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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09

Dhankar Monastery

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Dhankar Monastery

This 16th-century monastery stands at a height of 3800 meters above sea level in the Spiti Valley. The Dhankar monastery is one of the most visited monasteries in Lahaul Spiti for its Buddhist art and culture and exquisite surroundings. It is located on the hilltop and offers enchanting and panoramic views of the Spiti valley.

Also, the monastery has a magnificent statue of Dhayan Buddha, a large silver image of Vajradhara, along with many scriptures, murals, and artifacts belonging to Buddhism. This is one of the most captivating attractions of Spiti Valley and also the photographer's delight because of its religious significance and an awe-inspiring backdrop.

Location:
Sichling-Dhankhar Gompa, Dhankhar, Himachal Pradesh 172113.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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10

Shashur Monastery

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Shashur Monastery

Shashur monastery is 600 meters above the valley and, got its name for the surrounding beautiful blue pine trees. Though, the construction of this Gompa started in the 16th century but got completed in the 17th century. This monastery belongs to the Gelukpa Buddhism and presents a unique display of beautiful architecture and heritage.

The architecture of the building follows the ancient Mandala concept and the building has the decorations of murals, scriptures and large Thangka paintings, and wall paintings. The annual "Chham Dance '' is another attraction of this monastery apart from being an excellent sacred place for Buddhism followers.

Location:
Shashur Monastery, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh 175132.

Timings:
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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18 July 2015
Excellent
Beautiful, unexplored place and the best part away from all the cobwebs of city.This place is heaven on earth. It is hard to believe that such beauty even exists. But yes, beauty comes at a price. Its hard to reach. Weather is extreme. I went there via Kinnaur. And Kinnaur is not for the light hearted. Its a long, tiring and dangerous journey with a treasure at the end.
10 January 2020
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09 January 2020
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09 January 2020
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One of the best trip filled with fun and enjoyment with my friends. the snowy experience was amazing I would suggest it to everyone that one in a year you should visit spiti with your friends or family. the hotels were good and clean and the stay was comfortable. the food is also quite delicious. and one of the eye-catching scenes was the confluence of Spiti and Sutlej river. overall a good trip.
10 January 2020
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10 January 2020
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10 January 2020
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10 January 2020
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