The aged and beautiful with a millennium-year-old history lies the Tabo Monastery on the banks of river Spiti in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Over the millennium of its existence, Tabo has seen a lot. From attacks of Ladakhi Kings to earthquakes, the manuscripts of the Monastery have lots of stories to tell, which will take you back in time.
A sand castle stuck in a valley, affectionately known as Ajanta of the Himalayas, Tabo Monastery, established over 1000 years ago, is the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in the Tabo Village of Spiti Valley. The Archaeological Survey of India protects Tabo Monastery as the National Treasure of India.
Even if you are not so much into history or ancient architecture, then also this Monastery will attract you to explore due to the fascinating stories that its manuscripts hold. Once you visit there, you’ll know this Monastery is the only one next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet.
Travel around in Toba Monastery
With a 1000-year-old monastery in its lap, Tabo is a must-visit for those seeking an offbeat destination. This place will offer you an eternal peaceful vibe which any other site fails to do so. The Dalai Lama himself has a desire to retire in this town itself. Tabo is a small town where you can stroll through the Monastery’s lanes and explore the not so explored local areas, interact with the locals, embrace their culture, and hear the fascinating unheard tales from them.
If you are a reading buff, you can visit the library at the Monastery to learn more about the gravity of Buddhism or the history of the Monastery. Then, visit the Monastery museum and witness the artifacts & antiquity present there.
You’ll be surprised to know that Tabo Monastery is at the bottom of the Valley, along with the rest of the village, while most of the Himalayan Monasteries are perched atop a hill. Home to several thangkas, murals, statues, and paintings depicting the culture and history of the Himalayan region, thus, this Monastery is worth a visit.
Everyone of us has heard of the term time travel! If you want to feel it, head towards Tabo Monastery in Spiti Valley, where you will witness the scriptures and paintings taking you back to the 10th, 15th, and 20th centuries.
Flamboyance Architecture of Tabo Monastery
Tabo Monastery lies in a freezing, arid, and rocky area at 3050 meters. The Monastery includes nine Temples, four decorated Stupas, and cave shrines. Its structure has been built like a fort with strong walls which are 3 ft in thickness, hence, a solid reason for the Monastery’s survival over the centuries despite natural calamities.
As many of its paintings are fading, you’ll not see any source of artificial light or direct light inside the Temple to prevent further damage. Nevertheless, the contrast between the simple mud brick exterior and the impressive ornate interiors of the Tabo Monastery is spectacularly striking and worth watching.
Today, you’ll witness that the Temple in the Monastery houses a unique collection of Buddhist paintings and statues that illustrates the history of Tibetan-Indian Buddhism. Depicting the time’s local characteristics and Non – Buddhist traditions.
Timings of the Tabo Monastery – 6 am to 5 pm
Caves of Tabo
The breathtaking Tabo caves can be found just above the historic Tabo Monastery. You can see these caves in a little scattered and dilapidated state; however, if you had visited this Monastery a millennium ago, you would’ve seen the monks probably living there. Nowadays, some of the caves are utilized by the monks for the purpose of meditation.
Preserving the Monastery
The Monastery is preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Himachal Pradesh Government has also taken several steps to safeguard this priceless Monastery from getting destroyed by the dire climatic conditions and other natural calamities. The preservation of this historical, cultural heritage is of the highest priority.
Best Time to Visit Tabo Monastery
The best time to visit Tabo Monastery is between May and October, when the weather is pleasant, and the road to the Monastery is accessible. You’ll find a lot of food courts & accommodations in these months. However, remember that the peak tourist season is from June to August, so it might be crowded during these months. It is also advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your visit.
If you are on a budget and plan to travel to Tabo Monastery during the off-season, this can be a unique and rewarding experience. The off-season in Tabo Monastery falls between November and March when the weather is typically cold & dry, but the roads leading to the Monastery are still accessible.
During this season, you will notice fewer tourists visiting the Monastery, which means you will have a more peaceful & intimate experience and the opportunity to truly appreciate the beauty of this ancient site. You’ll find fewer food courts and accommodations at this time of the season, but whatever you’ll find will be comparatively cheaper than the peak season. As this time of the season brings snow with it, hence, it is advisable to check the road & weather conditions before planning your trip.
How to Reach Tabo Monastery
Once landing at Kullu Airport, which is the nearest air base located at a distance of 294 km from Tabo, once you reach the airport, Taxis are available from there to Tabo, which takes 5 hours to drive.
If you wish to travel by train to Tabo Monastery, the nearest railway station is Kalka Railway Station, located 452 km from Tabo Monastery; upon reaching the railway station, you can take a taxi or a bus.
337 km away from Shimla and 149 km away from Reckong Peo, Tabo in Himachal Pradesh can be reached most conveniently by Taxi or Bus from any location.
Experience the beauty of Tabo Monastery and its heritage will be etched onto your heart and mind. The serenity and fragrance of positivity in this place will instantly hit you, making you talk about this place for the rest of your life. The fascinating 1000 years old Monastery will urge you to add this masterpiece to your Himachal tour package and explore it. Plan your trip stress-free with Indian Holidays, who will help you arrange it according to your customization and convenience. Contact TODAY!