The major centre of Buddhist learning in Spiti Valley, Key Monastery is in excess of 1000-year-old. It is situated at a tallness of 13,668 feet above mean sea level in Lahaul Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh in north India. Found by Dromton, a well-known disciple of teacher Atisha in the 11th century, the monastery used to house apprroximately 350 lamas at one time. The number of inmate at the monastery has come down.
The monastery is well-known for its structural design called Pasada style. Pasada style is characterised by two or more stories, often theater the role of a fort-monastery. The monastery is increase over 3 floors – underground, ground and 1st floor. Underground is mainly utilize for storage space, ground floor is used as meeting hall, called Du-Khang. The ground floor also has small rooms for monks.
The accommodation with mural called Tangyur is have to see. The monastery is recognized for its very old murals, rare thangkas and very old weapons. The images of Gautam Buddha in meditation position are have to see. The monastery also has a large set of musical instruments like cymbals, trumpets and drums.
Best place to visit in Key Monastery
- Tabo Monastery
- Dhankar Monastery
- Thang Yug Monnastery
Tabo Monastery near Key Monastery
Tabo is a small village, located on the left bank of river Spiti in the “Spiti Valley” of Himachal Pradesh. It is 50 kms small of Kaza, important town in Spiti Valley while travelling from Reckong Peo to Kaza. Flank on either side by hills, it houses one of the major Buddhist monastery that is regard by many as only next to the “Tholing Gompa” in Tibet. This monastery is supposed to be over a thousand years old and founded back in 996 A.D.
Dhankar Monastery near Key Monastery
Dhankar Monastery located at an height of 3,894 meters (12,774 feet) is at the ideal setting for any tombstone in this world. The monastery multifaceted is build on a high spur overlook the flowing together of the Pin Rivers and Spiti– one of the world’s most stunning settings for a gompa. The monastery was built about one thousand years ago, now belong to the Gelugspa School of order since the 1450s. Prior to this, Dhankar Monastery is also popular to have been Sakya-pa, Nyingma-p and Kagyu-pa, depending upon the spiritual allegiance of the King’s family. One of the major attraction of Dhankar Monastery is figurine of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha), consisting of 4 figures seat back to back. It also house a collection of a variety of centuries old thankas.
Thang Yug Monnastery near Key Monastery
Thang Yug Gompa lies at a distance of 14 km from Kaza town. Kaza is the sub divisional headquarters of Spiti Valley. It is easily accessible from Kinnaur, Tibet and Ladakh. This area is home to a number of noted monasteries bringing in crowds of tourists every year. Indian Holiday offers you an opportunity to visit the Thang Yug Gompa with its travel packages.
Best time to visit Key Monastery
This region experience summer season during the month of “May to October”, the temperature range from 0 to 15 degrees Celcius. Winters are freezing over here and should be avoided. The road connectivity is also untrustworthy during the winter with Manali-Kaza highway being cut-off.
How to reach Key Monastery
Key Monastery is 8.5 kms trek from Kaza. Kaza is in Spiti valley which is easy to get to via Manali across the Rohtang Pass and via Shimla. In the winter month, when the Rohtang Pass is stopped up to traffic, Kaza is easy to get to via Shimla.
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