Totally Tabo-ed!!!

Visiting the Ajanta of Himalayas -Tabo Village in Spiti Valley

Tabo (Ta- pho) is situated at a wobbly altitude of 3050 meters in the eastern region of Spiti Valley. Spiti is one awe-inspiring region that houses few of the greatest surviving monuments of Tibetan art and culture. Historically, Spiti Valley is believed to be part of the Kingdom of Western Tibet. The tiny divine village (Tabo) will catch your fancy for all the right reasons.

Visit to Tabo was part of our road trip to Spiti Valley. It seemed as if the incredible road trip had surprises in store for us at every corner. The vast expanse of land, flawless empty roads, and the Spiti River flowing by, filled us with happiness and wonder for nature. We were already in different world, albeit tired of all the driving throughout the day. Once we reached Tabo, the gigantic and colorful entrance re-energized us, the feel of this small settlement was so contagious!!!

Glimpse of Tabo

Glimpse of captivating Tabo village

That evening we settled in our rooms, gazing at the bright stars and stunning moon, excited about the next morning.

We started our day early, 5 minutes brisk walk and we were standing right outside the majestic temple complex of ‘ Tabo Chos-khor Monastery’. We had no idea what to expect. Though we had visited monasteries earlier too in Mcleodganj and Manali this one felt so different. (Explore Mcleodganj)

Tabo Entrance.jpg

The premises were covered by mud structures crafted beautifully to form particular shape, as we entered the main temple, intrigued and curious , we just kept gazing at the temple!!! The main complex is manifestation of eternal Indo-Tibetan art and culture.

“For those who are tired from the long journey; and for all beings,
witnesses of misery
that have been abandoned by friends and relatives;
this beautiful temple has been constructed.”

(Inscription inside gTug-Lha-kang of Tabo Gompa, Source –

Tabo Monastery was built in 996 AD (more than a millennium back!!) covering about 6,300 sq. m , it’s one of the oldest surviving monasteries in the world.


⇒ The Tabo Gompa is second in importance only to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet in the entire Himalayan region.

⇒ The monastery was founded by the king of western Himalayan Kingdom Guge.

⇒The monastery has preserved the Tibetan art, culture and artifacts over passages of time. It houses treasured collection of manuscripts, thangkas (Buddhist scroll paintings), statues in stuccos, frescos and murals depicting tales from the Mahayana Buddhist Pantheon.

⇒The walls are decorated with beautiful paintings. There are 36 huge clay statues adorning different mandalas.

The monastery also serves as one of the greatest establishments for Buddhist history studies and academic activities. This monastic complex is a national historic treasure of India.

Tabo - New Monastery.jpg

Construction of new monastery complex under progress at Tabo, Spiti Valley

The temple complex is a national historic treasure of India and protected as such by the Archaeological Survey of India. The monastery complex holds 9 temples, 23 chortens, a monk’s chamber and an extension that houses the nuns chamber. There is accommodation available for travelers as well.

The serenity and purity of the complex is indescribable.

Suggested Reading

Reaching Spiti Valley

Dhankar – Heights that will make your heart go Boom!!

Cheers, Untraveled Routes ♥♥

45 thoughts on “Totally Tabo-ed!!!

  1. Totally captivating… it takes a moment to absorb the fact that those are mud structures and they have survived more than 1,000 years – simply boggling as is the landscape. As ever you have taken me to a place hitherto only existing in my dreams 💛

    Liked by 3 people

    • 😊😊 The place had surreal charm, photography was not allowed inside the Monastery and I don’t have any pictures. But the visuals are imprinted on my mind… It was so peaceful and impressive. Tibetan people are Art and Nature lovers and remarkably warm… And that’s what make Spiti Valley so unique. Thank you for you positive feedback 💞


  2. “For those who are tired from the long journey; and for all beings,
    witnesses of misery
    that have been abandoned by friends and relatives;
    this beautiful temple has been constructed.”
    I really like this! –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this amazing post. I am eager to get to this region and your introduction to this oldest monastery is making me even more impatient. Not sure when we will, but given that we are now based in Sri Lanka we should be able to get there fairly easily. I think your photographs really do a great job of capturing the feeling and spirit of the place, coupled with the quotes from inside.
    That is quite a big monastery complex, impressive. I particularly like the mud formations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Peta, I must thank you for such encouraging feedback…. It really helps 💛💛 Next time you are in India let me know, would love to help in planning your trip to Spiti Valley. I would love to see your interpretation and photos of this amazing place.


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