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!!!
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)
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 – Petervanham.com)
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.
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.
Cheers, Untraveled Routes ♥♥