Tabo, Himachal Pradesh

Lying on the road connecting Reckong Peo and Kaza, Tabo, also known as Ájanta of the Himalaya’ is a small town of Lahaul and Spiti District. Altitude of this popular tourist destination is 3280 mtr and is located on the banks of River Spiti.

Fast Facts

Height: 3280 m

Climate: Summer season which commences from the month of March and lasts till June is ideal for a trip to this place. During the winter season, it is hard to reach due to the heavy snowfall.

Getting There & Away: How to reach Tabo

Tabo is well connected by the major modes of transportation, namely air, rail, and road. Kullu is the nearest air base located at a distance of 294 kms. At 452 kms is Kalka Railway Station, the nearest broad gauge rail head. Shimla is at a distance of 364 kms.

Tourist Attractions in Tabo

Monastery: Founded in 996 CE, Tabo Monastery or Chos-Khor Monastery is the centre of attraction for each tourist soul. Standing placidly in the cold and rocky valley, this prehistoric monastery offers amazing architectural integrity and spiritual richness. It sprawls over an approximate area of 6300 sq m which is environed by a mud brick boundary wall and it houses 9 temples and 23 chortens along with a monks’ chamber and a nuns’ residence. The monastery is well-known for its wonderful murals and stucco sculptures, described by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, as ‘a delightful expression of the Indo-Tibetan collaboration in spreading Buddhist culture’. The contrast between the simple mud brick exterior and the resplendent ornate interiors of the monastery is spectacularly striking and a must see for every visitor. The paintings of the monastery can be traced back to the period between the 10th and the 11th century. On the other hand, the paintings of the main temple showcase the artistic style of the period between the 15th and the 20th century. As a convergent point of Tibetan and Indian cultures, Tabo became the birthplace of a new fusion art style known as the Indo-Tibetan style.

Caves: Above the Tabo monastery, there are caves and cliff like structures (chortens) that are used by the monks for meditation. Termed as ‘Tabo Caves,’ these magnificent caverns are artificially excavated for monks and were initially used as an assembly hall. Also, these caves are well visible from the village and are known to be very old. There are many caves in Spiti Valley, but it is not completely clear when and who started the tradition of building such caves and for what purpose.

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