The Tabo Monastery is in a small town on the banks of the Spiti River in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The road between Reckong Peo and Kaza, which is the sub-divisional capital of Spiti, goes through the town. The town is all around this Buddhist monastery, which history says has been there for more than a thousand years. The Dalai Lama has said that he wants to retire to the Tabo Monastery, which he says is one of the greatest. In 1996, the Dalai Lama led the Kalachakra initiation process in Tabo.
This happened at the same time that the Tabo monastery was celebrating its first millennium. The event was attended by thousands of Buddhists from all over the world. Tabo Monastery’s spiritual leader is Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche.
Tabo is at an elevation of 3,280 meters (10,760 feet), and its weather is very uncertain. It can be cloudy or sunny, and it can snow lightly or a lot. From May to August, the summer is short, and from mid-September to April, the winter is longer. In the winter, Tabo’s temperatures can range from 5 °F (-15 °C) during the day to subzero 49 °F (-45 °C) at night.
During the summer, it gets as cold as 23 °F (-5 °C) at night and as warm as 68 °F(20 °C) during the day. There are many paintings and mud statues on the walls of the buildings in the Tabo monastery complex. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) tried to fix some damaged paintings, but they weren’t very successful. Inside the monastery, though, you can’t take pictures. There is a shop selling souvenirs near the monastery.
Tabo Himachal Pradesh
There are a few hotels in Tabo, and the most luxurious is the Banjara Camps retreat. At night, the temperature drops a lot. At Tabo, there are also places to stay like the Dekit Norphel Tiger Den Restaurant, Tashi Gangsar, and Menthok Dumra, as well as the guest rooms run by the monastery. The BSNL network is the only one that works well in Tabo, as well as in the entire Spiti Valley. The Himachal Pradesh Road Transportation System links Tabo to other big cities like Kaza and Kalpa.
Tabo Monastery and Temple Complex Visit
You can get to Tabo by road. Local bus services connect Tabo to other parts of the state. Between Kaza and Tabo, buses run for the Himachal Road Transportation Corporation (HRTC).
Go by train: The Kalka Railway Station is 462 km from Tabo and is the closest train station. Many trains go to and from this station to big towns like New Delhi, Barmer, Bandra, Amritsar, and Hazrat Nizamuddin. There are taxis that can take you to Tabo, which takes about 12 hours.
Go by air: Kullu Manali Airport, which is 301 km from Tabo and is in Bhuntar (IATA: KUU, ICAO: VIBR), is the closest air base. This airport is easy to get to from places like Delhi, Mumbai, Shimla, and many others. From the airport to Tabo, you can take a taxi, and the trip takes about 7 hours.
Tabo Monastery Frequently Asked Questions
- What makes Tabo Monastery well-known?
Tabo is known for being the oldest Buddhist settlement in India and the Himalayas that is still in use. On its walls, there are a lot of paintings that show stories from the Buddhist pantheon.
- Can I stay at Tabo Monastery?
The Tabo monastery guest house is a great place for tourists on a tight budget to stay. It has a hall with ten beds and some single rooms. But there is no hot water, and some of the rooms may share bathrooms. There are a lot of cheap places to stay in Tabo.
- What makes Tabo in Himachal well-known?
The history of Tabo monastery is very old. In fact, the old abbey with its mud walls and lots of beautiful paintings is a gem. People often call it the “Ajanta of the Himalayas.” It gave me hope to see that the paintings were still in good shape.
- How far is it from Dhankar to Tabo?
There is an old monastery in Tabo, which is 47 kilometers from Kaza. According to folklore, the monastery is over a thousand years old.
- In Kaza, can I see the Milky Way?
On a clear night in Himachal Pradesh’s Spiti Valley, you can see the Milky Way galaxy. From Dhankar, Kaza, Langza, and Chitkul, you can see the whole sky. The best time to go is between mid-May and mid-October.