Tabo Monastery situated in a small town of Lahaul Spiti district on the banks of the Spiti River in Himachal Pradesh India. The town lies on the road between Reckong Peo and Kaza, the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti. The town surrounds a Buddhist monastery which, according to legend, is said to be over a thousand years old. The Dalai Lama has expressed his desire to retire to Tabo, since he maintains that the Tabo Monastery is one of the holiest. In 1996, the Dalai Lama conducted the Kalachakra initiation ceremony in Tabo, which coincided with the millennium anniversary celebrations of the Tabo monastery. The ceremony was attended by thousands of Buddhists from across the world. Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche is the spiritual head of Tabo Monastery.
Tabo is situated at an altitude of 10,760 feet or 3,280 meters, with very unpredictable climate, as it ranges from cloudy to sunny and from snow to heavy snowfall. Summers are short from May to August and winters are longer from mid-September to April. Winter temperatures in Tabo can range from −15 °C (5 °F) in the day to −45 °C (−49 °F) overnight. In summers, temperature ranges from −5 °C (23 °F) at night to 20 °C (68 °F) Celsius in daytime. The temples within the monastery complex in Tabo have a plethora of wall paintings and mud statues. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) attempted to restore some paintings that were ravaged by time, but were not very successful. Photography, however, is not permitted inside the monastery. Near the monastery there is a souvenir shop.
Tabo Himachal Pradesh
There are a few hotels in Tabo, of which the Banjara Camps retreat is the most luxurious. The temperatures here plummet at night. There are other hotels and hostels like Dekit Norphel Tiger Den Restaurant, Tashi Gangsar, Menthok Dumra at Tabo, including the monastery’s own guest houses. Mobile phone networks don’t work well in Tabo in Spiti Valley excepting BSNL network. Tabo is connected to other major towns like Kaza and Kalpa with Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Network.
How to Reach Tabo Monastery
By Road: Tabo is connected to other parts of the state by local bus services. Himachal Road Transportation Corporation (HRTC) buses ply the roads between Kaza and Tabo.
By Train: The Kalka Railway Station is the nearest rail-head located at a distance of 462 km from Tabo. This station is well connected to major cities like New Delhi, Barmer, Bandra, Amritsar, and Hazrat Nizamuddin by frequent trains. Taxis are available for Tabo, a journey which takes around 12 hours to reach.
By Air: Located in Bhuntar, (IATA: KUU, ICAO: VIBR) Kullu Manali Airport is the nearest air base located at a distance of 301 km from Tabo. This airport is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Shimla, and various other cities. Taxis are available from the airport to Tabo, a journey which takes around 7 hours to reach.