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Tabo Monastery in Himachal Pradesh

For centuries the trans Himalayan tracts of Spiti, Lahaul and Ladakh have been enveloped by a grand mystic aura. Behind this veil of geographical isolation and mystery lay wonders, that are unfathomable even today.

Tabo is a small town in the Lahul and Spiti district on the banks of the Spiti River in Himachal Pradesh, India. The town lies on the road between Rekong Peo and Kaza the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti.

In the insurmountable heights of Spiti, lies the Buddhist gompa, monastery of Tabo, established in 996 A.D.

The Tabo monastery (also referred to as Tabo Chos-hKhor – ‘doctrinal circle’ or ‘doctrinal enclave’) is a complex that holds nine temples, 23 chortens, a monks’ chamber and an extension that houses the nuns’ chamber.

On the sheer cliff-face above the enclave are a series of caves which were used as dwellings by the monks and includes an ‘assembly hall’. Faint traces of the paintings that once embellished the rock face can be discerned. Even today, Tabo holds the distinction of being the largest monastic complex in Spiti. Constructed in 996 AD, Tabo was the brainchild of the great translator and teacher, Rinchensang Po.

Location of Tabo Monstry

Upto Shimla by air, rail or road. By road from Shimla to Tabo the distance is 365 kms. This is via Narkanda, Rampur, Jeori, Wnagtu, Karcham, Powari, Jangi, Puh, Khab, Chango and Hurling.

Upto Kullu by air or road. By road from Kullu to Tabo the distance is 295 km via rohtang Pass, Gramphoo, Batal, Kunzam Pass and Kaza. This happens to be a more demanding route.


Extremely cold during winter and difficult to approach, temperature drops well below even – 20 degrees, cold during summer. Rainfall is almost zero. Heavy Woolens are required, both in summer and winter months like shawls, sweater etc.

Content last updated in December 2019

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