Tabo is a small town situated at an altitude of 10,760 ft on the left bank of Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is the largest monastic complex of Spiti which has since been declared a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.
Tabo village is in a bowl-shaped flat valley, the monastery is also in the bottom of the valley, unlike other monasteries in the valley, which are perched on hills; earlier the region was part of Tibet. It is located in a very arid, cold and rocky area. The land looks barren and desolate moonscape with no vegetation. Above the monastery there are a number of caves carved into the cliff face and used by monks for meditation. There is also an assembly hall in the caves and some faded paintings on the rock face.
Tabo is famous for a Buddhist monastery called Tabo Monastery which, according to legend, is said to be over a thousand years old, founded back in 996 A.D. Flanked on either side by hills, it is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries regarded by many as only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It is also known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas. There is a large and priceless collection of thankas (scroll paintings), manuscripts, well-preserved statues, frescos and extensive murals which cover almost every wall in the monastery.
The Dalai Lama has expressed his desire to retire to Tabo, since he maintains that the Tabo Monastery is one of the holiest. The most popular religious festival held here is the Chakhar Festival, which is dedicated to the peace and happiness of all. This is held every three years, usually during September or October.
- Tabo Monastery
Things to do –
- Interact with the Buddhist Monks/ locals
- Visit Tabo Caves