Also called the Ajanta of the Himalayas, this Monastery of international repute from an altitude of 3280 meters in the Tabo village of the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India offers wonderful sights. It is one of India’s national historic treasures. Built by the scholar Richen Zangpo in 960 AD, this monastery was an institution for advanced learning. Numerous ancient murals from the 11th century adorning this monastery are indicate substantial growth in the Tibetan art between 11th and 12th century AD. Clay statues of Buddha in Kashmiri painting are also seen here.
The historical significance of this monastery is its role in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. A sleepy village, Tabo was catapulted into prominence in 1996 with His Holiness Dalai Lama’s teachings here and the Kalachakra initiation. Even since, he has been a frequent visitor to the monastery. His next visit is in July 2009 to consecrate the new Kalachakra pillar. Presently 45 monks residing here continue to study and practice Buddhism. Interestingly, the youngest is 6 years old. By tradition of the Spiti valley, the second son becomes a monk.
The nearest airport is Kulu Manali at a distance of 250 km from Tabo. Simla and Pathankot are the nearest railheads. Access by road is also available. For more information, one can visit their official web site http://www.tabomonastery.org/