Tabo Monastery is located in the Tabo village of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. It was founded in 996 CE in the Tibetan year of the Fire Ape. by the Tibetan Buddhist lotsawa (translator), Rinchen Zangpo (Mahauru Ramabhadra), the king of western Himalayan Kingdom of Guge. Tabo is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and the Himalayas. A large number of frescoes displayed on its walls depict tales from the Buddhist pantheon. There are many priceless collections of thankas (scroll paintings), manuscripts, well-preserved statues, frescos and extensive murals which cover almost every wall. The monastery is in need of refurbishing as the wooden structures are aging and the thanka scroll paintings are fading. After the earthquake of 1975, the monastery was rebuilt, and in 1983 a new Du-kang or Assembly Hall was constructed. The monastery is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a national historic treasure of India.

We spent about 2 hour in the monastery. The soft spoken Monk there told us various interesting stories. One of the interesting thing is this that most of the paintings there are years old and untouched. Too much of flash was not allowed since it creates a negative effect on old colors, so I couldn’t click many pictures, but here are some, clicked without flash. It is the best monastery that we had been to so far on this trip.

Amazing na!