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Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

  • Key Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on picturesque hilltop at an altitude of 4,166 metres above sea level, close to the Spiti River, in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India.
  • The monastery has the distinction of being the oldest and the biggest in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh and a religious training centre for Lamas. It is home to around 300 lamas who receive their religious education here.
  • Key Gompa is said to have been founded by Dromtön (Brom-ston, 1008-1064 CE), a pupil of the famous teacher, Atisha, in the 11th century. This may however, refer to a now destroyed Kadampa monastery at the nearby village of Rangrik, which was probably destroyed in the 14th century when the Sakya sect rose to power with Mongol assistance. 
  • It is believed that the monastery is at least a thousand years old. There was even a celebration of its millennium in 2000 in the presence of the Dalai Lama.

Key Gompa with Spiti River flowing behind

Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

Source : photo credit

The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The Middle Land", i.e. the land between Tibet and India. 


Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

The valleys of the Himalayas hold the treasures and secrets of ancient civilizations. Monastic traditions developed enormous architectural marvels and perhaps in no other society does religion play such a defining role in the political and economic


Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

It possesses a distinctive Buddhist culture similar to that found in the nearby Tibet Autonomous Region and the Ladakh region of India. The valley and surrounding region is one of the least populated regions in India and is the gateway to the northe


Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

Key Gompa was frequently attacked by the Mongols, such as the 17th century raid during the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In the 19th century it was attacked and looted by various armies engaging in fights in the region. This was followed by a devas


Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

The monastery is a wonderful example of the monastic architecture that came into prominence during the 14th century because of the Chinese influence. Regular invasions have led to temples built on top of one another. There are low rooms and narrow c


Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

The walls of the monastery are decorated with beautiful paintings and murals, thangkas (a painted or embroidered Tibetan banner), valuable manuscripts, stucco images, and unique wind instruments. There is also a collection of weapons which were prob


Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India

The monastery is around 12 km north of Kaza and can be reached by covering a distance of 210 km from Manali to Kaza. From there daily buses takes you to the Kye Monastery.



Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India
Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India
Key Monastery (Kye Gompa), Himachal Pradesh in India