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Kee Monastery of India- The World Within!

Let’s get the ball rolling.

The mellifluous echoes of Om Mani Padme Hum The sublime vista of snow-capped terrain or the meandering Spiti brook The harmonious coexistence of humans and animals Kee Monastery of India is a go-to resort for peace-seekers and soul-searchers!

Have you dreamed of visiting a place where time is at a standstill and the scenic charm tugs right at your heartstrings?

Well, look no further! Kee Monastery of India in Himachal welcomes you wholeheartedly.

So why wait, mate? Sign up today for a remarkable episode up in the altitude with our exceptional tour guides!

Julley!… Greetings!

Highlights

1.     Kee Monastery of India- an insight into the largest and oldest Buddhist Monastery!

2.      Also known as Kee Gompa- it museums stark gems of their prime.

3.      An invincible Monastery that it is- learn about the history of its great valor!

4.      A veritable slice of paradise for photographers and Orophiles (who love mountains.).

5.      Summer brings forth the colors of Chham! – one Himachali ceremony to witness!

6. You decide to Live, learn, talk, and introspect about life or Buddhism.

7.      Go on a snow leopard expedition in Spiti- a thrilling experience for wildlife fanatics!

8.      Tread paths less trodden- Check out Hikkim, Kibber, and Kaza.

What makes Kee Monastery an unrivaled gem of the Himalayas?

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Basking in the frisky breeze of the Himalayas are the fluttering prayer flags, navigating you to a millennium-old stop. Cradled atop a hill at an altitude of 4166m above sea level, close to the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Kee Monastery, or Kee Gompa, is an unusual attraction on Buddhist tours in India.  

Kee Monastery of India, the largest and oldest Buddhist monastery in the Spiti Valley, holds a powerful sovereignty over the most prominent part of the valley around Kaza. But what makes it the most praised religious training center for lamas is the spiritual relevance of this monastery, which scores itself extra brownie points in spiritual tourism.

The area’s biggest Buddhist learning hub, Kee Gompa, is at least 1000 years old.

Now, that is quite some age.

Wait till we discuss the architectural prowess!

Kee Monastery is one of its kind for its architecture, called the Pasada style, characterized by two or more stories, usually akin to a fort-monastery. Spread over 3 floors: the underground (primarily a warehouse), the ground floor (which hosts the assembly hall and small rooms for monks), and the first floor.

If this is your first time going to a monastery, your knowledge of prayer wheels must be unrestricted by what the films have shown you. Fellow readers, these holy wheels are a unique experience altogether!

Often referred to as Mani wheels by the Tibetans, these are always spun clockwise. Why so?

So that the mantra (prayerOm Mani Padme Hum inscribed on the divine wheels passes the viewer in the order it is meant to be chanted.

Sounds interesting, eh?

Well, these prayer wheels are a must-see in the Kee Monastery of India!

Make a wish!

Kee Gompa museums gems of its time!

Are you privy to the noun “tengyur”?

 That’s right!

Tengyur refers to the Tibetan collection of commentaries on Buddhist preaching. The rooms in the monastery are adorned with such murals. It is known far and wide for its supreme collection of ancient murals, rare thangkas (Tibetan paintings), and ancient weaponry. 

The images of Gautam Buddha in the dhyana (meditation) position are a must-see!

That is not all. The abbey possesses a substantial collection of musical instruments, such as trumpets, cymbals, and drums, to name a few. The wind instruments are still used when Chham is enacted in the summer.

What’s Chham, you wonder?

We will get there in time.

The invincible Monastery that it is!

If nothing else, Kee Monastery in India is an impregnable emblem of supreme courage and power.

History is testimony!

Kee was demolished by invaders and rebuilt for unknown times. In 1840, it caught fire, and in 1975, it suffered extensive sabotage from an acute earthquake. Having been restored multiple times, temples and other erections appear stacked desultorily. The monastery now appears as a fortress.

Unleash your inner photographer!

Snuggled in the quaint Spiti Valley, Kee Monastery is a winsome paradise, echoing lullabies of tranquility and spirituality. Being yet to be explored by the mainstream, it is safe to say that it is unspoiled.

Overlooking the sparkling Spiti brook and surrounded by hills and glaciers, Kee is a veritable haven for photographers and nature lovers! The beauty of the valley is unprecedentedly thrilling!

 It offers a golden opportunity for fellow photographers to snap raw, unadulterated shots that are no less National Geographic-level!

The emerald landscape of the Valley- The enamoring vistas alongside the snaky motorable paths- India’s Kee is to leave you in awe of its splendor!

The night sky at Kee adorns itself with myriad stars!

A sight the city folks rarely get.

Have the best time by clicking some long-exposure shots and star trails!

Home to some of the world’s rarest and most unique wildlife, Kee invites you on a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Step out of your comfort zone and grab this chance!

Trust us; it is worth the while!

Little Tibet!

The culture of Kee, like the rest of Spiti, closely resembles that of Tibet. It is hardly surprising that the whole of Spiti is also colloquially known as Little Tibet.

If mountains are on your bucket list and Tibetan cultural heritage interests you, head to SPITI VALLEY, ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.


The essence of Chham in the Guitar Festival!

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We are well aware that India is the land of festivals and celebrations!

Just as you think that a village as perched up at the highest of altitude might be an exception, you are wrong!

The onset of summer in Kee brings about the aroma of Chham! If you have heard of Spiti, you may have heard of the Chham dance, which constitutes an integral part of the festivities. The Guitar Festival is one to witness!

Chham dance is a masked and costumed dance accompanied by lamas using traditional Tibetan instruments like dung (a long trumpet) and drums. Lamas wear vibrant silk brocade robes and colorful masks and perform ceremonial dances in the monastery courtyard.

The Guitar festival takes place annually and continues for about a week. Chham is of great significance, as are the masks and outfits worn. The dance is tantric art. The Lamas from the Kee Monastery of India dress up as demons and deities and enact an elaborate show. It is an interesting blend of chanting, prayers, and rhythmic movements. The theme of the dance celebrates the victory of good over evil.

Besides the prime event, you will find the communal kitchen serving free food to visitors. After all, is an Indian festival complete without any knickknacks?

But what completes the Guitar Festival is the zest of the natives and the scintilla of kinship and oneness in the air.

All this and more make the ceremony a must-experience for our fellow greenhorns! 

Now let’s take a look at the monks and their diurnal lives.

What does the life of a Lama in the Key Monastery of India entail?

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The monastery is home to monks of all ages. It provides fundamental education and grooming for the kids. The little bundles of joy are often seen in red robes. Their purest of hearts and wildest of smiles keep the place alive!

The lamas residing here are friendly and interactive. They welcome you with great warmth and compassion. Talking to them helps you learn about their daily activities in the monastery. They mainly care for the monastery compound; they prepare and serve food and tea to the rest, and they perform daily prayers to the Lord.

Behold the Shri Radha Raman Temple, an ethereal sanctuary nestled amidst the sacred streets of Vrindavan, where divinity orchestrates a celestial symphony!

Stepping across its threshold you will sway with the echoes of the eternal love story of Lord Krishna and his beloved Shri Radha.

With its soulful embrace serenading every soul who surrenders themselves, an ambient aura of spirituality defines the hallowed grounds of Shri Radha Raman Temple of Vrindavan.

Food in the Monastery- let’s delve into authentic Spitian cuisine!

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At lunch and dinner, all of the monks congregate and have their supper together. The best part is that foreigners are most welcome to join them!

Sattoo (roasted gram flour), rice, and dal are their staples unless it is a special occasion. Buddhism believes in simplicity, which is reflected in their way of life.

If you wish to treat yourself to one of the many Tibetan dishes, you can relish them at the local restaurants or cafés.

 But for Sicilian food, no place is better than the monastery itself!

An important part of their culinary culture is the yak milk butter tea, colloquially known as Po Cha.” It is a unique recipe available nowhere else!

Now that’s some exclusivity, eh?

Butter tea is made from churning tea, salt, yak butter, and milk.

Ah, your tastebuds must bless you!

 If nothing else, this special therapeutic tea is one reason to visit Kee!

A night or two in the Monastery- near to the monks, nearer to the Lord! 

Kee Monastery of India is that slice of heaven you need more than a few hours to savor. The tranquil and slow-paced life of monks- the moments of self-reflection it offers- the humbleness that surrounds- asks you to stay back a little more!

To your glee, Kee Gompa does offer accommodation!

In fact, unlike other monasteries, Kee offers you the opportunity to reside in the existing Lama quarters. You stay among the lamas, having your meals prepared by and for them. What else can make for an immersive learning experience?

You might not expect 5-star treatment, but spending a night or two in their humble abode will make you feel at ease and at home!

Comfortable and warm!

Live- Talk- Learn- Introspect.

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You will be taken aback by how much Kee has in store!

Talk to the interactive lamas and get some worldly words of wisdom. Observe how they find content in their simplistic approach to life. There is just so much to learn here!

Prayers are held twice a day in the monastery. Embark upon seeking inner peace and join them in the prayer hall. Please close your eyes and chant with them.  

A little walk up the trail behind the monastery, and you will reach a spot from where you get the perfect view of the setting sun.

As the demure beams of the inevitable sun canoodle the ivory encapsulation of the monastery, an otherworldly sight presents itself!

A sight only a few lucky souls get to behold!

You’ll find the monastery swarmed with interactional travelers and like-minded people during lunch and dinner.

A soft essence of togetherness and compassion for one another and the world persists.

Kee Monastery of India is where distinguished souls seek abode under the roof of similar ideologies.

Let’s take a look around- Kee!

Embark upon a thrilling Snow-Leopard expedition in Spiti!

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If you are a wildlife fanatic seeking to send chills down your spine, Spiti Valley is just the place for you!

Home to numerous exotic high-altitude wildlife species, Spiti is a wildlife haven.

 From Tabo, take the three-hour drive to Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary National Park, which imparts an immersive experience for wildlife lovers and photographers. In the winter, you can spot wild cats in this park.

In knee-deep snow, expediters push through the harsh climate to find the leopards. Their nature is to ambush in the background, so watch carefully.

You should be able to spot them by the black patches on their smoky gray to yellowish-tan regal fur.

Out of coincidence, en route on a snow leopard safari, you might encounter other animals or scavenging birds in the woods. So, be ready with your camera. You do not want to miss capturing them!

Expeditors can drive back to the neighboring villages in the quaint valley and explore around town.

Head over to our detailed column on the Charms of the Enchanting Komic Village in Spiti Valley.

Hikkim.

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Home to the highest post office in the world, Hikkim hums with serenity in the surrounding scenic sublime. En route to Kee Gompa, this little hamlet demands only a few hours.

Hikkim is known for its fossils. If you look around properly, you might spot a few!

And yes, remember to visit the Hikkim post office and send a postcard, because only some days can you send a postcard from the highest post office in the world!

Kibber.

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Kibber is another little oyster in Spiti for green panthers and travel journalists! It gives you a glimpse into the minimalistic approach of the villagers, the verdant agricultural landscape, the Tibetan-style houses, and the whole rustic vibe of it all. Pay a visit to the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary (as discussed above) to explore the wild glory of the village.

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We bet your inner child will knock on your door while you behold the wonderful sight!

Kaza.

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Nestled on the bank of the Spiti River, Kaza is overlooked by high mountain ridges on all sides. Only 11 km from the Kee Monastery of India, Kaza has two access points: one from the Kinnaur Valley and the other from the Lahaul Valley.

Kaza, in actuality, is a modern town compared to its peers. It is common to find mid-range accommodations and other contemporary amenities here.

This place is well-known for its carpets and pure wool garments. So, visiting the markets in Kaza is a must for shopaholics! 

It also acts as a gateway to numerous other tourist destinations. Kaza homes have magnificent snow-capped terrain, soothing lakes and rivers, and riveting monasteries and monuments. Kaza has an enthralling aura-

Come and experience the magic for yourself!

Walk down a path less traveled and embark upon this unforgettable journey into the heart of the Himalayas!

The Kee Monastery of India, accompanied by the other gems of Spiti Valley, offers you a one-of-a-kind experience.

Grant our travel experts the opportunity to transport you to this enchanting Himalayan realm, where a harmonious concoction of cultural heritage and natural splendor awaits your arrival! 

Julley!… Greetings!

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