Key Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery which is located in the Spiti Valley, Lahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh, India. In the Spiti Valley this is the biggest monastery. Dromton founded this gompa between 1008 to 1064 CE. He was the disciple of teacher Atisha. It is the home to 350 lamas.
What to see in Key Monastery: Monastery is famous for its architectural style. Architectural style of this gompa is known as Pasada Style. Monastery is having 3 floors. These floors are underground, Ground and First Floors. Ground floor is used as assembly hall. This floor is having small rooms for the monks. These rooms are known as Tangyur. Assembly hall is also known as Du-khang. Underground floor is used for the storage. Several attractions of this monastery are Ancient Weapons, Rare Thangkas, Ancient Murals and musical instruments like drums, cymbals, trumpets.
This monastery destroyed for several times and rebuilt. In 1840, monastery was undergone fire accident and in 1975 it was affected with an earthquake. This gompa belongs to Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It appears like fortress. In the Spiti Valley, this is one of the Gelugpa Sect monasteries. Other monasteries of this valley are Drangtse Monastery and Tabo Monastery. At the integral festivals, Mask dance perform by the monks. This is the resemblance of the victory of good over evil.
What to see around Key Monastery:
Kibber: Lush Green fields and agricultural forms are abundant. Major crops are Peas and Barley. Village consists of only 80 houses. They are made up of adobe brick and mud. This place is famous for monasteries, barren splendour, and scenic mountains. It is located 2kms away from the monastery.
Kaza: It is the base point for trekking. Places to visit in Kaza are Hikkim Monastery and Sa Kya Pa Sect monastery. It is situated 12kms away from Gompa.
Tangyud Monastery: It is located 14kms away from the gompa. For Buddhists it is the sacred place. Spectacular view of Kaza can be possible from here.
Dhankar Monastery: It is located 32kms away from Gompa. Main intension to build this fort is to keep an eye on enemies and enjoy the Spiti Valley by seeing from this place. Old temple in Dhankar is known as Lha O Pa Gompa.
Pin Valley: It is located on the banks of river Pin. Major activities in this place are archery competitions and Horse racing. Most of the tourists attracts towards Chamurti Horses. It is a part of Spiti Valley. This is situated 16kms away from Gompa.
Kunzam Pass: Height is 4590 meters above the sea level. It is the gateway to Spiti Valley. This place is located 60kms away from Gompa. It offers best view of Shigri Parbat.
Getting to Key Monastery: Before reaching this monastery one has to visit Kaza. It is located 12kms away from the monastery. From Kaza, jeeps and buses are allowed to reach till the gate of the monastery. From the gate visitors have to walk for a kilometre to reach to the monastery. Kaza can be reached either from Manali or from Shimla. Nearest railway station of Kaza is located at Jogindernagar. Nearest railway station of Kaza is at Shimla.
Getting around Key Monastery: Only way to explore this monastery is on foot. From Kaza buses and Jeeps are available to visit the surrounding places of Monastery.
Best time to visit Key Monastery: Best time to visit this monastery is between May to October.
Where to stay in Key Monastery: No accommodations at this monastery. Plenty of midrange hotels are available at Kaza.
Where to eat in Key Monastery: Eateries are not available at this monastery. It is advisable to carry food while visiting this monastery.