The Journey so far…
We started the drive towards Key Monastery from Kibber from where it is just about 8 KMs, so within 20-25 minutes we were at Key Monastery including the long photo breaks we took on the way 🙂 🙂
Well, the road all the way up to Key Monastery was snowed out and I was not in any mood to walk that much and then climb stairs to reach the top. However, both Sany & Shikha decided to walk on the snow path and after a while I too started walking slowly and slowly. It was some walk to climb those last bends and then reach the monastery. Since, sun was out the snow was melting too, making the path more slippery. Somehow I managed to reach but unaware of the fact temporarily that we need to descend in these slippery conditions back to car again ;)…
About Key Monastery
Key monastery, is about 14 KMs away from Kaza at an altitude of 4116 Meters. When you drive towards Kunzum Pass from Kaza there comes a bridge from where the straight road leads to Key – Kibber and the left goes towards Rangrik and further towards Kunzum Pass across that bridge. Key is the oldest and the biggest monastery of entire Spiti Valley and I think most frequently visited too. It is built atop a hill and portrays a combination of a monastery and a fort. The monastery has some really beautiful scriptures and paintings of Lord Buddha and other gods. The Key Gompa is also famous for its priceless collection of ancient thangkas, including Tibetan silk thangkas up to 800 years old and frescoes depicting the life of Padmasambhava. There is a Key Village that comes just before the Key monastery while coming from Kaza. It also has a monastery guest house as well where you can stay for the day or you can stay inside the monastery rooms as well by paying a small fees to the monastery. You share the same food that is cooked for the monks.
Anyways, we entered the premises of the monastery, explored around for a while and chatted with monks about their daily routines and all. The views towards Kaza side as well as towards Kunzum Pass side up to Moorang village from this amazing vantage point are just breath-taking from where you can also view Rangrik Village across the Spiti River. Even some of the shots of movie Highway are shot right here, if you recall, the girl calling overlooking a snow capped mountain and then asking the boy to take her over it 😀 😀 … Such an easy thing in a movie, walking (read walking) over a mountain in high altitude cold desert such a Spiti 😆 …
After a while Sany got hold of an ancient blazer used by ancestors of a monk who was quite quite old in that monastery. It looked similar to the ones of Game of Thrones 😉 …. But, after knowing that fact that it cannot be cleaned properly as water or lubricants might destroy the fur, he decided not to buy it. Anyways it was a nice little session up there with the monks and we enjoyed.
Since, the day was still left, so we asked Dorje to take us for a ride till Attargu bridge from where the road to Pin Valley bifurcates as we wanted to explore the vistas on that route around Kaza. But for now, enjoy all the pictures I took in and around Key Monastery in this article which is kind of a photo tale 🙂 🙂
I hope you liked this part of the Snow White Spiti Valley Travel Tale. Stay tuned for the next part coming up very soon “Freezing Drive around Kaza” 🙂 🙂
Have you ever been to Key Monastery? Or are you planning a drive to Spiti Valley over it sometime soon and have any queries? Do share, in either comments section below or in Itinerary Advice Forum of DoW Community with all other devils 🙂 🙂