himachal pradesh,  Spiti Valley,  Travel

Key Monastery – The Largest Gompa of Spiti

Key Monastery, also spelled as Ki or Kye or Kee. This monastery is located at an altitude of 13500 Ft and its more than 1000 years old. While on the way to Kunzum pass I saw the first glimpse of the Key monastery from Rangrik. Today, it was time to visit the largest Monastery in spiti – The Kee Gompa. The Key monastery is one of the must visit place in Spiti valley.

Key Monastery

The Key Monastery is more than 1000 years old. Also, it is the largest monastery in Spiti valley. I had seen this monastery first time in one of the episodes of the documentary called way back home. Since then, I wanted to visit this monastery. Finally, today I saw it in real. The architecture of the monastery is really impressive. I kept wondering, how they must have built it. The positive vibes inside the monastery is unexplainable.

Inside Key/Kye monastery

Key Monetary Architecture

The build and architecture of the key monastery is perfect example of Tibetan architecture. The white washed mud walls and insulated flat roofs and little square windows. It was really impressive to witness this amazing piece of architecture. The walls of the Key monastery are filled with paintings and murals. This is an example of the 14th century monastic architecture, which developed as the result of Chinese influence. There are large number of Buddhist relics here at the monastery and it also have the stupa which contains remains of Rinchen Zangpo, The great translator.

The monastery houses a lot of trainee Buddhist monks here at the monastery. The families here in Spiti valley are very excited about sending their children to become a monk. And usually one on the child is sent to the monastery by the parents. We got a chance to talk to some little aspiring monks around the monastery and also didn’t miss to play a round of football game with them.

Each and every moment inside the monastery felt so peaceful and made me very calm from inside and the view from the monastery just add up to the peace that I was feeling. Due to covid restrictions we couldn’t see the monastery completely, still we were able to roam around the monastery.

Inside Key/Kye monastery
Inside Key/Kye monastery
young monk at the kye/key monastery

Tea at Key monastery

The classic butter tea at the monastery have gained popularity recently. You can have this tea If you are visiting during the lunch or snacks time of the monks. Or, if any celebration is going on.

How to reach Key monastery

The Key monastery is situated in Spiti Valley, at a distance from 15 KMs from Kaza town. We can reach Key monastery from Shimla as well from Manali.

Reaching key monastery from Manali

If you want to reach Key monastery from Manali then you must visit in the Summer. In winter months, the road is closed. Also, please bring a vehicle with good ground clearance as the road may get bad between khoksar and kunzum pass. From Kunzum pass to Key monastery, the road is good. While you travel from Manali to key monastery, you can visit Chandrataal Lake as well.

Reaching key monastery from Shimla

First, you need to reach Kaza from Shimla. Its difficult to travel from Shimla to Kaza in one go. You will require to take a halt in between. Kalpa, is the perfect place to halt while you travel from Shimla to Kaza. Also, I would recommend to travel only during the day. The first reason is that, you will be able to see the places in transit and secondly the region is prone to rock falls. I’ve already covered my road journey from shimla to Kaza in previous blog posts. adding the links for the blog post below.

Shimla to Kalpa road journey

Kalpa to Kaza road journey

Best Time to visit Key monastery

The Summer season is the best time to visit Key monastery. Best months to travel are from April to October. Please avoid visiting during the winter months. There chances of getting stuck in snow , so avoid travelling in the winter months

Can we stay at Key Monastery ?

Yes, you can stay at the monastery by paying a charge of ₹ 500.


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