The Ki Monastery or Kye (Key) Gompa is a beautiful Buddhist monastery located in Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. It is perched atop a hill, at an altitude of 4166 m above sea level.
After leaving Nako, another beautiful Himalayan village at the far end near the Indo-China border, we were headed to Kaza. On the way we explored the picturesque little towns and villages of Lahaul and Spiti including Tabo, Ki and Kibber via Chango and Sumdo. The final stop of this journey was Chandratal – a stunning alpine lake in the majestic Himalayas, before we travelled back to the cities and regular lives.
The views from the monastery are nothing short of a feast to the eyes of any mountain lover. From the terrace of the monastery, I stared, awestruck, at the panoramic views of the brown dusty Himalayan mountains and vast blue sky. It is hands down one of the prettiest places I’ve visited in Himachal.
A long flight of stairs leads to the monastery. Mind you, climbing stairs at a high altitude place can be physically taxing. The monastery, like many other monasteries, is aesthetic and tranquil. A young monk greeted us and offered to show us around. He took us through many different rooms, explaining and answering our questions very patiently. He also showed us the ancient Buddhist scrolls and paintings and their history.
When we reached the kitchen area, he offered us tea. As we sat down to drink the tea he prepared for us, we were joined by a few more really young monks. Curious about us, they smiled warmly and sat down with us. Over the hot cups of black tea, and warm smiles and occasional greetings by the other young monks who were shuttling in and out of the kitchen, he further spoke about his life in the monastery. We spent about two hours in the monastery, looking around, talking to the monks, and learning new things. From the window I could see the setting sun and darkening skies. It was getting cold but the kitchen was keeping us warm. The young monk spoke to us for some more time until it was time for him to offer his evening prayers.