Tabo, the first village in Spiti from the Kinnaur side in Himachal Pradesh is located at a height of 10, 760 feet above sea-level (3,280 m). The entry to the village is flanked by the Spiti River and the epic Trans-Himalayan range.

As one enters the village the first thing they notice is the massive concrete heli-pad. This is a place ideal to pitch a tent for a night in the wilderness. Helicopters land there only in winter with food supply. This space is used at other times as a recreation spot by the village-folk who gather in the evenings and share a cup of tea. School children are also brought for a picnic to the spot.

The inhabitants of Tabo are primarily apple cultivators and hail from Tibetan descent. They speak Bodi, Hindi and Tibetan. Many people in Tabo work at the irrigation plant located in the village. This plant is a boon to the apple-growers who are supplied with water to grow their produce. Water to the plant comes from the Spiti River and is supplied through canals to the apple plantations.

When it comes to places to stay Tabo boasts of a couple of mid-range lodges, plenty of home-stays and a memorable once in a lifetime opportunity to live in a Buddhist monastery guest house.

The monastery has a museum which pays rich tributes to the life of the Buddhist monks in Tibet and the annual Tabo monastery fair. The monastery terrace gives a panoramic view of the village of Tabo perched in the midst of the snow capped Himalayas.

The Gompa rest-house has a cafeteria of its own run by a Tibetan family which serves tasty momos, tukpa and chowmen. Excellent tea and aloo parathas are also available at the same eatery.

Third-Eye cafe, a seasonal based eatery serves good North Indian food like dal, paneer-tikka and paratha.
A 15 minute easy trek to the foothills of the Trans-Himalayas leads one to the Tabo caves where the Buddhist lamas meditate. The view from the caves is splendid as one can see the beautiful Himachali village of Tabo.

The Tabo Monastery or Gompa is made of mud without any use of concrete. This structure was built in 996 AD and is considered next in importance to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. Murals and painted stucco are the unique artistic and structural features. There is also a priceless collection of manuscripts and thangkas that are stored in the Gompa.

It is believed that the craftsmen who worked on the structure here also worked on the Nako Gompa as well as on the Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

During the months of October and November, the festival of Gutor is held with great pomp at the Tabo monastery with prayer and dance by the lamas being a unique feature of the festival.

Load shedding is a daily affair in Tabo with afternoons and evenings often being without any electricity. The roads however are well lit by solar powered lamps.

The village of Tabo is marinated in the air and feel of Buddhism with the monastery and the meditation caves there adding to this ambiance.


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34 Responses

  1. Viraj Shah

    nice write up about the place. very well written and well clicked pictures 😉

  2. Glenda Rover

    I came across a cool site that has really good information about Tabo. Tabo is a really nice place and your post and pictures are very nice.

  3. Stella

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles or reviews daily along with a mug of coffee.

  4. Margaret Shaw

    I love the write up about Tabo, the pictures compliment the place really well. I haven’t even heard of Spiti valley, this place surely is remote and lays claim to why so Many of my friends from Sweden dream about coming to India. When and If I get a chance to visit this beautiful country I will surely travel to Spiti valley 🙂

  5. Vivan Hunt

    Tabo seems to be a really nice place where there is noting but wilderness and a beautiful Monastery and this is a place I would really like to visit some time soon because Tabo gives me a feel of real remoteness even in today’s modern age. Really nice pictures and very well written.

  6. Rosella Langton

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Nelson

    Wow the cover picture of your post just blew my mind away, grate click i just love the pictures of this place its still looks like its the 1800s in this place Tabo. I never expected a place like this to exist in India. It looks more like a place in Tibet but never the less very well written post but the pictures too my breath away.

  8. Joey

    My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  9. Melina Rehse

    just wanted to say that I liked the write up very much and this web post was very helpful for me since i plan on traveling to Spiti valley in the first week of august. I hope i have a wonderful stay in the monastery guest house. Thanks a lot

  10. Cletus Rene

    Tabo is a place that looks very nice and the fact that its not so easy to reach makes it all the more a better place to visit. I must say you are very lucky to be able to travel to places like this and live a life most people can only dream of having. Thanks a lot for sharing it keep up the good work.

  11. Audry Wegener

    I love the write up about the place really nice place. It looks to be a very quite and aloof place. Keep up the good work

  12. Kristian Burley

    Tabo is one place that I hope to visit soon. Your blog has added to the mysticism about the place and I can’t wait to visit it and explore it for myself. Keep writing such useful posts. Great going. Cheers.

  13. Edwin Margaris

    Hi there, i just wanted to leave a comment saying i truly enjoyed reading your post and also the pictures compliment the description of the place very well. thanks for sharing

  14. Fae Berdecia

    I really like the description you have provided also the way of getting to the place. I am a big travel enthusiast and am hopeful that I can come to India soon and experience this historically appealing place. Thanks for sharing your information was really insightful.

  15. DĂșlia

    Wow, this place looks really beautiful and the Gompa which is over a 1000 years is just superb. I hope to visit Tabo some time in the near future and experience all the things that i see and read in this blog post.

  16. Esther Stiebel

    I just want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogging and really liked this page. The way you have described this place gave me the feeling of being there while i browsed through your pictures. Good job!!!

  17. Lourdes Belski

    Being a traveler my self i must say that you are doing a wonderful job. I know for a very good reason how hard it is to back pack in far off places and a place like the Himalayas is surely not a very easy place to backpack with ease. But I know that the end result is totally worth a million smiles.

  18. tori wilson

    really like the write up about this place and the pictures are just amazing I hope to visit this place soon.

  19. Simon Clark

    I liked the post and the pictures really have made me consider visiting the valley on my trip to India in the next month. This place looks very beautiful and different. I hope everything works out to plan for me just the way it did for you. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  20. Shameka Iseli

    very well written. I have been to Tabo four years ago while I was traveling through India. your post does justice to the place and the pictures are just superb. Thanks a lot for helping me relive the whole experience.

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  22. chang

    I had planned on visiting Spiti Valley on my last trip to India but did not end up making it there. now I realise what I ended up missing there. I hope that someday I get a chance to visit india again and this time I surely wont bypass Spiti Valley.

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  24. Eddy

    Hi,really loved the post. Would really like to visit this place some time soon.

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