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10 Fun facts about Key Monastery, Spiti Valley

1. Location

Key Monastery or Ki Gompa is a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated right on top of a hill, which is close to the Spiti River in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.

2. Key Monatsery Altitude

Key Monastery or Ki Gompa is a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated at 4,166 metres (13668 feet) above sea-level. There are only a handful of people that make it up there.

Key monastery

3. Largest Monastery

It is the largest monastery in the Spiti Valley and the most praised religious training centre for lamas. In 1855, it had around 100 monks, altogether.

4. Monastery

The entire monastery consists of three floors, which includes an underground storage room. The assembly hall is amazingly decorated and can accommodate a lot of monks together. The third room is called Tangyur and is artistically painted with murals.

5. History

Back in the 11th century, this gorgeous monastery was founded by Dromton. However, during the 17th century, it was attacked by the Mongols, when it was under the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In the year 1820, it was again targeted during the disastrous wars between Kullu and Ladakh. But these aren’t the only things that the monastery has seen; it was severely destructed in the year 1841 when the Dogra army attacked it under Rahim and Ghulam Khan. The same year, the monastery suffered, even more, when a Sikh army targeted it.

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6. Destruction:

The entire period of the 1840s was so bad for the monastery that it caught fire and in the year 1975, an earthquake destroyed it, furthermore. However, thanks to the State Public Works Department and Archaeological Survey of India, the monastery was totally repaired so that the monks could stay there and continue with their peaceful lives.

7. Murals

The walls of the monastery are covered with paintings and murals, an example of the 14th-century monastic architecture, which developed as the result of Chinese influence.

8. Collections

Key monastery has a collection of ancient murals and books, including Buddha images.

Monastery from a distance

9. Inauguration

A celebration of its millennium was conducted in 2000 in the presence of the Dalai Lama.A new prayer hall was inaugurated on August 3, 2000, by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. It was presented through a tableau in the 69th Republic Day celebration held at Delhi.

10. Sect

Key Gompa now belongs to the Gelugpa sect, along with Tabo Monastery and Dhankar Gompa, one of three in Spiti.

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