Spiti diary: Tabo

12th August 2014

A word (Om mani padme hum) was written on top of hill which was clearly seen from our Kaza hotel. I was wondering how one could reach there and paint!!

Our first place of visit in Spiti was Tabo, 48 km from Kaza on Kaza-Shimla highway. The name Tabo was catchy and hence I decided to visit!! Sounds strange but it was true.

Road near Kaza
It took more than two hours to cover this distance thanks to bad roads. Good roads are hard to find in Spiti and one should be prepared for bumpy and dusty ride. We had no complaints as the scenery all along the way was breathtaking.

 The valley after Kaza is very wide. The road goes along Spiti River. In between brown hills were patches of green where people grew vegetables.

Unstable hills and roads
Spiti is a rain shadow region but is seeing rains in recent years. This creates havoc in the area as the soil is loose causing landslides.

A small stream joining Spiti river
As we neared Tabo, the valley narrowed down. This part was scary as it was prone to landslides. Even winds were bringing down soil from the hills.

Tabo is famous for its monastery. Unlike other monasteries situated on hills, Tabo monastery lies on plain land. It was founded in 996 CE.

Tabo monastery
Another place to visit in Tabo is the caves. Situated on a hill overlooking Tabo town are several caves.  These are artificially excavated caves. These caves might have been used for meditation though there is no clear evidence for this.  Some caves are also used as houses but most of them are not in good condition.

View of Tabo town from caves

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