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Keylong is a tourist destination that, in the words of Rudyard Kipling, is a place for the gods and not just for ordinary people. It is surrounded by the snow-covered mountains of the great Himalayas. Keylong, which is tucked away below the Manali-Leh highway, is a paradise for thrill seekers.
Along with stunning panoramic views, Keylong, which is situated in the Himalayas, provides travelers with options for paragliding, skiing, and trekking. The trip over the Rohtang Pass from Manali to Keylong is one that adventure seekers will never forget. One of the most breathtaking Himalayan Passes is the Rohtang Pass, which is over 4000 meters above sea level.
Due to its extensive collections of priceless books, manuscripts, and relics, Keylong also boasts of hosting historic Buddhist monasteries, which are of incomparable significance to the Buddhist religion. These monasteries’ heavenly settings only serve to increase their allure.
Keylong is home to some of the nation’s oldest Buddhist monasteries, with records of its existence dating back to the 10th century. In the tenth century, Keylong was ruled by the Guge Kingdom, which saw the construction of multiple monasteries there.
The Lahaul-Spiti district’s administrative center is currently located in Keylong.
Since the majority of Keylong’s population is Buddhist, nearly all of the region’s festivities have a Buddhist theme and involve lamas and monks. The most important celebration in Keylong is the Lahaul festival, which takes place every year.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport (165 kms)
How to reach: by air/train/road
Famous for: Buddhist Monasteries, Temples, Trekking, Paragliding and Skiing
Best time to visit: May to October
WHAT TO SEE
Lahaul – Spiti Tribal Museum
Places of Interest:
Kardang Gompa: The Kardang Gompa, or the Kardang monastery, is a nine-hundred-year-old Buddhist monastery that houses some of Buddhism’s most iconic murals, Thangka paintings, frescos, and musical instruments.
Located at a height of over three thousand and five hundred meters above sea level on the banks of river Bhaga, the monastery is one of the most important buildings of the Buddhist religion and is thronged by tourists from around the globe. Also, the monastery’s library contains some of the finest and most sought-after religious books and scriptures of the bygone era.
Shashur Gompa: In a pristine environment in the lap of the Himalayas, cut off from the hustle and bustle of the city life, surrounded by blue pine trees, is the Shashur Gompa, or the Shashur monastery. A Buddhist monastery whose name resonates with followers of Buddhism around the globe for its historical and religious importance, Shashur Monastery is one of the highlights of tourism in Keylong.
An annual festival is held at the monastery every year. The Chaam dance performed by the monks of the monastery dressed in colorful dresses and masks, during the festival, is a spectacle to watch and attracts viewers from all around the country.
Lahaul-Spiti Tribal Museum: The renowned Lahaul-Spiti tribal museum is one of Keylong’s top tourist destinations. You may get a flavor of the rich legacy and cultural history of the area by visiting the museum, which is home to some of the most priceless relics and curios in the area.
Tayul Gompa: Set in a picturesque location, the Tayul Gompa, or the Tayul Monastery, is the oldest monastery in northern India.
The monastery is frequented by tourists visiting the area mainly because of the scenic beauty around it and also because the monastery’s collection boasts many famous and invaluable Buddhist scriptures and Thangka paintings.
Another attraction of the Tayul Gompa is the 108 wheels, which self-turn during auspicious occasions. The wheel last self-rotated in 1986.
Barachha La Pass: Besides the Rohtang Pass, the Barachha La Pass is also one of the beautiful Himalayan passes that you will have the chance to visit while touring this region. With its spectacular views of the Himalayas, the Barachha La Pass is one of the milestones for bikers on road trips.
The Barachha La Pass is also the gateway to Ladakh and is thronged by trekkers from all around the globe. It is the place from where most Ladakh-Suraj Taal and Chandra Taal trek kick-off.
Suraj Taal: Suraj Taal, the third-highest lake in India, is an adventure lover’s delight. The commencement spot of various famous Himalayan treks, the Suraj Taal is enveloped by mountains and offers views of nature that are unparalleled in beauty.
A marquee tourist spot of the Lahaul-Spiti region, Surya Taal is at its best during the winters when the mountains around it are clad in snow. Trekkers often set up camps by the side of the lake to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the lake. The Suraj Taal is also one of the most photographed lakes in India.