Kardang Monastery: Center for Buddhists Religious and Cultural Activities

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Kardang Monastery

Kardang Monastery

Whether you are a religious devotee or just a connoisseur of art and architecture,  Kardang Monastery in Lahaul Valley is a must-see of all the monasteries in Lahaul Spiti. What distinguishes this monastery from the rest of the monasteries in the valley is its white exterior, vibrant prayer flags that flutter in the breeze, and finely carved wooden windows and doors.

The main assembly hall of the Kardang monastery is Spiti, which dates back to the 12th century and is believed to be 800 years old and is the centre of attention for the complex. It is embellished with vibrant murals and sculptures that represent Buddhist deities.

The Kardang Monastery or Kardang Gompa is of paramount significance to the Buddhist community since it serves as a centre for religious events, teachings, and meditation. The monastery also houses precious Buddhist books, antique artefacts, and sacred relics, preserving the region’s rich cultural legacy.

Kardang Monastery comes alive during festivities, which gives visitors an opportunity to experience and explore the region’s unique cultural traditions. The Tshechus festival is observed at practically all of the Lahaul and Spiti monasteries in July, including Shashur, Gemur, Ket, Tabo, and Kardang. During this celebration, an immense crowd gathers to see the Lamas perform devil dances and sword dances while dressed in colourful costumes and masks of various birds and animals. These dances, known as Chaam dances, include monks wearing elaborate masks. These occasions draw pilgrims from near and far, which creates an atmosphere of cheerful celebration.

Explore this fascinating Monastery with our Spiti Valley tour packages.

Places to visit near Kardang Monastery

Shashur Gompa

Shashur Gompa

Shashur Gompa

Shashur Monastery is another monastery to explore when visiting the Kardang Monastery. This Monastery is not just a religious institution, but also a cultural and historical treasure that provides tourists with insight into Tibetan Buddhism’s rich legacy in the Himalayan area.

Tayul Gompa

Another prominent place to visit in Spiti Kardang Monastery is the Tayal Gompa. Tayul Monastery’s architecture is typical Tibetan, with whitewashed walls, crimson and gold highlights, and finely carved wooden windows and doors.Ayul Monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect. It is a centre of worship, meditation, and spiritual retreat for both resident monks and visiting pilgrims.

5 Best things to do in Kardang Monastery

5 Best things to do in Kardang Monastery

5 Best things to do in Kardang Monastery
  • Explore the Monastery Complex

Spend some time taking a  leisurely tour around the monastery complex, admiring the architecture, and murals. Observe the delicate features of the monastery’s old paintings, sculptures, and Buddhist objects.

  • Learn about the Buddhists Religion

Engage with the monks on the Monastery grounds and learn about their culture and traditions.


The Monastery offers a pristine atmosphere and the serene peacefulness of the Himalayas. Find an idyllic spot on the monastery grounds to practise meditation and reconnect with your inner self.

Visit the Library

The monastery has maintained valuable Buddhist texts, antique artefacts, and sacred relics, thereby maintaining the region’s rich cultural heritage. Spend some time at the library to learn about their culture.


Trekking to the Kardang Monastery and to the surrounding regions after arriving in Tandi might add an element of adventure to your visit.

The best time to visit Kardang Monastery

The best time to visit Kardang Monastery

The best time to visit Kardang Monastery

The ideal months to visit the Kardang Monastery in Spiti are May to October. The months in the Lahaul Valley are the most pleasant. These temperate conditions make it a great time to go for outdoor activities such as wandering through the surrounding areas and seeing some of the stunning picturesque sceneries. The summer season is considered the finest season for the Lahaul Valley since the region’s flora and fauna are in full bloom, covering the valley and providing a spectacular view.

If travellers wish to experience the valley’s customs and culture, they can schedule their trip during July. Every year, the region hosts the Annual Lahaul Festival, which draws crowds from all over the world to watch the cultural event. This time, the valley becomes , and visitors may immerse themselves in the region’s rich cultural legacy.

Winters in the valley are severe, and the terrain becomes difficult to navigate, therefore no activities are scheduled at the monastery at this time. Visitors should be cautious and avoid planning any trips to the region at this time.

How to reach Kardang Monastery

Tandi village is the nearest village to Kardang Monastery or Kardang Gompa. The Monastery is 15 kilometres from the village. There are no buses between the Monastery and the Village, thus the only choice is to take a personal car or a cab to the monastery. The monastery is located on the hilltop to the left of the Bhaga River. The road leading to the Monastery is motorable, and for safety, tourists can hire a cab or taxi service, as the locals are familiar with the terrain.

How to reach Kardang Monastery

How to reach Kardang Monastery

Places to stay near Kardang Monastery

There aren’t numerous hotel choices close to the Kardang Monastery in Spiti Valley, but visitors can locate a few guesthouses or homestays in the area. Hotels and other comfortable lodging options are available to tourists in Jispa Village and Keylong. Travellers can reserve a stay at a home stay if they wish to discover more about the customs, culture, and way of life of the residents of these isolated communities.

What is the significance of Kardang Monastery?

The Buddhist community places great religious value on Kardang Monastery in Spiti Valley. It fosters a sense of spiritual harmony among the surrounding villages and acts as a hub for religious ceremonies, lessons, and social events. A sizable collection of Kangyur and Tengyur volumes including Bhoti Buddhist texts is kept in the monastery. 

How can I reach Kardang Monastery, and what is the best time to visit?

The Kardang monastery in Lahaul Valley is 15 km from the Tandi Village across the Bhaga River. Tourists can travel from Keylong, which is the Lahaul and Spiti headquarters, and reach Tandi village. 

The best time to visit the Kardang monastery is between the summer months of May to October. An Annual Lahaul festival is held around this period, which is the most beautiful time to visit the Kardang Monastery and witness the rich cultural heritage of the region. The summer months are considered the finest time to visit Lahaul and Spiti regions since the weather is favourable. Winter is severe and not the best time to visit Kardang Monastery

Are visitors allowed inside Kardang Monastery, and are there any guidelines to follow?

Yes, guests are permitted to look at the monastery. However, the Kardang monastery in Lahaul Valley might stay closed during the prayer timings on certain days of the week.

Nonetheless, guests need to be aware of the traditions they uphold as well as the guidelines set forth by the monastery. To maintain the monastery’s spirituality, keep silent inside its sanctum. Additionally When visiting any monastery, dress properly and modestly. Before taking any pictures, especially inside the monastery, make sure you have permission because some areas might not be allowed.

What can visitors expect to see or do at Kardang Monastery?

The Monastery Complex offers visitors the opportunity to observe the architectural marvel of the Tibetan style. The monastery retains the religious text and artwork, which are around 800 years old. The leisure stroll through the Monastery Complex will allow the traveller to discover the Buddhists’ rich traditions and culture. They may also gain insight into the Monks’ way of life in  the Kardang Monastery.

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