Travel guide for Tabo Village: Things to do in Tabo Village

 In How To Guide, Spiti, Things to do, Travel, Travel Tips

Tabo Village in Spiti Valley is a small quaint town situated at an altitude of 3280 m. It lies on the banks of the Spiti River, on the main road connecting Reckong Peo and Kaza, the sub-divisional Headquarters of Spiti Valley. 

The home to a thousand-year oldest consecutively running monastery, The Tabo Monastery, Tabo Village is the epitome of ancient Tibetan traditions and culture. His Holiness The Dalai Lama, while conducting the Kalachakra Festival in 1996, a religious convocation of Buddhist monks, expressed his desire to retire here. Tabo Village is also considered one of the holiest monasteries for Buddhists.

With apple orchards, Tabo Caves, and various other tourist attractions, Tabo Village is a once-in-a-lifetime place to visit. If you are planning for your Spiti Trip Packages then you must definitely include Tabo Village in your itinerary.

Things to do in Tabo Village, Spiti

There are a lot of things to do in Tabo Village, apart from visiting the Tabo Monastery and we have a list of best places to visit in Tabo Village.

tabo-monastery

Tabo Monastery

Known as the “Ajanta of the Himalayas’, Tabo Monastery is the main attraction in Tabo Village. An embodiment of ancient Tibetan tradition and culture, this monastery dates back a thousand years and is known to be the oldest consecutively running Buddhist monastery. It is an ethereal place to submerge oneself in spiritualism and ruminate. 

Tabo Caves

One of many marvels in Spiti, Tabo Caves probably tops the list. One of the best places to visit in Tabo Village, these caves date back more than a thousand years. Although the history of these caves is not exactly known, many believe that these caves were used by monks as assembly halls. Many of them are still being used by monks to date as meditating caves and you will see flags in front of the ones being occupied. These caves were used by monks to protect themselves from the harsh winters of the valley, however, now there are better accommodation facilities for monks near the Monastery. 

Tabo Monastery Museum

One of the new additions to the monastery is a currently built museum near the Tabo Monastery. This place is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, murals, manuscripts, and thangkas from Buddhist tradition.

Tabo Monastery Library

If you want to spend some time exploring the history of this place and want to know more about the monastery and this ancient village, then the Tabo Monastery Library is your ideal place. With manuscripts and rare books on Buddhism, this library is housed in the Tabo Monastery guesthouse.

tea-with-the-monks

Tea with the monks

Tabo Monastery offers tea to all its tourists visiting it and it is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss. One of the many ways the people of the valley show their hospitality.

Stay with the monks

There is a guesthouse in the monastery itself. We would recommend you spend one night here to understand the way of life of the monks and experience the true Tibetan culture.

Go Stargazing

One of the top things to do in Tabo Village is to go Stargazing in Spiti Valley. With clear skies and absolutely no pollution, just throw in a blanket or two anywhere on the ground in Spiti, and experience a spectacular show of the stars twinkling brightly in the night sky and just feel the surrealness of the entire experience.

Enjoy Some Nachos

The guest house in the monastery offers nachos. These are filled with cheese and veggies and are indeed one of the top things to do in Tabo Village. They might not look like the ones we are used to having in the cities but it is worth trying and munching on these while you are here.

apple-orchards

Visit the Apple Orchards

Surprisingly, you will find a lot of apple orchards in Tabo village. If you visit Tabo during the October-November season, you will be delighted to see them growing on trees and you will be able to pluck them right from these trees. Fresh crisp apples are absolutely delicious.

Pay Homage to the Oldest Tree in Tabo

There is a 400 to 500-year-old tree in Tabo Village which used to serve as an old-time gurukul atmosphere under which a teacher used to teach students under that tree. Go back in time meditate under this tree and feel liberated from the burdens of life.

Breakfast on a rooftop

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the rooftop, an experience that will provide a 360-degree view of the area with wind gently blowing by and prayer flags fluttering everywhere.

Stroll in the Pea fields

The monastery also has a wide area of green meadows which is a field of peas. You take a stroll in these fields and enjoy the simple Buddhist life. You could also help the locals in the farms and come close to nature.

dhankar-monastery

Dhankar Monastery

Perched on a cliff at an altitude of 3,800 m, is a historic gem situated in Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. The monastery, which has stood for nearly a thousand years, served as a fortress and residence for the royal family of Spiti and now is an embodiment of ancient scriptures and Buddhist paintings. It is a complex of multiple buildings and offers breathtaking views of the Spiti River and its surrounding landscape, making it one of the places to visit nearby Tabo Village worth exploring.

Dhankar Lake

Located at an elevation of 4270 m above sea level, Dashair and Dhankar Lake is located near the Rohtang Pass. The lake is also known by the name of Sarkund. Dashair and Dhankar Lake are considered half manmade and half natural. 

It is said that King Puran Lal of Syalkot (now in Pakistan) visited the spot and decided to construct a lake.

There are many legendary stories and myths associated with the Dhankar Lake as well. According to one, Lord Shiva stayed at this lake for some time in search of Vishnu. While Shiva was wandering in search of Vishnu, his attendant Nandi drank some water from this place and as a reward, Lord Shiv blessed the area with plenty of water.

A trip to Dhankar Lake is definitely a treat for the soul and eyes. It is definitely one of the places to visit nearby Tabo Village.

Best Time to visit Tabo Village

The road to Spiti Valley remains open all around the year through Shimla – Kinnaur while the road from Manali side closes in winter as soon as Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass close.

However, the best time to visit Tabo Village is between May and October, when the weather is pleasant and the roads are clear and accessible. You will find a lot of food courts & accommodations during the summer months. However, this is also the peak tourist season, ie, June to August, so it gets crowded during these months as well. It is also advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your visit.

If you plan to travel to Tabo Village during the off-season however this can be a unique and rewarding experience. The off-season in Tabo Village falls between November and March when the weather is typically cold & dry, but the roads leading to the village are still accessible.

How to reach Tabo Village

kullu-airport

Once landing at Kullu Airport, which is the nearest air base located at a distance of 294 km from Tabo, once you reach the airport, Taxis are available from there to Tabo, which takes 5 hours to drive.

There are also regular buses to Shimla and Manali from Chandigarh and Delhi. From Shimla, there are no direct buses to Tabo. People often take the bus to Reckong Peo and then the following day you can board the bus to Kaza which also goes to Tabo.

From Manali, there are no direct buses to Tabo. It takes two days to travel to Tabo by bus from Manali. First, you have to take the Kaza-bound bus from Manali. From Kaza, there is an early morning bus to Reckong Peo at 7 am and get off at Tabo.

If you wish to travel by train to Tabo Village, the nearest railway station is Kalka Railway Station, located 452 km from Tabo. On reaching the railway station, you can take either a taxi or a bus.

How many days do you need in Tabo village?

Usually, 2-3 days are enough to explore the village and its nearby areas considering most places open pretty early and close down early as well.

Which is the best time to visit Tabo village?

The best time to visit Tabo Village is usually during the summer from May- August. You can also explore the village during the autumn months as well.

What are the top sightseeing places in Tabo village?

The top sightseeing places in Tabo Village are the Tabo Monastery, Tabo Caves, the apple orchards, Spiti River, etc

What are the top activities in Tabo village?

The top activities in Tabo Village are exploring the Tabo monastery, the guest house in the monastery, the library, exploring the Tabo Caves, the Spiti River, and the Apple orchards nearby, and the pea fields.

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