India | Himachal Pradesh

Kye Monastery

Kye Monastery is an ancient monastery situated 14 km north of Kaza in Lahaul and Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh. Situated at an altitude of 4116 m above sea level, it is the oldest and biggest monastery in the Spiti Valley and is also sometimes spelt as Ki Monastery.

Kye Monastery houses beautiful scriptures and rare paintings of Buddha and other Hindu deities. Murals and books of high aesthetic value, including the Tangyur texts, are preserved here. It is a storehouse of the rare Thangka paintings and several ancient musical instruments such as trumpets, cymbals and drums. The monastery acts as a training center for Lamas.

Kye Monastery, which developed during the 14th century in the wake of Chinese influence, is an outstanding example of the monastic architecture of medieval times. It was plundered by the Mongols in the middle of 17th century. These repeated trails of destruction and patch-up jobs had deformed the structure; it now looks more like a defensive fort.

The monastery can be reached by bus from Kaza.

Updated on 7th June, 2005
District: Lahaul and Spiti


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