About Tabo Village
Near the banks of Spiti River lies the quaint and holistic village of Tabo. It is situated 50 km away from Kaza via the Manali route, and if you are coming from Reckong Peo, it is another 162 km journey. This village is a historically important place in the Buddhist community, due to its connection with Tabo Monastery.
Dalai Lama, once have desired to retire in the Tabo Monastery because of its religious inception. Due to this, several pilgrims from all over the valley visit the monastery to find peace. The altitude of this pilgrim’s paradise is about 10,010 feet. (source:Wiki)
How to Reach Tabo Village
Tabo Village is accessible to travelers through two routes: One takes you through Manali-Kaza-Tabo and it is the shortest of the either, but it gets closed by October in the Winter Season. The other route goes through Shimla-Reckong Peo-Tabo, from the Kinnaur Village side.
Shimla to Tabo Village
While coming to the Tabo Village from the Shimla side, you have to catch the Shimla to Kaza Bus from Shimla ISBT at 6:00 AM, which will drop you off at Reckong Peo in evening. The next day, catch the bus to Kaza from Reckong Peo, that leaves at 7:00 AM. You can get down at Tabo from the bus or go to Kaza and then proceed towards Tabo Village.
Manali to Tabo Village
You can reach the Tabo Village from Manali via the Kaza bus that runs in the morning at 5 AM and 5:30 AM, respectively. You will reach Kaza around 4:30 PM in the evening, giving you sufficient time to explore the village. The next day, catch the bus to Reckong Peo at 7:00 AM. You can get down at Tabo Village.
Things to Do in Tabo Village
Caves in Tabo
There are Caves in and around the Tabo Village, where the monks used to, and sometimes still, meditate in these caves to harden their resolve. These old spaces are a sight to see and imagining a several hundred years of meditation period in these caves.
Unlike, other remote villages of Spiti, in Tabo, you can visit the Tabo Monastery as it emanates high importance in Himalayan Buddhism. It was established a long time ago around 996 AD. Interestingly, it also turns out to be the year of Fire Ape according to the Tibetan Calendar.
Tabo Monastery is among the greatest preserves of the Tibetan Buddhism. So much so, it used to host scholars, monks and to date, it is an important center for preserving Buddhist literature and teachings of the Himalayan region. It contains plenty of ancient Buddhist Manuscripts, that are rare not only to Spiti but to the whole world.
The monastery itself is divided into 9 temples, and it boasts 23 Chortens with the walls of the monastery, painted with pictures of Buddha in his different forms. Some of the paintings are painted in the Kashmiri style, showing the widespread Buddhist culture in the Kashmir region during their rule.
Treks in Tabo Village
There are no trekkable trails near the Tabo Village but it serves as a very good spot for a day hike, as you can explore various caves and see their architecture, perhaps mediate in one.
Camping in Tabo Village
Like all the villages around Spiti, you can always camp near the village. Just make sure you are not polluting any water source because villagers drink water from these sources. Bury your bio-waste deep in the ground and carry non-biodegradable waste along with you till the nearest public waste disposable system.
You can also hike near the village if you ask the villagers for permission and pay the owner of the land a little sum of money. You can also talk about using the toilet and outsourcing food from them.
FAQs on Tabo Village
Q1. Why is Tabo famous?
Ans. Both the village and its culture hold a great significance in the Indo-Buddhist sentiment and people of the Tabo prides themselves to be the originator of Indo-Tibetian style, marking the confluence of different cultures from India and Tibet.
Q2. Can we stay in Tabo Monastery?
Ans. Yes, you can stay in Tabo Monastery. You can either ask their permission to stay at a room for a very cheap price.
Q3. When was Tabo shrine built?
Ans. The Tabo shrine was first built in 996 AD, but after the earthquake in 1975, it was rebuilt in 1983 (source:Wiki).