Tabo is one of the most beautiful towns in Spiti situated on the left bank of river Spiti. Tabo is considered a prominent center for Buddhism. At an elevation of 3050m, it is built around a 1000 year old Buddhist monastery said to have been founded in 996 AD in the Tago village by the Ancestors of Bodhisattva. The Millennium Monastery is the largest in Spiti and highly revered as the oldest operating Gompa. It was later restored by Tibetan translator Richen Zangpo and Ye-shes-OD. It houses a plethora of priceless relics, manuscripts, mud statues, Thangka paintings and fresco’s which adorn every wall of the Gompa.
The monastery had to be rebuilt after the earthquake of 1975. It is currently protected under the Archaeological Survey of India (which works on its restoration) as a national treasure. The monastery has a guest house. Visitor timings are from 6am – 7pm. Photography is not permitted inside the monastery. Tabo is also equipped with a helipad.
Recommended Itinerary for Tabo
Day 1: Arrive in Tabo, Check into hotel/ guesthouse, relax and get acclimatised to the high altitude.
Day 2: Visit the Millennium Monastery. After lunch visit the ancient meditation center at Lari Dupak or trek to the Chunpa Gue waterfall.
Day 3: Visit Dhankar Monastery or Gue Mummy.
Day 4: Visit Ki-Kibber or Enjoy a easy to moderate trek to Angla and Phela plains.
This region is known as Cold Desert and does not receive rainfall. In winter the temperature can drop below freezing point, when heavy woollens are required. In summers the weather remains pleasant during the day but temperatures dip at night. Light and heavy woollens are advised.
Distances and Routes to Tabo
3 Buses ply to Kaza daily. The Kaza – Manali bus departs at 4am and another one leaves for Reckong Peo.
Kaza – Tabo (48 kms, 1.5 hours): Kaza – Shego – Poh – Tabo.
Kalpa – Tabo (171 kms, 7 hours): Kalpa – Poari – Jangi – Spello – Puh – Khab Sangam – Leo Village Road – Bypass Nako – Malling – Shialkhar – Sumdo – Hurling – Lapcha – Tipta – Lari – Tabo.
Karcham – Tabo (171 kms, 7 hours): Karcham – Poari – Jangi – Spello – Puh – Khab Sangam – Leo Village Road – Bypass Nako – Malling – Shialkhar – Sumdo – Hurling – Lapcha – Tipta – Lari – Tabo.
Manali – Tabo (171 kms, 8 hours): Manali-Leh Highway – Palchan – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu (Turn Right) – Chhatru – Batal – Kunzum La (Pass, 4551m) – Losar – Hansa – Kiato – Jugmothang – Hull – Hal – Moorang – Sumling – Kaza – Shego – Poh – Tabo.
Kunzum La – Tabo (123 kms, 6 hours): Kunzum La (Pass, 4551m) – Losar – Hansa – Kiato – Jugmothang – Hull – Hal – Moorang – Sumling – Kaza – Shego – Poh – Tabo.
Accomodation in Tabo
PWD Rest House
Banjara Camps & Retreat: Luxury stay located on the main road 200m before the bus stand. They also have tented camps 5 kms away. Phone: 01906-233318, +91 9599481133, Mr Ajay Thakur.
Tashi Khangsar Hotel: Simple hotel located behind the monastery near the river. Phone 01906- 233346
Menthok Dumra Hotel
Grand Dewachen Retreats: Luxury hotel with 8 deluxe rooms and a restaurant. Tariff ranges between Rs.5000-7000 per room with meals included. Phone: +91-9459566689/ 01906 223318., Contact person: Mr. Rajinder Bodh.
Millennium Monastery Restaurant: Serves Tibetan and Indian food.
Tenzin Cafe: Offers basic Tibetan and Indian food.