Oldest Ki Monastery in Himachal Pradesh | Ki Monastery in Spiti Valley

Ki Monastery is a Buddhist pilgrimage site which is located in the Spiti Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The Ki Monastery is also spelled as Key Monastery, Kye Monastery or Kee Monastery.

This is the largest and oldest Monastery out of all of the Monasteries which are situated in the Spiti Valley. It is located at an altitude of 4,166 meters above sea level. It is situated at a distance of 12 kms from Kaza and approximately 210 kms from Manali.

This Monastery belongs to the Gelug sect and was established back in the 11th century. It is believed that the monastery was founded by Dromton, Who was the pupil of Atisha, the famous teacher of the 11th century.

This Monastery is one of the oldest training centers for Lamas. It is believed that the Monastery housed around 350 Lamas in the past. Apart from the historical aspect, the Monastery offers great visuals of the architecture. It's architectural style is known as the ‘Pasand Style’.

The Monastery is segmented into three floors. The underground floor is used for storage purposes and the ground floor is used as an assembly hall. The ground floor is referred to as Du Khang.

The Monastery is full of ancient murals, rare thangkas and ancient weapons. While visiting Ki Monastery, you must visit the rooms inside the Monastery. These rooms are referred to as Tangyur and contain murals within them. The Monastery also has pictures of Gautam Buddha in the position of dhyana (meditation).

Apart from this, the Monastery also has a collection of musical instruments like trumpets, cymbals and drums. Another historical fact about the Ki Monastery is that it has suffered or experienced frequent destruction in the past.

It has been destroyed by invaders many times, but was later re-built. In 1840, the Monastery caught fire. And in 1975, the Monastery suffered damage due to an earthquake. The Ki Monastery hosted the Kalachakra ceremony in the year 2000.

This ceremony was attended by over 1500 lamas and The Dalai Lama. The beautiful visuals of the Ki Monastery can also be spotted in a few scenes of the famous movie Paap.

In case you wish to get detailed insights about the Ki Monastery, you can watch my vlogs that are available on YouTube. My YouTube channel is named ‘Go Bro Ride’ and the playlist for Spiti Valley is named ‘Road to Spiti Valley on Benelli TRK 502’.