Kungri Monastery (Himachal Pradesh) Himachal Pradesh Package Tours
Kungri gompa is located around 10 km from Attargo and 3 km from Gulling in Pin Valley. Attargo itself is located around 12 km from the subdivisional district headquarter of Spiti. The river Spiti has to be crossed in order to reach the Pin Valley, most of which has been declared a National Park.
The gompa does not merely holds the distinction of being the second oldest one in the Spiti valley, rather it also happens to be the only gompa following the Nyingmapa Buddhism in the valley. Nyingmapa is the oldest order of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Kungri gompa was erected in the first half of the 14th century, around 1330 and consists of three separate rectangular blocks, all of which stand facing the eastern direction. Recently, Kungri gompa ganied a lot of attention because of the foreign aid it received for its renovation work. However, despite renovation work, the gompa provides the strong impact of the tantric cult that held sway over the Pin valley in the bygone era.
Within the gompa, attractions include silk paintings of various Buddhist deities on the inner walls, huge statues and over 300 volumes of the sacred Tibetan texts, Kenjur and Tenjur preserved carefully in white muslin.
The monastery also has the buzhens performing a sword dance. The buzhens are wandering friars some of who live in the Mud village on the right bank of the Pin river.
The Devil Dance is performed in this monastery during the month of June or July.
A subdivision of the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti is a cold desert where monsoon rain have never come. The striking beauty of this place marked by narrow valleys and high mountains forced even a renowned writer like Rudyard Kipling to term it” a world within world’ and ‘a place where gods live’.
A major attractions of Spiti is the Pin valley which is home to some of its important monasteries. Amongst these, the Kungri Gompa is extremely important. For tourists desirous of visiting the Kungri Gompa, accommodation is available at Kaza, Sagnam, Gulling, and Tabo.
Tabo Monastery : With sobriquets such as Spiti’s pride and the Ajanta of the Himalayas, the Tabo Monastery is definitely one of the most significant one in the valley. Constructed by the Ringchen Zangpo in the 996 AD, the monatsrey is more than a place of worship. Rather, it is also place for learning and debate as well as repository of Buddhist art.
Dhankar Monastery : Located 7 km from Sichling, a village at the confluence of the Spiti and Pin river, the Dhankar Monastery is an extremely important centre of religious training. Around 70 lamas reside in this monastery which is associated with the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. A figure of Vairochana or Dhayan Buddha, Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti language, murals of Medicine Buddha, protector deities and Budhist thangkas are the prime highlights of this monastery. The monastery is located 24 km from Kaza.
Kye Monastery : One of the oldest gompa in the Spiti valley, Kye has had a history full of troubles. Three invasions post 17th century and an earthquake in 1975 have had their impact on the monastery which today resembles more like a defensive fort. However, still it is amongst the most renowned monasteries in the region. Constructed in the 10th century, Kye houses and displays rare thangkas, paintings and musical instruments.
Thang Yug Gompa : 14 km from Kaza, this monastery too was affected by the earthquake of 1975. Its old monastery structure was seriously damaged and the villagers had to shift it to a new location near Comic village. The monastery belongs to the Sakya-pa sect and has a head lama from Tibet.
How to Reach
Attargo can be reached from both Shimla as well as Manali. The Manali route is open between July to October depenpding on the weather conditions and passes through Rohtang Pass, Kunzum La, Losar, Rangrik to lead upto Kaza and then Attargo.
The second route is from Shimla till Sumdo, via Narkanda, Rampur Bushehr and Pooh in Kinnaur. From Sumdo, take the state Highway of Spiti valley to reach Attargo via Tabo.
From Attargo, the Kungi Gompa can be easily reached on foot.ndigarh Raiway Station / Airport.