I visited this beautiful monastery for the first time in June during my Spiti trip. I always wanted to witness this spectacular monastery as it is located in a pocket space surrounded by breathtaking mountains. Kye Gompa or Key Monastery is 4,166 metres above sea level and is the biggest monastery of Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.
On an amazing yet slightly chilly day, while enjoying the view, I saw these two gorgeous ladies and asked them if I could take a picture of them. They were excited to let me, take their photos!
I talked to them about how they live in Spiti in the winters, how their life is and if they have ever been out of Himachal. They both told me how they love when so many people from all over India come to visit (June-Oct is the peak time) when it’s usually quite silent. They mentioned how they have never been out of Himachal but the lady on the right has a granddaughter studying in Bangalore.
These two friends own a homestay where they live and also invite travellers if they are in need and their walk to the monastery is a daily event. They also have friends who are working in the monastery! I noticed that they loved to narrate stories to visitors as I was regaled by the history of the monastery. These ladies have unconditional love for serving people in need. It’s amazing to talk to people from different generations or mindsets, they give you a different perspective of the world!
After meeting them, I started to truly believe that it doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s your heart that keeps you young. Because when I was taking their photos they were all big smiles and so excitedly gave different poses. They also wanted to be involved in my travel video! They themselves told me what would look good and also gave me local tips!
On another note, while travelling to Key Monastery there are rooms where you can stay. It is a great experience to be able to observe the Lama’s way of life. There are paintings, murals, Tibetan cotton or silk banners – thangkas, literature, wind instruments, olden weapons and butter tea in the monastery as well. Make sure you enjoy all of it!
– A traveller, Rohit Shrivastava from Jaipur