Tabo is a small village in the Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. After passing Chitkul and Nako from Shimla, one can reach Tabo village nestling the oldest active Buddhist monastery in India.

Some people might wonder what Tabo village holds besides the old Gompa. So, we will answer this question about what things one must not miss while visiting the village.

As per the records, there was a monastery in Tabo since the 10th century. However, it was closed for a few decades and reopened in 1988. There are still many people serving as monks here.

The Gompa is open to visitors on certain days of the year but it is not easy to get an entrance unless you come with an invitation letter from one of the residents or clerics of the monastery.

How to reach Tabo Village?

How to reach Tabo village
Just before Tabo village near Spiti river.

One can opt for one of the two, either the Manali route or the Shimla way. When deciding how to reach Tabo village I chose the latter and had some meaningful and photogenic stops at Chitkul and Nako, respectively. You can take your vehicle to have a long drive experience or take a bus from Reckong Peo, which takes around 11 hours to reach Tabo village. The average temperature in Tabo village is about 17-18 degrees.

Best places to stay in Tabo village

There are several homestays available in the area. There is a homestay within the monastery, where accommodation is available at a minimal price, but it is usually closed. We stayed at Trojan homestay. The owner plays a local instrument quite fantastically. The food was simple and good but we weren’t expecting the awesome hospitality that we got.

We got a room with 3 beds for INR 800 a night.

Things to do in Tabo village

There are a lot of things to do in Tabo village. I was not able to do all of them, but by talking to locals they recommended the below, especially the travellers who are coming to study the culture and mingle with the locals.

Check out my Vlog for Tabo village, this is going to help you plan your travel.

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Visit the oldest Monastery in India

Visting Tabo Monastery is one of the amazing things to do in Tabo village. Check out my Instagram.

Also called the Ajanta of the Himalayas, the monastery has many statues, paintings, Thangka arts, Murals, and Manuscripts representing multiple strains of Buddhist culture across the Indian subcontinent. The place has a legacy of thousands of years—the energy of the space where the monks still chant.

Things to do in Tabo village visit the Monastery
Mud huts in Tabo Monastery

Visit this monastery and meditate for at least an hour for a spiritual experience. Mud bricks and wood make up the sanctuary. Mud even makes up the statues inside. Painting made over a thousand years ago is still fresh. The paint they used was natural colours.

There is an old monastery, a new monastery, and a Kalachakra stupa.

Tea at the Gompa in Tabo Village

Enjoy the Tabo complex tea. It is offered to everyone who enters the monastery. It is good to have some chat with locals or other tourists. And the taste is good and it’s organic. We were offered tea inside the Gompa and photography or videography was not allowed so I do not have any images or videos.

A stay with Lamas

Monks in Tabo monastery
Monks in Tabo monastery

One must not lose once in a lifetime chance to stay with Lamas. Those red robes wise people might impart some knowledge and wisdom to you. There is a guesthouse in the Gompa itself. A night is recommended for your stay inside the Gompa. But it is the most challenging place to book in. A local high-value individual might help, so see if you can talk to some locals and get a room booked in the Gompa.

Take a walk in the fields

The monastery offers an area of green meadows. This place has some fields of peas. You should take a walk in the fields and get lost in this green patch. An afternoon walk and an air bath would make your stay extraordinary. You could also help locals on the farms who could invite you for a cup of tea after that. Talk to them and know their life.

Hike to the caves

There are caves that the monks used to use for their meditation in the winter times. It is a relatively easy thing to go there. One must visit the caves to get a birds-eye view of the whole town. You should also tie some prayer flags there. A few of these are conserved as cultural heritage by the Archaeological Survey of India. There are paintings inside the caves.

Sunset time lapse

Captured at Tabo village Check out more on my Instagram

The elevation makes the sun and sky closer to the land. Tabo is an ideal time to take those time-lapse and slow-motion videos. You could use your phone or a DSLR to shoot the same. But remember your tripod to make your camera stable. I got no time-lapse but was fortunate enough to click galaxy with my GoPro 10.

Spiti ke Nachos

The monastery-run guest house offers homemade nachos. These are filled with cheese and veggies. These are indeed a must on the to-do list while visiting Tabo. They might not look exactly what you’ve had in the city, but they are a great memory to keep.

Play with doggies

Did not click a picture of the dogs there but here is my Dexter at home. He was small so could not take him along.

You might or might not be an animal lover, but the Himalayas have many dogs, most with fur and dreadlocks. One of the most friendly creatures found in the Himalayas, they will make your journey special. Open a parle-G packet, and many of them will come to you. kind of reminded me of Dexter as he was not with me on this trip.

Nature calling

Tabo village in Spiti valley Food in Tabo village is awesome
The food in Tabo village is awesome

Have you ever read those boring geography texts in middle school? Visit Spiti, and it will all make sense. This ever-evolving trans-Himalayan region has meadows, hollow caves, mesa, and buttes. Alternatively, you can become an explorer, learn about these landforms, or meditate on Taal’s side.

Explore new food in Tabo village

If you’re a foodie and you crave new food experiences, Spitian food is full of adventures. The food in Tabo village is awesome. The spice is less, and if added, it is grown locally. I explore new items, either talking to the owners of the restaurants or staying with localities. You can ask for new things: Kiu, Chulpi, Chushi, Thupa, and Chutrep. The Spitian homes have a seating arrangement called Chaukse for the dining, and the togetherness can be felt in this too. So, this is a part I’d like you to take advantage of.

Visit the apple orchards

There are a lot of apple orchards in Tabo village. If you visit during the October-November season, you can pluck them yourselves. It’sIt’s the fresh, juicy apple that made Snow white faint. Or urged Newton to discover gravity. Pluck one; you might find something too.

Pay Homage to the oldest tree in Tabo.

Our homestay owner also told us about the oldest tree in the region. It is a 400 to 500 years old tree. He also told us that there used to be a time when their teacher used to teach them under that tree. Sit under the tree, and take some pictures. Meditate for a while and imagine yourself living in simplicity like that.


You might have gazed at stars from your roof or any other place on earth, but that helipad in Tabo. It is entirely different— stars talking to you about the time. They have been talking about a million miles they cover to reach us and the million years. Most amazing thing.

Sunrise above the hills.

The sunrise in Tabo was like the scenery we made as children in our school days. A hut, sun rising above in between two mountains, birds chirping, and wind blowing. Peace is like nowhere else. Shining sun, a cup of tea, and you.

Rooftop breakfast

Time to say goodbye, but before that, a nutritious, delicious breakfast is a must. A rooftop experience can provide a 360-degree view of the area with wind blowing past your ears and making the prayer flags chant their songs.

Dhankar and Tabo bridge

Try to move to Dhankar village. You can see the peaceful Dhankar lake. Stop at the Tabo bridge and enjoy the quiet moments at that spot. Make some slow-motion videos too. Also, do not miss the Dhankar Monastery, it is beautiful and the view from up top is mesmerizing.

Dhankar Monastery near Tabo village
Dhankar Monastery near Tabo

Overall, it’s an enchanting experience to go to Tabo and have this experience. I am blessed that I was able to visit this place. I hope you take your time deciding on your trip to Spiti, especially Tabo. In the end, I’d like to end this one with a few lines.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below.


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