Tabo Caves Lahaul and Spiti Valley

Tabo Caves, Lahaul & Spiti Valley

The magnificent Tabo Caves are located just above the ancient Tabo Monastery, which was founded more than 1000 years ago. This ancient monastery has been hollowed out by several caves that serve as dwellings for monks during the harsh winters of the Himalayas. Termed as 'Tabo Caves,' these magnificent caverns are artificially excavated for monks and were initially used as an assembly hall. Also, these caves are well visible from the village and are known to be very old. There are many caves in Spiti Valley, but it is not completely clear when and who started the tradition of building such caves and for what purpose.

Highlights While some caves were used as assembly halls for monks, many served as dwellings as the winters are extremely harsh in Spiti. Till today some caves are used for meditation by monks and so, there are flags at several caves that denote there is somebody meditating inside. Unfortunately, some caves that are closer to the village are used as toilets. Some people believe that traces of paintings inside the caves can been found while other maintain that there is no sign of any paintings.

The Tabo Caves of Spiti Valley overlooks the verdant Spiti River, which flows with exuberance amid the most scenic and serene landscapes of Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. A 15 minute trek to the foothills of the Trans-Himalayas leads one to the Tabo Caves, where the Buddhist lamas meditate.

Structure of Tabo Caves Some of the caves are fairly well developed and the walls and floor of the caves are smooth but devoid of any embellishment. The entrance of the caves is narrow and leads to other other smaller rooms or recesses. The roof of these cafes has a wide hole that opensup to the sky and serves as a vent when fires were burnt inside the caves to keep warm in brutal cold. These caves are the best places for the meditating monks as there is no place as peaceful as these caves for the seekers of nirvana. Inside the caves there are multiple rooms, one leading to the other.

These caves are so intriguing that even today, many people and historians wonder why would anybody come to this harsh and demanding environment to stay.