The bare hills around Tabo have been swept into uneven ridges by the winds and melting snow. Weather-beaten and mottled with loose boulders, in a long boat shaped valley, these hills hold a tiny hamlet, which is home to about 400 people. Tabo is the largest of all the monastic complexes in Spiti.
When the kingdom of Guge rose in Western Tibet after the assassination of Lang Darma because he rejected Buddhism, it encompassed the present day tracts of Spiti, Lahaul, Zanskar and upper Kinnaur. Tholling was the capital of Guge and its Gompa, monastery is still held in high reverence. Appropriately, the Tabo Gompa or Chos-khor as it is sometimes called, comes next in veneration.
For the truly adventurous the journey up from Sangla towards the Spiti Valley is a must-do! The Tabo terrain will leave you breathless and speechless. Rock-hard Desert Mountains, torrential rivers and icy cold winds account for the sparsely populated villages. At a height of 10,500 ft this high altitude desert is home to the second most important Buddhist monastery in the entire Himalayan region - the Tabo Gompa. It is now more than 1000 years old and is rumoured to be the place the Dalai Lama will finally settle in.
The Banjara Retreat at Tabo overlooks the old monastery and is 1 km away from the Spiti river that flows through the area. It has been built in the local architectural style. There are comfortably furnished rooms with attached bathrooms and a well-equipped kitchen.