Journey to Tabo was so memorable and beautiful that we were even more excited to see what was next. ( You can watch the previous videos of this journey – Part 1 Blog, Part 1 Video, Part 2 Blog, Part 2 Video, Part 3 Blog and Part 3 Video) After resting for the night, we were all set to explore some near-by places in Tabo.
Tabo is a very small village yet a super beautiful and a peaceful one! It’s majorly famous for its Millennium old monastery! The oldest monastery in India which was built in 996 AD and some restoration was done in 1042 AD. There is a new monastery built up as well but it’s not open yet. It is set to be inaugurated on 12th August 2017 by The Dalai Lama! He had been here earlier as well when the oldest monastery completed its 1000 years. There were a grand celebration and prayers done.
It was a cold beautiful day and I went out to take an early morning stroll in the village and it was just beautiful! There is a small market in the village with just 4-5 shops but everything one can need is available there! From food to sketch books and colors to even diapers! Not just this, even petrol and diesel is also available stored in some canisters as there is no petrol pump there. This is only for any case of emergency. Those who don’t have enough fuel to reach Kaza can refuel their vehicles and move on.
Anyway, we got ready and headed to see the monasteries. The first thing we saw was a huge and beautiful Stupa, built right in the center of the monastery. We were told that all the holy or spiritual books or “Granths” had been put inside the Stupa. So when you go around it in a “Parikrama” you get all the positive energy from those holy and spiritual books buried inside. The interesting thing is that the Parikrama can be done directly or indirectly. Either you can go around the stupa directly inside the monastery or you can go around the village keeping the stupa as a center point and that will also count as a Parikrama! It was amazing to know the kind of flexibility the Buddhist culture has!
Next, we went to the oldest monastery. The cameras or photography is not allowed inside so I can’t show you any pictures. The doors of all the monasteries are short ones, this is because when you enter you need to bend and you indirectly lower your head and bow to the Gods. It was pretty dark inside and we had to use the torch lights to see clearly.
The inside was like completely another world altogether! The walls, floors, statues were all made of mud. With the mud, there was wood as well in the walls and the floor. The age of the monastery was evident when you walk in. The creaky floors and no light what-so-ever! There were a couple of light spots added on the roof so that some sunshine can lit the room up and that was too added years later. Every inch of those walls was covered in elaborate, intricate and beautiful paintings! The skills of the artists who did those were just incredible! The artists who painted these walls came from Kashmir!
A lot of the paintings on the wall has been damaged by rains and nature. They keep restoring it but still, the ancient art is getting lost and I think the government should really get some good protective infrastructure or facility to protect the rest of it. There were a few more rooms as part of the monastery adjacent to that and they were built in the 16th and 18th centuries. There was a room where a huge painting of the predicted next Lord Buddha! The painting shows that how the next Lord Buddha would look like! Pretty interesting eh! 🙂
After visiting the entire monastery and the monastery-dorm and a small museum our plan was to visit the Gue village. This village is famous for a mummy which is more than 500 years old. The village is just 30 km away from Tabo and falls on the way back towards Kalpa. Around 12 pm we left for the Gue village and the weather was cloudy, cold and beautiful! We reached the Gue village main entrance from where the Gue link Road starts. I believe, the actual village was about another 10 km inside and I must tell you that this was the most beautiful village I ever saw!! We crossed the village and just about another 2 km or less we reached the monastery.
The monastery was closed but there was a small chamber adjacent to that which had the mummy. There was a very old native lady who was in charge of opening and closing it and she sat at the back of the chamber to protect herself from the fiercely cold wind. Yes, it was getting super cold and it started drizzling too. The lady opened the doors for us and we saw the mummy and we were just in awe on how well it was preserved! The mummy was in the sitting position and a lot of tissue was still well preserved!
After having a great look on the mummy and clicking a few pictures, we came out and had a little chat with that old lady. She was such a lovely woman! Very cheerful and pure! I did click some pictures with her too! The weather was turning too cold and we couldn’t really stand outside any longer. We sat in our car and headed back to Tabo. However, it was impossible to ignore the beauty of the Gue village! The road side was covered with loads of pink flowers of different kinds, not just one! The ground was covered with loads of tiny yellow flowers! The scenery of this village was just like any paradise! We couldn’t stop ourselves and clicked a lot of pictures before leaving it!
On our way back to Tabo, we stopped in a small village to have our lunch. This was the only village which had a Dhaba. I opted for Daal-Chawal (Read Rajma-Rice and Aloo Gobi Sabzi). It was super yum and healthy! We reached Tabo shortly after that and took some rest in the hotel and then I went for an evening stroll. This time my idea was to do a Parikrama of the stupa by taking a round of the village. While doing that I met some really cute and lovely kid monks who were playing with marbles. Had a chat with them, saw them playing and clicked a couple of pictures too! I also met a small girl who knew how to do a hula hoop! She was so adorable and talented! It was amazing to meet and talk to the local people there!
That was all for my Day 5 in Tabo & Gue! I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and find it informative and helpful. I have also made a vlog of this day as I always do which is attached below and is also uploaded on my YouTube channel RougePouts! I really hope you like and enjoy the video as well! Please do not forget to like, subscribe and share it! I will be back with the next part very soon which will cover our travel from Tabo to Kaza! Have a lovely day!! B-Bye!