Key Monastery – Where Faith Meets Expedition

Key Monastery, also known as the Kye Gompa is located amidst the majestic Himalayas in the Spiti Valley. It is a serene place situated far away from the maddening crowds dedicated to Buddhist learning. The entire structure is engraved in a small hill as if crafted out of a portrait. The best part about the Kye Gompa is that you can stay here and experience the culture of the Monastery that the blessed Lamas carry with them.

Key Monastery

The splendid Key Monastery in Spiti. Photography by: Dhruv Chopra

Key Monastery: An Overview

Location North India 
State Himachal Pradesh
Alternate Name Kye Gompa
Accessibility From May to October
Nearby Places to Visit Kibber Village, Kaza

How to Reach Key Monastery

Key Monastery is located at a distance of 8 kms from Kibber Village  and the road leading to it is in good shape. Kaza can be accesses via 2 routes –

1. Shimla

2. Manali

The route via Manali remains closed for around 6 months in a year owing to heavy snowfall. So if you take this route , make sure you time your trip well. If you are travelling by a cab or your own vehicle, you will have to park outside the monastery premises. The walking distance from the parking area to the monastery is about a kilometer and the scenery around is breathtaking.

Things to Do in Key Monastery


While you are in the Key monastery, interact with the monks who will explain to you everything about the monastery, right from the history to the important of the place in their lives. They will even be warm enough to give you a tour of the Gompa.


Right from the colourful flags located on the entrance to the creative murals on the inside, every element of Kye Gompa is enchanting. Take a tour of the place and learn the significance of this sacred space.  Also, check out the collection of the ancient thangkas. The monks offer prayers twice a day. If you want, you can stay silent and be a part of the moment. 


Donate at Key Monastery. It is the least that a traveler can do. The lamas of the Gompa are compassionate people and don’t expect you to make any contribution. But donate anyways, out of the goodness of your heart.


You have got to take pictures of Key Monastery, the landscape and the terrain around. My god, it is magnificent. Don’t forget to click a selfie with the kind lamas and the young lama kids who would love to get themselves clicked.


The monks at Key Monastery are most kind. They will offer you a cup of Herbal Tea which will be quite savoury given the chilly atmosphere around. Sipping steaming hot tea and enjoying the terrain around will be one heck of an experience.

Places to Stay Near Key Monastery

The best place to stay ideally will be Key monastery itself, where you can taste the same food as the monks do and experience the same routine. However, if you don’t want to stay at Key Monastery, there is a village popular by the name of Key Village (located on the way from Kaza towards the Monastery) where you can find accommodation.
Key Monastery

Key Village can be a good place to stay if you don’t want to stay at the Monastery. Photography by Ankit Pundir

Key Monastery in Bollywood

In the movie ‘Highway,’ Key Monastery was featured as a picturesque location where Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda elope from the conforming society. Try recalling the scene where Alia asks Hooda,” Tumhe pahar zada pasand hai ya samundar.” This secne was shot in Key Monastery.

Key Monastery in Pictures

Key Monastery

The Kye Gompa stands tall amidst snow clad Himalayas. This image is also the featured picture for this article.  Photography by Mike Blue. 

Key Monastery

Key Monastery as shot from near. Check out the engraved structure. Photography by Arpit Aggarwal

Key Monastery

The beautiful fields and river around the Monastery premises. Photography by Sandeepan Dutta

Happy Wayfaring 🙂

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