After we hiked down from Dankar (see this blog post) we did meet a guy and his guide that did spend the night in Dankar as well. So we could wait together. The funny thing is that the owner of the guest house tells you when to get up so you can catch the bus down on the road. So we got up early and took the shortest way down. After about 45 minutes down the steep slope we did reach the road. And sure it is the morning bus from Kaza and it will be here at 8.30 – yes! And we waited 2 or so hours before the bus showed. Here it does depend on so many factors. Usually the bus will depart on time or a few minutes late. Than it is up to how many passengers will board and how much stuff they have to put on the roof. So 2 hours late is not really bad. Sometimes you might have a land slide and than the bus will never come. Happy that finally a bus showed we did board. What a coincidence – Lut from Belgium was also on the bus. So we all drove to Tabo together.
Waiting for the bus. We did a stone throw competition and other stuff to keep us entertained.
The monastery was founded in the year 996! That makes it the oldest Buddhist enclave in India and the Himalayas that did continuously operate. From the outside it does not look like a lot. Somehow it did remind me of some pueblos or other Mexican buildings. And after visiting the Tabo Monastery i can tell you that it is worth to come all the way here only for the monastery.
They have rare and priceless collection of thankas, statues, frescos, religious manuscripts and murals on the walls. I never saw anything like the main temple! There are about 50 clay images and bust in full size of demons and gods on the wall of the main hall. Sorry – no pictures allowed inside – so you have to google that. Since we had the other guy and the tour guide with us we could ask a lot of questions. What the tour guide did not know the monk did and the other way round. So we had a long and good tour of the different buildings. If you ever go – bring a good torch-light with you. It is quite dark in the temples. I have no clue why they build an ugly new temple next to it and do nothing to stop that old temple from going down south. There is water coming in from the roof. You can see tires and other stuff that was used to close holes. The repairs after the last earthquake where not done to good as well. The thankas fade and water ruins some of the paintings on the wall.
The monastery is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as national historic treasure of India. I can not really see what they do for it? It should be on the UNESCO list. I would get better roofs or build a new big roof over the whole temple complex.
996 – what a number!
The main temple
Our litte expedition on the way from on temple to the next
Some caves to pray and meditate.
After the monastery we went for lunch – that is – we where looking for a place to eat and ended up somewhere at a small place. This is the last site of the menu. I never saw something like that before. In fact I did never know they even have to have these tests in India.
Attention! Magic mushroom collectors crossing!
The little shop at the bus stop. Everybody can find something here.
How to make a Cow happy Part 2
Next morning on the way to the German bakery we did pass the baby cow again. Time for more love.
My favourite Place in Kaza – The Kunzaum Guest House
Solar Shawer! He did install that one last year so even early in the morning we had hot water from the last day. Great! Big rooms and the guy and his family is really friendly. We got tea all the time and invitations for dinner. The night we came back from out trek we could sleep in the living room – all the other rooms where full.