More than a thousand years old, Key monastery is one of the most beautiful ones in India, and one of the main attractions for anyone heading to Spiti Valley. Situated in a valley between the Himalayas on one side and the Spiti river on the other, the view from this monastery is simply breathtaking.
Key Gompa is accessible through two routes—from Shimla and Manali. The route from Manali stays shut in the winter due to heavy snowfall. However, the route from Shimla stays open pretty much throughout the year.
The roads are motorable, but extremely dangerous (also, luxury cars aren't cut out for these roads), so it's advisable to bank on public transport (i.e. buses), from Delhi, which is also the cheapest option (which takes around INR 4,000 - INR 6,000 max). The nearest inhabited town from Kye is Kaza, which is as far as the buses go too. From here, local cabs can be hired. The distance from Kaza to Key Gompa is about 15 kilometres and shouldn't take more than 40 minutes to reach.
There are guest accommodations available in the monastery, but their availability isn't for certain, and we suggest you arrange lodging in Kaza itself, where there are ample options.
The monastery is open to guests being a part of their lectures and meditation sessions. If you wish to experiences how the Lamas here live, this would be a great opportunity.
When in Spiti, spend a morning with splendid views and conversations with Tibetan monks. You won't be disappointed.
Distance from Delhi to Key Monastery, Spiti: 725 km (approx.)
Timings: Open Monday - Sunday; 6:00 am - 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Free. However, you can donate whatever amount for the Monastery's upkeep and maintenance.
Pro-tip: You won't find many ATMs in Kaza, so we recommend that you keep sufficient cash in hand.