Going Back in Time
Tabo, Himanchal Pradesh
The sun shines brightly on the wheat fields, desert mountains, and mud houses, making their browns glow gold with the dawn. Time here moves slowly as kids make their way to the only school in the town, grannies milk the many cows, and the monks continue with their everyday chores in the world’s oldest monastery. This is life here in Tabo, a miniscule village in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Its lakes and waterfalls freeze in the winters, whereas summers bring the entire landscape to life. And in both, there is equal beauty, meant to be savoured separately. Zostel Homes Tabo is a quaint little home just off the highway, holding apricots in its front yard and views of the gorgeous rainbow mountains from its balconies and windows.
HIGHLIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
Tabo Monastery: The second oldest monastery of the world, the Tabo Monastery was built way back in 996 and has a sacred and quaint charm about it. Also known as the Ellora of the Himalayas, it is made entirely of mud. It overlooks the splendid desert mountains of the Spiti district and is known to be the Dalai Lama’s favourite!
Village Walk Tabo is a small village with those quaint Tibetan houses analogous to the Himalayas- rectangular structures with white walls, maroon and black paints decorating their window and door frames. The people of Tabo lead a conventional mountain life which is interesting to observe and know about, and a walk around the village is the best way to go about it.
Cave Exploration (Summers) Tabo is home to a series of caves sprawled over a stretch of a kilometre. They are known for their petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings), which makes them very interesting for cave exploration. Only a short walk from the home, the caves have recently been made accessible for visitors and thus offer a unique experience.
Trek to the Meditation Caves Used in the olden times by the Tibetan Lamas to meditate, these caves home phenomenal tranquillity. They are located in Lari, 9 km from Tabo. To reach them, one has to drive for the first 5km and hike for the next 4, making for an adventurous half-day trip.
Ice Skating (Winters) There’s a lake near Tabo that freezes up in winters, inviting adventurers for ice skating. This is a complimentary experience by the hosts for all travellers who visit them in winters.
Frozen River Hike (Winters Only) It is not every day that you get to hike across a frozen river, that too, to reach a stunning frozen waterfall. This one-of-a-kind experience is very accessible from ZostelX Tabo. On your way back, you can also stop by the frozen lake for ice skating. The hike is a chargeable activity.
Common Hangout Area
HOW TO REACH
Since reaching Spiti is an experience in itself and is only accessible through road, it is advised that you opt for a car, taxi, or a bus in summers and a car/4x4 wheeler in winters. ◘ By Car: Drive on the Shimla-Kaza highway and take the right exit at Tabo towards ZostelX Tabo. ◘ By Bus: Take the HRTC bus towards Kaza and drop off at Tabo, from where ZostelX Tabo is at walking distance. The bus is not operational in winters. ◘ Important: Please note that only BSNL Postpaid SIM Cards provide network in the Spiti Valley. You will receive the contact details in the booking confirmation email itself. We can also arrange a pick-up for you from a nearby town if briefed in advance.
AREA - Tabo
Tabo is a small Tibetan village in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Sitting in the lap of the desert mountains, it is decorated with mud and brick houses, breath taking sunrises and sunsets, and occasional stunning rainbows.
LOCATION - Zostel Homes Tabo (Lahaul and Spiti/Kaza)
Zostel Homes Tabo is just a km off the Shimla-Kaza highway, at walking distance from the beautiful Tabo Monastery. It is easily accessible by road.
Exact location information is provided after a booking is confirmed.
- The property is not pet-friendly.
- As this is someone’s home, footwear is not allowed inside. Guests will be provided with slip-ons during their stay.
- Drinking and smoking are prohibited inside the property. Guests are requested to resort to open areas for the same.
- No room or luggage services will be provided at the property.
- All the food served will be home-cooked.
- Any special request regarding food or facilities needs to be intimated in advance.
- Nature and surroundings should always be respected and taken care of.
- The area will have to be kept noise-free after 10 pm.
HOSTED By Chhering Chhoden
Although a teacher by profession, you’ll often find Cherring pursuing the adventures of skiing, ice skating, and trekking. Over the years of living in Tabo, he collected scrap water bottles, which he later used in the construction of this house. Thanks to his thought and years of patience, these bottles provide great insulation in winters, thus making the place warmer in extreme winters.