Gue Monastery: The Indian "Mummy"

3rd Aug 2018
Photo of Gue Monastery: The Indian "Mummy" by Priya Parashar

Gue is a small remote village comprising about 50 to 75 houses, situated at a height of approx 10,000 feet above the sea level, between the towns of Sumdo and Tabo. It is relatively unknown and unheard till date. A yellow coloured large cemented gate marks the deviation towards the village on NH-22, from where it is a steep 8 kms climb on a curvy broken road to the hilltop where Giu is located.
The village is tucked deep in the mountains that very few people know about. If you are ready to take a short detour from the main roads, you will find yourself at a place that looks straight out of the fairy world. The barren land guarded by mountains has shades of yellow and gold as you look around. You can witness its rough terrains and extremely harsh conditions. The winding road will take you to the top of a hill. The place looks isolated.
It is famous for India’s only known naturally preserved mummy of the old monk. You can find the mummy inside a glass case which is a naturally preserved dead body, not wrapped in any bandage, completely dried up and the eyes, teeth and hair on its head still intact. Please make sure you reach before 3:00 PM. Carbon dating has revealed the Tibetan mummy dating back to the year 1475, making it over 500 years old. The Mummy was found in a sitting position [which it remains to be in till date] with a rosary in one hand, with all body parts intact and a strange belt running down its spine, from neck to lower parts of the body. There is a beautiful monastery just to the complex which houses the mummy which is built at the end of the village on a hilltop.

How to reach
A: By Train: Nearest Railway station is Shimla. Post that you must take a bus or a hire a cab to reach
B: By Road:
1.Hire taxis from Kalpa which will follow the route of Kaza via Nako which is very convenient.
2.Govt. buses also ply on this route. They will drop near the road sign of Gue Village. Post that its 15-20 kms. drive via muddy road

What to see
The Gue Mummy is the star of this place which belongs to the Buddhist monk, Sangha Tenzin. The mummy has his chin resting on the knee and one hand wrapped around legs. The mummy was uncovered back in 1975.
The Gue Monastery is well maintained and looks so colourful and striking against the brown mountain in the middle of barren landscape. It is an exquisite piece of art

When to visit:
The best time to visit is during the summer months of June till September when you will not face lot of roadblocks. The weather conditions are also good i.e. the days are bright and sunny and the nights are not too cold.

Where to stay:
Gue village doesn’t have any stay options. One or two houses offer a very basic home stay. Ideally, you can cover this place on your way to Kaza. So, depending the time you have, you can choose to stay either in Tabo Village or Kaza.

Photo of Gue Monastery: The Indian "Mummy" by Priya Parashar
Photo of Gue Monastery: The Indian "Mummy" by Priya Parashar
Photo of Gue Monastery: The Indian "Mummy" by Priya Parashar