Villages Of Spiti Valley – A Bawray Banjaray Guide

15th Aug 2018
Photo of Villages Of Spiti Valley – A Bawray Banjaray Guide by Bhagwan Das

I have always wondered about those painters who usually get to finish their masterpieces. On my first interaction with the mountains, valleys and people of Spiti Valley, I almost got that rendezvous moment after crossing the mighty Kunjum Pass - the gateway to Spiti Valley. You cross through the rugged snow clad mountains, thundering rivers, barren cold lands and then these tiny dots on the mountain cheeks -- the villages of the Spiti valley would appear to you like those last touches of a painter.

Rudyard Kipling said about Spiti -- “a world within the world” and it certainly is one heck of a beauty. However, for me the search of this beauty in Spiti Valley ended beyond its never ending skies, the ever rising mountains or bottomless gorges of Spiti River. These villages that would appear like the tiny dots of a masterpiece from distance are full of life, wonders, hospitality and you would often come back with a lesson or two on survival skills.

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Bhagwan Das

Kee Village: There is more beyond the famous Kee Monastery

Kee is the village of the famous Kee monastery. Photos of this monastery perched on the face of a mountain surrounded by nothing but a bunch of old houses would feature at the top when you Google Spiti Valley. Often the village of Kee is overlooked due to the grandeur of the centuries old monastery which has this very uncanny resemblance to Patola Palace of Lhasa.

How to reach Kee Village and Kee Monastery :

Kee village is just 12 km from Kaza. The monastery is a 3 km uphill climb from the village. There are taxis running all day long on this route. Shared taxis are not much common like other parts of Himachal but you can tag along with someone to reach Kee Village. I would recommend an early morning walk to Kee Village since Kaza gets to be the base when you are visiting Spiti.

Best time to visit Kee Village :

July to September. However, the village is accessible in winter so if you want to experience the tough life of Spitians then come to Spiti in winters when air is the only unfrozen substance out here.

Stay Options in Kee Village

The monastery provides accommodation with free tea at INR 200. There are a handful of homestays you can try. I did not stay in the village as i had to go ahead to the next village hunting.

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Bhagwan Das