Rato Monastery alias Rato Dratsan or Mundgod Tibetan Monastery

Rato Monastery or Rato Dratsang is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated at Mundgod in Karnataka state, India. This Monastery or monastic university follows the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” tradition. Rato Monastery was a major Monastery in Tibet and was reestablished at Mundgod, a Tibetan Settlement in Karnataka after the Tibetan uprising in 1959.

Monks from Rato Monastery or Rato Dratsang outside the Rato temple.Tibetan monks in Rato Monastery seen outside the Mundgod Tibetan temple called Rato temple, in Karnataka, India.

Rato Monastery was established in the 14th century on the outskirts of Lhasa in Tibet. Fifth Dalai Lama called Rato Monastery as the “Tiger Nest”. This Monastery had 500 monks studying in Tibet in 1959. Rato Monastery alias Rato Dratsan was re-established at Mundgod in 1983 as part of Drepung Loseling monastery. (Drepung Loseling monastery is another Buddhist monastery re-established at Mundgod after the Tibetan uprising in 1959.) In the late 80’s, this monastery became an independent monastery or monastic university. Tenzin Gyatso, the current and the 14th Dalai Lama, has appointed Geshe Thupten Lhundup (Nicholas Vreeland), as the abbot (head of monastery) in 2012. (That was the first instance of any foreigner being appointed as the abbot of any Tibetan monastery.) Rato Monastery’s abbot is addressed as Khen Rinpoche. Khen means abbot and rinpoche is used to address lamas and abbots.

How Do I Go To Rato Monastery alias Mundgod Tibetan Monastery?

Rato Monastery alias Mundgod Tibetan Monastery is at Mundgod in Uttara Kannada district, on your way to Hubli from Sirsi. Mundgod town is at a distance of 132 kilometers from Karwar, the district head quarters.

Nearby Tourist Places to Mundgod

Attiveri Bird Sanctuary is a nearby tourist place at around 15 kilometers from Mundgod town. Bachanaki Dam is at around 6 kilometers from Mundgod town on your way to Attiveri Bird Sanctuary. There is a Chalukyan temple at the nearby Bedsgav Village.

Ki Monastery & Tabo Monastery at Spiti Valley Known for It’s Cinematography

Spiti Valley is a Himalayan desert mountain valley known for its spellbound scenery. The valley is in Spiti and Lahaul districts of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located in between India and Tibet. Spiti means ‘The Middle Land’ and hence the name. Spiti Valley and nearby areas are the gateway to the northern reaches of India. District headquarters of Spiti and Lahul are separated from the Kullu Valley by ‘The Rohtang Pass‘, situated at an altitude of 13054 feet.

Ki Monastery in Spiti ValleyKi Monastery (also spelt as Key Monastery  or Kee Monastery or Kye Monastery) in Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley locals follow Vajrayana Buddhism which Buddhism followed by people in Ladakh and Tibet. Kye Gompa alias Key monastery and Tabo Monastery are situated in this region. Key monastery is also known by slightly different names like Kee Monastery  or Key Gompa, Ki  Monastery  or Ki Gompa, Kee Monastery or Kee Gompa. Tabo Monastery or Tabo Gompa is the Largest monastery in Spiti. They are among the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world. Dalai lama his holiness has visited these monasteries many a times.  (Gompa  means Monastery.)

Welcome to Spiti Valley BoardWelcome to Spiti Valley Board

Spiti River originates from this valley. Pin valley is another famous valley in this area.

Bhrigu Lake, named after Maharishi Bhrigu (Maharishi means Great Hindu Sage), is at an altitude of around 14,100 feet on Garhwal Himalayas. It is situated east of Rohtang Pass, at a distance of around 6 kilometers from Gulaba village. Bhrigu  lake is also close to Manali.

Moves shot at Spiti Valley

Hindi movie Paap (Sin in English), Pooja Bhatt’s directorial debut was shot at Spiti valley. This film scored very high for its cinematography. Another film “Milarepa”, about the life of the famous Tibetan Saint and tantric yogi, Melarepa, was also shot at Spiti Valley, near the International Border between India and Tibet. Milarepa, a Tibetan language film, was directed by a Lama from Western Bhutan, Neten Chokling. This movie is also known for its cinematography. Milarepa is considered as a national hero in Buddhist regions in India, Tibet, China, Pakistan, etc.

How Do I Go To Spiti Valley?

Spiti Valley is at a distance of 412 kilometers from Shimla, via Kinnaur. The Valley is accessible all through the year through this route. In summer season, you can enter Spiti from Manali via Rohtang pass & Kunzum pass and the distance is around half the distance of the other route through Kinnaur.

Inner Line Permits

Inner line permit is required for non-Indian citizens, to enter Spiti Valley, via Kinnaur. Indians need to carry a valid photo ID card to prove nationality and does not require any entry permit.

Manali Hill Station

Manali Hill StationView of Himalayas, from Manali Hill Station. Photo Courtesy- Wikimedia

Manali Hill Station is nestled in the mountains of Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India.

Manali Hill Station  is 32 kilometers from Kullu valley, 280 kilometers north of capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla. The hill station is situated near to the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh.

Manali is famous for adventure sports like skiing, mountaineering, paragliding, hiking, trekking, rafting. mountain biking and kayaking. Skiing  is a major tourism related activity at the Hill Station. The Beas river, with its clear waters, meanders through the town of Manali.

Manali Hill Station can be visited throughout the year. In winter, i.e. December and January,   the temperature may drop below freezing point.  Heavy woolen clothes are be required during this time of the year.

Domestic tourists comes here mainly for honeymoon and mountain views. Foreigners visit the Hill Station for adventure sports.

Rohtang Pass is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road. It provides a panoramic view of Himalayan mountains rising far above the clouds, which is truly a breath-taking sight.

Solang Valley  offers the view of the snow capped mountains, the glaciers and the Himalayan  peaks. It has fine ski slopes and many picnic spots.

Rahala waterfalls is a major tourist attraction at 16 kilometers distance from the hill station.

MANU temple, at 2 kilometers distance, is linked to the history of the Hill Station and is a major tourist attraction. Tibetan monasteries at the hill station attracts many a tourists.

How Do I Go to Manali Hill Station?

The nearest airport to Manali is at Bhuntar town, at about 50 kilometers distance. The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport.

Chandigarh is the nearest rail head at around 275 kilometers distance on the broad gauge railway line. On the narrow gauge rail-head,  ‘Joginder Nagar’ is at 135 kilometers away. The Hill Station can be reached by road from the above mentioned stations.

HPTDC Tourist Information Office may be contacted at Telephone number +91 – 1902 – 253531.

Places to Stay at Manali Hill Station

There are many hotels at Manali. Holiday Inn, Apple Country Resorts, Ashoka Classic Cottage, Camp Exotica (on Naggar Road), Span resorts and spa (at 10 kilometers distance on Kullu Manali Highway), etc, are some of the Manali hotels and Manali resorts. Casa Bella Vista is a leading high-end resort among Manali resorts.

If you are looking for  cheap and decent accommodation, Youth Hostels Association of India, may be the answer. The details from their website is given below.

(Near Club Mahindra Resorts)
Prini Village,
Manali-Naggar Road
Himachal Pradesh

Contact Person: Mr.Anil Nag
Phone: 1902-250437, 09736052663.
Email:[email protected]

Tariff Season (May to June)
Dormitory: Rs.375/-, Economy Room:Rs.1034/-, Standard Room:Rs.1578/-,
Deluxe Room:Rs.1935/-,Family Room:Rs.2650/-, Family Suite:Rs.2650/-
Tariff Off Season
Dormitory:Rs.330/-, Economy Room:Rs.880/-, Standard Room:Rs.1428/-,
Deluxe Room:Rs.1785/- Family Room:Rs.2500/-, Family Suite:Rs.2500/-

Season : April to June & 25 December to 10 Jan
Off Season : Rest of the year
Whichever Govt.Taxes are applicable, to be paid at the hostel at the time check-in.