Ki Gompa

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Ki Gompa (also called Kye or Kee) is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on top of a hill close to the Spiti River, in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, in India.

It is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley and a religious training centre for Lamas. In the architectural definitions given to various monasteries, Ki falls in the 'Pasada' style which is characterised by more stories than one and often plays the role of a fort monastery.

The temple is at an elevation above sea level of 4,116 meters (13,504 feet), which is perhaps the highest temple in the world. There is the possibility that one or more temples in Western Tibet may be equally or greater in elevation. See: List of Buddhist Records

Ki Gompa was attacked by the Mongols during the 17th century, and suffered three more attacks in the 19th century. The successive trails of destruction and patch-up jobs have resulted in a haphazard growth of box like structures, and so the monastery looks like a fort, where temples are built on top of one another. The walls of the monastery are covered by paintings and murals. It is an outstanding example of the monastic architecture, which developed during the 14th century in the wake of the Chinese influence. The Ki monastery has a collection of ancient murals and books of high aesthetic value and it enshrines Buddha images and idols, in the position of Dhyana.

This old monastery, which dates from around 1000 AD, is one of the oldest in Spiti Valley, second only to Tabo monastery. A celebration of its millennium was conducted in 2000 with the presence of the Dalai Lama.