Keylong is a magnificent town and also the district headquarters of Lahaul & Spiti. It is cut off with outside world from November to April as the region is prone to heavy snowfall. Keylong can be visited from May to October as NH21 remains opened during this period. Keylong is only of the biggest and busiest villages of India. Located above the Bhaga River, Keylong affords treasured views of splendid mountains, inimitable valleys, exciting people, mysterious landscapes and enchanting beauteousness of nature. Keylong is famous for its three main monasteries namely Khardong Gompa, Shaspur Gompa and Tayal Gompa. It also houses a temple of a local deity, Kelang Wazir. Keylong is located at an elevation of 3,340mts above sea level on National Highway 21 which connects Manali with Leh. Keylong celebrates Annual Lahaul Festival with many cultural activities.
Location of Keylong
Situated 115kms north of Manali, Keylong is perched at an astounding elevation of 3,340mts above sea level. Keylong is located on NH21 which connects Manali with Leh at the intersection of three valleys namely Chandra Valley, Bhaga Valley and Chenab Valley. Keylong is situated above Bhaga River in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
Places to see in Keylong
Shashur Gompa: Shashur Gompa is one of the 3 popular monasteries of Keylong. Shashur Gompa was built in the 16 th century and it is dedicated to Zanskari lama. Shashur Gompa is situated 3kms from Keylong.
Tandi: The village of Tandi is located 8kms from Keylong at the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga Rivers. A famous legend is associated with the place. Chandra and Baga, son and daughter of the Moon and Sun gods were in love with each other. To perform their celestial marriage, they decided to climb the Baralacha-la and from there run in opposite directions. Chandra was smart to find her way to ‘Tandi’. Bhaga however, reached Tandi through the narrow gorges. They both met at Tandi and eventually their celestial marriage took place.
Khardong Monastery: Khardong Monastery is also known as Khardong Gompa. Built in the 12th century by the order of Gelukpa, Kardang monastery is located 5kms from Keylong across Bhaga River. It also has a library which houses Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Budhist scriptures in Bhoti. Statues of Buddha, paintings, ancient weapons and musical instruments are therein Khardong Monastery.
What to do in Keylong
Visit Keylong from May to October and do carry heavy woolens with you as the place is cold during the day and chilling at night. Buy unique Tibetan accessories, some of which are attractive whereas some brings luck. Travel to nearby popular excursions of the Keylong. Visit in June and be a part of the annual Lahaul festival. Click portraits of the people of Keylong who are always full of life and also enhance your photography skills by capturing splendors of nature in your camera. Don’t forget to visit the monasteries of Keylong.
Excursions from Keylong
Udaipur: Situated 59kms from Keylong, Udaipur is located on the confluence of Chenab and Mayar Nallah in upper Lahaul. Apples and walnuts are grown in plenty in Udaipur. A temple built in 11 th century still subsists at Udaipur whose deity is local Goddess Markula Devi. It was earlier known as Margul and around 1695 it was renamed as Udaipur when Raja Udai Singh of Chamba.
Gondhla: Gondhla is situated about 18kms from Keylong at an elevation of 3160mts above sea level along the right bank of river Chandra. Gondhla houses royal heritage and it is famous for the house of the Thakur of Gondhla known as Gondhla fort. This picturesque 8-storey building in such remote location was built by Raja Kullu Man Singh in 1700 AD. The village of Gondhla attracts several tourists during the fair held in June.
Triloknath Temple: Triloknath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This unique temple has been given the shape of a Buddhist shrine by Guru Padmasambhava by setting up the 6 armed image of Avalokiteshvar. It is therefore a place revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. The Nandi Bull of Lord Shiva is placed at the centre of the temple. A huge festival called Pauri is held every year in the month if August where people of both faiths gather.
Jispa: Jispa is situated 22kms from Keylong and 4kms from Ghemur. It is a tourist destination which has a large, dry river-bed. Jispa is located on the banks of the Bhaga River and is a famous camping ground. Fishing enthusiasts can look for trout in this region. On the edge of the Bhaga River, PWD rest house is located facilitating us with quality accommodation.
Sissu: Sissu is located about 30 kms from Keylong on the Keylong-Koksar road on the bank of Chandra River at an altitude of 3,130mts above sea level. This place is famous for a big waterfall and the Gyephang peak. Lord Gyephang or Ghepan is the local deity of Lahaul.
Accomodations Hotels in Keylong
Hotel Chandra Bhaga by H.P.T.D.C remains opened from June to October. It is the best place to stay at Keylong. Other hotels in Keylong are Hotel Dekyid, Hotel Dupchin, Hotel Gangsteng, Hotel Tashi Delong, Hotel Gyespa, Hotel Lamayuru and Hotel Snow Land. You can enjoy a comfortable stay at these hotels with affordable prices.
Best time to visit Keylong
The best time to visit Keylong is from May to October. The weather of Keylong remains cool and pleasant during summers but the region is prone to heavy snowfall during winter months. Keylong is cut off from outside world from November to April because the highway gets totally blocked by heavy snowfall. Rohtang Pass is the last point where you can reach during this period.
How to reach Keylong
By Air: The nearest Airport from Keylong is Bhuntar Airport near Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. Bhuntar airport is located 168kms from Keylong. Taxis are available from Bhuntar Airport to Keylong.
By Rail: The nearest broad gauge railway station from Keylong is Pathankot and the nearest narrow gauge railway station is Jogindernagar. Buses and taxis are available from both these destinations to Manali and Kyelang.
By Road: Kyelong is situated at a distance of 115kms from Manali. Kyelong is connected with NH21 which links Leh, Lahaul and Spiti with Manali and Shimla. Buses and taxis are available from Shimla and Manali to Kyelong.