One of the largest monasteries in Spiti Valley, located at a height of  4,166 m above sea level, the charming Ki Monastery is an interesting addition to any spiritual traveller's bucket list. This serene Buddhist site houses many beautiful murals, paintings and stucco images, which are stunning examples of 14th century monastic architecture and leave visitors in awe of their splendour. Alongside, there are unusual wind instruments that are used as part of the orchestra whenever the chham (masked and costume dance) dance is performed. One can also see a beautiful collection of weapons, which may have come in use whenever the monastery was attacked by marauders. The Kalchakra ceremony was performed here by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in August 2000. This prayer is organised on a grand scale with an aim to awaken the Buddha nature of each individual, using a combination of prayer, teaching, blessing, devotion, mantra, yoga and meditation. It is essentially a search for peace. Many believe that even if one is simply present at this initiation ceremony that lasts for a few days, one can be free of suffering and gain enlightenment. There are five main subjects in focus – cosmology, psycho-physiology, initiation, sadhana (study) and attaining Buddhahood. 

The monastery is sprawled over a huge area and has many rooms connected by a maze of corridors. Some of the parts are three-storeys-high. This gompa, as monasteries are also called, was used both as a monastery and a fort, and it is believed to have been built by Dromton (1008–1064 AD), a disciple of Buddhist master Atisa. No date has been ascribed to the time it was built. Today, hundreds of lamas undergo religious training here. 

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