Located on Manali-Leh highway, most of Keylong’s attraction can be attributed to its gorgeous snow-capped mountains and the tranquil Buddhist monasteries. Although it mostly acts as a stopover for travellers headed to Kullu or Manali, it deserves attention as an independent locale. It’s a great place for adventure activities such as trekking and biking as it is for soaking up the peace in the mountains.
About 8km from Keylong, Kardang Monastery is among the most famous attractions here. The highlight of the monastery is its library; that houses ancient Buddhist texts and weapons belonging to the 12th and 13th centuries. The magnificent statue of Avalokitesvara and the meditative atmosphere is what lends a sense of tranquility to this place.
Barcha La Pass
If you are bike riding through Kullu and Manali, don’t miss out on stopping awhile at Barcha La Pass. It is the point where the pathways of Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul intersect and offer a charismatic view of the Himalayas in their most pristine form. However, since the oxygen levels are low here, it’s recommended that you slow down a bit and relax at this spot which is at a whopping altitude of 16,000 feet above sea level.
The quaint monastery bordered by patches of gorgeous blue pine trees is lauded both for its wonderful architectural design and the Thangka and wall paintings (depicting all 84 siddhas of Buddhism). The best time to visit here is during June and July when during the annual festival the masked monks perform the elaborate Chham dance.
Just below the Barcha La Pass, the stunning Suraj Tal Lake is one of the highest lakes in India. Literally translating into the ‘Lake of the Sun God,’ it is a revered pilgrim spot for travellers from all across India who believe that a dip here can cleanse you of all your sins. The water is also said to have revitalising and rejuvenating properties; and the scenic backdrop just takes the experience a notch higher.