A `se-tenant pair' (set of two stamps) was issued on 31stDecember 1999 on TABO MONASTERY. The stamps are in the denomination of 500 and 1000 Paise.
Tabo Monastery is situated in the village of Tabo, in the secluded Spiti valley of the state Himachal Pradesh, Northern India.
Spiti Valley forms one of the Trans-Himalayan frontier regions of northern India with a population of around 10,000 people. It is bounded by Ladakh in the north, Lahaul and Kullu district in the west and south-east respectively, and by Tibet and the Kinnaur district in the east. In the past the region was included within the boundaries of Tibet. Tabo village is at an altitude of 3,280 metres, it is a remote place, with often harsh and extreme weather isolating it from the outside world.
Tabo Monastery was founded in 996 AD. With its original decoration and art images intact, it is considered to be the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist monastery in India and the Himalayas.
The unique beauty of its art and its pivotal historical role in the transmission of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and culture in the 10th and 11th century makes Tabo Monastery a historically significant site. Within the ancient monastery’s compound are nine temples built between the late 10th and the 17th century and numerous stupas. The main temple preserves an extraordinary wealth of documentation of the history and culture of the period. The iconographic program, dating from the restoration time of 1042, is complete. This includes paintings, sculptures, inscriptions and extensive wall texts.
The Nine temples are following :-
1. The Temple of the Enlightened Gods (gTug-Lha-khang)
2. The Golden Temple (gSer-khang)
3. The Mystic Mandala Temple / Initiation Temple (dKyil-kHor- khang)
4. The Bodhisattva Maitreya Temple (Byams-Pa Chen-po Lha-khang)
5. The Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha khang)
6. The Chamber of Picture Treasures (Z’al-ma)
7. The Large Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha khang)
8. The Mahakala Vajra Bhairava Temple (Gon-khang)
9. The White Temple (dKar-abyum Lha-Khang)
Tabo Monastery is in need of refurbishing as the wooden structures are aging and the thanka scroll paintings are fading. After the earthquake of 1975, the monastery was rebuilt, and in 1983 a new Du-kang or Assembly Hall was constructed. It is here that the 14th Dalai Lama held the Kalachakra ceremonies in 1983 and 1996. The monastery is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a national historic treasure of India.