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Crossing the high painted valleys of Spiti we were on our way back towards the Kye Monastery. What was heartening was that the sky was turning blue & the clouds began dispersing. The snow we saw in the morning, around the Kye Monastery in the mountain slopes & crevices, had by now melted away.

Barely a couple of hours back I was looking down on this splendid monastery and now at around 1 in the afternoon, under a clearing sky & large patches of blue, we reached the gate of the monastery. I dropped myself off from the car....idea was to walk up the 500 odd metres to the monastery & take pictures by the dozen on the way. Spectacularly situated on a pyramid-shaped hill, it is at an altitude of 4,116 meters, I got, as I walked up, fantastic views of the monastery under the clearing blue sky & the Spiti valley down below. The sight was spectacular!

Kye (or Ki, Kee or Key) Monastery is the biggest monastery in the Spiti valley, located at (4116 m) above Kye village. It is an outstanding example of the monastic architecture, which developed during the 14th century in the wake of the Chinese influence. In the architectural definitions given to various monasteries, Kye falls in the 'Pasada' style which is characterised by more floors (storeys) than one and often plays the role of a fort-monastery. The Mongols plundered the monastery in the middle of the 17th century. In the 19th century, it again suffered three brutal attacks. The successive trails of destruction and patch-up jobs have resulted in a haphazard growth of box-like structures, and the complex now resembles a defensive fort.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7749 W: 324 N: 15577] (54909)
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