Keylong is located along the Manali–Leh road, at the intersection of the Chandra Valley, the Bhaga Valley, and the Chenab Valley. Sights near Keylong include the Kardang, Shasur, and Tayul monasteries, as well as the Hindu Guru Ghantal temple.
Keylong is the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The region is strange, exciting, primitive mountainous and delightful. Rudyard Kipling said of the region “Surely the God live here this no place for men.” The route to Lahaul takes a traveler over Rohtang Pass (3980 ml), Koksar (1st village of Lahaul) Sissu, Gondla and crossing the river Chandra Bhaga at Tandi. Keylong is cut off from the outside world from November to June, due to heavy snowfall.
Tourist attractions of Keylong
Triloknath temple – The famous Triloknath shrine has been revered by both Hindus and Buddhists for centuries. This is primarily a Buddhist place of worship situated on the left bank of the Chenab River, high above the bed. A good branch road from the Tandi-Udaipur road leads to Triloknath.Prayer flags that seem to always flutter in the cold mountain air adorn the approach to the shrine. The massive structure has been built in traditional Lahauli style using stones and timber. Thousands of pilgrims visit Triloknath every year.
Tandi – The hamlet of Tandi is situated at the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers, which merge to form the Chandra-Bhaga or Chenab River. The roads from Tandi lead to Keylong, Udaipur and Koksar. There are many villages near Tandi which offer excellent opportunities for learning about the unique cultural setting of the Lahaul Valley.
Udaipur – 53 km from Keylong, home of the Mrikula Devi Temple, which is famous for wood carvings. This sub-divisional headquarters is situated at the junction of the mighty Mayar nullah with the main river Chandrabhaga. earlier this village was known as Margul or Markul. Around 1695 it was renamed Udaipur when Raja Udai Singh of Chamba (1690-172’8) raised it to the status of a district centre in the Chamba-Lahaul which his father Chatter Singh had annexed to his Chamba state.
Sissu village – This village is situated on the right bank of the river Chandra at an altitude of 3130m. The village is located on a broad flat ground above the Chandra river. Good plantations of willows and poplars on both sides of the road are so dense during summers that at places even the sun rays fail to penetrate. The terraces are green with potato, peas, barley and buck wheat. Wild roses of white, yellow and red hues with expanses of alpine flowers deck the slopes in an unforgettable feast of colours.
Gondla Village – Around 18 km from Keylong, this village of the Lahaul valley has some royal heritage as its prime attraction. The eight storeyed residence of the thakur of Gondla called the Gondla Castle or fort was constructed in the 17th century. There is also a gompa in this village which attracts a number of people, specially during the fair celebrated in the month of June.
Khardong Gompa – This gompa was established in the 12th century by the Gelukpa order. It has a big statue of the Buddha, some nice paintings, some old prayer drums and a library with ancient manuscripts in it. Khardong is the former capital of Lahaul. On the other side of the Bhaga River is a path that comes here.
Shashur Gompa – This gompa, 3km from Keylong, belongs to the Gelukpa order and is dedicated to a Zanskari lama. It was built in the 16th century and it has a famous 5m long thangka. It has an important festival in June or July, which is known for its mask dancing.
Jispa – This beautiful spot is 22 kms away from Keylong and 4 kms ahead of Ghemur. The village is situated at the junction of two nullahs with the main river Bhaga. Jispa has a very large dry river-bed, a rarity in Lahaul. Juust on the edge of the river Bhaga is a small PWD rest house. Near this the river is shallow and plenty of trout fish can be caught during summers. The place is virtually an angler’s delight. Good juniper plantation is around this village.
Adventure in Keylong
The hills and valleys at Keylong are perfect locations for rock climbing, mountaineering, trekking, skiing and fishing. Several Mountaineering Institutes organise yearly competitions for the same.
Shopping in Keylong
Keylong is famous for fruits, rugs (namdas), footwear, tweeds, shawls, natural oils (olive and almond), metal craft, silver jewellery, bamboo products, woolen jackets and pullovers.
Best time to Visit
Best time to travel Keylong is between June to October.
How to reach
By Air – Nearest airport is Bhunter, 175 km from Keylong.
By Rail – The nearest railhead is at Jogindernagar, 250 km away.
By Road – By road the distance is 115 km from Manali, 188 km from Kaza, 373 km from Leh, 435 km from Chandigarh and 690 km from Delhi.
Bed and breakfast
There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels. The Chander Bhaga Hotel is good Hotel in Keylong.