HistoryThe magnificent Kye Gompa is said to have been founded by Dromton (Brom-ston, 1008-1064 CE), a pupil of the famous teacher, Atisha, in the 11th century. The monastery was frequently attacked by the Mongols and looted by various armies, followed by a devastating fire that broke open in the 1840s. In 1975 a violent earthquake caused further damage to the building. However, the repeated attacks did not steal the charm of this dazzling monastery and frequent renovation and reconstruction has helped it retain its beauty.
Once this monastery was a wonderful example of the monastic architecture that came into prominence during the 14th century because of Chinese influence. The walls of the monastery are decorated with beautiful paintings and murals, thangkas (a painted or embroidered Tibetan banner), valuable manuscripts, stucco images, and unique wind instruments. There is also a collection of weapons used as a defense to fight against the attackers.
HighlightsAround the month of June and July, the Kye monastery celebrates a festival, in which the Chaam dancers are followed by a procession by lamas who reaches the ritual ground below the monastery to perform dance. A large butter sculpture of a demon is set on fire and the devotees lays themselves down on the route, so that the lamas can walk over them as a part of a ritual.