Exploring Keylong: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

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Located in the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, Keylong, the district headquarters and the largest town in the entire district, is a destination that promises an unforgettable travel experience. Known for its picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and tranquil ambience, Keylong offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure. This comprehensive travel guide aims to provide all the information you need to plan a perfect trip to Keylong, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this enchanting town.

Overview of Keylong as a Travel Destination

Keylong, the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti District, is an ideal destination for travellers seeking a mix of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and adventure. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and green valleys, though the vegetation here is thin compared to Manali-Kullu region, Keylong offers breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere. The town is a gateway to many high-altitude treks and road trips, making it a popular spot for both nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Significance of Keylong in the Lahaul and Spiti District

Keylong holds a strategic position in the Lahaul and Spiti District due to its administrative importance and its role as a transit hub for travellers. It serves as a crucial link between Manali and Leh, making it an essential stop for those embarking on the adventurous journey along the Manali-Leh highway. The town also provides essential services and amenities to the surrounding villages, acting as a central point for trade and communication.

How to Reach Keylong


From Delhi : Distance and Travel Options

Travellers can now enjoy a shorter journey from Delhi to Keylong. The distance is approximately 575 km via the new four-lane Kiratpur-Sundernagar Expressway, which bypasses Swarghat and Bilaspur entirely. This new route saves travellers about 50 km compared to the older route. The most common travel options include buses, cars, and bikes. HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) operates regular bus services from Delhi to Manali, which is a convenient and economical choice. Travellers headed to Keylong from Delhi have several options. Numerous private buses travel directly between Delhi and Manali, which is just 100-odd kilometres from Keylong. Once in Manali, you can easily reach Keylong by HRTC bus, private taxi, or your own vehicle, enjoying the scenic route. For a more direct option, a public bus operated by Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) runs from Delhi’s Kashmiri Gate directly to Leh, Ladakh, passing through Keylong.

From Manali : Distance and Scenic Route

The distance from Manali to Keylong is about 110 kilometres, though Google map may show a shorter distance. The journey is a visual treat, offering stunning views of snow-capped peaks, lush green valleys, and the flowing Chandra River. The route includes the famous Atal Tunnel (Rohtang Tunnel), which adds to the adventure.

Bus Services and Travel Tips

HRTC operates frequent bus services from Manali to Keylong. HRTC has also started an electric bus service between the two towns.  The journey takes around 3-4 hours. The bus timings can be checked from the HRTC counter. However, the electric bus service timings are 1200 pm.  

From Kaza : Distance and Travel Tips

Kaza is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti.  The distance from Kaza to Keylong is approximately 185 kilometres. The journey through the Spiti Valley is a thrilling experience, featuring rugged landscapes and high-altitude passes like Kunzum Pass. Private taxis and shared cabs are available for this route.

Leh to Keylong Distance

The distance from Leh to Keylong is about 350 kilometres. This route passes through some of the most spectacular landscapes of the Trans-Himalayan region, including the famous Baralacha Pass.

Kullu to Keylong Distance

The distance from Kullu to Keylong is approximately 165 kilometres. The route follows the Beas River passing through Manali, Solang Valley, Atal Tunnel, Sissu, Gondla, Tandi Pull and finally reaching Keylong.  The entire route offers picturesque views of the Kullu and Lahaul Valley.


Shimla to Keylong Distance

The distance from Shimla to Keylong is about 325 km approx. This journey takes you through the charming towns of Jutogh, Dharlaghat, Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi, Kullu and Manali, offering glimpses of traditional Himachali culture.

Sissu to Keylong

Sissu, located just 30 kilometres from Keylong, is another beautiful spot to explore. The short drive offers splendid views of waterfalls and the Chandra River.

Travelling to Leh from Keylong

Keylong serves as an important stop on the Manali-Leh highway. The route to Leh from Keylong is dotted with high mountain passes and breathtaking landscapes, making it a popular choice for bikers and road trip enthusiasts.

Geographical Features

Keylong is situated at an altitude of 3,080 meters (10,104 feet) above sea level. The high altitude provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys but also requires acclimatization for visitors arriving from lower elevations. The Keylong Valley is a verdant paradise, surrounded by towering peaks, and waterfalls with the Bhaga river flowing nearby. The valley is perfect for nature walks, picnics, and photography, offering serene spots to relax and enjoy the tranquillity.

Historical and Cultural Sites

Keylong, Lahaul & Spiti is home to several ancient monasteries, each with its own unique history and cultural significance. Visiting these monasteries provides a glimpse into the region’s rich spiritual heritage and architectural beauty.

Kardang Monastery

Kardang Monastery, situated on the left bank of the Bhaga River, is one of the most prominent monasteries in the Lahaul Valley. Dating back to the 12th century, it is the largest and most significant monastery of the Drukpa sect in Lahaul. The monastery houses a vast collection of ancient Buddhist scriptures, thangkas, and murals. The serene location and the peaceful ambience of Kardang Monastery make it a perfect spot for meditation and reflection.

Shashur Monastery

Shashur Monastery, located about 3 kilometres from Keylong, is known for its impressive architecture and vibrant festivals. Founded in the 17th century by Lama Deva Gyatso, it belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is famous for its annual Chham dance festival, which attracts numerous visitors. The three-storey monastery houses beautiful murals, paintings, and statues of Buddhist deities, offering a rich cultural experience.

Tayul Monastery

Tayul Monastery, perched on a hill overlooking the Bhaga Valley, is approximately 6 kilometres from Keylong. Established in the 17th century, it is one of the oldest monasteries in the region and belongs to the Drugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tayul Monastery is renowned for its magnificent statue of Guru Padmasambhava and its ancient library containing rare scriptures. The tranquil surroundings and the monastery’s spiritual significance make it a must-visit attraction in Keylong.

Other Attractions Nearby

Baralacha Pass

Located at a distance of about 70 kilometres from Keylong, Baralacha Pass (Bara Lacha La) is a high-altitude pass located at a height of 4850m (19910ft) connecting Lahaul to Ladakh. The pass is known for its stunning vistas and is a favourite among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. This pass connects Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh, the UT in India.


Jispa, situated just 22 kilometres from Keylong, is a charming village known for its scenic beauty and tranquil environment. Located at an altitude of 3,200 meters, Jispa serves as a popular stopover for travellers journeying along the Manali-Leh highway. The village is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, featuring verdant meadows, crystal-clear streams, and towering snow-capped peaks. Jispa offers a peaceful retreat with its serene environment and traditional wooden houses, providing an authentic Himalayan experience. The village is also a starting point for several treks and outdoor activities, making it a hub for adventure enthusiasts. With its picturesque landscape and tranquil ambience, Jispa is a perfect destination for those looking to experience the pristine beauty of the Himalayas.


Sissu, also known as Khagling, is a picturesque village located in the Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh, along the banks of the Chandra River. Located just 30 km towards Manali, at an altitude of about 3,120 meters, Sissu offers a breathtaking panorama of lush green fields, snow-capped peaks, and cascading waterfalls. One of the village’s main attractions is the Sissu Waterfall, also known as the ‘Heart of Sissu,’ which tumbles down from the high mountains, creating a spectacular sight, especially during the summer months. Sissu is also known for its serene ambience and traditional wooden houses, making it an ideal spot for travellers seeking tranquillity and a glimpse of rural Himalayan life. The newly constructed Atal Tunnel has made Sissu more accessible, transforming it into a convenient stopover for travellers heading towards Leh or exploring the remote valleys of Lahaul and Spiti. Sissu has also emerged as a new tourist destination with the availability of various hotels, guest houses and homestays.


Gondla is a quaint village in the Lahaul Valley, situated at an altitude of approximately 3,160 meters, along the Manali-Leh highway and just 15 km of equidistance from both Sissu and Keylong. The village is renowned for its historical significance and architectural marvels, particularly the ancient Gondla Fort. This fort, built in the 17th century, is a seven-story wooden structure that offers a fascinating insight into the traditional architecture and rich cultural heritage of the region. Gondla is surrounded by lush green fields and majestic mountains, providing a serene and scenic environment for visitors. Gondla’s tranquil setting, coupled with its historical and cultural significance, makes it a unique destination in the Lahaul and Spiti region.


Trilokinath, a revered pilgrimage site located in the Pattan Valley of Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh is 45 km from the Keylong.  The village is home to the ancient Trilokinath Temple, which is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, features a six-armed white marble statue and showcases a unique blend of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles. Perched at an altitude of 2,760 meters, Trilokinath offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The annual Pori Festival, celebrated with great fervor in the month of August, attracts numerous devotees and tourists, adding to the village’s cultural significance. Trilokinath’s spiritual ambience, combined with its stunning natural beauty, makes it a must-visit destination for those exploring the Lahaul and Spiti regions.


Udaipur, formerly known as Markul, is an old-world town in the Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty. Located on the banks of the Chandrabhaga river and only 12 km from Trilokinath at an altitude of 2,743 meters, Udaipur is home to the famous Mrikula Devi Temple, a wooden temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. The temple is known for its exquisite wood carvings and intricate architecture, reflecting the unique artistry of the region. Udaipur, surrounded by lush green forests and majestic mountains, offers a serene retreat for travellers seeking tranquillity and natural beauty. The town also serves as a base for various trekking routes, especially in the Miyar Nallah and outdoor activities, making it a favourite among adventure enthusiasts. Udaipur’s blend of cultural richness and picturesque landscapes makes it a compelling destination in the Lahaul and Spiti districts.


Keylong is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the raw beauty of the Himalayas. From its serene valleys and high-altitude passes to its rich cultural heritage and adventure opportunities, Keylong has something to offer every traveller. Whether you are seeking tranquillity, adventure, or a deeper connection with nature, Keylong is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Plan your trip today and discover the hidden treasures of this Himalayan paradise.

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