Keylong, viewed from Kardang Monastery
|District||Lahaul and Spiti|
|Elevation||3,080 m (10,100 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Keylong (or Kyelong or Kyelang) is the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, 126 km (78 mi) north of Manali and 120 km (75 mi) from the Indo-Tibetan border. It is located along the Manali-Leh Highway, about 7 km (4.3 mi) north-east of intersection of the Chandra Valley, the Bhaga Valley, and the Chenab Valley; on the banks of Bhaga River.
Sights and festivals
Sights near Keylong include the Kardang, Shasur, and Tayul monasteries, all within a few kilometres of Keylong. There is also a small temple dedicated to the local deity Kelang Wazir in the house of Shri Nawang Dorje that may be visited upon arrangement.
The annual Lahaul Festival is held here each July with a big, busy market and a number of cultural activities.
Keylong is the district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district and is home to most of the government offices and facilities in Lahaul, and also hosts a regular bazaar.
There are some tourist facilities including a Circuit House, a Public Works Department (PWD) Rest House, a Sainik (Army) Rest House, a Tourist Bungalow, and a number of small hotels.
Keylong is accessed from Manali by Manali-Leh Highway, a part of NH21. It is located about 125 km (78 mi) north of Manali. It is located at an altitude of 3,080 m (10,100 ft) and cut off from the outside world from October-end to mid-May due to heavy snowfall at Rohtang Pass that closes the pass during the winter.
The peak travel season is during May and June when a lot of tourists visit Rohtang pass. There are enough buses in summer season from manali. The time taken is 4 to 10 hours depending upon the condition of the road (that sometimes becomes too slippery because of snowfall) and traffic jam that occurs at Rohtang pass and Beas nallah near Marhi. It is advisable to cross Rohtang pass before 8 am.
After crossing Rohtang pass 51 km (32 mi) away, one has to descend almost the same distance that one had to ascend from Manali. After crossing Rohtang, the first village is Gramphu at 25 km (16 mi) where one has to turn left to go to Sissu 25 km (16 mi) away, then continue to Tandi 8 km (5.0 mi) away, and then right to reach Keylong.
Due to the military significance of Leh-Manali highway and the need to keep it open the entire year, the Indian government began building the $320 million 8.5 km (5.3 mi) long horseshoe shaped Rohtang Tunnel project in 2010 to bypass Rohtang pass to create a much safer and faster year-around link to Keylong. The tunnel will also shorten the distance by about 50 km (31 mi) and reduce the travel time between the southern and northern faces of Rohtang pass by five hours. While it now takes 4 to 6 hours to ascend, negotiate and descend the Rohtang pass, it will take only about 30 minutes to travel through the Rohtang tunnel.
- Polgreen, Lydia "India Digs Under Top of the World to Match Rival". New York Times. Accessed July 31, 2010.