Key Monastery (Kye Gompa) is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on picturesque hilltop at an altitude of 4,166 metres above sea level, close to the Spiti River, in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. The monastery has the distinction of being the oldest and the biggest in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India.
It is believed that the monastery is at least a thousand years old. It accommodates nearly 250 monks, who reside within the sacred walls in winter, and stay during the summer with their parents or brothers.
There are three floors, the first one is mainly underground and used for storage. One room, called the Tangyur is richly painted with murals. The ground floor has the beautifully decorated Assembly Hall and cells for many monks.
Key Monastery in Spiti Valley was a secluded place earlier, but now it has started getting a lot of attention from travellers around the world. Most of these travellers go there to meet the monks who stay in the monastery, especially the younger ones. They look very cute in their monk attire and are super amazing human beings living in a world within a world.
The main challenge was to travel to Spiti Valley and reach Key Monastery as Spiti valley’s terrain is quite a challenging one, even for the drivers with a lot of experience. Getting the permissions to shoot with the young monks was also important.
Elysian Studios planned the travel well, although they were slightly behind their schedule, but they somehow managed to reach on time. It is one of the best travel experiences of their lives. The people are extremely friendly and they helped the studio in every possible way whenever required.
When Elysian Studios reached their destination – Key Monastery, they met the cutest little monks. they got the necessary permissions and started shooting as per their schedule and became friends with them. They enjoyed a lot with them and they supported the production in every possible way. They gave Elysian Studios a lot of amazing candid shots which became a core part of their VR experience.
While going back, Elysian Studios shot a lot of beautiful, blissful and peaceful locations in Spiti Valley. This is one of the most serene locations on the Planet, they would like to encourage you to go there.
Initially, Elysian Studios wanted to start the VR experience with the shots of nature, which may take you in a state of bliss but since the experience was becoming too long. They decided to create two experiences instead. One is focusing on the life of little monks in Key Monastery and the other one focusing on the blissful locations in the Spiti Valley.
Key Monastery – A World Within A World is a VR experience that takes you into the beautiful monastery where you experience the life of the little monks.
The experience got shortlisted at Tampere Film Festival 2017 – Finland. The experience also got featured at various VR platforms. The VR experience has also inspired many travellers to go to the Spiti valley and Key Monastery, which has boosted the local economy.
STUDIO: Elysian Studios