Gue village - Home to a monk's mummy

Gue is a very small border village in Northern India in Himalayas. It is situated deep in a valley at an altitude of around 3000 meters above sea level in Spiti valley of Lahaul & Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. The Gue is an border sensitive area with India-China border just few Kilometers away. It was not really a tourist place until recent discovery of a mummy of a monk called Sangha Tenzin in 1975 Spiti Earthquake. It was discovered by the road construction workers when Earthquake broke opened its tomb and the road. But it was kept hidden from the world by locals and the ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) till early 2000s. Today the Mummy Lama is placed inside a glass box in a small 10×10 feet room on a hilltop above Gue Village. The Gue village has presence of Indian Army, but today it’s very easy to get into the village and see the mummy. The Gue village is 82 kms and 47 kms from Kaza and Nako lake respectively.

The carbon dating on mummy showed that the mummy is 550 to 600 years old, but according to locals it is much older than 600 years. The Gue Lama mummy is India’s one and only mummy. Monk Sangha Tenzin gave up his life during meditation to save the village from the rise in Scorpion problem. According to locals, when Sangha Tenzin soul’s left his body a rainbow appeared in the sky and all the scorpions disappeared from the village.

The mummy still has most of the skin on the body, also the hair, teeth and fingernails. Spiti and gue people still worship the mummy of Sangha Tenzin and seek his blessings.

The Gue mummy is naturally preserved, and has no chemicals used in preservation.

The cold and remote habitat of Spiti helps in its preservation over the period. Today the mummy is placed inside a glass box in a small single room temple. A new bigger temple is under construction just next to it. The mummy is only available for viewing during summertime and few festive occasions.

Mummy of a monk

The Gue is 82 kms from the Kaza of Spiti Valley and 47 kms from Nako lake of Kinnaur. If you are Coming from Kinnaur side towards Kaza then you’ve to stop at Sumdo Checkpoint just 3 kms before the intersection for Gue village. Here if you are Indian then you just simply have to enter your vehicle number, number of person, where you’ve come from and where are you heading and in some case ID  proof, but if you’re a foreign national then you’ve to submit a copy of ILP (Inner Line Permit) which you must obtain from the DM office of Rekong Peo or SDM office Rampur. Now you are officially in Spiti Valley, Continue for 3 kms on Sumdo – Kaza road than one have to cross a small bridge on Gue Nullah and take the right side 8 kms long link road to Gue Village.

If you are visiting it from Kaza and Tabo, Gue village is 82 kms from Kaza and 34 kms from Tabo. You’ll not be needing any sort of permit for Gue village. There are no buses for Gue village but bus can drop you to Gue link road gate, from here on wait for a lift in a passing by car or simply go for trek. Hire a taxi, motorcycle, and bike from Kaza, you can also share a taxi if you are on low budget.

There are no hotels in Gue village, only a couple of Homestay options for a night stay in Gue. The best option is to stay at Tabo or Kaza and come for a day visit to Gue Village. A day at Gue is enough for someone as the village has nothing more to offer despite the mummy lama, beautiful vistas of village and a feeling of being so close to Indo-China Border.

Our all Spiti motorcycle tours include this place in the itinerary. Contact us to know more.

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