While we were driving into #Tabo, I had noticed a cave high and mid-way up the mountains across the main road. And then I noticed another and another.
Later as I was exploring the monastery, by force of habit I looked up at the mountains around and I noticed the caves again, this time I could see that they were a series of planned caves. Turns out that these caves were part of the ancient monastery, used as dwellings by the monks.
Naturally, I had to climb and see for myself, and so we went up, me trudging all the way, hauling my tired legs up one stumble at a time. But am mighty glad I did. The caves were of different sizes, one had an entry chamber, a sleeping hollow and a kitchen of sorts with shelves. Another had just a single large cave. Yet another had two caves side by side. Inside, the caves had glossy soot all over the ceilings – presumably to keep the cave warm apart from a lot of cooking being done in them caves.
There was a clear view of the Tabo monastery from the caves, and an even better view of the village and valley if you climbed higher above the caves.