Dhankar means "a place in the mountains unreachable for
strangers", situated about 25-kms. east of Kaza and serves eastern
part of central Spiti. It is a big village and erstwhile capital of Spiti
Kingdom. On top of a hill there is a fort, which use to be the prison in
Looking up towards the Dhankar monastery from a distance, it appears as if huge cardboard boxes have been fixed with great care on the vertical face of the rocky cliff. As one reaches closer to the place, the boxes turn into monk's chambers, temples and store rooms, built on seven levels in a staggered order over the rough and uneven surface of the weathered rocks. The boxes are linked by passages and corridors cut into the rock-face.
The Dhankar Monastery has about 100 Lamas and is in position of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti language. The principal figure is a statue of "Vairochana" or DhayanBuddha consisting of 4 complete figures seated back to back. It has relics in the shape of paintings and sculptures.
Dhankar Monastery: Perched literally on a razor's edge, Dhankar monastery defies logic. Stunning Dhankar was once the seat of power of Spiti. The Dhankar gompa is situated on a hilltop at 3,890 metres, an arduous climb from the main road, and is known for its splendid figure of Buddha. It dates back to the 1500s and some even say that previously a fort. more...
Lhakang Gompa: the main interest lies in the small chapel on the uppermost peak behind the village Dhankar, the Lhakang Gompa, with its brilliant murals depicting the life of the Buddha. The Lha-hod-pai Lhakhang is enshrining an image of Padmapani. There are several old and new 'thankhas' suspended from the ceiling. From the eastern window of this temple a panoramic view of the valley and mountain ranges is visible.
Lha Opa Gompa: Dhankar is the home of another monastery associated with the Great Translator, Rinchen Zangpo. Set against a lunar landscape of crumbling cliffs, the Lha Gompa dates back to the 12th century. Standing on the rock in front of this temple one instinctively feels like soaring in the sky.
Lake: Situated at about 13,500 ft., a foot track about 2.5-km from the village takes one to the lake. The Fisheries Department has developed the 'common trap' variety fish in the lake and it's the perfect camping site with boating facilities too.
the nearest airport.
Rail: Nearest rail heads Shimla narrow gauge Kalka broad gauge.
Road: Dhankar is not on a bus route so one has to arrange their own transport or walk from the main road, which is 9-km.away from Dhankar.
The nearest government house is situated at Poh about 21-km from Dhankar village.
From April to October Dhankar has a temperate climate and light woollens are recommended for early mornings and evenings. Night temperatures are low and the area can be quite windy too.