Dhankar, Spiti – the Heights that will make your heart go boom!!!

Tickling the travel bug with an offbeat treasure between Tabo and Kaza, Spiti Valley

Indian Bloggers

Also featured in “Tangy Picks” on Blogadda

Our visit to Tabo village had left us excited and yearning for more. After visiting the Tabo Gompa and taking a short walk in Tabo village we were ready to continue our 11 days Trans Himalayan voyage.

We began driving towards Kaza around 11 am (though our next stop was Dhankar); thankfully the road was straight and real smooth. The sun out there was bright enough to give us serious tan however the wind was chilly. And it was super windy!!!

Road to Tabo1

Take me wherever these roads go!!

Beautiful! Beautiful! Journey

Spiti River was accompanying us religiously; it looked so pristine and blue. We couldn’t hold back our excitement and decided to go closer and feel the water. We really wanted to stay more but the ruthless Sun and our restless Baby boy pushed us to drive further.

Spiti River.jpg

Pristine waters of Spiti River glorified by bright blue sky!!

The Entrance

It’s hard to miss the road to Dhankar; it’s beautiful and quite evident.

The Ascend

This is the ‘BEST’ part of visiting Dhankar. The magnificent views that your eyes witness will fill your heart with excitement beyond ordinary. There are many turns on this road and the views keep changing with every turn leaving one with great expectations.

Ashish Dhankar.jpg

Ashish taking a quick break and enjoying the wind!! He deserved all the breaks after all he was the one driving throughout. The challenging and strenuous roads are nothing less than tight rope walk more so when there is a 11 months old little baby in a tow!!

As an encore the car keeps shaking most of the time owing to strong wind.

Road to Dhankar

There it is!! The picturesque Dhankar Village

Places to be visited

One peculiar thing about Spiti Valley is that it’s not really about sightseeing but more about enjoying the journey, adrenaline rush and spectacular nature.

Mostly at all the destinations you will find a Monastery (Gompa) and/or a Fort accompanied by amazing history and legends.

Dhankar- The Intriguing History!!

Dhankar stands tall at an altitude of 12,774 feet. Dhang/dang means cliff, and kar/khar means fort. Hence, the fort on a cliff is popularly known as ‘Dhankar’. The confluence of Spiti & Pin Rivers from this height is incredible!!!

Dhankar houses a 16th century old fort monastery; however one can see the new monastery now in the tiny village of Shichilling. The old monastery complex is also known as Lha-O-pa Gompa; it has five different halls and includes a number of multi-storied buildings. Don’t miss out on the Lhakhang Gompa – the Monastery of the followers of Lha-O, famous lama who was born in 1121. The highlight of the monastery is the a statue of Vairochana or Dhayan Buddha with 4 figures seated back to back.

Dhankar served as the ancient capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom in the 17th century. The Nonos, the former rulers of Spiti, chose this strategic high altitude village for competent control. The legends say that the monastery has also served as a prison in the former era.

The monastery is associated with Gelukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism and has around 150 lamas residing in it.

Dhankar Landscape

What a gorgeous combination of chocolate dipped descending terrains and ice capped mountains!!! @Dhankar, Spiti Valley

The monasteries in Spiti Valley are mostly locked (at least in April they most certainly are) but the Monk usually opens it up on request for the visit. And sometimes the Monk will happily give you a tour explaining all the details about idols, scriptures, artifacts. We were not so lucky at Dhankar but at Tabo Gompa we met a super friendly Monk who spent so much time clarifying our doubts about Buddhism and Tibetan religion and culture.


Landscape view of Dhankar, Spiti Valley

Dhankar Gompa / Monastery is declared as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world by World Monuments Fund in 2006. The ceilings and walls mostly made of wood are in dilapidated condition yet the beauty is eternal.

If you liked reading about Dhankar, then this might interest you too –

The Epic Road Trip to Spiti Valley

Totally Tabo-ed!!!

Sarahan – Abode of Goddess Bhimalkali

Majestic Mountain Range at Kalpa!!!

Happy Exploring!!

Cheers, Untraveled Routes
Categories: India, Offbeat Travel, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Post navigation

44 thoughts on “Dhankar, Spiti – the Heights that will make your heart go boom!!!

  1. Great photos! I’d love to visit there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These places are mesmerising and mystic. Loved the pictures. I am sure the experience of travelling there is beyond words. Great post!


  3. Very interesting history of the monastery! I hope to get there some day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. afarawayhome

    Wow, this looks so bleak and windy and cool. The parts of the Himalayas I visited were very different – lots of trees, practically tropical. Does it get like this when you go higher?


    • Spiti Valley is one incredible region that doesn’t feel like the ordinary Himalayas. It’s cold desert valley with rocky mountains. This was our first visit and we too were really surprised when the lush greens transformed to rocky rugged structures as we approached Spiti Valley. It’s brutal but most beautiful!! Thanks for the visit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are planning for long to visit there. No luck till date…hopefully, someday…

    Wonderful pictures and great to know about the monasteries…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mind blowing, mesmerizing…the place and the captures.awesome read.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post, Amazing pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such an amazing place!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just beyond words, already on my list of places for must-see 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Charu,
    You have been featured in Tangy Tuesday Picks on September 6, 2016.

    Team BlogAdda

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sayanti aka Shine

    Amazing landscapes. The first one is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So beautiful. We are planning this drive this October. Already looking forward to it…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Gue, Spiti – Abode of 550 years old Mummified Monk!! | Untraveled Routes

  15. Equipping The Saints

    Thank you for your like of my posts; you are very kind.


  16. Pingback: Spiti, Revisited. | Untraveled Routes

  17. Wow! I’m speechless. The beauty of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: 7 reasons why road trip to Spiti will leave you spoiled !!! | Untraveled Routes

  19. Pingback: Dhankar, Spiti – the Heights that will make your heart go boom!!! — Untraveled Routes – The Punk Rock Hobo

  20. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsYour journey looks amazing!
    Would love to visit some day…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: An epic road trip to Spiti Valley, the Land of Lamas in India | Untraveled Routes

  22. Pingback: Totally Tabo-ed!!! | Untraveled Routes

  23. Pingback: Best of Spiti – In Pictures | Untraveled Routes

  24. Pingback: The Wonderland is YOU!!! | Untraveled Routes

  25. maristravels

    Stupendous! More, more!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: