a Fortress, a Monastery & a Lake

Meet Dhankar. A village, a Fortress, a Monastery & a Lake.

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Above the Dhankar Village, sit the Fortress and the Monastery, watching over the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers.

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This spectacular setting is what gives the place its name, Dhankar, meaning ‘Fort on a Cliff’.

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The village of Dhankar lies somewhere between Kaza and Tabo in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. At a height of 12,774 feet, looking over the village is the Dhankar Gompa, built like a fort, just like the Ki and Thiksey Monasteries.

Looking over the monastery is the Dhankar Fortress, which served as the traditional home of the royal family when Dhankar was the capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom in around the 17th century.

and, around 1.5km away from here is the Dhankar Lake.

Though the hike uphill felt more like 10kms, it did have me going over and over in my head “I climbed a mountain!!” :D.

(the views as I climbed..)

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By the time I got to the lake, I felt like I had finally achieved something for the first time in my life!

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Another first at a Himalayan Lake. The other being my first ever ‘night in a tent’ at the Chandratal Lake, amidst the Himalayas. and, also that it was my first time in the Himalayas!

Which is why these 2 lakes are my Top2 in The Lahaul & Spiti Valley and till today remain my most memorable ones.

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