One of the most beautiful things that Spiti Valley has to offer its visitors is Dhankar Lake. The valley is located in the north eastern part of the country between Tibet and India. Over the years it has been attracting adventurists from all over the world as it shares the best trekking landscape in India. Dhankar Lake is perched on the top of Gompa and is a 45-minute trek from its namesake village.
The trek starts near the Dhankar Monastery which is a site to visit in itself. It later follows a steep and narrow path showcasing the magnificent mountainside and glimpses of the monastery from above. Although, Chandratal is one of the most popular tourist spots in Spiti Valley. But if you are looking for a quaint little place to gain some eternal peace, then Dhankar Lake is your place.
Best Time to Visit
Spiti Valley is a cold desert which is why avoiding winters months for your travel plans is highly recommended. The best time to visit Dhankar Lake is between May to October which is considered to be summertime in the region. Although, you may still find it a little chilly compared to other parts of the country. The temperature can be anywhere between 0 to 15 degrees during the summer months which is way lower than usual.
Since Dhankar Lake is situated in the mountains there are limited ways to reach the destination. The nearest airport to Dhankar is in Kullu whereas the nearest railway station is in Shimla. You may even drive down to the location as there are various taxis and cabs available for tourists. However, the last thousand feet can only be completed on foot.
Things to Remember
While planning the perfect trip to Dhankar Lake, there are a few things that you might want to consider beforehand. The terrain of the region is known for short duration trekking. However, you still need to climb more than a 1000 feet on foot which is why having the ideal trekking gear is a must. These items can include new shoes, waterproof jackets, a pair of gloves, woolen socks, trekking stick, emergency kits, extra water bottles, etc.
Other Local Attractions
1. Key Monastery
Key Monastery is one of the biggest Buddhist learning centers in the Spiti Valley. It was built in the 11th century and is situated at an altitude of 13600 feet. The monastery is more than a 1000 years old and is home to around 350 lamas currently. It is known for offering a real insight into the Buddhist lifestyle along with a display of vintage murals and old weapons.
2. Tabo Monastery
The Tabo Monastery was established in the year 996 AD. The monastery is located in its namesake village at a whopping height of 3000 meters. In case you are looking to know more about Buddhism then this is a place to visit. It is known to preserve the legacy and culture of Buddhist history. The Tabo Monastery itself holds 9 different temples and 23 chortens.
3. Lhalung Monastery
It is the oldest monastery in the Spiti Valley. Lhalung was built in the 10th century and is known for its beautiful architecture. The exterior of the monastery resembles a fort, and the interiors are filled with magnificent paintings. The locals believe that the gods themselves have created the monastery in just one night.
4. Chandratal Lake
Last but surely not the least, another lake which is as popular as Dhankar is Chandratal. The lake is spread across an area of 2.5 km and is located at the height of 14000 feet above the sea level. Chandratal is entirely made of sweet water and is a famous camping ground for tourists that visit Spiti Valley.
We are sure that after reading all about Dhankar Lake and other local attractions of Spiti Valley you must be excited to visit. So, start planning your trip soon.
Featured Photo by njyo