September 24, 2021

A visit to DHANKAR Lake & Monastery


Visited date during Lahaul & Spiti valley trip: 14th July 2013

About the place:

  1. Dhankar village: Dhankar Gompa (also Drangkhar or Dhangkar Gompa; Brang-mkhar or Grang-mkhar) is a Gompa, a Buddhist temple in the district of Lahaul and Spiti in India. It is situated at an elevation of 3,894 metres (12,774 feet) in the Spiti Valley between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. The complex is built on a 1000-foot (300-metre) high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers – one of the world’s most spectacular settings for a gompa. Dhang or dang means cliff, and kar or khar means fort. Hence Dhangkar means fort on a cliff.                                                                                                             Source:
  2. Lhalung monastery: Lhalung Monastery, Lhalung Monastery or Lalung Monastery (also known as the Sarkhang or Golden Temple), was one of the earliest monasteries founded in Spiti, Himachel Pradesh, India, by the great Tibetan Buddhist lotswa (translator), Rinchen Zangpo, the king of western Himalayan Kingdom of Guge during the late 10th century CE. The altitude of the neighbouring village of Lhalun is 3,658 metres (12,001 feet).                                               Source:

Day in brief:

It was sunday and our plan for the day is to visit Dhankar lake in the morning then monastery afterwards.

All of us started towards Dhankar lake at 9:00 AM in the morning. It was 1 and half Kms. trek from village which took us to the lake. Reached lake within 1 hour and it was pleasant walk for us in the valley. We kept lot of expectations about this lake but returned with huge disappointment. Lake was literally dried and not much water in the lake.

BGBTD HP Dhankar lake 1
Literally dried down! Disappointment 🙁
BGBTD HP Dhankar lake 2
Experimenting with my camera…

After spending nearly 90 minutes at the lake, all of us got back towards village. Myself, Achintya and Pratap along with guide visited the old monastery others got back to guest house.

BGBTD HP Dhankar old monastery
Dhankar old monastery
BGBTD HP Dhankar new monastery
Dhankar new monastery

After having lunch at Dhankar guest house, around 3:00 PM started towards Lhalung village which is our trek starting point in Spiti. Meantime Uttam, Govind and Sree sudir decided to move Manali. Now group of 8 is divided into two. 5 of us decided to go according to the plan so we got down at Lhalung village for the trek and others left for the Manali with driver sachin.

A visit to Lhalung monastery:
Visited Lhalung monastery once we reached the Lhalung village.

BGBTD HP Lhalung monastery

We did overnight stay in one home stay at Lhalung village.

Distance from Dhankar to Lhalung village: 12 Kms.

Note: If anyone is interested in trekking he/she can trek from Dhankar to Lhalung village on jeep trail. It is 4 hrs. of trek.

Main attractions during the day:

  1. Dhankar lake
  2. Dhankar old and new monastery
  3. Lhalung monastery
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