Dhankar is a small village in the remote spiti valley, a part of tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti in state of Himachal Pradesh. The lives of locals is definitely tough here but the smile you see on the faces of small children and elders alike will make you realize, how easily they have taken up on the harsh realities of life in these remote mountains where even smiling takes an effort, considering the fact that temperatures dip down to -30 degree in winters.
Perched at an altitude of 12744 feet, Dhankar is a refreshing break from Kaza, especially if you wish to explore the village life of Spiti. Thankfully, the village has some homestays where you can get accommodation from Rs 700- Rs 2,000 depending upon season, amenities and your negotiation skills. Living with locals has some distinct advantages and you will get to enjoy local cuisine which your hosts will lovingly prepare for you.
There is a lot to do in Dhankar. You can just sit and relax or put your hiking boots and embark on a journey with us.
Panoramic view of Dhankar
Early morning you can climb a small hillock to get panoramic view of the village. Dhankar monastery is located at such an amazing height that you will get an awesome view of the entire village from this spot.
Even some of the homestays are located at a scenic point and you will get a splendid view of monastery from your window. So, choose with care and enjoy your day in this lazy village.
Trek to Dhankar Lake
Acclimatization is the keywords at high altitude. As the lake lies 2-2.5 Km further up from Dhankar, it is advisable that you should remain in Dhankar village for a day before climbing further up. The hike can be done in 1.5 to 2 hours if you go by a leisurely pace. Try to do it early morning or at evening time as sun is harsh during daytime and you will not only get sunburn but the real excitement of being in nature also reduces during afternoon. If you are in love with nature, a trek to Dhankar lake is highly recommended.
Light a butter lamp in Dhankar Monastery
Dhankar monastery is a marvel in itself. The murals and the wood work are worth watching. However, it is one of the few monasteries which have been made out of stone. This means that you can light a butter lamp in the monastery. It is said that wishes come true, if you do so. Do not forget to relish the Nutella pancake which is served in the monastery.
Ideally, 1-2 days are enough to explore Dhankar if you wish to experience the rural life of this sleepy village in Kaza region.
Spiti has a lot to offer to any avid traveller and when in this region, you should definitely keep some time for a visit to Dhankar. The experience is worth trying and remembering too!