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Dhankar Monastery

Dhankar Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located 24 km from Kaza in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Built nearly one thousand years ago, the monastery serves the eastern part of central Spiti. Dhankar is a big village and was the capital of the Spiti Kingdom in the 17th century. There are about 100 Lamas in Dhankar Monastery, in position of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti language.

Perched at the altitude of 12774 feet above sea level, the Dhankar monastery belongs to the Gelugspa School of order. The monastery serves as the residence of over 150 monks. There is also a collection of various crumbling 'thangka' sculptures in the monastery. The prime figure adorning the monastery is a statue of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha). Comprising of 4 complete figures seated back-to-back, it has relics in the form of paintings and sculptures.

 

There are various places of interest near the Dhankar Monastery. Placed on the south of the monastery is a national park, which is home to exotic faunal species like the snow leopard. Set majestically on a clay hill above Shichilling village is the grand Dhankar Castle. Below the Castle a new monastery has been constructed. Around 2 km behind the Dhankar village is a natural lake at about 13500 feet.

The Dhankar Monastery can be reached easily by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is at Shimla, while the closest railhead is at Kalka. You can avail of buses, jeeps, and taxis from Shimla and Rampur to reach the monastery conveniently.