Built at highest location in Spiti Valley, Dhankar Monastery is one of the five main Buddhist centres and tourist destinations in Spiti region. The ancient monastery is located in the erstwhile capital of Spiti of the 17-th century. The shared roots of Buddhism have flourished here and continue to draw visitors from all over the world.
The spectacular 1200-year-old Dhankar Gompa is perched quite unbelievably between weather-beaten rocky peaks on the edge of a cliff at an altitude of 12,774 feet. The monastery is listed as one of the world's 100 most endangered monuments.
Dhankar Gompa is nestled on a beautiful site. It offers panoramic view of the Spiti valley and the beautiful sight at the confluence of Spiti and Pin Rivers. The barren yet beautiful view of clusters of villages, rugged peaks and the blue skies is heart-stirring. The Gompa is remote and cut off from other parts of the country. Modernization has bypassed the region and it remains blissfully in the bygone era.
Dhankar Gompa is the second highest in the world after Ki Monastery and an important centre of Buddhist learning since the seventh century. The monastery was built approximately one thousand years ago. The monastery belongs to the Gelugspa Order of Tibetan Buddhism since the 1450s. Prior to this, the monastery was devoted to Nyingma-pa, Sakya-pa and Kagyu-pa, depending upon the religious allegiance of the King’s family. The new monastery has been constructed at Shichilling Village and houses about 150 Lamas.
The noteworthy delights of the Dhankar Monastery is the statue of Vairochana or Meditating Buddha’s idol forms. There are also ancient murals, thankas, Buddhist scriptures, shrine containing ceremonial masks well-kept in the ancient environs.