23 Jan, 2023

Dhankar Monastery, Spiti Valley: How To Reach & 4 Things To Do


Nestled in the beautiful Spiti Valley, Dhankar Monastery is one of the oldest and most iconic monasteries in India. With its picturesque setting and stunning architecture, it is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about visiting Dhankar Monastery - from how to reach it, to what time of year is best for your visit, to all the fun activities you can do there!


 Dhankar Monastery


Dhankar Monastery is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spiti Valley. It is situated at an altitude of 3,662 metres and is the largest monastery in the valley. The monastery was founded in the 11th century by Rinchen Zangpo, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and has been a major centre for religious teaching and learning ever since. 


Dhankar Monastery is reachable by both road and air. By road, it is about a 10-hour drive from Manali. The best time to visit the monastery is between June and September when the roads are open. From October to May, the roads are closed due to heavy snowfall. 


There are a number of things to do in and around Dhankar Monastery. Some of the popular activities include exploring the monastery complex, visiting nearby villages, trekking to nearby lakes and mountains, and photography.


How to Reach Dhankar Monastery (by Road, Train and Air)


The Dhankar Monastery is located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. The valley is accessible by road, train, and air.


By Road: The Spiti Valley is connected to the rest of Himachal Pradesh by a network of roads. The journey from Shimla to Kaza (the capital of Spiti) takes about 12 hours. From Kaza, Dhankar Monastery is a 3-hour drive. Taxis and buses ply this route regularly.


By Train: The nearest railway station to Spiti Valley is at Reckong Peo, about 100 km away. From Reckong Peo, one can take a bus or a taxi to Kaza. The journey by train takes about 24 hours from Delhi.


By Air: The closest airport to Spiti Valley is Bhuntar Airport, located about 232 km from Kaza. flights to Bhuntar Airport are available from Delhi and Chandigarh.


Best Time to Visit Dhankar Monastery


The best time to visit Dhankar Monastery is from May to October. This is when the weather is warm and dry, and the views are at their best. The monastery is located in a high-altitude desert, so it can be cold and windy at other times of year.


Things To Do in Dhankar Monastery


If you are visiting Spiti valley then a trip to Dhankar Monastery is a must. It is one of the most beautiful and ancient monasteries in the valley. The monastery is situated at an altitude of 3,894 meters and is surrounded by mountains. Trekking, camping, photography, and visiting the monastery are some of the things that you can do here.


Camping is allowed in the premises of the monastery and there are many beautiful spots for photography.


The monks at Dhankar Monastery are very friendly and they welcome visitors with open arms. They will even offer you tea and biscuits. You can also buy souvenirs from the monastery shop which sells items such as thangkas, statuettes, etc.


Places To Visit Nearby Dhankar Monastery 


If you're planning on visiting Dhankar Monastery, there are a few other places nearby that are definitely worth checking out. Key Monastery is another ancient Buddhist site located just a short drive away. Pin Valley National Park is another great option if you're looking to explore more of the natural beauty that this region has to offer. 


The beautiful Nako Lake is also nearby, where you can admire the stunning reflection of the mountains in the crystal clear waters. Further afield, there are plenty of other incredible attractions to explore such as Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary and Sangla Valley.


Tips For Visiting Dhankar Monastery


1.Plan your trip in advance: The best time to visit Dhankar Monastery is from June to September. Keep in mind that the Spiti Valley is a remote region and it can be difficult to get around without your own transportation. It's advisable to plan your trip in advance and book any necessary transportation and accommodation well in advance.


2.Dress appropriately: When visiting any religious site, it's important to dress respectfully. This means covering your shoulders and legs, and avoiding anything too revealing or suggestive.


3.Be mindful of your belongings: When visiting Dhankar Monastery, be mindful of your belongings as there are many steps and staircases. It's easy to misplace things, so it's best to keep valuables close to you or leave them at your accommodation.


4.Follow the monastery rules: When visiting Dhankar Monastery, be sure to follow the monastery rules. This includes maintaining silence inside the monastery grounds, removing shoes before entering temples, and being respectful of monks and other visitors.