Dhankhar Math is located in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, listed as one of the 100 most endangered monuments.
At an altitude of 12,774 feet, the monastery is situated incredibly on the side of a cliff and offers panoramic views of the Spiti Valley.
Built a thousand years ago on a 1000 feet high mountain, this monastery offers a breathtaking view of the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers.
Being one of the major centers of Buddhist art and culture, Dhankhar Math has become a famous tourist destination.
The monastery houses a statue of the meditating Buddha and a small museum with scriptures and frescoes.
Below this monastery is Shichiling village where you will find a new monastery with about 150 monks belonging to the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. So let’s know the history of Dhankhar Math and complete information related to its journey –
History of Dhankar Math
Dhankhar was the traditional capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom during the 17th century and has some features from the 12th century. Dhankhar Math is about one thousand years old.
Presently some parts of this monastery have been replaced due to deterioration and a new gompa has been built. Apart from this, the Dhankhar fort is situated here which is now in ruins as this fort was destroyed in the earthquake.
Built on a 1000 feet high Dhang and situated at the confluence of two rivers, it is considered an ideal place for any Buddhist monastery.
Dhang as spoken here in our mother tongue means a small part of the mountain and Kar or Kar means fort, hence the name Dhankar.
A wonderful view of both Spiti and Pin rivers is visible from here. Dhankhar’s other names are Dhankhar, Drangkhar and Dhangkar, which literally means citadel built on a hill rock in the Himachali dialect.
The Dhankhar Monastery is located in the Spiti Valley roughly midway between the towns of Tabo and Kaza. One has to walk about 8 kilometers to reach here.
It is a beautiful place from the point of view of tourism, where everyone must visit once. The Dhankhar Monastery/Gompa located here is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the state.
You can come here for spiritual realization. This monastery is an old and sacred place of religious importance in the region.
Apart from this, you can also enjoy the beautiful view of the Spiti River. This river serves to beautify this hill village.
It is also considered special for those tourists who want to spend time in solitude amidst nature. You can also see Dhankar Lake here.
What is the best time to visit Dhankhar Math?
The best time to visit Dhankhar Math Spiti is during the summer season. Those who want to spend their holidays comfortably should visit Spiti during this season.
The temperature of Spiti remains between 0 to 15 degree Celsius when it is hot in the whole of India.
It is best to avoid traveling to Spiti during the monsoon months as frequent heavy rains, landslides and slippery roads can completely spoil your trip.
The winters in Spiti are severe. Hence there is no better time to visit than the summer season.
How to Reach Dhankhar Math
Dhankar Math is a Buddhist monastery located 24 km from Kaza in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Built about a thousand years ago, the monastery serves the eastern part of central Spiti.
Dhankhar is a big village and was the capital of Spiti Kingdom in the 17th century. Dhankhar Math is easily accessible by air, rail and road.
The nearest airport is at Shimla, while the nearest railway station is at Kalka. You can avail buses, jeeps and taxis from Shimla and Rampur to reach the monastery easily.
How to Reach by Bus
Direct Himachal State Transport buses are available from Chandigarh, Shimla, Kullu, Manali, and some places in North India.
How to Reach by Flight
There is no direct flight available to Spiti Valley. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, which is located near Kullu and is 245 km from the valley. However, Bhuntar Airport is smaller with limited flights.
Alternatively, Chandigarh Airport is the nearest international airport at a distance of 522 km. As another option, the airport is located in Shimla.
How to Reach by Train
The nearest broad gauge railway station to Spiti is located at Chandigarh, which has good connectivity to all major cities of the country.
There is also a railway station at Jogindernagar which is the nearest to Spiti, but the connectivity of this railway station is very poor. Another nearest railway station is located at Kalka.