Located at an altitude of 3,894 meters above sea level in Himachal Pradesh is a Buddhist gompa called Dhankar meaning “fort on a cliff”. This Gompa is situated in a village called Dhankar in the Lahaul and Spiti district. Additionally, this gompa is situated alongside the confluence of the Spiti and Pin rivers. Furthermore, this gompa in the year 2006 was also included in the list of “100 most endangered sites in the world” by a New York based Non-profit organization called World Monuments Fund.
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a. Best time to visit the Dhankar Gompa
The best time to visit this sacred monastery is during the summer from June to October with the temperature ranging from a maximum of 30 degree Celsius to a minimum of 15 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Dhankar Gompa
Dhankar Gompa Map
1. By train:
The nearest railway station to this gompa is in Kalka. The Kalka station is very well connected to major cities in the country like Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata etc.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this monastery the ideal starting points would be New Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Amritsar.
- Via New Delhi:
There is one route from New Delhi to this gompa, and it is via NH44.
- Via Chandigarh:
There is one route from Chandigarh to this gompa, and it is via NH505.
- Via Ludhiana:
There is one route from Ludhiana to this gompa, and it is via NH505.
- Via Jalandhar:
There is one route from Jalandhar to this gompa, and it is via NH505.
- Via Amritsar:
There is one route from Amritsar to this gompa, and it is via NH505.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this monastery is located in Bhuntar. The Kullu-Manali Airport is well connected to major cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh etc.
c. Religious significance of the Dhankar Gompa
This monastery popularly referred to as the “Lha-O-Pa-Gompa” belongs to the “Gelupka” order in Buddhism. This gompa essentially consists of a number of multi storied buildings in its complex. In addition, it also includes five individual halls that comprises of Lhakhang, Kanjur, and Dukhang. Furthermore, this important and renowned monastery comprises of idols of Dhyana Buddha and Vairochana as well as murals related to Buddhist scriptures and to other deities, and Thangkas. Additionally, in close proximity to the main monastery lies another small gompa called Lhakhang which basically comprises of pictures depicting Lama Chodrag, Tsongkhapa, and Shakyamuni.
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