An Adventure at #Spiti! - Day 2 at #Dhankar

Photo of An Adventure at #Spiti! - Day 2 at #Dhankar by featkolhapuri

Hidden deep within the Himalayan ranges of Spiti is a lake so pristine and clear that it gives you a glimpse of paradise. For those willing to take the road less traveled and climb a few kilometers on the dusty path, following cues on hand written rocks, this breathtaking view and a silence that is only interrupted by the wind gushing through the peaks await.

Mirror or water, you guess!

Photo of An Adventure at #Spiti! - Day 2 at #Dhankar by featkolhapuri

After a day of travelling around Kaza, Kee and Chicham, we were ready to explore Dhankar on Day 2.

Back in the 17 th century, #Dhankar was the capital of Spiti. Hence, the place has a gorgeous and age old monastery, and a fort. But what's special about Dhankar is its #lake.

For someone who is fit and adjusted to Spiti's altitude and lack of oxygen, Dhankar is an easy 5-kilometer hike. But for someone like me—first time at this altitude, first time at this temperature, and a hike after ages—this trek needed a lot of breaks and an insane amount of willpower and effort.

A view of the village from afar

Photo of An Adventure at #Spiti! - Day 2 at #Dhankar by featkolhapuri

The trek is best attempted in the early hours of the day before the sun comes out. If you're trying the trek in the late afternoon, and you're unfamiliar with the terrain, it's best to try and return before dark.

The Spiti-an mountain terrain has no trees, and the sun is harsh in the afternoon. Make sure you have shoes with a good grip and lots of water before you embark on this trek. Trekkers and locals have marked the path to the lake on little rocks, so most often you won't need a guide and can do this by yourself.

We started our trek in high spirits. But I definitely needed to sit after every few meters. After various breaks and almost giving up on multiple occasions, we made our way to the clearing. No words can put into perspective the gorgeous view that awaited us. (No, seriously).

It took us about two hours to trek to the lake (our accompanying cabbie, also a local, laughed at us when we told him it took us that long). The hike is fairly easy, with an equal amount of uphill and flat paths.

Why so blue!?

Photo of An Adventure at #Spiti! - Day 2 at #Dhankar by featkolhapuri

The pristine, clear water of Dhankar is unlike anything that I've seen. The quietness of the surroundings, the Himalayan winds, and the humungous mountains that surround you are unparalleled. We spent a lot of time absorbing the energies here. The mountains have a way of making you realize how insignificant and alone we are, yet connected we are to everything.

Dhankar lake is said to have a lot of spiritual significance. The story goes that Lord Shiva rested here while searching for Vishnu. His humble friend and vahan Nandi, sipped water from this lake, and seeing this, Shiva blessed the lake with an abundance of water.

At the entrance of the lake is a little stupa. Locals and travelers alike are encouraged to offer prayers here. The lake is considered sacred, and boards around the area remind us not to litter, camp, or bathe here in this lake. (If anyone here knows more about this stupa, comment and tell me?)

The stupa at Dhankar

Photo of An Adventure at #Spiti! - Day 2 at #Dhankar by featkolhapuri

The trek down was fairly simple. The wind had gotten strong, so I did get swept away a few times and had to hold on to rocks along the way. But if you are in Dhankar, this beauty should be on your list! There's nothing as rewarding as this!

Here's part 1 if you haven't already seen it!