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Dhankar Monastery - A safe sanctuary among the rocks

September 4, 2012
Dhankar Monastrey
Dhankar Gompa is a Buddhist monastery situated in the Spiti Valley of India. It stands perched at a height of 12,774 feet and falls between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. Dhankar was the erstwhile capital of Spiti Valley Kingdom during the 17th century. The citadel of Dhankar was built on a spur which projects into the main valley and ends in a precipice. The location of this fort is strategic as Spiti always had to suffer innumerable aggression by its neighbors.The location allowed the Spitian to keep vigil on the approaches and to submit messages to surrounding localities in case of danger. Whenever the Spitians were attacked, they built huge fires to signal meeting in the safe sanctuary of rocks, i.e., Dhankars. In the meeting all men and women decided the course of action to be taken against the aggressors.
Queen's Palace
The monastery was built approximately one thousand years ago. One of the major attractions of Dhankar Monastery is statue of Vairochana (Dhayan Buddha), consisting of 4 figures seated back to back. It also houses a collection of various crumbling thankas.

During the tour of Spiti in the year 2011, the group was dead tired of the long trek the previous day ,and were not at all in the spirit of visiting the monastery,hence I ended up clicking this pic from a distance

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