Dhankar Lake Overview

Tucked atop a small hill at an impressive altitude of 4100 meters above sea level, the Dhankar, with its dazzling blue waters, is one of the most popular places to visit in Spiti Valley. The lake sits at the end of the famous Dhankar Lake trek known for its treacherous paths, rocky snow-capped mountains, and incomparable vistas. Adventure enthusiasts and photography lovers are enchanted alike by the magical realism of the trek.

The Dhankar Fort Monastery sandwiched between Spiti and Pin rivers offers a special spiritual touch as it plays hide and seek on the trail. And once you reach the lake, the rare and diversified views will make your jaw drop!

Near Rohtang Pass connecting Kullu and Lahul. 

No timing restrictions.

Dhankar Lake is located in Spiti Valley, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. This lake is a blissful and breathtaking retreat. If you want to rejuvenate your soul and mind — away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this is the place to be. It is a place where you can sit for hours and just soak in the natural beauty. The cold wind giving you goosebumps and the sparkling blue water reflecting the bright sun -- what else can you ask for. Consider adding Dhankar Lake to your Spiti Valley Packages for an unforgettable experience.

This region is blessed by nature and has spectacular and winsome landscapes in the Lahaul region. In the distance, you can see snow-covered mountains while there are cattle grazing in the lush valley. The landscape of this region offers diversity with a touch of ancient history, thanks to the beautiful temples and monasteries.

Legend has it that Lord Shiv had visited and stayed at this lake during his quest for lord Vishnu. While Lord Shiva was busy with his search, his attendant Nandi drank some water from the lake. As a reward for quenching the thirst of this beloved Nandi, Lord Shiva blessed the lake to be filled with plenty of water. Another myth has that Lord Indra asked Lord Shiva to make this barren land fertile.

However, since Shiva was busy with his quest, Lord Indra threw his axe here, and a spring popped up — leading to the formation of the lake. The festival of Mouni Amavasya celebrates the same myth.

How To Reach

Credits: Lihi Bar-Haim

If traveling by air, take the direct flight to Kullu-Manali Airport from Delhi. From there, you can hire a car or take the bus. Dhankar Lake is about 285 km from the Kullu airport. If you are going by train, then the Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station. It is situated at a distance of about 400 km from the lake.

You can again go by road from here. A major part of your journey will be via road. So you can reach Tabo or Kaza first and continue the rest of the journey via road.

Best Time To Visit

It is suggested to visit Dhankar Lake during the summer months. Ideally, April-end or early May up to September. The pleasant summer months are perfect for enjoying the outdoor beauty of this range. Temperatures range from 5-20 degrees in the Summers. The valley is lush and filled with a variety of flowers, which adds to its natural beauty.

The winter here is bitter and cold. Due to snow and ice, the area is rather slippery and not suited for activities like trekking. September and October are the rainy months here. So try to check the expected monsoon prediction before coming here. 

Other Essential Information

The lake is situated right above the Dhankar monastery in the Lahaul-Spiti district and is on the other side of the Dhankar Village. The passage to the trek is difficult, so it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It’s located at the height of 4270 m above the sea-level.

The lake is about one hour (38.5kms) from Spiti. It is about 6 hours (239 kms) from Manali. The region is very cold, with temperatures dipping to -14 in the winters. The average temperature is 5-20 degrees around the year.

Things to Carry while trekking for Dhankar Lake 

If you are planning a trek to the beautiful Dhankar Lake, make sure that you have all the supplies handy. First of all, check for all your trekking gear — the right shoes, clothing, backpack, etc. You might need a support stick. Having an emergency supply of oxygen is suggested — if you have senior citizens with you.

Do carry food and water as the trek to and back (including your wait at the lake) takes time. A medical kit is suggested in case of emergencies.

Tips for Visiting Dhankar Lake

Dhankar Lake has been listed as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. So if you are visiting this place, make sure:

You don’t pollute it. Enjoy the natural beauty of this area, but avoid taking plastic products — or at least dumping them in the lake. 

Do not harm the animals. 

This unconventional spot has decent accommodations, which include government-operated hotels and also a Dhankar Monastery guest house. It is best to book your rooms in advance because it is a popular spot for trekking.
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