High altitude lakes are always fascinating. There are a number of unknown and hidden lakes in the Himalayas many of which require some effort to reach the destination. Dhankar lake is one of them.
- Dhankar lake or Dhankar Tso is a lake that not many know about. This hidden gem of Spiti valley is a blend of nature and man-made arrangements. Half of the lake was formed naturally and the other half was constructed by the efforts of King Puran Lal in 1462.
- Various myths also revolve around related to the formation of the lake like, once Lord Shiva was on his quest for lord Vishnu. He stopped for a while at this lake to take some rest. Meanwhile, one of his most loved devotee and squire Nandi drank some water from the lake. Seeing this he blessed the lake to be filled with plenty of water.
- Another myth is that lord Indra was not happy seeing the dryness of the area, so he requested Lord Shiva to do something about it. But Lord Shiva was busy in search of Lord Vishnu. So, lord Indra threw his axe and by the impact of that axe, water came out and formed the lake.
- Since then this myth is celebrated on every Mouni Amavasya by the residents of the area.
- This lake is one of the most beautiful things that Spiti Valley has to offer. Dhankar lake is one of the high altitude (14000 ft) glacial lake surrounded by mighty peaks. It is an uphill trek from the new Dhankar Monastery which takes an hour to reach the lake. This is a moderately challenging trek, steep climbs and gradual increase in altitude makes it difficult to walk so not many travellers opt to go for a hike, and that is the reason the lake remains untouched by the humans. You will end up climbing more than 1000 ft. As you go up you start to feel the change in temperature, it goes from warm to windy to cold. You get to witness the panoramic view of Dhankar village and the confluence of river Pin and Spiti.
- The view of the lake is just spectacular. The lake change colours, the sunlight brings out various colours of the lake, from blue to green when viewed from different angles. And the view of mighty Manirang range in the backdrop enhances the beauty of this lake. Mount Maninrang is the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh.
- Relax by the lake absorb the energy and nature, soak in the serene mountain views all around you. The view is worth a hike.
- The lake is frozen in winters and is only accessible from mid-May to September.
If going for a Spiti circuit please try not miss this blissful place.
Note:- Bathing and camping near the lake is prohibited as it’s considered to be sacred by the locals.
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