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Photographer's Note

Dhankar Gompa (Monastery) in Spiti - The setting of the monastery in Dhankar is nothing short of spectacular, located at height of apprx. 3,900m (12,774 feet above the sea level) near the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers. The monastic complex is built on a 1,000-foot (300-metre) high clay spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers, above Shichilling village – one of the world’s most spectacular settings for a gompa. The houses of the monasteries fit in to the nooks and crannies of the cliff.

These huge rock pillars cluster behind the monastery, look almost as if they rose from the earth! The main (old) Gompa is located right at the edge of the cliff….so much so, that today after 1500 + years, the main structure is crumbing and they is no way that one can provide stilts to support due to the location. The deterioration of the landscape is evident – who knows what divine prayers hold this monastery up! Little wonder that in 2006, World Monuments Fund nominated Dhankar gompa as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world.

To the right towering above us were the amazing rock formations called affectionately as “Soldiers of Spiti”. These massive rock formations are formed naturally through weathering by the harsh wind. The end up looking like a formation of guards, standing at attention, often 100s of feet high. You can see a Closeup of these towering Rock formations in this Shot

Dhankar is one of those places where you lose sense of space and time!

The monastery belongs to Gelug-pa School of order. The Gompa (Monastery) has over 150 monks, some fascinating 'thangka' sculptures and a statue of the 'Dhyan Buddha'.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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