Travel Diaries

Spiti Road trip Day 3 : Gue Mummy, Dhankar Monastery, Kalpa

Spiti Road trip Day 3?
I am sorry if you are bored already of all the Spiti posts that I have been publishing, to be honest I am really enjoying the process, going through the pictures again, reminiscing the memories and giving words to my experiences! I have already written about the Day 1 and Day 2 of my Spiti Road trip and this post would be about our last day in Spiti.

Spiti valley landscape

Day 3 of the Spiti Road trip started with us packing our bags and checking out of Traveller’s Shed in Kaza. We had two places that we wanted to visit, The Gue Monastery, that houses the natural mummy of a Lama and Dhankar Monastery ( remember the itinerary I shared?)

Beautiful rock formations along the road in the cold desert of Spiti.

Dhankar Gompa

The first stop of the day was the Dhankar Gompa/ Monastery in Dhankar Village. The Dhankar village is at an elevation of 12,774 feet and lies between the towns of Kaza and Tabo.

dhankar village view

The view of Dhankar village from the Gompa

As per the ancient beliefs it is said that the Dhankar village is situated in the form of a lotus flower whose petals are formed by eight mountains that surround it from all different sides.

The Dhankar Gompa takes it’s name from the words “Dhang” meaning cliff and “kar” meaning fort, which means a fort on a cliff. The Gompa overlooks the entire Dhankar Village and the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers.

Dhankar Gompa Spiti

Dhankar lake is situated at a distance of 1.5 kms from the Monastery and the way to reach the lake is by trekking, we couldn’t trek to the lake because of the time constraint. The Dhankar lake is a beautiful serene lake that is surrounded by snow capped mountains and the reflections in the lake keep changing with time therefore this lake is also called the colour changing lake. Definitely coming back to Dhankar for a trek to this lake.

Gue Mummy Monastery

Gue Mummy Monastery or the Gue Lama Temple was our second stop of the day and as soon as we reached the temple, it started snowing, we witnessed the monastery in all it’s glory. We were very excited to visit this place for so long as this monastery has a natural mummy of monk Sangha Tenzin who is said to be sitting in a meditating position.

The natural mummification of the lama without any preservatives is a mystery even today. BBC has even made a documentary on this mummy. the young man looking after the monastery was kind enough to share the documentary with us. It is truly remarkable how even after 500 years the Mummy still has teeth, eyelashes and hair on his head and you have to take my work for it because I saw it with my own eyes.

The Gue Monastery is painted in a bright magenta colour, a stark contrast to its dull brown and arid surroundings. The 3D details and craftsmanship on the windows and the pillars of the monastery is absolutely stunning. I couldn’t resist but click a lot of pictures of the monastery.

Gue Monastery Entrance

The colourful stunning carved details on the pillars and entrance of the Monastery.

KALPA

The Gue Mummy Temple was the last stop in our Spiti itinerary and we headed back to Kalpa next for the overnight stay before heading back to Shimla. We stayed at the Tab Exotica Hotel (find all details here). The hotel had a beautiful view of the Kinnar Kailash Range and was surrounded by cherry blossom trees.

view of kinnar kailash range

The beautiful view of the kinnar Kailash Range from our hotel

I couldn’t resist but take a few pictures with the cherry blossom trees post breakfast.

Finally I decided to pick this cherry blossom flower from the tree as a souvenir of the trip and pressed it between a newspaper and kept it in my suitcase. Maybe I shouldn’t have picked it up because these flowers would have turned into cherries on the trees.

cherry blossom flower

It was a beautiful morning and we left from Kalpa for Shimla after having our breakfast.

We did stop at spots in between to take pictures ofcourse but how could you blame me, it was all so pretty.

And our final stop before Shimla was this small restaurant in Narkanda that serves amazing North Indian Thali and has a cute rose garden in the front. I took advantage of the beautiful location and filmed the outro of my Spiti Vlog here.

Don’t forget to check out my Spiti Road trip vlogs.

Also Read :
Spiti Road Trip Day 1 : Khab, Nako Lake, Tabo Monastery
Spiti Road Trip Day 2 : Langza, Komic, Hikkim
How to plan you Spiti Road Trip under a budget

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