Dhankar lake is situated above the Village of Dhankar at the height of 4136 meters (13570 feet) in the middle of hills. I asked to some local people about the best route to reach there. They suggested to climb directly over the hill in front of the guest house. There is also a good 3 kms trail going to the lake, but it takes more time in comparison to the direct climb on the hill. I decided to climb directly on the hill.
I started my trek from the guest house, which was at the base of the hills, where lake is situated. Nidhi was not interested in this trek, so she decided to stay back in the guest house. I took my camera gears and walked over the hill. For half an hour it was a good climb. There was small narrow trail leading towards the top of the hill. But, then suddenly that trail disappeared and the hill is left with loose pebbles scattered all around. There was a great chance of slip on those pebbles. I stopped for a while, looked below at Dhankar Village. From that height this lunar-shaped village situated on a cliff above the confluence of Pin River and Spiti River looked amazing.
I captured those beautiful moments and walked away further. It was too risky to walk on the loose pebbles, but I was not interested to go down to the village to take the another route. I used my tripod stand as a stick and with the help of that, climbed further. After 30 minutes of struggle, I reached at the top of that hill. Lake was further away behind another hill,but it was only a small walk and I reached there in next 15 minutes.
The lake is a beautiful site. There is a good amount of crystal clear water in the lake and it spreads over a large area. It is surrounded by the barren hills from the sides,but still there is a plenty space left on the bank of it giving an impression of a perfect camping site. Beyond the river valley, snow-capped peaks of Himalayas are clearly visible and their reflections in the lake water frame the perfect pictures for a photographer. I walked to the other side of the lake in search of the fishes, as told by a villager. But there were none. There is a small temple being build by the local people on a side of the lake. This temple is still under construction. There is a pole with lot of prayer flags on the other side of the lake.
I could spend hours sitting there and looking at the snowy mountain peaks and their shadows in the water, but I wanted to explore more. It was only 1.30 PM. I had plenty of time for the day. I decided to explore the hills beyond the lake. I found a narrow trail going upwards on the hills. I walked further following the trail and reached at the top of the hill. There is another hill beyond that. I walked towards the top of that hill and then the third hill and so on. I kept walking in a no men’s land for next two hours, until I found a flat plateau that extend up to miles from there. A strong wind was blowing at that height with a mysterious sound. It was so strong that my tripod stand felt down twice, when I tried to click my pictures in auto mode, but luckily my camera was safe.
I couldn’t find a single soul on the hills.It was a different feeling. I was happy as well as tired. My mind wanted to return back to Dhankar, but the heart wanted to stay there, even to move further for a while. I was on the top of a large plateau and there were mountains all around me.I could see Dhankar fort below the hills and beyond that, there was the confluence of Spiti and Pin River. I looked beyond the river valley and there were high-rise mountains with snow-capped peaks behind them. I could not imagine a landscape more beautiful than this in that cold desert. But then I had to return back to Dhankar before the dark, so I had no choice. I started walking down towards the lake.
While returning back, I found a small kid trying to lit the fire on a side of the lake. That kid was from Dhankar Village. He was all alone in that wilderness. He told me that his mother and sister was collecting woods on nearby hills. They were in the mood of picnic, so the boy was trying to lit the fire to cook some food.
I moved further and took the popular trail route going to Dhankar Village. This rough trail is also full of boulders and dust, but descend was very comfortable in comparison to ascent.At last, I returned back to Dhankar village at 18.00 PM in the evening.