Dhangkar – The Cliffside Monastery

DSCN0722Dhangkar Gompa is something not from this world. Situated on dangerous cliffs, the monastery is over 1000 years old and is perched at an elevation of 12,774 feet. The Dhangkar complex is built on a 1000-foot (300-metre) high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers. In 2006, World Monuments Fund selected Dhankar gompa as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. Dhang or dang means cliff, and kar means fort. Hence Dhangkar (or Dangkhar as it is also spelt) means “fort on a cliff”. Continue reading Dhangkar – The Cliffside Monastery

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On the Way (to and from) Mars

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Brahma Muhurta

So Spiti is always a place I will associate with Serendipity. For me, the two names are interchangeable because of the series of events that led me there. Mainly, bumping into a distant cousin of mine (whom I had never met) at the guest house I was staying at in Solang Nala. I had pretty much decided not to venture over to Spiti because of my time constraints and also I was a little wary making it there by myself because it is such an arduous journey. 

Goes to show – never be fixed in your thoughts or actions, the only constant is change. When I got back from my magical journey to Beas Kund, my cousin Tampi offered me a trip to Spiti to tag along with him while he took take of some business. I am SO HAPPY I said yes – now Spiti is embedded in my heart as an absolutely ancient and holy space. And what better person to go with? The citizens of Spiti believe that Tampi had spent much time there in previous lives, hence his attachment and devotion to the preservation of Spiti.

Continue reading On the Way (to and from) Mars

Beas Kund – The Sacred Pool

DSCN0537After a relaxing trip to East Himachal I headed up North to Solang Nala, and I knew at once I had found my home. The epic Himalayan snowcapped mountains I had been looking for were right in front of my eyes. Khema, the owner of the guest house, told me about a trek to Beas Kund, the sacred pool where Rishi Vyasa had bathed in and done his meditation everyday. Through the shakti of his practice, from the pool emerged the sacred river Beas which now enervates Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Continue reading Beas Kund – The Sacred Pool