The Pin Valley of Spiti is considered the most beautiful in the region and undoubtedly its beauty kept us thoroughly spellbound. We drive through some spectacular landscapes and never seen before sceneries. The Pin Valley was declared a National Park in 1987. With its snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, the Pin Valley National Park forms a natural habitat for a number of endangered animals including the ever-elusive Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. Rare birds like Himalayan Snowcock, Snow Patridge, and Tibet Snowfinch also abound this area. The Pin Valley National Park's height ranges from an altitude of 3600 meters to over 6000 meters at its highest point. Due to this high altitude and extreme temperature, vegetation is very sparse consisting mainly of alpine trees and patches of Himalayan cedar. The Pin River, a tributary of the Spiti River with its turquoise water meanders through the valley making it even more enchanting...
Khungri Monastery: Ahead in the Pin Valley we reach the Kungri Monastery. Khungri is of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. In fact Kungri is Spiti's second oldest monastery, built around 1330. The gompa consists of three detached rectangular blocks facing east. There are a number of silk paintings, large statues and over 300 volumes of sacred Tibetan text inside Kungri Gompa. The monastery also has buzhens performing a sword dance who live in mud houses near the right bank of Pin River.
Dhankar Monastery: After exploring the Khungri monastery we move towards Dhankar Monastery. Dhankar Gompa (also Drangkhar or Dhangkar Gompa; Brang-mkhar or Grang-mkhar) is a Buddhist temple in the district of Lahaul and Spiti. Situated approximately at an elevation of 3,894 metres (12,774 feet) in the Spiti Valley, Dhangkar Gompa lies between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. The complex is built on a 1000-foot (300-metre) high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers. Undoubtedly, it is perhaps one of the world's most spectacular settings for any gompa. Dhang or dang means cliff, and kar or khar means fort. Hence, the meaning of Dhangkar is a fort on a cliff. Dhangkar was the traditional capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom during the 17th century and has some features dating back to the 12th century. It was the seat of the early rulers of Spiti, the Nonos, who had the right to cultivate the government lands nearby and were the custodian to carry out repairs of the fort.