Dhankar means "fort," and a glimpse of this monastery precariously perched on a hill jutting against a sharp mountainside certainly suggests its usefulness as a protective stronghold. Once the castle of the Nono, the ruler of Spiti, the building typifies the traditional architecture of the town. As if wedged between massive craggy outcrops, the rather dirty whitewashed flat-topped structures create a dramatic effect against stark fingers of hard rock. Entry to the temple is nerve-wracking; access steps and uppermost rooftops drop away to perilously steep rocky slopes. Today, Dhankar is a repository of Bhoti-scripted Buddhist scriptures. You can visit this hilltop monastery as an excursion from Tabo, or en route to your next destination. It makes a sublime detour because it attracts considerably fewer visitors than relatively busy Tabo, and although the monastery interiors are rather small, the astonishing location and wonderful views more than make up for this.