Hemis Monastery is in Ladakh, 45 km from Leh.
This beautiful Himalayan Buddhist monastery, also known as a Hemis Gompa, is a must-visit for anyone exploring the region. It’s just a 1.5-hour ride from Leh, and trust us, it’s worth every minute spent on the road.
Hemis Monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal and has a rich history that dates back to before the 11th century. It’s an awe-inspiring site, with a maze of buildings, courtyards, and alleys that are a feast for the eyes. The walls of the main building are serene white, and the entrance is through a big gate that leads to a rectangular courtyard. This open space is used for all the functions and public celebrations, and it’s also where you’ll find a raised dais with richly cushioned seats and a Tibetan table containing ceremonial items.
The walls of the main building are adorned with beautiful paintings of religious figures, and the monastery also houses a collection of gold statues and stupas decorated with precious stones.
But the highlight of the Hemis Monastery has to be the Hemis Festival, held every year in early June. During this festival, the thankas (paintings) are displayed for the first time in 11 years, and it’s an experience you won’t forget.
If you’re a history buff, then you’ll love the museum at Hemis Monastery. It showcases the life of Ladakhis in the past and has a small shop where you can buy souvenirs to remember your visit.
The monastery also houses a library of Tibetan religious books and the wheel of life and guardian deities, which are a common sight in most Buddhist Monasteries.
In conclusion, Hemis Monastery is the perfect way to end your monastery tour in Ladakh, and a day trip here is an absolute must. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s embark on this exciting journey to Hemis.
Timings: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM. See you there!