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Famous India >Monasteries in India > Hemis Monastery
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Hemis Monastery

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Hemis MonasteryHemis is a glorious Buddhist monastery, located at the distance of 43 km from Leh on the left side of the river Indus (Singhe Khabab). Also known as Chang Chub Sam Ling or 'the lone place of the compassionate person', it was constructed in 1630 during the reign of Sengge Namgyal, the celebrated ruler of Ladakh. It is the headquarter of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries through the Ladakh (40 major and 100 small) are administered by it. Hemis is considered as the biggest and wealthiest monastery of Ladakh. It also serves the training center of Lamas for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Bazgo.

The monastery has well preserved stupas made of gold and silver, the copper gilt statue of Lord Buddha and many priceless old Thankas. Not o miss is the tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava, which has been recently installed three years back. The monastery is divided into two parts, the assemble hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall known as 'Dukhang' is also used as he changing hall by the Lambas during the celebration of Hemis festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The Varandah contains some of the beautiful wall paintings featuring Buddhist 'wheel of life' (kalchakra) and and the lords of four quarters , besides the prayer wheel. Than there is a nunnery just below the monastery known as Chomoling (abode of nuns).

Hemis Festival
Hemis Gompa is the venue of famous Hemis festival, celebrated in the commemoration of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava , the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. The festival takes place for three days from 9th June to 11th June. During the festival the Lamas and the local people gather at the courtyard of the Hemis Gompa to celebrate the festival. The Lamas wear colorful costumes and perform on the sacred plays called 'Chhams' around the center flagpole, accompanied by the music from cymbals, drums and horns.

Added to it are the spectacular masked dances, performed by the monks to mark the victory of good over the evil. Once these performances are over, the human idol made of dough is destroyed by the leader of the Black Hat dancers. The destroyed pieces are then scattered in four directions. The major highlight of the festival is the colorful fair displaying some beautiful handicrafts.

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