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Hemis Monastery

Hemis Monastery is situated in the district of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India. The architecture of the Hemis Monastery portrays the Tibetan style. This Buddhist Monastery is perched nearly 45 kms away from the Leh. This Monastery relates to the Gyalwang and Drukpa family. Drukpa is believed to be the sacred image of the Hemis Monastery. This is believed as the invaluable and largest Monastery in the Ladakh district. The two important elements of the Monastery are Dukhang and Tshongkhang. Apart from other Monasteries, the Hemis is not constructed very far away from the foremost village. The village has very less non-monastic inhabitants.
There are approximately 200 branches of this exquisite monastery and other than that; there are 1000 monks to look after the Monastery. Being a precious Monastery in India this includes the Buddha idols which are made up of copper and the stupas which are made up of silver and gold. It is believed to be the most significant constructions in the Himalayas.

Many festivals are celebrated in this Monastery. The Hemis fiesta has been associated to Lord Padmasambhava because he appreciated the dance executed at this Monastery which showed re-embody of the Buddha. It is supposed that Padmasambhava took birth in the 5th month of the Monkey Year, on 10th day. The main cause of his birth was to spiritualize the people by cleansing their thoughts. Ever since that, the day has been celebrated as a day to revive his memories.

The chief attractions of the festival are the striking mask dances. The dancers who execute such a beautiful dance are known as Chams Performance. This dance execution is custom of Tantric and the gompas who are the disciples of the Tantric.


The archaic history of this Hemis Monastery belongs to the 11th century. Naropa and his disciple, Tilopa, by whom Marpa was translated, are also connected with the ancient history of this Monastery. The life of Naropa was beautifully explained by A. Grunwedel which was later on found in the neighborhood of Monastery. The interesting history of this beautiful Monastery belongs to 1672 AD. Sengge Namgyal constructed this Monastery.

The document of Naropa states that he met up with Tilopa, a scholar in tantric. Naropa was assigned by Tilopa with 12 large and 12 small works to do, so that he can get enhanced and fully educated to know the fundamentals of the delusions. Tilopa met up with Hemis right after Naropa and together they travelled to a path that goes to a Monastery in the dynasty of Maghada which is presently called as Otantapuri. The Hemis came from the Kagyu’s family, those who adored Buddhism.

In 1894 AD, the journalist of Russia declared the Hemis as the initiator of “Life of Saint Isa”, “Best of the Sons of Men” which shows that the Jesus visited India in his last years. The work has been concealing in the beneficial Library of the Hemis and it was also shown by the monks to Notovitch in the era he was recovering from his leg which was broken. Afterwards, he had the same opinion before the historians, that the evidence was contrived by him. It is said that he webbed a lot of money by distributing this swindle.


Hemis monastery includes two major sections. The chief Temple is on the left side whereas on the right side of the temple is an assembly hall. Walls next to the prayer wheels row are beautified with wonderful frescoes, consisting of the Lords of four quarters and “Wheel of life” of the Buddhist. This Gompa has very well conserved a lot of valuable objects which has great significance for Buddhists. It displays copper gilded idol of the Lord Buddha, exquisite Thangkas, dazzling silver and gold stupas and a lot of other items of spiritual importance.

The two archaic temples, Tshgs-khang and Du-Khang are of immense architectural pleasure. Du-Khang temple includes a beautiful throne of Rimpoche. Another holy structure is the Tshgs-Khang which has a huge glided sculpture of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is extremely striking and beautifully decorated with stones which are semi-precious. Other than that, another worthy sacred place for visiting is also there that is the Gyalwa Kotsang’s meditation cave. The hand and foot prints of the saint, on the rocks can still be seen. 

Reaching There

The nearest airport to get to the Hemis Monastery is Leh which is nearly 40 kms away. There are regular flights available from Leh to Delhi.

The closest railway station to get to the Monastery is the railway station of Jammu. The distance from Leh to Srinagar is 434 kms whereas from Delhi the distance is 1047 kms. Buses and cabs are easily accessible.

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