Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. It is located in Hemis, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India. In the Ladakh region, this is the largest monastic institutions. In the Himalayan Region, more than 1000 monks reside in this monastery. For this monastery there are 200 branches.
What to see in Hemis Monastery: Of all the monasteries in India, Hemis is the wealthiest monastery. Major attractions of this monastery are artifacts, murals, Thangkas. Other attraction of this place is Statue of Buddha which was made up of Copper. Silver and gold stupas can be seen here. Monastery looks so attractive with Tibetan Buddhist style of architecture. It is divided into two parts. One part of this monastery is Temple and other part of this monastery is Assembly hall which is also known as Dukhang.
Other worth seeing of this monastery is Huge Courtyard. Wall paintings of Buddhist Kalchakra can also be seen here. Major festival of this place is Hemis festival. During this period Lord Padmasambhava worshipped here. Other major festival of this place is Losar. It is fortnight long festival. This festival usually starts from September 1st
What to see around Hemis Monastery:
Hemis National Park: This is the home place to 73 birds and 16 species of mammals. Hemis protects the endangered animals such as red fox, Eurasian brown, Tibetan Wolf, Asiatic ibex, Leopards. Small mammals can also be seen here such as Himalayan mouse hare, mountain weasel, Himalayan Marmot.
This is the best place for bird watchers also. Major attractions of this place are Fire Fronted Serin, Himalayan Snowcock, Red Billed Chough; Fork tailed Swift, Chukar, Snowfinch, Streaked Rose finch, Leaf Warbler, Robin Accentor, and Brown Accentor. Visitors can enjoy pollution free environment. Within the confines of this park, 6 villages exist. These villages were Chilling, Urutse, Shingo, Sku, Kaya, Rumbak. Within the park, visitors can see several chortens and gompas. One of the notable monasteries is Hemis Monastery. Trekking and camping activities takes place in this park.
Leh Palace: In 17th century this was acted as royal residence. Victory on the top of the Namgyal hill is another attraction. This tower was built as a mark of victory over Ballti Kashmir armies.
Shey Monastery: This monastery is famous for giant copper with gilded gold statue of seated Shakyamuni Buddha. In Ladakh this is the second largest statue. Height of this statue is 12m. This statue is equal to 3 storied building. On both the sides of walls of this statue consists of 16 Arhants. Chief disciples of Buddha are Maudgalyayana and Sariputra. These disciples images can be seen on the back side of Shakyamuni Buddha statue.
Alchi Monastery: Best collection of Paintings can be seen here. This belongs to 11th century. It is one of the largest and most famous monasteries of Leh.
Getting to Hemis Monastery: Only way to reach this place is through road way. Before reaching this place one has to reach Leh. This place can be reached either from Srinagar or from Manali. Both routes are mountain routes. Sometimes these routes will be blocked due to landslides. From Leh, Jeeps and Taxis are available to reach this monastery. Bus services to this gompa are very limited. Nearest railway station is located at Kalka. Taxis and Buses are available to reach Manali. Then taxis and buses are available to reach Leh from Manali. Nearest airport is located at Leh.
Getting around Hemis Monastery: Mountain bikes can be rented to see in and around places of Hemis from Leh.
Best time to visit Hemis Monastery: Best time to visit this monastery is between May to September.
Where to stay in Hemis Monastery: Budget, Midrange and Luxury hotels are available here. Home stays also available here.
Where to eat in Hemis Monastery: Restaurants of this place offer Tibetan and Indian cuisines. Monastery provides traditional butter tea.