The Hemis Monastery is one of the Buddhist treasure that exist in North India. Located in a privileged enclave, at 3629 meters above sea level, it is one of the sacred places of Buddhism that you must visit.
It stands out for the artistic beauty of its architecture and for the extraordinary views of the Himalayas. A real “oasis” in this inhospitable area!
As soon as you arrive at the monastery you will find a beautiful entrance of undoubted Asian style , characterized by the shape of the roof of the arcade and by the bright colors that adorn the entrance columns.
Once you go through the door of this ancient and magical place, you will reach the central courtyard of the monastery. Here you can see a careful white facade, some beautiful balconies and several brightly colored flags, in the Buddhist style of the Himalayas.
Also located on the side is a small museum of the place, where you can learn more about its history.
Once inside you can see a grandiose statue representing Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who was a revered 8th century Indian teacher. An entire polychrome work of art in the purest Buddhist style.
But it doesn’t take many statues to make this place special. In itself, the Hemis monastery is a work of art. Its galleries, arcades, windows, doors, rugs, … are beautifully decorated in striking Dharma-inspired colors.
And not only the interior of the monastery has a beautiful decoration. Also the roof of the monastery has characteristic elements, such as a skylight with a Buddhist decoration similar to the prayer wheels inside the temple.
The Hemis monastery is not only made up of the main building, there are also numerous houses adjacent to it. Simple, but located in a magical environment.
If the monastery has something unique, what to say about the views of the valley and the impressive mountains of the Himalayas. The Hemis monastery is in a privileged location!
After visiting this beautiful monastery, we said goodbye to the locals and left it behind. We followed our route, as other sacred places in the region (Temple of Shanti Stupa) and a spectacular trekking through the Hemis (Leh) national park awaited us.
Where is the Hemis monastery located?
It is located in the state of Ladakh, in the middle of Indian Kashmir. The historic region of northern India that has been in dispute with Pakistan for decades.
How to get to the Hemis monastery?
Once in Leh, the best option is an organized excursion from Leh that visits the different monasteries in the area.
When to visit the Hemis monastery?
The best date to visit it is in summer (between 22 ° and 8 ° of average temperature), since the rest of the year the temperature can be very low: -15 ° minimum in winter and close to 0 ° in spring and autumn.
However, if you have availability of dates and are not afraid of the cold, we recommend that you travel to this wonderful place during the Hemis Festival. This is celebrated on the 10th and 11th of the 5th lunar month (May or June, depending on the year). It is on these dates when the monastery fills with color, with typical music, visits by believers and lamas from nearby regions.
Nearby places of interest
- Leh city: As the capital of the Ladhk state it is the most populous city in the area and an obligatory step to go to the Hemis monastery. It also stands out for the old royal palace of Leh, located on a mountain that surrounds the city. You cannot miss your visit. It is 41 km from Hemis Monastery.
- Shanti Stupa Temple: Financed by Japanese Buddhists, it was built in 1991. It is perfectly preserved and radiant white. Here you can also enjoy enviable views of the valley and the Himalayas. It is located on the outskirts of Leh and 46 km from Hemis Monastery.
- Thiksay Temple: It is another of the beautiful monasteries found in the area. It is not as important at the organizational level as the Hemis monastery, but it does stand out for its careful architecture, beautiful sculptures and views. It is 16 km from Leh and 24 km from Hemis Monastery.
- Trekking through the Himalayas: Visiting part of the Hemis National Park for several days is a great option for nature lovers. Here you can enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayas, with their peaks, lakes, rivers, local fauna, … In this park there is also the snow leopard, but don’t expect to find it. It is one of the most elusive animals in the world (there are hardly any images).
India is a fascinating country, full of contrasts of all kinds: religious, artistic, gastronomic, … It is not for nothing that it is a place where many people rethink “certainties” and ideas they have about His own life…
Do not hesitate, Come to know this magnificent country!
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Kiss and hugs.