Hemis Gompa monastery is one of the most significant places for Buddhist pilgrims. Read to know facts about Hemis monastic complex.
Hemis Gompa Monastery
The biggest, wealthiest and best-known monastery in Ladakh, Hemis Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, which dates back to the 11th century. Also known as Chang chub Sam Ling or ‘the lone place of the compassionate person’, the monastery is located inside a gorge, at a distance of about 45 km from Leh in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. The Hemis Monastery is long being associated with the Hemis festival that marks the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, the incarnation of Lord Buddha. This major Buddhist festival is celebrated annually during the summer season. Browse through the following lines to know more facts about the Hemis monastic complex.
Facts About Hemis Monastery
- The Hemis Monastery is situated inside a gorge that is surrounded by mountain rocks and concealed inside the Hemis National Park.
- Situated at an altitude of 12,000 feet, the Hemis Monastery is one of the highest settlements of the world.
- Though the monastery already existed in the 11th century, it was re-established by Lama Tagstang Raspa during the reign of Sengge Namgyal, the celebrated ruler of Ladakh in 1672.
- The monastery serves as the headquarters of the Drukpa lineage and administers all the monasteries (40 major and 100 small) throughout Ladakh.
- It is also the training center of Lamas for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Bazgo.
- The monastery boasts of an array of items, such as the copper-gilt statue of Lord Buddha, several gold and silver stupas, sacred thankas and many other exquisite objects.
- The Hemis Gompa is divided into two parts, the assembly hall and the main temple. The assembly hall, also known as ‘Dukhang’ is located on the right and is used as a changing hall for the Lamas and dancers during the Hemis festival. The main temple, known as Tshogkhang, is sited on the left.
- The verandah of the monastery consists of some extreme beautiful wall paintings portraying Buddhist ‘wheel of life’ (kalchakra), the prayer wheel and the Lords of four quarters.
- The complex also includes a nunnery that is situated below the monastery which is known as Chomoling (abode of nuns).
- The monastic complex is unique in itself due to its three-dimensional ‘mandala’, intrinsic design qualities and 17th century rare murals created with a variety of pigments and gold paint.
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