Chemrey & Hemis Monastery

Chemrey Gompa

The Chemrey Gompa of Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 40 km to the east of the town of Leh. Founded by Lama Tagsang Raschen, this monastery dates back to the 17th century. It was built to serve as a memorial to King Sengge Namgyal. Today, the Ladakh Chemrey Gompa houses around 20 monks of the diminishing Drugpa community, along with their young novices. One of the highlights of the monastery is a one-story high image of Padmasambhava. There are a number of shrines inside the entire complex.
The Chemrey Monastery of Leh Ladakh also boasts of a rich collection of scriptures, with title pages in sterling silver and the text in gold letters. Another major attraction of the Chemrey Monastery of Ladakh is the festival of sacred dances that takes place every year on the 28th and 29th day of the 9th Tibetan month. The dances are performed in association with the festival of an initiatory ritual. The successive reincarnations of Lama Tagsang Raschen serve as the incumbents of the Chemrey Gompa.

Hemis Monastery,%

hemisThe Hemis Monastery at Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 47 km from Leh, on the west bank of the Indus River. The monastery stands concealed inside a gorge and belongs to the Dugpa Order. The biggest and the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. One of the major attractions of Hemis Gompa of Leh Ladakh is the annual Hemis festival, commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhav.
On this day, in certain years, the Thanka (the sacred appliqu%#-work tapestry wrought with pearls depicting Padmasambhava) is displayed to the general public. Also, on 9th and 10th day of the Tibetan 5th month, sacred musk dance is performed at this monastery. Hemis houses a copper-gilt statue of the Lord Buddha, various gold and silver stupas, sacred thankas and numerous other objects. There is also a sacred hermitage above the Ladakh Hemis Monastery. Founded by Gyalwa Kotsang, this hermitage still houses his meditation cave and bears his footprint and handprint on the rock and sacred shrines.