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Hemis Gompa, Leh

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About Hemis Gompa, Leh

Hemis Gompa is located around 50 kms away from Leh on the west banks of Indus River. It is regarded as the wealthiest and biggest monastery in Leh. According to the permanent residents of this locality, the monastery came in existence in the 11th century. However, the monastery is reconstructed in the year 1672. The monastery belongs to the Dugpa order. It follows the tantric vajrayana teachings and the monks of this monastery perform tantric worship. Every year in the month of July a vibrant festival takes place in the Gompa complex. The festival is not attended by the locals only but people from all over the world join here. The festival starts from the 9th day of the fifth month of the lunar Tibetan calendar and continues upto the 11th. On the first day of the festival, a dance-homage is organized commemorating the birth anniversary of Lord Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche. The festival is the most famous celebration of the Tibetan Buddhist Gompa festivals In Ladakh. Energetic and enchanting dances go with the cacophonous sounds of cymbals, small trumpets, large size wind instruments, and large-pan drums. The Lamas dress like demons and gods and bang on drums. Symbols are crashed together and others turn and jump to fight against demons. As you will be getting into the courtyard, you can spot two large temples with small flight of stone steps to the right. The temple on the left is known as the Tshogs-khang and on the right is the Dukhang. Inside the Dukhang one can find the throne of the Rimpoche along with the seating areas for the lamas. The pillars of the temple are wooden and tall. A square cupola with windows, allows light to reach the wonderful throne. Paintings of Sakyamuni with the blue hair can be seen around the walls. Some other Buddha idols are available here. One can see the paintings of Tantric deities such as Hevajra and Sama as well. On the other hand, the temple Tshogs-khang contains a large gold plated idol of the Sakyamuni Buddha with blue hair. The statue is surrounded by numerous silver chortens and it is ornated with semi-precious stones. A painted throne of lacquered wood is placed in front of the Buddha which was a gift from the former emperor of Kashmir to the earlier Lama of Hemis. Pehar Gyalpo is believed to be the defensive deity of Hemis.

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