Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hemis Gompa - “The Richest Monastery in Ladakh”

Shikhar Travels, India (www.shikhar.com) brings for you another mesmerizing destination, Ladakh, that will jazz up your spring expeditions in India. The place dishes up host of wonderful trek routes and enthralling lunar landscapes. A true delight for nature lovers, Ladakh offers some exciting pastures and passes, such as Brandy Nala Trek, Markha Valley, The Apricot Valley, Zanskar Valley,to mention a few.

The best time to visit Ladakh is June- September. Ladakh, lying  at an altitude from 9000 ft to 25170 ft., is bounded by two of the world’s mightiest  mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram. It’s a gateway to many exquisite destinations which are Leh – the largest town of Ladakh, Indus Valley – for variousrenowned monasteries such as HEMIS,  the biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh, THIKSEY, LIKIR,ALCHI,STOK,TAKTHOK and beautiful SHEY monastery. Ladakh’s other attractions includes Khardungla – World’ s highest motorable road, Nubra Valley – which welcomes  you with the purest and most  divine greenery, Panamic for hot water springs and cold desert sand dunes  and Alchi . Ladakh is also known  for is lakes and rivers such as TSOMORIRI, PANGONG TSO,TSOKAR, Interestingly all these great lakes are salty,  not freshwater ones and the main rivers are Indus and Zanskar – these water bodies easily figure  in the world’ must-see natural wonders.

Ladakh is also popularly known  for its many festivals , some of these are HEMIS, STOK GURU TSECHU, THIKSEY, KARSHA, LADAKH festival – MASK DANCE is integral part of  these festivals. Ladakh is the destination with perfect blend of beauty, culture and tradition.

Hemis Gompa is the most important and the richest monastery in Ladakh, built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas. Is located 49 km south of Leh and is known locally as Chang-Chub-Sam-Ling(The Love Palace of the Compassionate One). . Hemis is the headquarter of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries throughout Ladakh are administered by it.The gompa boasts of an excellent library where one can view preserved frescoes and murals, silver gilt chortens and a Kashmiri lacquered wood throne.  In summers, the two-day Hemis Festival is held , where the monks wear masks and perform sacred dances. The event is celebrated on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month.