Hemis Monastery, Leh, Ladakh

"Leh – The Beautiful City of Ladakh Popular for its Monasteries"

Hemis Monastery, Leh, Ladakh

Leh is the perfect place if you are an ardent traveler, particularly if you have interest in exploring ancient cultures. Monasteries in Leh will make your travel experience enriching to this beautiful North Indian city. Among many monasteries, the biggest and the most richly endowed monastery of Ladakh is the Hemis Monastery.
The Hemis Monastery is situated atop a green hill with spectacular Himalayas in the backdrop. The monastery is at a distance of about 45 kms, south of Leh on the banks of River Indus. Built in 1630, this monastery belongs to the red sect of Buddhism (Brokpa). The colorful prayer flags on all the four sides of the monastery add an appeal and attract devotees and tourists.


Let’s Take a Peek at the marvellous Hemis Monastery

Viewed as the largest Monastic institution in Ladakh, the Hemis monastery has over 200 branches with over 1000 monks. The Hemis Monastery is a brilliant white stoned structure with the walls being decorated with paintings of religious figures. The huge gate of the monastery leads you to the big courtyard following which lays the monastery complex. Just like with most monasteries, this monastery too has a huge Wheel of Life and the guardian deities. The monastery is typically divided into two parts – the assembly hall (Dukhang) and the temple (Tshogkhang).
The monastery is known for its splendid collection of Tibetan scriptures and a valuable collection of Thangkas, gold statues and stupas that are adorned with precious stones. The monastery is considered to be the wealthiest in India and is also popular for the huge copper statue of Lord Buddha.
Traveling to Hemis Monastery in itself is a thrilling experience with the journey being made beautiful by the gorgeous valleys of the Himalayas.

Things to take care of!

  • Visitors are allowed to wear shoes in and around the temple grounds. It is recommended to wear easy slip-on shoes to avoid inconvenience.
  • Visitors are required to maintain silence in the monastery premises.
  • Visitors should not touch the Buddha statues, images, monks or nuns.
  • Spitting and throwing litters in the monastery is absolutely prohibited.
  • Consuming alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco is strictly forbidden in and around the monastery.
  • Visiting Hemis Monastery – Timings : The Monastery is open all days of the week.
  • Best Time to Visit Hemis Monastey – The best time to visit the monastery is between February and May.

Travelling to Tawang Monastery

By Air

The Leh airport is a military airport and has flights all around the year even in winters. Being a military airport, there is a more stringent security check here. There are various taxis easily available from the airport to take you to the monasteries.

By Road

Bus ride is perhaps the option for the adventurous travellers. There are buses available from Kashmir and Manali. The bus rides are longer, from 2 to 4 days considering the highly rocky and hilly terrain.

By Train

The two major railway stations – Pathankot and Chandigarh are well connected to Leh but still, you will have to take a three-day bus ride to reach Leh. Being a little cumbersome, travellers avoid travelling by train.

Visiting Tawang Monastery – Timings

  • The Monastery is open all days of the week.
  • The best time to visit the monastery is between February and May.
  • SNM Hospital - Tel: + (91)-1982-252014, 253629
  • Manipal Hospital- Tel: +(91)-1982-252785

Don’t Miss – For the foodie in you

The staple food of Ladakh is Sku and Thukpa, which is made of wheat flour. Pava and Khambir (local bread) are also widely consumed here. Ladhaki food is believed to be quite nutritional and nourishing for the freshness of the ingredients, particularly vegetables. Meat and chicken is also a very common food eaten by the local Ladhakis.

Did You Know?

The annual Hemis festival organized at the Hemis Monastery is considered quite significant by the local Ladakhis. The festival commemorates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava and is held for a period of two days during the months of June-July. The festivities include local, traditional dances, mask dances and other rituals; all signifying the victory of good over evil. Every 12th year of the festival sees the display of the most significant of Thangkas as a sign of good health and spiritual strength.

Exploring Ladakh – Places You Must Visit!

The mountains are always going to be in your company throughout your trip. The huge mountains will leave you totally mesmerized and amazed, sometimes a little intimidated too. But yes, the natural beauty that you will experience is truly out of the world. You will find several echo points here and the experience of shouting out your name there is simply fantastic!

Pangong Tso Lake

The beautiful lake stretches across the India and Bhutan border. The lake offers a mind blowing site for your camping adventures.


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