Touch-icon-iphone-76x76

DownloadThrillophiliaApp

Book Tour and Activities on the Go!

X

Hemis Festival, Hemis

  • There is a time when the cold deserts of Ladakh wake up to complete entertainment and vibrant moments of the year that is during the renowned Hemis Festival. It is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava or popularly known as Guru Rinpoche. The Dance Festival is world famous representing the reincarnation of Buddha.

    On the birth day of Rinpoche that is on the 10th day of the fifth month in the Monkey year, the festival happens and that day is the most prestigious and precious one for the people in Hemis Monastery. With an early morning ritual, the festival begins, the echoed sound of the drums, the cymbals and the pipes make the declaration. The monks in the monastery believe that following the festival yearly would help them given more spiritual strength and health.

    The wide rectangular courtyard in front of the main door of the monastery is the witness of the complete festival. There are two raised square platforms which are of three feet height along with a sacred pole at the exact centre. An elevated dais where a cushioned seat will be placed with a small table that has the ceremonial items like holy water, uncooked rice, tormas made of dough and butter and some incense sticks. As the rituals progress, a number of musicians will play the traditional music with cymbals, large pan drums, trumpets and wind instruments. Next to them, you can see the space provided for the current lamas to be seated.

    The Cham Dance, the major event is a slow paced dance and has grotesque expressions aplenty. The dancers wear multihued masks which presents the unusual image of the myth existing.

    Location: It happens at Hemis Monastery, 40 kms away from Leh town.

    When to go: After the tough winter the festivities start and the dates would be fluctuating every year. But usually it falls somewhere in the month between June and August.

Attractions

1464333786_249373551_1a6350fd73_o.jpg

Hemis Monastery

The biggest monastery in the North India is Hemis Monastery, one of the must visit attractions in Ladakh region. Set on the foothills of Indus, Hemis Monastery has 200 branches and over 1000 monks are staying there. It belongs to the red sect Brokpa of Buddhist order. Here the young Lamas are trained for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Basgo.

History

Hemis Gompa came into existence 17th century and it was built by Chapgon Gyalshas and from then on the gompa was getting the royal patronage of Ladakh till now. But there is a saying that the monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stangsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. After the missing of the head Lama in 1956, a young 12 year old boy from Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh has been recognized as the head Lama of the gompa.

Structure of the monastery

The biggest monastery in the region has a surprising architecture and the building is quite appreciable. There are a lot of big statues and stupas decorated with stones and also the splendid collection of thankas. The collection of thankas is believed to be the largest and it would be shown to the public once in 11 years.

Location: Hemis Village is located 43 km south of Leh town and it is very easy to reach the monastery by bus or jeep.

Timing: 08:00 am to 01:00 pm and 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm

Entry fee: INR 100

Highlight: Hemis Festival is the prime attraction at the monastery which celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche. The tenth day of the Tibetan lunar month every 12th year is the date of festival.


Nearby Attractions