The monastery in a mountain valley
Most big monasteries in Ladakh stand like a fortress on the tops of hills, but only the one in Hemis is located in a narrow mountain valley high above the river Indus. It is definitely worth a visit. It is interesting not only for its colors, but also for the adjacent village with houses stuck to the rock. Very close is also one of the starting points to the most famous Ladack trek through the valley of river Markha.
A small oasis near Indius
The path to Hemis is relatively simple – first 35 km along the main road from Leh to Karu (3340 m asl), which is just a dusty military backwoods with a checkpoint at a strategic crossroads. The main road to Manali leads through here, but also a little blind road to the monastery of Hemis and the road over the pass Chang la to Pangong tso lake or rather to the Chinese border and little known path to Nubra valley as an alternative to the path across the world-famous pass Khardung la. Our road leads over a small bridge over Indus and further along the arid ladackh plains along the winding road up to a small oasis in a narrow mountain valley where is the monastery together with a small village.
The monastery itself is a huge multistory building with traditional whitewashed walls.
The courtyard at the monastery
The most beautiful part of the whole monastery is its courtyard with lots of prayer wheels and flags.
The interior of the monastery
The most interesting part of the interior is the statue of Guru Rimpoche.
The village of Hemis
Interesting is also the adjacent village of Hemis which looks like as from a different century.
Chortens in Hemis
Essential are also ubiquitous chortens.
The view to the Indus valley
Not far from the monastery there is also a nice view of the valley of Indus laid about 400 vertical meters below.
Article: Monasteries in Indus valley
During the visit of Ladakh, or rather Leh, it is definitely worth to set out for a day trip around the monasteries situated in… continue reading
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