If you ever traveled till Leh, then you are already aware of Hemis or Hamis (as it is better spelled). Hemis is a small tourism spot that rests in the beautiful Leh District. It is a part of the Tehsil Leh, which is a small tourist town. So if you are in Leh, then you may just have to travel around 40 km to reach Hemis.
The place is also a well-known spot amongst people who are aware of the Monastries. The place is also very much famous because of all the colorful festivals that are celebrated by the local Leh people. The Monastery holds is ancient history ever since its establishment in 1672. Hemis monastery was originally established by well known King Gyalva.
Hemis has a number of places that are also considered tourist spots which include National parks, Buddhist Monastry and other high altitude parks. So if you are in Hemis, there is more than one way that can help keep you entertained.
Tourism in Hemis
Hemis is also looked up as one of the famous tourist spots in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a perfect destination for people who enjoy nature, culture and traditions. There are a lot of activities that can keep you close to nature. So in and around Hemis, there are many places that can be of interest.
You can get to see the one and only, Copper idol of Lord Buddha. Even when visiting the Monastery, you will discover a lot of epics and paintings related to the Buddhist religion. This is also one of the places where you get to see the famous time cycle or Kalchakra. The walls of the Monastery have been decorated with epics representing eh Lord of the Quarters – The Kalchakra.
Hemis is also famous for hosting all types of colorful festivals every year. When visiting Hemis in the months of June or July, you can also get a chance to be a part of these festivals. Apart from this, you can visit the famous national park that is also home to some of the rarest Mountain cats or Mountain Lions. The National park is widespread in over 4400 sq. km of area and is well protected for tourists.
History of Hemis
The history of Hemis or Hamis is very much related to the time when the Monastery was originally established here. Since history, it has been studied that the Monastery dates back much older in time than 11 century. The famous Marpa translator has also been associated with the establishment of this Monastery.
It is also believed that the Monastery is one of the most important tourist attractions within the Leh and Ladakh region. It is very much popular and has been visited by several Buddhist monks since ancient times.
Hemis is a place that rests peacefully on the banks of the river Indus. The Monastery originally belongs to the Red Sect of Buddhism also named Dugpa Kargyupta. Here in this Monastery, you will also find all types of paintings that are exhibited on the walls of the Monastery. These are also the paintings that reflect the essence of the festivals that are celebrated here by the Hemis people.
Festivals of Hemis
If you are interested in learning about local culture and traditions then Local Hemis festivals are the best options. So if you plan to travel till Hemis then it is certain that you should collect details about the Hemis festivals and dates in advance. Festival is the best time for you to enjoy and celebrate your stay in Hemis.
The Festival of Ladakh is also considered one of the most famous festivals in this region. The festival procedure involves a lot of preparations, dance, music and culture. The festival is celebrated in memory of Padamasambhav Guru on his birth anniversary every year
The festival is also celebrated by the local people for over two days, but its preparations are made for over a month. The festival reflects the victory of the Good over evil.
Here during the festival time you will also get to be a part of this grand celebration by the local people.
Trumpets, Music, and Dance in The Valley
During the festival, the entire valley is enchanting with music and dance. You can hear all the voices and sounds of cymbals, drums, trumpets that are played by the local people. The Monastery has been celebrating this festival for over 300 years.
Men and women of the place get involved in the local Cham dance which is also very much attractive for tourists. The dance can be best enjoyed when observing it locally during the festive time.
Highlights of the Festival
- Chham Dance:This is the dance form that is performed by masked dancers within the local groups. It reflects the victory over evil by the good.
- Devil Dance: This is one of the dance forms that is also considered as a part of this festival and is its eminent part.
- Chang: This is the local drink that is also commonly served during the celebration time in Hemis.
- Handicrafts: A special type of exhibition is also exhibited by the local people of Hemis, Leh, and Ladakh.
Best Places to Visit in Hemis
When in Hemis, there are a number of places where you can visit and spend your best time. Some of the places are mentioned here below.
Hemis is a place that is also known for its unique wildlife sanctuary. The place is around 4000 to 6000 meters above sea level and so it has its sanctuary that is one of the highest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The place is best known for the rarest species of the snow leopard.
The Hemis Monastery is also one of the well-known Monasteries of the world. When visiting the Monastery you will also get a chance to visit the famous Indus foothill.
Apart from these, you can also visit the Stakna Gompa and the Gotsang Gompa. For tourists, there are a lot of places where they can shop and dine to enjoy the local cuisine.