Hemis Monastery

Abode of Lamas: Hemis Monastery offers tourists a chance to see Lamas, the Buddhist monks, in action here. The biggest monastery in entire Ladakh perhaps, it has at least 200 branches to be found throughout the region.
What makes it fascinating is that here tourists get to see Chham (mask) dance performed by the monks. In summer months, usually June. Monks perform the ritualistic dance elsewhere in other monasteries too. However, the days of performance are in winter for most places.
Located only 47 km away from Leh, Hemis Monastery can be approached easily by road. It was built in 17th century.  Tangkhas, silver and gold artefacts, preserved paintings etc can be seen in its museum also.

How to reach: Leh is the nearest city from where it is an hour’s journey.
By air: Leh airport, 50 km away.

Monks wearing masks. Lamas rehearsing for mask dance. Buddha statue atop a hill near Hemis. Monks performing mask dance   A section of the audience
Monks wearing masks.