Leh, (Ladakh), Sept. 15: With the Naropa Festival in full swing, monasteries in Ladakh are swarming with devotees and tourists alike and resonating with prayers, music and dance. But the main activity of the festival is centred in and around Hemis Gompa , the largest monastery of its kind. It belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu order and is a living hub of Tibetan Buddhism.
Every great town or region anywhere has its own character and flavour. And in Ladakh, Buddhist monasteries make for a unique spiritual experience. For Ladakhis, who are predominantly of Tibetan descent, it’s the monasteries which set the pattern of their daily life, culture and celebrations. Indeed, Ladakh is known as the land of lamas.
Hemis Monastery has a special place in the hearts of Buddhists, especially those belonging to the Drukpa Kagyu order. Nothing in the region can match its size, architectural beauty and calming effect on the mind. Rising on the western bank of the Indus River on the Leh-Manali Highway, it’s 50 km from Leh town.
The King of Ladakh, Singey Namgail, who was himself an architect, designed the shrine. He is said to have invited a Buddhist monk, the first reincarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso, in 1620 to establish the monastery.
The central courtyard of the gompa is 60 metres long and 18 metres wide. It’s in this courtyard where dances take place during festivals and other religious occasions. The monastery also has some mesmerising wall paintings of Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha), other Buddha figures and paintings of Tantric deities. So Ladakh provides a visual feast wherever a visitor steps out to explore.
Source: By Newzstreet Media Desk (yahooinnews16 September 2016)