Dedicated to the Drugpa order of Tibetan Buddhism, Chemrey Monastery is situated 40 km from Leh in Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir. An important centre of Buddhist learning, the monastery attracts large number of tourists because of its picturesque location. The monastery was founded in 1664 AD by Lama Tagsang Raschen who also founded Hemis monastery. The monastery is also dedicated to King Sengge Namgyal who was instrumental in the spread of Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh. About 20 monks reside in the monastery. The monastery complex comprises number of shrines, Dukhang (assembly hall) and the Lhakhang (Lama temple).
There are two Dukhangs constructed during different times. The old Dukhang has paintings of the founder of the monastery and the new Dukhang has images of Padmasambhava. All the walls have paintings about Buddhism drawn during 17th century. The major attraction of the monastery is the one-storey high idol of Padmasambhava, who was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism in Tibet and translated many Indian scriptures written in Pali and Sanskrit into Tibetan. There are also rare collections of Buddhist scriptures, murals of Sakyamuni (the Historical Buddha), Kalchakra, Akshobhya (Buddha of East) and thousand Buddha. Another popular attractions is the 29 volume scripture written in silver and gold letters.
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The Chemrey Angchok festival of the monastery has been attracting large number of tourists. There are no hotels, lodges or homesstays at or around the monastery. Budget hotels are available around 18 km from the monastery towards Leh. One can also stay at Leh where there are plenty of options available. You would find small shops selling tea and snacks outside the monastery. The stalls run by locals, however, do not offer full meals. The best season to visit Chemrey monastery is between June and October. During rest of the month roads remain closed because of snow.
Photograph courtesy: Bob Witlox/Creative Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT LADAKH
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Ladakh is as given below. The best time to visit Ladakh is also specified.
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