CHEMREY

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Location: Near Hemis Gompa, Souteast Of Leh, Ladakh Region, J&K
Founded In: 1664
Significance: A Memorial To King Sengge Namgyal


Clinging like a swallow's nest to the sides of a shaly conical hill, the magnificent Gompa of Chemrey sees very few visitors because of its location - tucked up the side valley that runs from Karu, below Hemis, to the Chang-la pass into Pangong. If one isn't having one's own vehicle, then be prepared to do some walking to get there. It takes around fifty minutes to follow the dirt track down to the river and up to the monastery after the Leh -Thak Thok bus drops one off beside the main road.

Founded in 1664 as a memorial to King Sengge Namgyal, the monastery is staffed by a dwindling community of around twenty Drugpa monks and their young novices. Its set of ancient Tibetan texts whose title pages are illuminated with opulent gold and silver calligraphy. Upstairs in the revamped Guru-La-Khang, reached via several flights of rickety wooden steps, sits a giant brass statue of Padmasambhava (founder of the Nyingmapa school), swatched in silk brocade and encrusted with semi precious stones. Its murals, painted in the early 1980s, are the work of an artist from Nimmu village.



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