Hemis, locally called Hamis is a village which is situated in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. This place is quite well known for its scenic beauty and lush greenery. Apart from the wonderful natural vistas, this place is quite popular for the historical Hemis Monastery as well which was established in 1672 AD by King Senge Nampar Gyalwa. Interestingly, it is also the place to find the mysterious snow leopard.
Those, who are on a quest to travel and discover the remotest aspects of Indian soil and its culture, should never give a miss to this travel getaway at all. This is the place where you will find Hemis Monastery, Hemis National Park along with many other spiritual destinations as well. Thus, Hemis is the kind of place where you can hope to quench your thirst for nature and divinity.
Best Time to Visit Hemis
During winter, Hemis turns into spellbinding and beautiful scenery, that you will love to experience between October and November. Also, if you want to get away from the humid summer of the plains, then visiting between March and June would be perfect.
History of Hemis
The name of the village is kept after the famous ancient Hemis Monastery. The monastery belongs to Drukpa Patron and was established in the 11th century. Somehow, the monastery faced severe decay for several years and was later revived during the 17th century with King Sengge Namgyal's efforts.
Major Attractions of Hemis
1. Hemis High-Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is located at a height of 3,300m to 6,000m above sea level. It is one of the highest sanctuaries from sea-level all across the world. And if you are lucky then you might just be able to spot the famous and mysterious snow leopards.
2. Hemis Monastery
The Hemis Monastery is considered as one of the wealthiest Tibetan monasteries. This monastery is located at a distance of 45 km from Leh in Hemis, Ladakh. This monastery belongs to the Drukpa family. Situated in the foothills of the Indus, this place was re-established by Sengge Namgyal.
3. Stakna Gompa
It is after following a small shaky bridge, that is located over the Indus, that one reaches Stakna Gompa. The Gompa is situated on the banks of the river and gives, perhaps, the best panoramic view of Hemis.
While visiting Hemis Gompa, you should definitely explore the local markets of Hemis. Right from beautiful paintings to wooden dragon statues to postcards, there are several gift items one can buy.
5. Shang Gompa
It is situated in the middle of the snow-peaked mountains along with the wrinkled terrains of Leh and Ladakh. The Shang Gompa symbolizes peace, composure, and tranquillity. The chanting of the monks is more or less a hypnotizing and calming experience here.
How to Reach Hemis
Hemis is a wonderful tourist attraction in Leh. It is situated at an approximate distance of 980, 2,386, 2,497, 3,150 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can travel here by the following means of public transportation.
The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL), Leh airport. It is a well-organized airport which is connected to major cities of India. Once you reach the airport, you can easily take a bus or a private vehicle like a cab or a jeep to reach Hemis.
There is no direct train connectivity to this place. The nearest railway station is Katra Railway Station (SVDK) situated about 700 kilometres away from Hemis. This particular railhead belongs to the Firozpur Division of Northern Railway Zone. After deboarding at this station, you will need to cover the remaining distance by bus or a private vehicle like a cab.
The road connectivity to Hemis is overall okay. There are two popular routes such as Srinagar via Kargil at Srinagar-Leh Highway and from Manali via Sarchu and Dharchu at Manali-Leh Highway. Both routes are opened between June-October. There are regular bus services from Leh, Srinagar, and Jammu to Hemis.