Hemis Gompa, the largest monastery of Ladakh is the site of the famous annual festival Hemis which commemorates the birth of Guru Padamasambhava....
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Nearing Hemis, we felt we were being transported to an infinite expanse of parched land, encompassed by undulating peaks melting into the blurry background. It was frosty one moment and blazing the next. The monastery was closed for lunch when we got there. So we helped ourselves with some thukpa and fried rice from the visitors' canteen. The courtyard was massive with tall flagpoles marking its corners and the red beams of the double-storied quarters touching the intricate carvings of its roof. Tourists flock to this monastery to attend the annual festival during which the lamas perform a masked dance. The banner for Naropa 2016 was up already - the Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas hosted by the Hemis monastery once in every 12 years to honour the 11th century Buddhist scholar-saint Naropa.
This day, we our on our wheels to Hemis monastery. This was where I experienced my first snow fall. Hemis monastery is one of the richest monasteries. All of them were silver coated and Buddha here was gold coated . We talked to many monks there. They were telling they cannot bath for 5 months. They only bath in summer . They cannot even take their clothes off. Yes , it was unbearable in May. We were talking to monks , looking at monastery , Buddha statue and a small shop there and suddenly it started snowing. It was all magical. I came out and jumped like a small child out of excitement. I enjoyed a lot of time in snowfall. Then after snow stopped, we went to our hotel and relaxed for next big day ahead.