and comfortable at this hotel. Hemis... to Hemis some 45 km from Leh... has one. Hemis Gompa...
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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.
Hemis National Park
The largest national park of India, Hemis National Park, gets its name from the 400-year-old Hemis Monastery, which is situated inside the park. The monastery, and area around it, are mentioned in texts documenting the passage of the Silk Route. The few people who live inside the park are Buddhists who have been calling the place home for centuries.The Hemis National Park has the highest density of Snow Leopards in the world. People from around the world spend weeks, months and even years for a sight of the 'Ghost Cat'. The national park is home to several other endangered animals, such as the Ladakhi Urial, Asiatic Ibex, Tibetan wolf, Eurasian Brown Bear and the Red Fox.
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.