Yesterday the photograph I posted was of Chemrey Monastery with a beautiful landscape. Chemrey Monastery or Chemrey Gompa is a 1664 Buddhist monastery, approximately 47 kilometers east of Leh, Ladakh, northern India. It belongs to the Drugpa monastic order.
All the way up on a hill top, nestled in the interiors, it’s incredible how these monasteries are constructed. Anyway, after going zig-zag on dusty road we (my hubby and I) finally reached the place. Above is the entrance to the Monastery.
As we entered, we felt we were in a maze. We kept wandering trying to find the shrine as the Monastery is huge and has numerous rooms with tiny doors. Finally, a man coming from somewhere saw the lost look on our faces and directed us towards the shrine. As we were getting closer to the shrine, I could hear a heavy sound of a drum. Entering the area, we came across a courtyard with a glass room in the middle and the shrine on the left. In front I saw a monk sitting next to the window in a tiny room opposite us which was pretty dark and it was difficult to see anything inside. Still the sound of drum added a dramatic effect to the whole scene.
He sat there playing the drum, unaware of our presence. Since it is very cold here in Ladakh these days, you can imagine the chilling breeze at that height. We took off our shoes and rushed inside the shrine. At that moment we were the only visitors and the whole place looked deserted.
As you enter the room, the view one gets is of the three figurines of Gods sitting in meditative state dressed in beautiful and colorful attire. On the right are small figurines of other Gods and opposite the Gods, is where the monks sit for their prayers or meditation. It was so peaceful that at one point I was tempted to sit where the monks sat. But I did click a pic.
Its a small dingy room with hand-painted walls, faded and at some places worn off over a period of time…One thing I definitely felt standing in the room was how authentic it felt, I mean I haven’t really felt so in any other Monastery. The decor of the shrine was very different from what I have else where.
After enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet we stepped out to explore the rest of the Monastery. Again we encountered more closed doors and ended up in a courtyard. There was another shrine but the doors were locked. So we just soaked in the view and I clicked some shots.
Stepping out of the Monastery this is a view of the surroundings.
Overall a good experience and a lovely feeling visiting the Shrine…