Chemde lies 45km south of Leh. Nestled on a pyramidal hill, the approach to the monastery will get every photographer itching to get out and capture the scene.
This was the third gompa I visited on my day-excursion from Leh, seeking out the monasteries that lie south of the town. The itinerary for the day was :
Built around 1645, it was founded by Stag-tsang-ras-pa under royal patronage, and is today home to around 100 lamas.
The landscape around Chemde is simply stunning. Although you can drive up the hill to the monastery entrance, it’s well worth making the effort to walk some of it. The lush green valley is in stark contrast to the barren rocks of the mountains behind. Here you feel the sense of isolation.
The temple I came to see here, the Guru Lhakhang, was sadly locked. In fact, most of the temples I failed to either find or gain access to. The place seemed deserted, I don’t recall encountering a single soul as I roamed the monastery, and this just added to the overall feeling of peace and isolation.
I was able to see one temple here, although I don’t know it’s name.
I made a return visit to Chemde Gompa in 2015, and was finally able to see Lama Lhakhang. Click here to read the update !
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