Home :: Buddhist Gompas :: Chemre Gompa

Chemre Gompa is located 40 km south Leh in the Chemre Valley. Situated atop a rocky outcropping in the valley, it resembles a medieval European castle when seen from the rear. The gompa has a Dukhang and two temples above it. The gompa was founded some 350 years ago by a Tibetan Lama, Stagtshang Raspa who also founded Hemis gompa. To this day, Hemis and Chemre have the same head lama. About 120 lamas of the red-hat sect live at Chemre. Entering the central courtyard, the Dukhang are of Chemre's founder, Stagtshang Raspa, in his 4th and 5th incarnations (successive incarnations became the Rimpoche of the gompa). Behind these images is a mural of Sakyamuni (the Historical Buddha) flanked by his two chief disciples. On either side of this painting are two large mandalas, one of Kalachakra and the other of Akshobhya (the Imperturbable Buddha or the Buddha of the East). The other walls of the Dukhang and the wall behind the images contain murals depicting the Thousand Buddhas.

Exiting the Dukhang, ascend the steps on the right to the second level to the Lama Lha-khang or Lama Temple which contains images of various lamas, manifestations of the Buddha and other divinities as well as Buddhist religious texts. Climb two more flights to the gompa's highest level where the Guru Lha-khang, a new temple, is located. This temple is dedicated to Padme Sambhava, an 8th century Indian Buddhist who propagated Buddhism in Tibet and translated many of the Buddhist writings from their original languages of Pali and Sanskrit into Tibetan.

This room, not surprisingly, contains a large image of Pademe Sambhava. He is flanked by striking statues of several of his manifestations, including some in his fierce aspect of the being who conquered various demons. Facing the statue of Padme Sambhava, the left wall shows Buddha and his various manifestations next to illustrations of guardian divinities and the rear wall again shows the fierce guardians of Tibetan Buddhism. The walls of this temple, painted in 1977 by a Ladakhi artist, have some of the finest wall murals in Ladhak. This room also contains beautifully decorated columns and roof struts.

Chemre Gompa

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